Bru’s Room closes Coral Springs and Deerfield Beach locations

Former Miami Dolphins linebacker Robert “Bob” Brudzinski retired from football in 1989 after nine seasons with the team — including two Super Bowl appearances — but didn’t leave South Florida.

Like his former coach Don Shula and teammates Kim Bokamper and John Offerdahl, Brudzinski decided to try his hand in the restaurant business.

Opened with a partner on West Sample Road in Margate, one side was a restaurant — Eddie Hauck’s Wings ‘n Ribs — and the other was called Bru’s Room Sports Bar.

It didn’t take Brudzinski long to begin opening other Bru’s Rooms in South Florida. In Deerfield Beach, a restaurant at the corner of South Ocean Drive and Northeast 20th Avenue opened in 2004 while a Coral Springs location at 1000 N. University Dr. was opened in 2009.

Along the way, other Bru’s Rooms were opened in Pembroke Pines, Coconut Creek, Stuart, Royal Palm Beach, Pompano Beach, Boynton Beach and Delray Beach.

By 2010, the chain boasted eight locations.

But on Monday, the number was down to four.

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The Coral Springs location closed over the weekend after 15 years in operation. That followed the closure of the Deerfield Beach restaurant two weeks earlier.

Brudzinski and other principals of the corporation did not respond to numerous phone calls, text messages and emails seeking details about the closures and the company’s plans on Monday.

The restaurant was a popular place to watch sports events, especially featuring the Miami Heat and Dolphins and Brudzinski’s alma mater Ohio State Buckeyes.

It was also known for its boneless chicken wings, “Smashburgers” and for hosting events benefiting local charities.

In 2011, Bru’s Room won “Best Sports Bar” honors in the South Florida Sun Sentinel’s “Best of South Florida” competition.

A sign posted at the front door of the Coral Springs location on Sunday announced the location’s permanent closure. It thanked patrons “for all the great years and all the terrific memories” while vowing, “We will return.”

It won’t be returning to this location — a sprawling building with private party rooms, outdoor dining space and full bars inside and outside.

Just before noon Monday, a team from Lauro Auctions in Fort Lauderdale was inside surrounded by bidders for every stick of furniture and equipment, from barstools to coolers, grills, ovens and roasting pans.

Even the many video screens and lighted beer signs that adorned the walls were put up for sale. Among them was a lighted Bud Light logo sign attached to a football helmet featuring the team logo that represented the Dolphins from 1997 to 2012.

Auction house official Eric Lauro said he was told that the restaurant building will be demolished.

Benedict Fillichio, owner of the land where the Coral Springs restaurant was located, said the property has been sold.

Bru’s will be replaced by a “very good restaurant chain” that will be identified next week, he said.

Bru’s, he said, “has been a great tenant.” He added, “I have nothing but good things to say about them.”

Lauro said he isn’t sure why Bru’s Room decided to leave the Coral Springs location or the Deerfield Beach one. “I know their leases were up. Maybe they didn’t want to renew,” he said.

Lauro Auctions has already sold the contents of the Deerfield Beach location and has two more Bru’s Room auctions scheduled, Eric Lauro said.

He said one is in Delray Beach, which Bru’s website still lists as open. Lauro wasn’t immediately sure of the other.

Aside from the Coconut Creek and Pembroke Pines locations that the Coral Springs closure sign urged patrons to visit, Boynton Beach is the only remaining Bru’s Room restaurant listed on the website.

A Pompano Beach Bru’s Room is owned by Eric Hauck, Bruzinski’s original partner, and operates separately, that site’s website shows. On its Facebook page, the Pompano Beach restaurant reminded customers that it is owned separately and that it plans to stay open. “We aren’t closed or closing so come on in and see us!!!”

Ron Hurtibise covers business and consumer issues for the South Florida Sun Sentinel. He can be reached by phone at 954-356-4071, on Twitter @ronhurtibise or by email at