I drove by Quarterdeck Seafood Bar on Alton Road in South Beach yesterday and noticed that the sign had been taken down and the windows were papered over. I put in a call to Frank Zaffere, who is partner of Quarterdeck Restaurants (seven outlets in Broward and Palm Beach) with founder Paul Flanigan.
Frank seemed surprised that the Alton branch was closed; I was surprised to learn that he and Flanigan had nothing to do with this Quarterdeck (except at one point "a long time ago"). It was being run by "an outside guy that's not part of our group," says Zaffere. "We challenged him, he lost his case. They were supposed to rename it and never did. Now he's gone."
I asked "Is he gone?"
Frank: "We have no idea what he's doing."
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After that conversation I went by to check things out a little closer and saw the closed sign from Ben Wagman, the proprietor. The SoBe Quarterdeck, counterfeit or not, is, officially, no more.