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Food, Fun & Sun:

The "New" Depot Cabana Bar & Grill

By Troy Maillis


The DepotThe Depot Cabana Bar & Grill is poised to unveil a new location, new facility and new amenities to a city eager for something different. With a Key West feel, The “new” Depot provides a large pool with plenty of deck space for enjoying the warm Florida sun. Patrons can snack by they poolside tables, mingle with new faces and enjoy refreshing cocktails with old friends. The building has a great rustic structure with high ceilings and lots of windows allowing ample sunlight to shine throughout. Other upgrades include a full kitchen with a comprehensive menu. The new location is at 2935 N. Federal Hwy. in Fort Lauderdale (south of Maraca’s Restaurant).

Mark'a List caught up with Jim Babb, the owner of The Depot, to dish on the details of the rejuvenated local “it” spot.

Mark's List: What do you think patrons are most looking forward to with the new location?

Jim Babb: What I love about the place is that it showcases what brought all of us to South Florida to begin with: the great sunny outdoors. What better way to spend an afternoon than lounging by the pool having a cocktail with friends? I keep hearing that it's the one type of venue that people have been missing in Fort Lauderdale since the days of Club Caribbean.

Will the “new” Depot offer the only bar/grill/pool atmosphere in Fort Lauderdale? Are you hoping to attract a variety of crowds?

The new facility is definitely unique in the Fort Lauderdale bar scene. I learned quickly that, in this market, you have to be unique in some fashion or you get lost in the mix. This venue definitely makes us stand out. I am really excited to have the Brothel Boys, Scott & Gary, in charge of our kitchen; and they have come up with a great menu with prices that can't be beat. I think the concept will appeal to a broad demographic -- from the young to the young-at-heart.

Are you hoping to bring that “Key West” feel to Fort Lauderdale?

Well, since I cut my teeth in the bar business in Key West, it's definitely something that's familiar to me. Being a part of the 801 Bourbon Bar and the Bourbon Street Pub in Key West made me really appreciate how much fun that tropical feel is when you're looking for an entertainment venue. The laid-back, Key West mentality definitely shaped me over my 12 years on the island. When I came across the new venue, my first thought was how much it reminded me of the Keys. If I can bring that same feel to the Depot Cabana Bar & Grill, I think people will have a great time.

What are some of the events patrons can expect at The Depot?

Many of our popular events at our current location will be moving with us, such as Wednesday and Sunday Karaoke, Walter's Monthly Cook-off, and of course the infamous pig tournaments. In addition, we will have lots of new events including our Sunday afternoon poolside beer bust hosted by party emcee Stubby, the Saturday tropical cookout and beer garden, water volleyball, and weekly Texas Hold 'em tournaments. Oh, and yes, we do have a full-sized pool table now. Stay tuned for more as we roll out more fun of the first few weeks.