What's New in Greater Fort Lauderdale

convention center rendering

The first phase of the highly anticipated Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center expansion – the newly updated 800,000 sq. ft. pre-existing center with an expanded 350,000 sq. ft. exhibit hall – opened Oct. 27, 2021. Work on the remainder of the $1.3 billion expansion continues, including the new eastside expansion with waterfront ballrooms, meetings rooms and kitchen facilities, a six-acre outdoor waterfront plaza and an 800-room, five-story Omni headquarters hotel interconnected with the convention center. Full completion will increase the facility's size to 1.2 million sq. ft. and is expected in late 2025. 

New on the Hotel Scene

Guest room with a queen bed, desk, tv, mini-fridge and open closet space

avid hotel Ft. Lauderdale Airport - Cruise opened in Dania Beach in April. The 101-room hotel is minutes away from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and a 15-minute drive to downtown Fort Lauderdale, the beach, and Port Everglades cruise terminal. Visitors will enjoy guest-centric hallmarks such as best-in-class room design for sound sleeping, seamless technology and a high-quality grab-and-go breakfast.

Four Seasons pool view

The new 22-story Four Seasons Hotel and Residences Fort Lauderdale opened in March with luxurious guestrooms and residences, two restaurants, a spa, fitness center, and ballroom and meeting facilities. The Ocean Sun Deck is home to two horizon-edge pools and the hotel's signature dining experience, Evelyn's Fort Lauderdale. Honey Fitz, on the first level, offers gourmet coffee creations and colorful handcrafted pastries during the day and natural wines, grower champagne and cocktails in the evening. An additional restaurant concept overlooking Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard is anticipated to debut in fall 2022.

AC Hotel Fort Lauderdale Beach

AC Hotel Fort Lauderdale Beach opened in February just steps away from Sebastian Street Beach in Fort Lauderdale. The 171-room hotel boasts ocean views, an open kitchen for European-style breakfast and specialty culinary events, a library, an expansive resort-style pool with cabanas and dining services, and 954 square feet of flexible meeting space.

The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina recently renovated all 595 guestrooms. The upscale, nautically inspired hotel continued renovations with its meeting space inclusive of the 7,800 sq. ft. ballroom and 4,000 sq. ft. junior ballroom. Total meetings space renovated was approximately 18,000 sq. ft. Renovations to the meeting space, lobby and public space were completed in November 2021. The hotel is currently constructing a new 5,000 sq. ft. waterfront ballroom and a rooftop bar and restaurant overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, scheduled to be completed in late 2022.

New Transportation

LauderGo

The City of Fort Lauderdale has introduced the Micro Mover – a FREE, convenient and sustainable mobility option to help get residents and visitors around downtown, Las Olas and the beach. Just download the “Ride Circuit” app to book your ride.

Brightline, the high-speed rail connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, will add service to Orlando in 2023.

Norse Airways will soon offer direct service from FLL to Berlin, in addition to its current route from FLL to Oslo, Norway. 

New Attractions

Your Guide to the Visit Lauderdale Ale Trail

Visit Lauderdale welcomes everyone under the sun to experience a curated collection of craft breweries through the new Visit Lauderdale Ale Trail Passport, a free mobile-exclusive digital pass that all locals and visitors can sign up for. With many breweries tucked away, this passport makes it easy to discover Greater Fort Lauderdale’s thriving brewery scene and to go where the locals go or to create your own tour. As locals and visitors work their way through the Visit Lauderdale Ale Trail, they will be automatically checked in and collect points to redeem limited-edition Visit Lauderdale swag, including hats and beer bottle opener keychains. They will also enjoy exclusive deals and discounts at Ale Trail stops.

International Swimming of Hall of Fame

The historic Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Center and International Swimming Hall of Fame complex, home to Florida’s first Olympic-sized swimming pool that opened in 1926, is undergoing a $47 million renovation and expansion that includes five swimming pools and support amenities that will welcome new generations of aquatic sport enthusiasts to sporting activities and competitions. A major highlight for the new venue is a 27-meter dive tower with springboards and nine platform levels. Visitors will be able to experience “Top of the Tower” tours with scenic views of the Intracoastal Waterway and Fort Lauderdale beach. Completion of the pools and meeting facilities is expected for December 2022.

Explore the ecosystem surrounding the exquisite Bonnet House via paddleboard or kayak with a new tour offered by Sunrise Paddleboards. After you paddle from Coconut Cove, guests can walk the grounds of this 100+ year old historical plantation with desert gardens and beach views outside of the museum. The grounds are known for spotting raccoons, wild monkeys, turtles, manatees, heron and other critters.

New on the Dining & Entertainment Scene

Sushi Lab

Sushi Lab's coastal beachfront dining escape is an award-winning New York born innovative omakase concept focused on the dining experience and its unique take on traditional Japanese cuisine. With culinary inspirations from Japan and France, Sushi Lab offers dining options with the highest quality of sourced items that bring together robust flavors, and precisely curated dishes that are truly a journey for the senses. Experience elevated omakase and sushi dining experience amidst unparalleled ocean views and spectacular beachfront dining access in the heart of Pompano Beach.

Located in the booming Flagler Village neighborhood, AIDA Fort Lauderdale features innovative dishes that transcend typical Mexican gastronomy. Visitors are invited to engage in a culinary adventure that satisfies each person’s gastronomic curiosity with freshly sourced seafood at its core. This contemporary restaurant unveils an edgy and eclectic ambiance with a show-stopping mural created by the famous Cuban American artist, ABSTRK.

