Pompano Beach is working hard to raise its profile as a recreational mecca.
The city has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to lure restaurateurs to Atlantic Blvd. and oceanfront properties in the hopes of flipping some long-vacant storefronts, formerly managed by the city, into popular dining destinations.
According to the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency Director, Nguyen Tran, “Pompano is like what Delray Beach was 30 years ago. Pompano has been losing out on great restaurants for years because there isn’t anything here, and it’s our time now. What really drives people to an area is the food and entertainment.”
Local LGBT residents have also been pushing to make the city a destination. In 2020, Anthony Kulp, a resident of Palm Aire in Pompano Beach, led the effort to unofficially claim a section of the city’s beach. The group raised a rainbow flag on the beach on June 28 of that year and unofficially named it Stonewall Beach. Since then, the area just south of the Pompano Beach pier has become a gathering spot for the LGBT community. Kulp, a local realtor, touts Stonewall Beach, “It’s really an outstanding beach,” he said. He noted the new gay section is close to parking, showers, bathrooms, and restaurants.
While Stonewall Beach hasn’t been around long enough to gain traction on the Internet, it did rate a mention in an article on “Florida’s Top 10 Gay Beaches” on VisitFlorida.com and Outcoast website says, “Pompano Beach is a more affordable area close to Wilton Manors.”
The influx of new beachgoers and support from the city have made the area more attractive for restaurant owners. South PMP Bar and Kitchen, should be open by the late fall. It will serve southern comfort food. While the buildout cost nearly $2 million, South PMP owner Mike Linder, who also owns Jet Runway Café, said the city sweetened the deal with grants.
“The grants were a huge factor in making this deal make sense,” said Linder. “If it was between here and some other place with foot traffic, I would have gone somewhere with foot traffic, but the incentives were great.”
The city hopes to find an investor willing to transform the 1926 McNab House and McNab Park into McNab House and Botanical Garden, featuring a restaurant, a three-acre botanical garden, and a glass-enclosed event pavilion. “What actually goes in there, and who runs what, has to be worked out in the negotiating process,” said Tran.
Check out these restaurants near Pompano’s Stonewall Beach.
222 N Pompano Beach Blvd.
A laid-back vibe for simple eats, tiki bar drinks, and toes in the sand under the shade of palm trees.
270 N Pompano Beach Blvd.
Upscale dining in a relaxed atmosphere. Craft cocktails and creative fare with killer views from the upper-level deck.
Cannoli Kitchen Pizza
255 N Pompano Beach Blvd.
Since 1996, Cannoli Kitchen has been cranking out reasonably priced Italian fast food. Pizza, pasta, salads, calzones, and of course, homemade cannoli, are available to dine in or take to the beach.
250 N Pompano Beach Blvd.
Fresh seafood and premium steak house offering brunch, lunch, and dinner amidst gorgeous ocean views.
Enjoy the nectar of the gods, mead (honey wine), at Oakland Park’s newest eatery Brewlihan. The 1,700-square-foot space is decorated with science flasks and honeycomb and has 16 taps. The nectar comes from Florida beekeepers and fruit from farmers in the Pacific Northwest and New York.
It’s not the B-52’s Love Shack, but Willie T’s Seafood Shack on Cordova opened in late August inside the Harbor Shops on 17th Street. The Washington, D.C. chain will dish up fried and grilled Gulf shrimp, catfish, and lobsters, along with oyster po’boys, crab cakes, salmon and Old Bay-seasoned, waffle-cut fries.
Henry’s Sandwich Station in Fat Village was a hit almost as soon as it opened four years ago. Now, with their block being demolished for a mixed-use development, they’re moving across the street into Sistrunk Marketplace. It’s a win-win as Henry’s gets to keep its dedicated clientele at a nearby location and Sistrunk Marketplace gets a shot in the arm with a place with a loyal following.