For the last seven years, Patrick Little had been hard at work on an oil field with a thirty-days on, thirty-days off schedule. As grueling as the thirty-days on was, the time off gave him the flexibility to unwind and pursue his passions: seeing the world and all its sights, visiting ancient cities and tasting the local cuisines. He’s always had a love for different foods, so seeing the cutting-edge gastronomic ideas coming from the top chefs in Europe conjured in him a desire to bring this type of culinary energy to South Florida. Thus, The Butcher’s Barrel was born.
“It’s gonna be something different. A lot of restaurants are all the same, like serving packaged hamburgers. I thought, let’s do something different. Let’s grind our own beef. Let’s make our own stuff – everything homemade in-house”, he says with a delightful grin.
The concept for The Butcher’s Barrel is European-inspired, where it is not uncommon to find a butcher shop with its own cafe attached. Patrick decided to take this inspiration and go big with a full scale butcher/restaurant that will also serve beer and wine. He and his team intend on combining their butcher expertise to create an experience unseen in Oakland Park until now. At The Butcher’s Barrel, bona fide butchers will help diners navigate their options by asking the right questions pertaining to preference, as well as educating them on where and how the meat was raised – all at the butcher’s counter!
Patrick says, “You know, a lot of people will go to Publix, Whole Foods, or wherever they go, and they’re intimidated by selecting meat out of the butcher’s case. They don’t know what they’re getting. They don’t know what they like. We want them to ask the questions because we’re here to inform you and teach you and make you feel comfortable.”
The Butcher’s Barrel won’t have a typical meat-and-potatoes, rugged kind of menu. As I said before, this place is European-inspired. Instead, the plates will consist of choice cuts of meat , selected by you, accompanied with plenty of fresh produce. They plan on having an amazing selection of specialty salads, as well as some vegetarian/vegan offerings, so it’s clear they’re catering to everybody. Patrick even explained his idea for a happy hour, where a corner of the bar will have an assortment of plates to choose from so one can eat as they imbibe, just as the Europeans do. You’ll be sure to find me here enjoying the tapas while sipping a cold glass of Chardonnay.
“There’s tapas bar’s around here charging $14 – that’s not tapas!”, Patrick exclaims. “Ours will be anywhere from $1 to $5, and they will vary with all sorts of meats and vegetables, as well as fish like smoked tuna, gravlax and salmon. There’s just so many variations you can put on pieces of toast or serve with rice. The ways of cooking are just so endless and open and untouched!”. I found his enthusiasm for food quite contagious.
The Butcher’s Barrel also has a secret: a mystery chef who is well known and respected, not just in the United States but outside of the country also. Together, this mystery chef and Patrick are developing a unique culinary encounter that is sure to please all tastes and palates. Though I couldn’t finagle the name of the mystery chef out of him, he confides that he’s getting pretty close to being able to make the big announcement, but he’s positive they’re gonna make for a great team.
The Butcher’s Barrel will be located at 3570 NE 12th Avenue, in Downtown Oakland Park on Mainstreet. According to the rendering, there will be plenty of space, including an outside patio, which just like in Europe, will be the perfect place to people watch as you drink and eat. The decor will be a lot of woods, whites and reds, like a lot of the traditional European charcuteries he came across in his travels.
Patrick explains, “I feel that I’m a widely traveled person who has experienced a diverse amount of cultures. I’ve tried some of the craziest types of food from the cured egg in Vietnam to kangaroo meat. I want Butcher’s Barrel to not only be a learning experience for me, since it’s my first restaurant, but also a teaching experience for people who may not be able to travel and try these things. I want to provide a European culinary experience with an Oakland Park vibe.”
The Butcher’s Barrel doesn’t have an opening date yet, but Patrick believes Oakland Parkers will be able to enjoy the new place mid to late this year.
Steven Mayer is a local Floridian who grew up in the South Corals area of Oakland Park most of his life. He attended Rickards Middle, Northeast High and earned his B.A. in English from FAU. He’s done some writing and editorial work for a south Florida lifestyle magazine and is proud to have been a partner with Starbucks for a total of 18 years.
After testing out a couple U.S. cities in his twenties, Steven realized that nothing beats home, and eventually settled back down in the Downtown Oakland Park area with his partner Douglas (another Oakland Park native), their three Pekinese dogs and two beautiful cats.
Steven enjoys anything Disney, vegan cooking, going for runs, attending local festivals, traveling, and game nights with friends and family.