New Fort Lauderdale restaurant opening

One of Fort Lauderdale’s most attractive settings now has its jewel: The House on the River, a beautifully polished heirloom on the downtown waterfront that will instantly rank among the most popular dining destinations in the city when it opens on Mother’s Day Weekend.

The new restaurant is the result of a handsome and thoughtful renovation — it took nearly a year and more than $1 million — of one of downtown’s most prominent and enigmatic properties, which locals call the River House.

In a city that seems to be losing more history every day, The House on the River was a rescue mission for local hospitality veteran Steven D’Apuzzo, a bet on the quirky appeal of a restaurant composed of two historic homes huddled in the expanding shadow of glass-and-steel monuments to modernity.

“It’s going to be a little oasis,” D’Apuzzo says, describing a “Florida Riviera” style that marries the city and the shore. “Our theme is really very coastal, but embracing the history of the home and the charm of it. This is Fort Lauderdale. This was here before Fort Lauderdale was Fort Lauderdale. ”

The House on the River will make a soft debut for dinner on Friday, May 12, with service from 4 to 11 p.m.  On Saturday and Sunday, brunch will be served 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with dinner 4 to 11 p.m. Mother’s Day Brunch will cost $59 (drinks extra).  For information and to make a reservation, visit TheHouseOnTheRiver.com.

The founder of Society 8 Hospitality Group, D’Apuzzo is no stranger to distinctive Fort Lauderdale dining destinations. They include downtown’s Sistrunk Marketplace & Brewery, hidden gem Park & Ocean and Wild Thyme Oceanside Eatery at The Atlantic Hotel & Spa on the beach. D’Apuzzo also is now creating a new food hall, Block

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