Steve Martorano, one of Fort Lauderdale’s most unique restaurateurs, is planning to open his second Broward County restaurant just in time for February’s Super Bowl within the Seminole Paradise shopping area.
The 7,400-square-foot restaurant will be called Martorano’s and it will be opened in the location that used to house the Jazziz Bistro with room for 300 guests inside and out.
Martorano says, “The Hard Rock is all about entertainment, but everyone looks at liquor. We’re looking at the food part besides the liquor.”
Martorano has been in the restaurant business for more than 18 years and has a Café Martorano on Oakland Park Boulevard in addition to a Las Vegas restaurant that has been open since 2007. Martorano’s will serve Philadelphia-influenced Italian-American cuisine in the space that is to be decorated in black and white with music being just as important to the restaurants appeal as the menu. Martorano’s son Joey is going to be the resident DJ.
Most of the already existing restaurants within the Seminole casino complex serve more casual fare, so Martorano’s will be joining Council Oak steakhouse, “which just completed a $2 million renovation, as one of two destination restaurants.”
Martorano’s partner is Buddy Morton, owner of Passion Nightclub at Seminole Paradise. Morton is also the former owner of several nightclubs located in the Atlantic City, N.J., area.
Morton says, “Everyone that you talk to though the casino needed an Italian restaurant and Steve Martorano is the logical guy. Back when I had the clubs in Atlantic City, I’d come to Florida for two weeks every year and one of the highlights of my trip would be Café Martorano.”
Both men grew up in South Philadelphia, but didn’t meet until Martorano was working as a DJ in New Jersey. Morton adds, “He’s a great guy to be around. He’s a great cook and he’s a great DJ and he knows how to make people have fun. It’s a can’t-miss combination here.”
Martorano’s will feature white marble table and bar tops with televisions mounted nearly everywhere in the restaurant, “making it impossible to miss the movies and music videos.”
According to the Sun Sentential, Miami residents and music icons Gloria and Emilio Estefan will open their fourth Bongos Cuban Café this spring at Seminole Paradise. “Both the Estefans and Martorano are in discussions with the Seminole Tribe to expand their concepts to other Hard Rock properties.”