The 19th Annual Miami HEAT Family Festival
Get ready for the 19th Annual Miami HEAT Family Festival presented by Carnival Cruise Lines, an interactive celebration benefiting SafeSpace, the Jackson Memorial Foundation’s Guardian Angels, and the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund. 90’s HEAT THROWBACK will be a basketball extravaganza for the whole family – a music and food festival headlined by your Miami HEAT!!!! Parcel B by the Bay will be transformed into the 1990’s, featuring multiple live sets headlined by your favorite 1990’s stars along with bites from your favorite South Florida restaurants, catering to ears and palates alike.
The event will take place on Sunday, March 20th from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. at Parcel B by the Bay behind the AmericanAirlines Arena located at 601 Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami. To purchase tickets or to make a donation, call 786-777-4420 or email Akemi Maehama at AMaehama@heat.com. You may also purchase your tickets online by clicking here.
The Miami HEAT Family Festival, which is the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund’s largest annual fundraiser, is a themed, interactive, carnival-like celebration during which HEAT players, coaches, celebrities and families come together for a day of fun, family and feasting. The Festival includes a dining extravaganza featuring the top restaurants and chefs from all over South Florida. Families enjoy countless interactive activities with HEAT players, coaches and their families, providing a memorable experience for guests of all ages.
The entire Miami HEAT team and coaching staff will participate in the festivities, which include interactive opportunities with the team, a food court with delicacies from over 40 of South Florida’s finest restaurants, appearances by DJ Irie, the Miami HEAT Dancers, Burnie the mascot, in-arena P.A. announcer, Michael B., the Golden Oldies, a silent auction and much more.
Make like a big-time captain on a yachtie’s salary.
Courtesy of River Yacht Club
Legendary comedian Groucho Marx famously quipped, “I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member,” which is why he’d likely not want to belong to the River Yacht Club.
The rest of Miami, however, might be interested in the new membership-driven culinary/lifestyle venue, set to open February 17 at 401 SW Third Ave. in the Miami River District. The luxury complex consists of a restaurant, outdoor garden, lounge, boat marina, and luxury yacht showroom (in case your annual bonus was exceptionally generous last year).
Building a tony yacht club at this particular location might seem like a gamble at first glance. Right now, the neighborhood, home to José Martí Park, holds few delights for the upscale, jet-setting crowd the club seeks to entertain. But, like much of Miami, the area is quickly changing.
In April 2015, developer Avra Jain purchased the Miami River Inn at 437 SW Second St. for $8.6 million. And the River Landing project, located at 1400 NW North River Dr., will house 475 luxury apartments, 2,200 parking spaces, retail shops, and restaurants. The expanded Miami River District’s website calls the area “Miami’s ultimate destination” and mentions Casablanca Fish Market and Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market as two of the neighborhood’s best places to visit.
The River Yacht Club’s restaurant features indoor and outdoor dining areas decorated in a modern seafaring motif, catering more to modern-day pirates of industry than the Capt. Jack Sparrow type. The kitchen is helmed by executive chef Michael Lewis, who has worked at multiple locations of the upscale Zuma restaurant brand and several of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s establishments. Once again, the sea plays heavily into the menu’s theme, with a concentration on seafood and sides with a Mediterranean slant.
Restaurant at the River Yacht Club
Courtesy of River Yacht Club
The crown jewel is the world’s first VanDutch Lounge, located on the facility’s rooftop terrace. Named for the über-expensive motor yachts that look like something a 1960s-era James Bond villain or oligarch on vacation would use to entertain guests, the 150-seat lounge will serve drinks with a view.
If the sight of these seafaring vessels entices you to purchase one, there’s a VanDutch showroom right on the premises. The cost of one of these powerhouses: If you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it, but used VanDutch models go for well over a million.
Although the restaurant and lounge are open to the public, only River Yacht Club members can secure reservations. If you’re thinking, How in the world could I join a yacht club on my paltry salary? Don’t worry — you actually can, and you don’t even need a yacht to join.
You don’t have to have a VanDutch docked outside to enjoy the VanDutch lounge.
Courtesy of River Yacht Club
Base membership is about the same as your monthly auto-debit at the gym. The Ambassador membership costs a reasonable (for Miami) $120 per month. Although there are no yacht-docking privileges with this level, you get valet parking for your car, access to a members-only reservation line, and a personalized membership card — which is way more useful for scoring with Miami’s beautiful people than the LA Fitness card you have on your keychain.
If you do have a yacht, you’ll probably be interested in the other membership options, such as the Captain ($2,400 per year), which allows for dockage of your smaller yacht (up to 80 feet), or the Commander, which offers the same benefits but locks you in for three months for $1,200 (in case you plan on summering in Nice).
But don’t let the fact that you’ll probably never be able to afford more than an inflatable dinghy stopyou from donning white pants and a navy jacket. Nothing says “Miami” more than belonging to a yacht club when you don’t own a boat.
CASINO AT DANIA BEACH UNVEILS ITS $64 MILLION RENOVATION
The new jai-alai fronton at the Casino at Dania Beach.
