The tiny lake-studded town of Pembroke Park with a motto of “The Small Town That Means Big Business,“ has more mobile homes than houses, with 17 mobile home parks located here. A few single-family homes, apartments, townhomes and villas dot in the western section, and the rest remains a largely industrial part of South Florida, consisting of commerce parks and other businesses.
This suburban neighborhood borders Interstate 95, distributed equally on both sides of Hallandale Beach Boulevard. A few miles west of downtown Hallandale, Pembroke Park sits a quick 10-minute drive from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to the north or Miami to the south, including the Baseball and Football stadiums. A great place to live for commuters, it lies on a hub of activity that stretches for miles in every direction.
Restaurants & Nightlife
Residents enjoy plenty of free parking at Frenchie's Bar & Grill, which ranks as a favorite haunt of local French Canadians, many of whom have winter homes in the area. You'd better speak French to dine here, or bring a friend who can read the menu for you. The meal makes it worth the effort, whether you speak the language or not; the cuisine ranks superb.
If low-key and relaxed sound appealing, Frank's Italian Restaurant serves affordable dishes and catering as well as home delivery. Their menu includes wine, seafood entrees, appetizers and sandwiches. Come have a plate of mussels marinara or steamers, follow it with Chicken ala Francaise with mushrooms or Eggplant Rollatini Stuffed with Ricotta cheese, then top it off with a dessert of Tiramisu or Gelato.
For authentic Peruvian dishes, such as ceviche, head a bit further east on Hallandale Beach Boulevard to Casa Peru. For a quick bite of fast-food fare, large chains such as Wendy's, KFC, Burger King or McDonald's cluster in this area.
The Polo Club sports bar to the west or the Cheetah nightclub to the east provide this area's limited entertainment options, ranging from tame and competitive to racy and exotic. Sweeney's occasionally has live music, but locals don't frequent Pembroke Park for its nightlife.
History & Culture
Pembroke Park developed around the rock quarries and lakes, mobile-home and commerce parks that constitute 90 percent of the town. Ethnically diverse, this area has more of a French-Canadian population than most other local cities do. Local groups have strategies for this area's future, and more permanent-style homes pop up all the time.
An easy task, residents get from point A to point B by using the several bus lines that service Pembroke Park. Many of the residents travel in golf carts within and between the various mobile home parks. For those who own or rent a car, truck, motorcycle or other roadworthy vehicle, Interstate 95 awaits nearby with easy access.
While the various segments of Pembroke Park rank as safe for walking, jogging or biking, busy and dangerous Hallandale Beach Boulevard runs through the center and shouldn't be used for any of these purposes.
Living in Pembroke Park comes as an extremely economical price compared to the cost of living in the surrounding area. It costs about $5 round trip to take the bus into downtown Hallandale or to the beach, if you prefer. Bus passes costs residents under $20 per week or $65 per month, which allow you to travel all over South Florida for a set fee. Students, senior citizens and those with disabilities receive discount fares as well.
Averaging $837.86 for a one-bedroom rental here, the mobile homes tend to be more spacious than an apartment you can rent for the same amount. Fully-furnished and all-inclusive, or unfurnished and ready to move into with your treasures, the rentals in this part of town come at an exceptional value.
You can find a $2 draft beer at several places up and down Hallandale Beach Boulevard, although if you head into the casinos to the east, prices vary depending upon whether you’re gambling or not. Gamblers often receive free drinks. The casinos also host countless promotions and freebies, ranging from apparel to cars and even boats.
Gasoline here tends to be about equal to the national average, and a number of stations compete to advertise the best bargain and obtain your business.
Pembroke Park has a Swimland store, Florida Gardens Thrift and a Goodwill thrift store, as well as the Unique & Antique Thrift Shop for bargain hunting, but you can't find a lot of high-end stores here. Fish's Paradise provides a fun place to stop in and look around, whether you have an aquarium to shop for or not. It carries a full line of fresh and saltwater fishes, live corals, live plants, live rock, driftwood, and everything you can think of for fresh or saltwater aquarium needs. Big Al's Gun & Pawn holds an inventory of a wide variety of weapons for sale and has a shooting range for those who'd like to get in a little target practice.
A shopping plaza sits just east of Interstate 95, which includes Guitar Center and Simon's Sportswear, but the majority of shopping clusters further east near downtown Hallandale Beach. Winn-Dixie provides the closest grocery store to Pembroke Park, situated in the plaza next to Guitar Center. Using the Winn-Dixie rewards card, you can earn discounts on purchases of Shell gasoline. Publix has a store closer to the beach in nearby Hallandale Beach. Almost all the way to the beach, a Wal-Mart also provides locals with a one-stop grocery shop.
Four parks provide residents with ample green space to enjoy. The Howard P. Clark Linear Walkway and Patrick Behan Park sit on the east side of town, and The Raymond P. Olgesby Preserve & Ryan Park sit on the west side. Pembroke Park has a Parks Department, which takes on the responsibilities for organization of social, recreational and educational activities for the citizens of the community. Residents can rent outdoor pavilions and barbecue facilities at both Behan Park and the Preserve. Residents visit these free local parks for exercise, picnics and park-organized activities. All of these parks welcome both children and dogs.