The oldest bar in Hollywood, Florida is being turned into the town’s first marijuana dispensary

Feb 26, 2019

The oldest bar in the beachfront town of Hollywood, Florida, Stratford’s, is being converted into a marijuana dispensary, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The local watering hole opened in 1938 but moved to its current location just off Interstate 95 on Hollywood Boulevard in 1944, remaining in operation there for over eighty years. The bar was purchased by Stadlen Family Holdings in January for $1.5 million and will be closing down later this year. The new retail dispensary, which will be Hollywood’s first, will be a joint effort between Stadlen and an Arizona marijuana dispensary company, Harvest Health, and Recreation.

According to the new owners, although the bar is closing, the highly visible streamline moderne art deco building will remain and be restored. “We’ve got this wonderful iconic building that’s in a gateway entry point to Hollywood,” said Ben Kimbro, a spokesperson for Harvest. “We want to get that property back to its original intended glory.”

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Joseph Stadlen, of the Stadlen company, said “We are not tearing down the building. We’re restoring it to its iconic heyday. As someone who was born and raised in Hollywood, I recognize the significance that Stratford’s plays in the community, and I’m very respectful of that. We never even thought about tearing it down.”

The bar’s long history has plenty of stories to tell. “You had every walk of life, from blue-collar workers to judges to politicians,” said Robin Roper, the daughter of one of the bar’s former owners. “And everyone got along. It became like an extended family. We’d open the bar on Christmas Day for people who didn’t have anywhere to go.”

“The [Miami] Dolphins were in there all the time,” said Roper. “It was their watering hole, with the cheap drinks. They didn’t get paid then like they do now.”

 

*Header Image: Photo via Flickr Creative Commons/Phillip Pessar

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