Taste of the City: Bodega Santiago aims to blend food and culture, spiced up with a Key West vibe.

FORT LAUDERDALE — Santiago’s Bodega is a restaurant that, according to its owners, embodies the heart and soul of its original home in Key West.

The diner’s website says it’s a place “where characters, stories, cultures and food come together to create the perfect union. Relaxed, eclectic, maybe even a little weird elsewhere, but one human family in the Bodega.”

Here are some additional ingredients about the restaurant:

  • When owner Jason Dugan filled his trailer to capacity in 2004 and left Kansas City for Key West to open Santiago’s first bodega, he had no idea he would have to deal with two years of hectic hurricane seasons that threatened to close. his dream before it became a reality. Fortunately, he survived.
  • Drama happened again when Jason opened the Fort Lauderdale location during COVID. But, fortunately, his dream came true again.
  • There are currently four locations. In addition to Key West and Fort Lauderdale, there are restaurants in Central Florida, Orlando and Altamonte Springs.
  • The entire look and feel of the restaurant is designed to be a place where people share (tapas style) food, music and drinks in a “hidden gem” style.
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