Photo by Nick Sortal
The thwack of a jai-alai pelota smacking the wall is back, but this time there’s plenty of ding-ding-dingfrom nearby slot machines too.
Officials from the Casino at Dania Beach unveiled their massive $64 million renovation of the casino and jai-alai facility Wednesday, with the softest of soft openings: They contacted selected media shortly before 8 a.m. with news that, yes, the 18-month casino makeover was ready for visitors.
A few began trickling in around noon, and they saw a vibrant casino in what most last remembered as a musty jai-alai court that drew fewer than 100 patrons a night. The slot-machine floor featured bright-orange lights, and the escalator handrail to the second floor shined in neon green.
“I don’t like it. I love it!” said Steve Braun of Delray Beach, who has been calling the facility regularly to find out when it would open. He loves to bet jai alai, and his wife enjoys slots. A large-screen TV on the main slot floor — formerly home to a few thousand auditorium seats — will show jai alai, so guests will be able to have two kinds of betting action going on at once.
“That’s a very good thing,” Braun said.
The casino is the last of four pari-mutuels in Broward County to offer slots. Gulfstream Park, Mardi Gras Casino, and the Isle Casino and Racing all had slots by 2007. Boyd Gaming owned Dania Jai-Alai at that time, then waited on the state to lower slot taxes from 50 to 35 percent. Boyd then sold it, in a deal that fell through.
Four Argentine businessmen, who run about 25 casinos in their own country, bought Dania and did a quick open in February 2014, using only one-fourth of the building. Results were disastrous: They averaged about $50 per machine; the state average approaches $200.
Owners of Magic City Casino in Miami, by far Miami-Dade’s most successful casino, bought one-fourth of Dania about two years ago and are now running it. They quickly closed the casino so they could launch an all-out gutting of the building and turn it around quickly.
With the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino about five miles away in Hollywood and with Gulfstream and Mardi Gras established to the south, CEO Scott Savin acknowledges business will be competitive.
“This is a much bigger challenge than in Miami, where we were the first ones to open and were able to have a battle plan in place when the others opened,” Savin said. “Now we’re surrounded by established casinos.
“The only goal I will say is: We want to make money,” he said.
Photo by Nick Sortal
So there will be lots of entertainment, including local bands on weekends and special acts. Booked so far: Jefferson Starship on February 27 at Dania, Foreigner on March 11 at Dania and March 12 at Magic City, comic Ralphie May on March 18 at Dania and March 19 at Magic City, and Air Supply on April 15 at Magic City and April 16 at Dania.
“We don’t want people to just come here, spend $20 on slots, and leave,” Savin said. “We’d like for them to have a drink, listen to some music, maybe watch some jai alai as well.”
The 21-table poker room is on the second floor and is expected to open Wednesday, Savin said, and an adjacent sports bar and simulcast betting area is a few more days behind that. Stage 954, a knockoff of Magic City Casino’s Stage 305, is farther behind that, in the area that used to be a large poker floor at Dania about five years ago. But it’s gotta be done for February 27 for Jefferson Starship, he adds.
Jai alai, with a 500-seat auditorium walled off from the slots, is running six days a week, with sessions at 4:15 and 10 p.m. The restaurants are about two weeks away, Savin said, so food trucks are keeping bellies full for now. A deli, called Roaster’s and Toaster’s, and a high-end buffet, Luxe, are in construction.
Patrons of all ages can watch jai alai. Those 18 and older can bet on jai alai and poker. The slot floor, electronic craps, roulette and blackjack, and high-roller rooms are restricted to those at least 21.
Oh, yes, that slot floor: lots of regular favorites, new machines (including Britney Spears), and a “must-hit” progressive slot machine that starts at $1,000 and pays out by $1,199. You see, $1,200 means you get a tax form, so this way…
Savin also notes that players who earn points at Magic City will be able to use them at Dania, and vice versa.
A quick note: When you pull into the parking lot, you’ll see dozens of big, dusty trucks, a very unfinished parking lot, and men in hard hats carrying steel pipes on their shoulders. Do not be alarmed, said Savin, noting the project is about 85 percent done. Also, don’t worry that the outside of the building looks unfinished: Bright-orange panels will soon be placed to cover up the 62-year-old building’s innards.
“It’ll be orange, like the South Florida sun,” Savin said.
A grand opening, mainly for city officials, will be February 26, he said.
The Casino at Dania Beach, located at 301 E. Dania Beach Blvd., will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 9 a.m. through 4 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Visit casinodaniabeach.com.
Looks like injured Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson is kicking off a restaurant concept in a historic Fourth Ward fire station.
Johnson, who left Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints with a hamstring injury, posted a photo on Instagram Tuesday of plans for a restaurant at the Charlotte Fire Station No. 4 with the name CJ’s 4th Ward Fire House.
Property records show the property at 420 West Fifth St. was purchased in March for $1.6 million by a group called Randy Watson Holdings LLC, a corporation under which Johnson is registered. Randy Watson, a character from the movie “Coming to America,” is also Johnson’s Twitter handle.
