Tropical Acres Steakhouse will celebrate its reopening on Tuesday. Six months after a fire severely damaged Broward County’s oldest steakhouse, the owner and staff are finally ready to open their doors again. The restaurant first opened in 1949 at the same location it is today: 2500 Griffin Rd, Dania Beach. This popular family-owned restaurant was closed down Aug. 29, after a piece of laundry equipment sparked a blaze that destroyed the kitchen and caused extensive water damage to the dining room and banquet facilities. In total, more than 17,000 square feet were destroyed at a cost of more than a million dollars.
Since the fire, owner Jack Studiale said the restaurant has received more than 1,000 notes and emails from customers who miss the place.
One wonderful find as a result of the fire is the fact that the restaurant, under its dropped ceilings, has a beautiful wooden tongue-and-groove ceiling that they restored. Similar wood carvings have been discovered in other areas of the building, Studiale said.
“We’ve removed paneling and found wonderful tongue-and-grove planking. We started as a small steakhouse in 1949 and it’s grown and, as it’s grown, we sometimes forgot some of the old Florida charm, so we’re going to enhance that design,’’ he said.
During the renovations, new booths and carpet were installed but the steakhouse’s famous Old Florida charm is still there, but better than ever. The stained glass, old photographs and wooden fans are waiting to greet their loyal customers. These regulars have been awaiting Tropical Acre’s reopening and flooded the restaurant with opening night reservations.
Studiale, also known as “the Maestro,’’ started working at the restaurant, owned by his late father, Salvatore “Sam” Studiale, at an early age. Most all of the family has worked the grill or served food at one time or another. Today, Jack Studiale and his sister, Carolyn Greenlaw own and run the restaurant together.
The August fire left the Tropical Acres’ 65 employees jobless for several months. Greenlaw worked with the entire staff to either find them new jobs or make sure they were OK while they were not working at Tropical Acres. Many of the employees returned to help with the renovation, without any promise of pay. The Studiale family was able to pay some of the employees for the first few months. During Christmas, all of the workers received sizable checks to help tide them over. This family business takes care of their own and the customers feel that warm every time the walk in the door.
Pinnacle Hospitality Systems is proud to be a long standing partner with Tropical Acres Steakhouse and wishes them all the best in their reopening this week. Tropical Acres uses Pinnacle’s POSiTouch system to keep their restaurant running smoothly. As a leader in the point of sale system for over 20 years, Pinnacle understands the necessity of the personal touch; our live support line is available 24 hours a day to assist our customers. Contact Pinnacle Hospitality Systems at 800-771-7100 for more information today.