Could a Carl’s Prime steak house be coming to PBC soon?

Robert Dickert of Carl Von Luger Steak & Seafood

Robert Dickert isn’t ready to give up on opening a steak house in Palm Beach County.

The owner of Carl Von Luger Steak & Seafood in Scranton, Pa., has been shut out of a deal to open two restaurants at a planned new clubhouse in North Palm Beach.

And due to an unsuccessful trademark infringement fight with the famous Peter Luger Steak House in New York, he’s going to have to change the name of his restaurant, too, to Carl’s Prime.

 

Dickert said on Monday he decided to surrender his trademark and change the restaurant name to avoid a costly legal fight. He says he’s kin to Peter Luger, but will give up using the name in his business.

The brouhaha over the Carl Von Luger deal for North Palm Beach, and subsequent national attention over his fight with Peter Luger, hasn’t been all bad, however.

The restaurant’s profile has been raised to the point where it now is in demand by Palm Beach County landlords seeking a Carl’s Prime steak house, Dickert said.

“I’ve been talking to people,” he said. “Now everybody knows who I am….Bad news is good news for me.”

Thus far, Dickert said he’s talking to a property owner in North Palm Beach as well as a hotel in Boca Raton about opening a Carl’s Prime.

Neither deal is baked, per se, but Dickert is optimistic he’ll have a reason to come down to Palm Beach County soon, and not just to avoid the upcoming winters up north.

For the record, here’s what Dickert posted on the Carl Von Luger website, which must remove all reference to Luger by Oct. 28:

“In recent months an issue has arisen regarding our name and branding due to similarities to the New York based Peter Luger restaurants,” the statement said.

“As you know, our owner Robert Dickert is a third generation restaurateur with over forty years of passion in the restaurant industry. While we are flattered by any such comparison, we’d like to clarify that our restaurant and its owner are in no way affiliated with the Peter Luger restaurants. To eliminate any possibility of confusion, we are changing our name to Carl’s Prime.”

 

Record number of tourists visited Florida during first half of 2017

A record 60.7 million tourists visited Florida during the first six months of 2017, marking the highest tourism count ever recorded between January and June, Gov. Rick Scott announced Tuesday.

The record tourism level comes amid a difficult year for the state’s tourism marketing organization, Visit Florida, which faced budget cuts and saw the departure of several of its top executives following criticism over its $1 million contract with performing artist Pitbull. After a bitter debate between the governor and some lawmakers, state officials agreed to restore Visit Florida’s funding, but Palm Beach County tourism officials have raised concerns that new restrictions placed on the state marketing group after the fallout could hinder its efforts to bring tourists here.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

RELATED: Tourists continue to visit Florida in record numbers

Last year’s hurricanes, the Zika virus and the Jan. 6 mass shooting at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport were also a blow to the sate’s tourism industry.

Despite the crises, Scott said Florida’s tourism industry has continued to flourish. The number of visitors who traveled to the state between January and June grew by 4.1 percent over the same period last year, Scott’s office said.

MORE: How social media influencer sells Palm Beach County tourism

“With the investments made in Visit Florida during this year’s special legislative session, we can continue to break records and work toward our goal of 120 million visitors this year,” Scott said. “Florida’s booming tourism industry supports 1.4 million jobs across the state, and I know that Visit Florida and their many local partners are continuing to focus on breaking more records in order to help create even more opportunities for our families.”

When E.F. Hutton called, restaurateur listened

Hutton Seafood & Raw Bar opening later this month in Northwood

There’s a new restaurant opening soon in West Palm Beach’s Northwood section.  The restaurant is called Hutton. The restaurant owner’s name is Tim.

But Timothy Hutton, the actor, is nowhere near this eatery.

Instead, owner Tim Klinefelter drew inspiration elsewhere.

Before delving into that story, however, it’s important to understand what Klinefelter was not going to name it: Klinefelter.

“I would never name a restaurant that,” he said, laughing.

Restaurant names should convey something about the place, be simple to remember and yet somehow, memorable.

Spouses or family members are easy names to turn to for a restaurant moniker. But many restaurateurs privately admit they default to naming their restaurants after their pets (Henry’s restaurant, named after a King Charles spaniel in suburban Delray Beach), or just inventing a word (Bolay, with locations in Wellington, Boca Raton and Palm Beach Gardens.)

Klinefelter wanted to go in a different direction.

He thought of his time spent on Palm Beach during the past two years. It’s a place he visited and then grew to love after giving notice to his employer/partner in Charleston, S.C. After 10 years, Klinefelter left his job at Pearlz Oyster Bar, where he was general manager and operating partner.

Klinfelter said he needed a break. He described Pearlz as “insanely busy,” where every seat is filled within 15 minutes of opening.

In Florida, Klinefelter said he was inspired by the elegance of Palm Beach. And he wanted to acknowledge its rising profile, thanks to President Donald Trump. Trump owns Mar-a-Lago, the ocean-to-lake estate built by Marjorie Merriweather Post and her husband, financier E.F. Hutton, who co-founded a brokerage bearing his name.

