The West End Lounge Opens for Business

Photo by JR Davis.

A dream come true. That’s Chris O’Neill’s reaction to the opening of his new bar, The West End Lounge. The bar had its grand opening April 6 with a ribbon cutting overseen by city officials.

“Wow. The dream came alive,” O’Neill said. “When it really hit me was when the first few chords of the jazz trio hit. I’ve always dreamt of that type of atmosphere with jazz on the stage.”

The spot, just steps across the patio from Tulio’s, is giving off old school cool vibes. Located in the old Matty’s footprint, O’Neill and his crew basically kept the same layout, but the look is much more than a facelift.

Fresh furniture and design are worked into the decor. The spot still had a “new car smell” on opening afternoon as the jazz ensemble took the stage while people sampled the craft cocktails and relaxed at the bar and on the couches.

O’Neill grew up in Manhattan and, though he helped his brother open a bar, doesn’t have a background in hospitality. He worked in PR and marketing, traits that served him well as he looked for a spot to open.

“I did a lot of research to make sure this was right for Wilton Manors.” People told him they wanted a “first date” spot or a place where you could catch up with friends without screaming over loud music but still have good energy. It can be a tough needle to thread.

But O’Neill loves old school Manhattan, and wanted a place that gives off Rat Pack vibes. “I live in Wilton Manors in a mid-century home. It made me think of mid-century lounges in Palm Springs where Sinatra would go.”

Local designer Aaron Taber took his ideas and ran with it. “I remember seeing the first renderings he created, and he brought it to life beautifully.”

As for the drinks, they have a creative feel about them. The Strawberry Social will likely be popular on hot summer afternoons, while Will & Grace fans will enjoy the Anastasia Beaverhausen (IYKYK).

The name is inspired by London’s tony West End theater district. The crow logo is a nod to our feathered friend. O’Neill says the crow is a reciprocal bird which brings back tokens, like rocks or trinkets, to the people who give it food. He is grateful for the community support and hopes to give back to his community.

As for entertainment, the West End crew is keeping it loose. “A few nights a week we’ll have live performances. It depends on the night and the artist’s schedule.”

For updates on performances, O’Neill says their Instagram and Facebook feeds will be updated regularly.


Phone: 954-514-7095
Hours: Monday - Friday 9AM - 2PM


2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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