This winter, JEY Hospitality — the team behind Rok:Brgr, PizzaCraft, TacoCraft, and Himmarhsee Public House — will add an 11th concept, Proper Sandwich Fine Meat & Provisions, to its growing roster.
The name is a reference to concept creator and JEY Hospitality cofounder Marc Falsetto's sandwich-shop ideal: an establishment that will offer a true artisan-crafted sandwich. Construction is expected to begin this summer, and the opening is slated for late winter.
"Fort Lauderdale is filled with subs and hoagies," Falsetto says. "But you can't get a proper sandwich anywhere. That's where we got the name from. Artisan sandwiches on locally baked bread with local produce and house-made roasted meats — it will be the perfect fit for FAT Village residents and workers."
The 1,700-square-foot space, located at 545 NW First Ave., has special significance for Falsetto. The building — located in the heart of the FAT Village Arts District and next door to C&I Studios, General Provision, and Brew Urban Cafe — is one he's been eyeing for nearly five years.
"I used to live in the neighborhood, so it's special to me. I originally hoped to open TacoCraft there, but the building wasn't for rent at time," he says. "Several months ago, it became available, and we jumped on it. There's really no food component [to FAT Village], so it felt like the right spot to open our newest concept. We'll be FAT Village's first restaurant."
The move marks continued expansion into Fort Lauderdale's new urban core over the past several years as the city takes a turn for the more cultural. This is especially true in the area north of downtown known as Flagler Village, an area that has recently blossomed into a neighborhood dedicated to local business owners, residents, developers, and community members who have upgraded the blocks just west of Federal Highway, south of Sunrise Boulevard, and north of NE Fourth Street.
The growth began in FAT (Flagler Arts & Technology) Village, now the locus of last-Saturday-of-the-month art walks that draw hundreds of like-minded creatives to the area. The founder of the neighborhood is Doug McCraw. In 1999, when he purchased properties here, even he was hesitant to drive through the area at night.
Like Falsetto, who opened his first restaurants on the once-lesser-traversed stretch of Las Olas Boulevard in Himmarshee Village, McCraw saw the potential.
Falsetto describes Proper Sandwich as a fast-casual artisan sandwich shop where patrons can order gourmet, chef-driven sandwiches that use house-roasted meats and charcuterie, locally baked bread, and locally sourced produce; homestyle baked goods; and craft beverages. Beer and wine will also be served.
Open for breakfast, lunch, and early dinner, the concept will also be a spot to score fresh-baked pies. An in-house bakery will produce a variety of flavors for eat-in by the slice or whole-pie take-out.
Proper Sandwich won't be hoagies and subs, adds Falsetto, who traveled to Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and other cities for inspiration. "Think of it as a boutique sandwich shop," he says.