Photography by Austen Amacker
When hospitality brothers Mark and Stefano Barbagallo decided to open Rank & File Social Club, a neighborhood-inspired bar in Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Village, they wanted it to feel like it was built by the locals.
“We wanted to create a sense of nostalgia, warmth and comfort for every guest that walks in the door,” Mark says. “Almost as if everyone came and dropped something off.”
Inside the 3,000-square-foot retro-luxe inspired venue is a 1969 Honda motorcycle, various pieces of vintage furniture, an entire wall of books and an upright piano. “We were looking to tie-in some local history to the space, so we used the Fort Lauderdale historical archives to find some classic photos of different areas and places around Broward, and we had them printed, framed and hung around the venue in vintage frames,” adds Stefano.
The brothers, who have both worked in different facets of the hospitality industry for a combined 45 years––Mark, who largely focused on private events and nightlife, and Stefano, who opened dozens of restaurants up and down the East Coast for Cheesecake Factory as well as Barteca Restaurant Group––believe with Rank & File they can offer something to the Fort Lauderdale community that’s never been done before.
“Broward County is exploding right now,” Mark says. “Downtown Fort Lauderdale is seeing a resurgence and is expanding northward into Flagler Village, where the art scene is really getting a huge focus, and that’s what attracted us to the area.”