Treasures lost and found on the beach
The week before the Tortuga Music Festival, the massively popular celebration of no-shoes country-music that takes over Fort Lauderdale beach this weekend, the owner of the bar across the street that best embodies that vibe learned that he’s being booted from the beach.
According to the eviction letter, Jeff Rudd’s Internationally World Famous Treasure Trove must close its doors by Oct. 1 after more than two decades as a last-of-its-kind dive on Fort Lauderdale beach — a place where “you can hear the ocean” and is “the last place open,” to borrow from Kenny Chesney’s “Bar at the End of the World.”
There is irony in the timing, but Rudd doesn’t do irony. He’s just mad.
“They’re making it so you go to Fort Lauderdale beach and there’s Get daily updates on South Florida entertainment and things to do at South Florida.com and on Twitter at @Ben Crandell nowhere to go unless you want to sit in the Ritz hotel bar or go into the W, but who wants to do that? You want to go somewhere where there’s character, where there’s a little bit of leftover charm,” Rudd says. “Fort Lauderdale beach is just completely destroyed.”
On the bar’s Facebook page, Rudd posted a picture of a sign in the front door: “To the City Council, when you chop down the last tree, you will finally realize you can’t eat money! Good luck!”
Rudd has done this dance before. He thought he had negotiated at least another year or two with new owners of the building, who have plans to level it to make way for a boutique hotel, he says.
While he’s fielded calls from all over the country from people with deep pockets who have offered to help (and some who want to claim the iconic cannon over the bar), Rudd speaks with an air of resignation.
The timing of his eviction will force him to miss the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in the fall, so Tortuga weekend is his last big event. He’s not planning anything special.
“Right now, my main focus is just to make it through this weekend, which is just overwhelming for my little shoebox,” he says. “We’ll just ring the bell and kick ass.”
For updates, visit Facebook.com/iwftt.
Singer-songwriter Edan Archer will play a free show on Fort Lauderdale beach Friday night.