Late night discussions at home can cover a variety of issues. When your partner asks you “What do you think about opening a bar?” you tend to raise an eyebrow.
Tony Dee and Andy Martin celebrate five years together this December 31 and it’s been a great partnership all around. “We complement each other on so many levels” Andy stated. “We can either finish each other’s sentences or give the other a look and know how to handle a situation. We are very connected.”
Tony had a vision for a Supper Club back in 1990 and it happened on Wilton Drive on October 1, 1990 where Southern Nights now resides.
“I had no idea how long or if it would work, if anyone remembers what Wilton Drive looked like in the early 90’s? Tony says, “It was a huge success in less than 90 days when I booked Eartha Kitt for Christmas.”
Andy’s background includes 20 years in the hotel business, five in retail, and one year as a shop owner.
“When Tony asked about opening a bar, I felt like it would be a natural progression,” said Andy. I’m not one for the spotlight, but I want the entertainers and bartenders to shine. That’s who the customers are there to see.”
Growing up in North Carolina, Andy never stepped foot in Fort Lauderdale until the summer of 2010.
“The only thing people used to tell me was ‘if you are ever in Fort Lauderdale, go to Chardees,” said Andy.
He never experienced the original, but that gave him a template for the new Chardees. Instead of a massive hall that included bars and a Dinner Club, the new venue would be more intimate and diverse.
“Walking into Progress Bar the first time, I loved the space. The inside is a modern and classic mix. The Patio Bar is a separate venue that you can have a relaxing time and enjoy the outdoors,” said Andy. “I want people to enjoy music, but I also want people to be able to talk. I think in this era of cell phone obsession, people want to go out with friends or meet people and be able to talk, not scream over loud music. The art of conversation needs to be rediscovered.”
“Here, 27 years later and the name still works. The friends, the business associates I’ve made are overwhelming,” said Tony. This time around, Chardees Lounge is not about me. My partner in life, home, business, it’s all in Andy’s hands. He purchased the business, I purchased the building.”
“I feel like the Drive is ready for a unique bar that can cross all generations. Come as you are, no judgements, enjoy the music, and relax. In these times, it’s better when all generations are united,” Andy stated.
Chardees Lounge two night Grand Opening will be Wednesday, December 13th and Thursday, December 14th.