La Fuga is now open at Kimpton Shorebreak Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort. Experience modern, coastal Italian cuisine. Chef Michael Mayer infuses local South Florida flavors with classic Italian staples to create a fusion of crave-worthy, contemporary dishes.

Sistrunk Marketplace has expanded with five new food vendors, bringing the total to 13. They include Crunly Churros, Made in Italy, Mari’s Kitchen (Italian), Henry’s Sandwiches and Island Made (Caribbean). Dream State Brewing bar and taproom will open inside Sistrunk Marketplace in November. It will feature a 10-seat bar offering guests 32 taps that will pour Dream State beer.

Rio’s Tequila Bar is Fort Lauderdale’s first and only tequila-dedicated cocktail bar offering a curated lineup of some of the finest tequila distilleries. Set among the tree-lined streets of Rio Vista, the hidden bar’s namesake, Rio’s Tequila Bar offers a select menu of craft cocktails, tequila flights with educational tastings, and globally-inspired, tapas-style bar bites. With an intimate feel and elevated ambiance, Rio’s modern Southwest décor transports guests with a chic desert vibe in the 25-seat bar. 

Willie T's Seafood Shack, a new fast casual-style-eatery in Fort Lauderdale, offers deliciously seasoned fried and grilled menu items varying from Breaded Catfish Delta, to Shrimp Baskets, to Battered Cod. Standout menu items are notably the fresh Lobster Rolls and Jumbo Lump Crab Rolls. Willie T's features plenty of sides including hushpuppies, fried onion petals, mac & cheese, coleslaw and french fries. 

At the new Fireman Derek's Bake Shop in Fort Lauderdale, locals and visitors will find a selection of over-the-top pies, cakes, milkshakes and other delectable confections. The bake shop has an artsy feel, with neon signage and decor in sync with a laidback atmosphere, boasting plentiful seating.

Hof’s House of Sweets opened on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, featuring an entire wall of candy and chocolate sourced from all over the world. Take a seat in the living room and enjoy mouthwatering specialty Hoferings and shakes. Combining art, music and pop culture, Hof’s curates those elements into unique and memorable experiences.

Timpano Las Olas

A reimagined Timpano Las Olas is now open. The restaurant has been a Fort Lauderdale staple since its debut in 1999. Timpano offers a bold approach to contemporary dining for guests who want to be surrounded by sophistication with a modern menu inspired by culinary heritage. Rich emeralds, gold tones, and splashes of color fill the space with a subtle hint of a speakeasy vibe.

Planta Queen

Vegan and plant-based restaurant, Planta Queen, opened in April in Fort Lauderdale. The 4,400-square-foot location features vegan dishes with bold Asian flavors, including sushi, dumplings and noodles. 

Carousel Club

Carousel Club, appropriately named as the bar features an antique carousel, opened at Gulfstream Park in April. The new open-air gathering spot promises cool cocktails, delicious eats and exciting entertainment from day-to-night, including spectacular views of thoroughbred horse races and live DJs spinning.

On the Horizon

Italian restaurant Anthony’s Runway 84 reopens this fall after a renovation. The 40-year-old restaurant will be transformed into a supper club featuring live music.

A new, unique dining concept, TIMBR, will open in early 2023 in Fort Lauderdale inside a 100-year-old building. TIMBR will invite visitors to an enchanted world. The 6,500-square-foot space will serve as an ode to nature. Guests will enjoy American/European fusion and beautifully-prepared twists on their favorite foods of the world alongside high-end, elevated offerings, a superb wine list and cutting-edge cocktails.

War Memorial rendering

The Florida Panthers organization's revitalization of the War Memorial Auditorium and construction of a new state-of-the-art practice and community ice facility in Fort Lauderdale is fully underway and slated for a 2023 debut. Upon its completion, the new ROSSETTI-designed 144,000 sq. foot sports and entertainment venue will house South Florida's first-of-its-kind ballroom-style concert and performance venue, capable of accommodating up to 3,800 people for intimate live music and events. The redesigned theater will carefully preserve the iconic War Memorial Auditorium's classic art-deco character, while new enhancements and technical upgrades will modernize the space to accommodate global tour productions and larger-scale events. The addition of a state-of-the-art practice facility will feature two regulation-sized indoor ice rinks, including a dedicated public rink that will host a robust variety of youth and adult hockey programs, public skating, and figure skating for community members of all ages. 

The Bite Eatery, the first food hall in Pompano Beach, opens in 2023 just a few blocks away from the beach and the Pompano Fishing Pier. The 250-seat venue will feature The Beach Bar, a central full-liquor bar, plus nine food vendors.

The Victory Entertainment Complex in Fort Lauderdale's historic Sistrunk neighborhood will open in spring 2023. The venue will feature a distillery, cigar bar, rooftop area, and a wine and whiskey lounge.

Pier Sixty-Six Hotel & Marina

Pier Sixty-Six Hotel & Marina, a South Florida icon for more than 50 years, is going through a total reimagination of the destination. Upon completion the hotel will have 376 guest rooms & suites, multi-level pool experience with family and adult areas, lobby lounge, Pier Top lounge, spa, fitness center, kids club, marina promenade and residential offerings. The hotel is officially closed, but the marina and Pelican Landing remain open, welcoming guests and boaters. Expected reopening 2024.