Hollywood pub shuts after 30 years, and here’s where it’s heading next – Sun Sentinel


Don Shula ate here. So did his wife, Mary Anne. Dwyane Wade passed through. So did Jeff Conine, Dan Marino and Joe DiMaggio (a personal high mark).

None of these moments, memorialized in a photo collage in the back of the bar, will be what owner Patrick Utter remembers most about Hollywood’s Shenanigans Sports Pub, which abruptly shut down on Christmas Eve after 30 years.

“It’s going to be the people who’ve come up to me in the past week and said, ‘I proposed to my wife here in booth No. 3 on a Friday night, and we’re still married 25 years later,’ ” Utter told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “Special occasions are more important to me than celebrities. I care about being entrenched in this community.”

Known for its chicken wings, sports junkies and cover bands, Shenanigans was one of Broward County’s oldest gastropubs, debuting in 1992 to serve full liquor, beer and premium dishes such as prime rib and fresh dolphin francaise. In 2018, online travel website TravelPulse.com declared that Shenanigans served the “Best Chicken Wings” in Florida.

The Irish-accented Hollywood gastropub on Sheridan Street, a mile west of Interstate 95, closed in the Park Sheridan West Plaza after what Utter called “a breakdown in lease negotiations” with his landlord. Utter said he was paying $20,000 a month for his 3,000-square-foot bar. But a proposed rent hike of $30,000 monthly prompted him to close shop.

With the closure of Hollywood's Shenanigans, most longtime staffers have migrated to the Dania Beach sister bar, according to owner Patrick Utter.

“Basically, the landlord had escalating prices that he wanted to hand down to me. But our margins are already slim, and the food costs are double,” Utter said. “I can’t keep a gastropub with $4 drafts with that kind of overhead. This is a local’s place and I serve working-class people.”

Utter has consolidated operations at his Dania Beach sister bar, Shenanigans Eastside Pub on South Federal Highway, where most — but not all — of his longtime staffers have migrated, he said.

In a Dec. 26 social-media post, Utter and wife Christine — whom he met at the bar — wrote: “Simply put, if we acceded to the conditions tied to a new lease, we would have had to cut quality, cut staffing, pay our employees far less than they deserve, or raise prices to unsustainable levels.”

Since Christmas, Utter has hastily cleared house at Shenanigans, which he must vacate by Dec. 31. He’s left behind the oven and kitchen equipment, the seating booths and the bar. But he took the portraits with sports legends. He took the signature “Shenanigans” sign above the entrance and the shamrock-green lights that ringed the island bar. Banks of flat-screen TVs blasting Marlins, Heat and Dolphins games once covered the walls. Now there are only loose wires.

Owner Patrick Utter said he took the signature Shenanigans signage and the shamrock-green lights that ringed the island bar.

Utter said the legacy of Shenanigans will carry on at the Dania Beach outpost. He opened Shenanigans Eastside Pub in 2008 after buying an acre of land and two derelict buildings, the former Pizza Hut and Charlie’s Bar-B-Q, and blending them together. At 8,000 square feet, Eastside seats 250 inside and at its tiki bar. Unlike the original location, it serves barbecue out of a Southern Pride smoker and fresh pizza out of a Baker’s Pride brick oven.

“I could cry about losing the original because it was a really nice watering hole,” Utter said. “But to be honest, we have so much more at Eastside. We’ve got a drive-thru. I have over 210 menu items, like a Cheesecake Factory. It’s still going to have the same formula: where the locals go.”

Shenanigans, at 3303 Sheridan St. in Hollywood, closed Dec. 24. Its sister location, Shenanigans East Side Pub, at 1300 S. Federal Highway, in Dania Beach, remains open. Call 954-923-3008 or go to ShenanigansSportsPub.com.

In this 2014 archival photo, Shenanigans owner Patrick Utter, the Grand Marshal for Hollywood's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, poses with  daughter Julianna Utter.

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