Even on-and-off rains throughout the night couldn’t douse the good vibrations permeating the 500 block of Clematis Street on Saturday night during the grand opening party for the surf-themed Longboards restaurant and raw bar.
Longboards was packed to the gills all night as the free food and drinks flowed from this cool raw bar and restaurant that took over the dormant space formerly occupied by Ray’s Downtown. The surf theme was carried through with great effect, from the dozens of surfboards gracing the walls and ceilings, to the surf videos on TVs and a big screen, to the “beach” area on the back patio shared with the neighboring Lounge (we can’t wait to see what’s to become of the “VIP” trailer).
Needless to say, the place was swamped on its opening night, so we’ll wait until a later date for a full food and drink review. But the menus definitely look promising (we’ve posted the drink menus in the gallery below). The excellent retro theming, gastropub quality food and drinks, and laid-back atmosphere are exactly what west Clematis Street needs right now to keep the hordes from gravitating east.
The block party was a well-designed, multi-generational affair with high-energy skateboard demonstations on a huge half pipe for the kids (or kids at heart) and a classic car show for the older folks. Live entertainment on the main stage also ran the gamut, with young Miami garage band Jacuzzi Boys drawing a big mid-evening crowd. Legendary surf band The Surfaris (featuring original guitarist Bob Berryhill, his wife and two sons) were hampered by a late deluge of rain but finally went on around midnight and cranked out the classics to an appreciative crowed who stuck around.
Longboards grand opening block party (Photos by Jim Hayward unless noted)
(Click on thumbnails to see larger images or to view as slideshow)