Batch Southern Kitchen & Tap opens in Fort Lauderdale Flagler Village

Kevin Danilo was still working on the outdoor patio of his latest Batch Southern Kitchen even as the restaurant prepared to open on the last day of December.

Instead of delaying, he decided to open the indoor dining room. “At the end of the day, we stuck to the date we announced we were going to open because it’s better than keeping our employees unemployed. And if we work out a few more details with the patio,” said Danielo. new times.

Miamians probably know the name Batch. Danilo opened Batch Gastropub in Brickell (30 SW 12th St.) in late 2013 and, unlike most sports bars, has attracted top chefs to its kitchen, including Michael Reidt and Pablo Zitzman. The original batch is still going strong, but Danilo wanted to expand with a restaurant that was higher but still accessible in terms of price and food.

“The challenge was to bring the new restaurant to life under the umbrella of Batch, but not Batch Gastropub. We wanted it to be a different dining experience but with continuity. It was walking a tightrope,” says Danilo. His team decided that a Southern restaurant made sense. “We love Southern cuisine, whiskey and American beer,” explains the restaurateur, who has chosen to also offer healthier alternatives to traditional Southern cuisine. “We wondered how to create a great Southern restaurant while acknowledging that a lot of people think about the food they eat.”

The chefs at Danilo got to work creating delicious alternatives like pulled barbecue jackfruit and a frittata made with eggs and meat alternatives. “We’ve set up a vegetarian and vegan section so everyone can experience our flavors,” he says. “Turns out we have a lot of vegan Batch fans.”

In 2018, Danilo opened Batch Southern Kitchen & Tap in West Palm Beach (223 Clematis St.). When a place opened up in Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Village, Danilo knew Batch Southern Kitchen & Tap would be a good fit. “The bones of this building are solid and we were delighted with our integration into this market,” he says.

As most restaurateurs have discovered, opening a restaurant during the pandemic has presented unique challenges. “We had to break a lot of eggs along the way,” as he puts it. But, having a solid plan for employee retention in place helped. Earlier in the year, Danilo and his partners handed out bonuses to staff who had worked for Batch for years. The restaurant group has also launched a cultural program where each site plans monthly excursions and giveaways for employees. The goal, says Danilo, is to “bring back the magic of hospitality.”

On a recent visit, the industrial-chic restaurant in Fort Lauderdale was buzzing. And while the menu features the aforementioned barbecue jackfruit ($14), there are plenty of meat-centric entrees like sweet tea-brined chicken and waffles ($22.50), a smoked brisket sandwich of 12 hours ($17), and a chicken pot pie ($17.50).

Don’t forget to order one of the cocktails, like the Sweet and Sour Toasted Pecan Whiskey ($13) or a Carolina Moonshine Sweet Tea ($12). For those attending Dry January, the restaurant offers homemade root beer, molasses ginger beer, and blackberry mint lemonade.

Danilo says he plans to expand the Batch brand (there’s a Batch Gastropub at 14813 Lyons Rd. in Delray Beach), but for now he’s happy to introduce Batch to Fort Lauderdale. “We wanted to balance things out and have two of each concept.”

Even with four restaurants under his belt and more to come, Danilo says he still doesn’t feel like a restauranteur. “I feel more like a plumber and electrician,” he jokes, then adds that the key to his success is working with good people: “My philosophy is to hire a group of talented, good people. deal with them.”

Southern Kitchen & Faucet Set. 525 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale; 754-757-0000; Open Monday to Thursday from 4 p.m. to midnight, Friday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to midnight.

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