Before that, the building was owned by Alfred Pennyworth Co. LLC, a corporation under which Panthers center Ryan Kalil is registered. Kalil bought the property in April 2014 for $1.3 million, records show. Pennyworth is a character from “Batman.”
In the caption of his Instagram photo, Johnson indicated he needed something to keep him busy during the eight weeks he’s on the injured reserve. Johnson will be eligible to practice as early as Nov. 10 and to play against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day.
The two-story Charlotte Fire Station No. 4 was built in the mid-1920s and designed by Charles Christian Hook, who also designed homes in Dilworth and several Charlotte municipal buildings, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission.
The property gained attention last year after former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon pleaded guilty to a federal public corruption charge. During the investigation in 2012 and 2013, FBI agents pretended to be businessmen trying to open a nightclub or bar at the fire station location, according to court documents.
**Miami’s Leading Hospitality Consulting Group is Hiring!** (Dania Beach, Florida)
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Principals only. Recruiters, please don’t contact this job poster.
do NOT contact us with unsolicited services or offers
Miami man gets healthy drinking a different kind of draft, now brews and sells it
The beer brewery business has been thriving with microbreweries springing up all over Miami and Broward. Michael Chow and his business partner, Ariel Pinho, decided to join the beverage market, but by selling a different drink on draft.
Like many Americans, Chow was working long hours and traveling often for a software company he helped manage. Eventually, neglecting his diet and making poor eating choices caught up with him and his digestive system suffered.
“I was super stressed out with shipping deadlines. My mom’s a nutritionist so I’ve always been eating clean and super health conscious, but when you’re stuck on the road or hotel room and you’re working around the clock you don’t have access necessarily to the right type of nutrients at the right time,” Chow said.
He underwent different procedures and tested out different diets seeking a solution.
“I was having all sorts of stomach pains and digestive issues. I thought I had an ulcer. I got checked out, went to the GI, and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. Enough is enough I thought.”
Chow, who was living in New York at the time, decided to embrace the holistic lifestyle. One day after his morning yoga, he discovered kombucha on draft while at his regular breakfast spot.
For him, the catch was introducing probiotics into his diet while avoiding dairy.
“I ended up trying 15 different flavors. I became friends with the guy behind the bar, sort of like your daytime bartender. He would always ask how the flavors tasted and it was just a really cool conversation,” Chow said. “I was just there in my mornings having my healthy meal. And instead of just sitting there having my healthy meal, I could have a beverage and have a relationship with this guy during the day which was really interesting.”
Kombucha is a vinegar-based drink produced by fermenting sweet tea with “SCOBY,” the acronym for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast, and has been used by people looking to introduce probiotics into their diet as an alternative to diary or lactose-based products.
Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that help balance out the bad bacteria in your stomach and help in aiding digestive ailments such as diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and skin conditions such as eczema.
After a year-and-a-half of drinking commercial kombucha and implementing a healthy lifestyle, Chow’s health improved, but the cost hurt his pocketbook. What stuck with Chow was the way people related food to relationships and he wanted to come up with the equivalent of beer or coffee, offering a healthy beverage as another option. Putting his biochemistry background to use, he decided to brew at home.
“The reason why Starbucks is so successful is because they give people a place to be. The current setup is, ‘Hey, let’s go grab a beer or grab some coffee,’ but I can’t do four coffee meetings back to back,” said Chow. “I wasn’t drinking at the time and I was sitting there thinking where can I go to have a drink? People are always trying to get a beer or a drink and go somewhere so I was trying to find a healthy alternative at places and be able to build a community around it.”
For the last year, Chow and Pinho have been brewing 20 gallons of kombucha a week at Hidden Kitchen in Miami Beach, and wholesale to various retailers at the point of consumption.
Now, they have five places serving their two flavors, Ginger Lemon and Hibiscus, which include locally sourced teas and honey, on draft kegerators including Love Life Wellness Center in Wynwood, House of Movement in Brickell and Cold Pressed Raw in North Miami Beach. They also sell glass bottles at the locations, which people can refill to enjoy at home.
The costs vary by retailer, but average about $5 per serving or about $20-$25 per bottle.
Chow and Pinho are working on expanding their business so more people can enjoy kombucha and make it a part of their daily lives without having to compromise their budget.
“If you do it the right way, there’s a very positive and natural way that you can use biology and biochemistry to improve lives,” Chow said. “That’s the vision.
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Club Lexus Menu
Traditional Peel & Eat Shrimp New England Cocktail sauce
Slider- Shrimp style “Lobster” Roll with Buttered Warm Bun
New England Style Seafood Broiled Dinner
Fish & Chips with Malt Vinegar
Corned Beef and Cabbage with Parsley Sauce
ADT Club Menu
New England Style Linguisa Quesadilla
New England Style Baked Beans with Mojo Marinated Pork Belly
Smoked and Roasted Brisket Sliders with Dijon Horseradish Cream