Carol Moran may hold the record for the most bars and restaurants opened on Wilton Drive. In her 18-year history here, Moran opened Kicks Sports Bar, New Moon, and 13 | EVEN.
Her last restaurant, 13 | EVEN, closed in December and was located only a few feet from her most successful venture – New Moon. For her 18-year run as a business owner in the city, Moran, who said she closed her doors to spend more time supporting her wife, Nancy Goldwin, in New York City, was honored with a proclamation by the city.
Jan. 24 was proclaimed as “Carol Moran Day” for Moran and Goldwin’s years of hosting “fundraisers for charitable organizations” and for serving countless “smooth cocktails and amazing entrees” as well as “their selfless support and unconditional friendships.”
Commissioner Julie Carson praised Moran by tweaking the city’s tagline – “Life’s Just Better Here.” On her Facebook page, Carson wrote “Life's Just Better with Carol Moran in Wilton Manors.”
When she accepted the proclamation, Moran said she was “sad to be a part-time person now. I believe in this community.”
It’s a community she’s seen go through some changes. Unfortunately, she said, not all for the better. In an interview with The Gazette, Moran said she doesn’t like the trend going on right now with bars on Wilton Drive.
“I’ve been around a long time. Almost 20 years doing business in this town. Honestly, it’s too much of a bar fight with the bars trying to compete and undercut each other. We just have so many bars. They have to compete. You may be packed but when you’re giving away drinks, what good is that doing you?” Moran said. “I don’t know if it’s overcrowded but it’s definitely a saturated market for sure.”
But she is happy to see more variety of restaurants coming to Wilton Drive. Years ago, she said, there were basically just a couple Thai places. “Not that any restaurants are doing a bad job but you need variety. But that’s changing now with other restaurants coming in. I was the first one to open a tapas place.”
And she sees more variety in the future. “You want to become something like Las Olas.”
As for Moran’s future in the restaurant industry, she said she will be taking a break and supporting her wife. “She’s always supported my endeavors. It’s time to support hers. She really has been uber, uber supportive. I’m going to take some time off. I’ll be the hippie chick in the produce section. I don’t know what I’m going to be when I grow up.”
But New York City won’t have all her time, especially when it gets too cold for Moran’s thin native Floridian blood. She plans to visit Florida regularly. “People leave there to come here and I’m going there. I’m going opposite. I’m going to freak out up there. I’m sure of it.”