(Dock Location) 2765 NE 28th Court
Lighthouse Point, Florida 33074
Cap's Place is an old South Florida icon that should be visited at least once by everyone interested in Florida History and the old way of life.
It is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and is the oldest restaurant in Broward County.
Cap's is located in the City of Lighthouse Point about 15 miles north of Fort Lauderdale and adjacent to Pompano Beach.
This old place is not really on an island, but is on the tip of a residential peninsula that is an upscale neighborhood on NE 28th Ct. You can only get there, however, by a boat ride.
You catch a boat that operates out of the Lighthouse Point Marina. Locals still call the place Cap's Island because it has Lake Placid on the west and the Intracoastal Waterway on the east.
The boat trip only takes about 5 minutes, but you will be transported to a different time when you arrive at Cap's dock.
People go to Cap's for the ambience as much as for the food.
The food and service get mixed reviews on all of the rating sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, Urban Spoon and others. Just keep that in mind and go anyway.
You'll enjoy the ambience and maybe you'll get lucky with the food.
I've had a couple of great dinners there while stopping overnight on my boat at the Lighthouse Point Marina right next door. On those occasions I considered it to be one of the best restaurants in the area.
Cap's is a place that has had it's share of famous visitors and will give you a great taste of local history.
The much traveled Al Capone and movie stars and tycoons have enjoyed its food and drink since it was first opened in 1928.
It was originally known as Club Unique, and specialized in prohibition era rum drinks and was casino style gambling den with slot machines and the whole works.
In addition to Scarface, some early visitors included Joe DiMaggio, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Humphrey Bogart, Susan Hayward, Casey Stengel, Jack Dempsey, Kate Smith, Meyer Lansky, Myrna Loy, George Jessel and many others.
Cap's Place was owned by Captain Theodore Knight, an early settler in the Hillsboro Inlet area and an alleged rumrunner.
He was born near Cape Canaveral lighthouse where his father, grandfather, and brother all worked as lighthouse keepers.
Theodore left home when he was 13 and joined the Merchant Marine where he eventually became a captain.
The walls of the restaurant and distinctive bar are filled with photos and newspaper clippings of the old days and nautical memorabilia of all kinds.
Windows in the dining rooms overlook the Intracoastal Waterway with passing yachts and the mansions beyond and a lot of shoreline mangroves.
Having a meal at Cap's is like eating in a museum but with better smells. The food can be good or average, but never terrible as far as I know.
It's fun to sit at the bar and soak up the history from the old newspaper clippings and enjoy the feeling of sitting among antique cash registers, parts of old ships and various wooden carvings.
The menu specializes in fresh seafood. I had dolphin (mahi mahi) one time, and snapper another and both meals were delicious.
The Hearts of Palm salad I enjoy the most is made from fresh hearts of palm (swamp cabbage) and is an Old Florida classic.
Meals and drinks are very expensive at Cap's, but your Old Florida experience will make up for it.
Other specialties at Cap's include scallops wrapped in bacon, crab cakes, various shrimp dishes and lobster.
The dessert to try is their Key Lime Pie. The pricey menu may be what we have to tolerate to keep this valuable piece of real estate from becoming just another ritzy mansion or condominium.
I am willing to pay the price.