Two weeks ago groupon offered a $30 certificate for $15 for Dockers restaurant. I have lost count of how many times I passed the place on a busy section of the highway just south of the Fort Lauderdale airport not even giving it a second thought except to think of it as a local drinking hole for people who work on boats. Here was a chance to give it a try so I immediately ordered the coupon–and that’s when the trouble began.

The first thing I noticed was that the address given was a Fort Lauderdale one and not Dania where the restaurant was. I called the restaurant and got the message the phone was disconnected. I went to the yelp page of Dockers and it said “CLOSED”. What followed was 2 weeks of emails between me and groupon. Finally I was given a new phone number and found out it was opened.

It seems the old ‘Dockers Bar and Café’  has new owners and now is called the “Historic Dockers & Pub”. I can understand wanting to give it a new image and maybe there was some sort of agreement between the old and new owners but it seems 3 big mistakes were made starting with the wrong address given which may have been groupon’s fault but even if new owners want to disassociate from previous owners the name of the restaurant could have kept the Dockers part of the old name and phone number answering with the ‘new‘ name..

In any case we finally got there on Thursday. The place has, obviously, been spruced up both inside and outside and not having been there before I can’t compare the menus but I was disappointed in the ‘waterfront location’. Yes there is water out there, all covered by docked boats without the feel of  the freedom of boating.

We were in the far east dining room which was bright with light coming from 3 sides of windows. The bar area, as you entered didn’t look inviting and a dining room on the north side  looked dark but was closed for the lunch time. There was the perennial site now of a manager and/or owner sitting at a table with his computer instead of being out in the dining room greeting and talking to guests though a partner (?) was doing just that.

I, generally, test a seafood restaurant either by ordering a assorted broiled seafood platter or fish ‘n chips. I didn’t see the former so we went with the latter. Before that the server mentioned that the soup of the day was Lobster Bisque ($4 a cup, $5.50 a bowl) and so we ordered a cup. It was smooth, hot and hinted of fish but not a strand of lobster. We both had the fish ‘n chips ($13) served with a side of Cole slaw, French fries and a side of tartar sauce. The slaw was run of the mill, the fries attractively served in a miniature ‘fryer’ and while the fish was flakey, the breading  very light, and there was no taste so though I very seldom have it I did add some tartar sauce to give it flavor. We each had a diet coke ($2.50) and though I ordered mine without ice the cubes were there!

The bill came to $11.34 minus the $30 groupon certificate so altogether the lunch was $34.34 with tax, tip and what we paid for the groupon.

After all these years of passing the Dockers restaurant my curiosity was answered but the next time I want a waterfront seafood experience in Dania I will go to the Quarterdeck which is built on the pier over the Atlantic Ocean.

By the way when I got home I received an email that said “Search for Historic Dockers & Pub. You are finding yelp page for the previous owners ‘Dockers Bar & Café’. 

I wonder how many customers they are losing, have lost because of that word ‘historic’?




Posted May 16, 2015 by greatmartin in RESTAURANT REVIEWS

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  1. Sounds like one to keep on going when passing

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