Inside this issue:
- Family-Owned Fort Lauderdale Restaurant Celebrates 34 Years in Business
- Playbook Takeover: How Your Kids Can Have the Best Summer Camp Experience as Told by Our Resident Camp Expert, Danny Herz
- The Ultimate Hangover Cure: Catfish Dewey's Crawfish Bloody Mary
- Meet Our Brand New Partner, Manny Serra-Jovenich
- Find Out the Winner of Our First Ever Pet Photo Competition
Community Spotlight: Family-Owned Fort Lauderdale Restaurant Celebrates 34 Years in Business
In an era where local businesses are continually being pushed out by corporate conglomerates, we love a good story about a family owned business that is still thriving. That’s why for this month’s newsletter we sat down to a delicious lunch at Catfish Dewey’s, which has been serving South Florida residents for 34 years as of this month. It wasn’t always a restaurant either. According to Dewey Jr., owner of Catfish Dewey’s (and featured in the above photo) the restaurant was originally a bar called Jeffrey’s Country Music Lounge.
“My father was in construction and liked to flip bars on the side. He’d buy a bar for a bargain, fix it up, get a band that drew a crowd, and then sell it for a profit.”
Unfortunately he was unable to flip the bar that later became Catfish Dewey’s.
“The band that used to play here was Chopper and the Lone Star Band. But when Chopper, the lead singer, left the group the crowds stopped coming. So instead of flipping the bar, he decided to turn it into a restaurant.”
Dewey Jr., who was a single father navigating the corporate world at the time, decided to join his father and in 1984 Catfish Dewey’s officially opened as a restaurant. “It was a struggle at first, but every year the business grew.”
By 1987 Dewey Jr. took over the restaurant from his father who wanted to buy a boat and live on it, despite objections from his wife.
As you may expect from its name, catfish is the most popular dish on the menu. We sampled the hushpuppies, a couple of po’ boys, and a chicken caesar salad, all of which were very tasty. And of course, we made it there just in time to take advantage of stone crab season. Catfish Dewey’s is very popular during stone crab season with its all you can eat special. "We go through 1,000 pounds of stone crabs per week during season, which runs from October through May.”
And the record for most stone crabs ever eaten in one sitting?
“We had one group of about six guys who came in and went through 150 lbs of our medium stone crabs, and almost 100 lbs of our large claws in one night. I was a little worried that night.”
Aside from its delicious food, Catfish Dewey’s also has a friendly, familiar feel to it, and according to Dewey Jr., a much lower turnover rate than most restaurants.
“Most people who work here end up staying a while, which is great because I enjoy watching people grow up here. Back in 1990 one of our cooks, Mark, started working here as his first job and then ended up joining the army. He was deployed to Kuwait after the Iraq invasion. His parents came into the restaurant everyday while he was over there for comfort that he’d be okay. And he was. He’s now a CPA. We’re still in touch.”
Catfish Dewey’s is located at 4003 N. Andrews Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. Bring a copy our newsletter in with you and get 1 free dessert with the purchase of two entrees (limit one per table).