Our story

Restored to its former glory, the Old River House offers its patrons world-class service in one of the oldest buildings in Fort Lauderdale. The Old River House is one of the most unique, upscale dining destinations in Fort Lauderdale, its history spanning over 100 years. The restaurant earned its humble beginnings as part of three buildings built in 1903 by the Philemon Bryan Family on the banks of the New River. The Bryan family arrived in 1895 as one of the first settlers in Fort Lauderdale, and became very wealthy laying down the beds and tracks of the railroad line spanning the entire east coast of the Florida panhandle as far south as Key West. Philemon’s two sons, Reed and Tom, are credited with Fort Lauderdale’s growth and development as the city expanded into the Everglades.

The first building, and the largest of the three on the east side of the property, became the Bryan family’s home. The Bryans took in travelers passing through Fort Lauderdale on their way home to other destinations, and the home became known as the “New River Inn,” the first hotel in Fort Lauderdale. Philemon built the other two buildings as homes for his two sons and their families, and they resided there until the 1970s. The “east house” that belonged to Tom Byron is now where the bar, veranda and private rooms are located; the larger “west house” that belonged to Reed Byron now encompasses the patio, porch, balcony, and four interior rooms. In 1983 the homes were converted into a single restaurant called “Bryan Homes.” The name was changed to the “Reed’s River House” and the “Chart House” and in November 1999 after undergoing a large renovation, it reopened as The River House. The restaurant fell into disrepair and closed in 2009. As part of a multi-million dollar historical renovation of Fort Lauderdale’s Riverwalk area, the property was leased and the buildings underwent a second renovation in 2016. Opening in summer 2017, the new River House is situated on a site that has been deemed a national historical landmark.

We are delighted to offer our guests a unique dining experience in an elegant setting steeped in rich history. Our chef boasts a culinary background in both in the resort and cruising industries executing creative, global cuisine. With a dedicated team of service professionals maintaining a classic, elegant approach, we have reimagined the way fine dining should be. We have developed a repertoire of elegant food and wine pairings that will satisfy the most discerning palate, using only the finest local, fresh ingredients available. Our menus reflect how America has grown. So join us at the Old River House…

Where History Meets Farm to Table Elegance