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Old gambling dens never die; they just fade away. Cap's Place, set on an island in what used to be acres of scrub and beach sand, is now surrounded by million-dollar condos and even pricier yachts in Lighthouse Point, but that just makes the nostalgia even richer. In 1928, Cap Knight and friend Al Hasis dragged a barge up onto the beach and founded Club Unique, a restaurant/casino serving fresh snapper, turtle-egg pancakes, and bootleg whiskey. Meyer Lansky dined here when he came to collect his take on the gambling, and so did Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt when the two met to discuss strategy in 1942. The place is still run by Hasis' kids. Today, you take a flat-bottomed motorboat over to the island, and a slightly updated menu offers local fish caught daily, raw oysters, crab cakes, chicken and pasta, and lime pie for dessert. You'll pay a bundle for that pompano or grouper fillet, but the experience of putting your fanny in the chair George Harrison once sat in? Priceless.
There's a reason Fort Lauderdale is host to one of the largest boat shows in the world. With over 300 miles of navigable inland waterways, Greater Fort Lauderdale is known as the Venice of America.A l... More »
Maybe because one side of my family is made up of scrappy small-time entrepreneurs who founded shanty towns in the central Florida scrub, named those towns after themselves, manufactured fake money called scrip to pay their laborers, and... More »
You'd almost swear the building was ready to fall down, but in a charming way. And what can you say about a place that hosted the likes of FDR and Winston Churchil. It's a real charmer that you can only get to by boat, but it is a short boat ride from their parking area. This is the best of the "out of the way" restaurants in the area, and the only one to serve real, fresh hearts of palm salad.
The cousin-from-Camden contingent has arrived, half a dozen nippers in tow, and by day six, you've stage-managed everything from airboat rides in the Everglades to daytrips to Disney. Worse news is in store: Your loud-mouthed sister-in-law has dropped in for a surprise inspection. Drastic times require drastic measures, so raise the salty old ghost of Cap Knight. Cap's Island Restaurant, which is set in two 80-year-old buildings on an island at Lighthouse Point, can be reached only by ferry.... More »
The ferryboat to Cap's Place is interesting (think of a refurbished, polished, and well-covered African Queen), and it's free. It's not a long ride, just a nice jaunt across the Intracoastal, but once you get there, you're going back a long way. Meyer Lansky and other gangsters still haunt the place. In the bar you can almost still smell the unfiltered cigarette smoke and hear the dames giggling over their martinis. Cap's Place is all about South Florida history, full of rum, illicit... More »
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