So…Hutton.

“The name is synonymous and historic with Palm Beach,” Klinefelter said. Plus, he added, “It’s crisp.”

Look for fresh seafood items with an occasional hint of Klinefelter’s longtime career spent around Low Country cuisine: Sautéed shrimp with creole gravy and hoe cakes, or crayfish beignets, for example.

Shrimp and hoe cakes

Klinefelter said he’s taken care to design the space to be both elegant and inviting. He’s angling to attract not only Northwood neighbors but also Palm Beachers who might be inclined to drive over the new Flagler MemorialBridge, avoid downtown’s traffic and instead zip up Flagler Drive to dine.

Hutton Seafood & Raw Bar, at 407 Northwood Road, is slated to open Aug. 22.

Hutton artwork by Robert Shelton

These stores are set to open this fall at Palm Beach Outlets

Two national retailers will open their doors at the Palm Beach Outlets this fall.

Officials with the outdoor shopping hub announced Thursday that Bath & Body Works and Homegoods, a discount home decor chain, will be opening locations in the coming months.

RELATED: These new stores are coming to The Gardens Mall

The 2,500-square-foot Bath & Body Works store is expected to open in late September and will include a White Barn home fragrance and accessories shop.

The Homegoods store will be located in the space once occupied by Sports Authority.

Sports Authority, which had 35,000-square-feet at the outlets, closed its doors last year after filing for bankruptcy.

The outlet mall has over 100 stores.

This national company is hiring in South Florida

AT&T said Monday it plans to fill nearly 60 retail and call center jobs in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

The open positions are for call center sales representatives and retail sales consultants.

Retail sales jobs are at stores across South Florida, including Boca Raton, Boynton Beach and Delray Beach.

The call center jobs are based at facilities in Sunrise and Miami.

To apply for one of the jobs, go to att.jobs.

Gander Mountain to lay off all employees at Palm Beach Gardens store

Gander Mountain, an outdoor clothing and gear retailer, announced Thursday it plans to lay off all 59 employees at its Palm Beach Gardens store as part of its bankruptcy and sale to Camping World. 

A going out of business sale continues at the Gander Mountain store off of Northlake Boulevard in Palm Beach Gardens on June 2, 2017. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

In a June 27 letter filed with the state and required under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, the company said the Palm Beach Gardens location is one of two Florida stores that will be closed as part of the sale. All 60 employees at Gander Mountain’s store in Lake Mary will also be laid off, the letter said.

RELATED: CEO targets Gardens on Twitter over future of Gander Mountain store

Employees at both locations will be laid off on Aug. 30, “or shortly thereafter, upon closing of these two stores,” the company said in its letter.

Gander Mountain filed for bankruptcy in March, and was bought by Camping World and a group of liquidators at a bankruptcy auction in late April.

In June, Camping World said it planned to reopen 57 of the stores “under the new Gander Outdoors and Overton’s brand” if it can work out acceptable lease terms with the landlords of those properties.

The Palm Beach Gardens location is not on the list of stores slated to reopen.

 

 

Is it too early for Halloween stuff to be on store shelves?

Cracker Barrel stores didn’t wait long after Fourth of July to bring out their Halloween items. But is it too early?

After all, back-to-school shopping hasn’t even swung into high gear.

You’re probably thinking it’s all about money, right?

But actually, back-to-school shopping is 10 times more lucrative — literally — than Halloween sales. In fact, back-to-school ranks only behind holiday shopping in importance for retailers. The Back to School vs. Halloween comparative numbers are:

  • Back to school spending is expected to reach $83.6 billion this year, up 10 percent from $75.8 billion in 2016, according to the National Retail Federation.
  • Halloween generated sales in the neighborhood of $8.3 billion.
  • But, ask any kid, and they’ll tell you Halloween is a lot more fun than the first day of school

West Palm Beach costume shop caters to serious Halloween fans

Black Friday 2016: Holiday shopping season starts early

Miami Heat star, partner to open eateries at Brightline station

Miami Heat basketball star Udonis Haslem has teamed up with a South Florida business leader to bring an Einstein Bros. Bagels and Starbucks coffee shop to Brightline’s MiamiCentral train station in downtown Miami.

The Miami Heat’s, from left, Willie Reed, Goran Dragic and Udonis Haslem celebrate 110-102 win against the Washington Wizards at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. (David Santiago/El Nuevo Herald/TNS)

JFC Miami, a South Florida-based food and beverage operator run by Haslem and Managing Partner Ramona D. Hall, will open the bagel shop and coffee spot, Brightline announced Thursday.

RELATED: All Aboard Florida sued by Sprint for unpaid bill

“We are delighted to have JFC Miami join MiamiCentral with Udonis Haslem and Ramona D. Hall as a part of our team,” said Daniel Quintana, vice president of development for Florida East Coast Industries, Brightline’s parent company. “MiamiCentral is the new epicenter of Miami, home to Brightline and leading companies Ernst & Young and Cisneros, Miami’s first true food hall experience, Central Fare, and at the crossroads of Metromover, Metrorail and the future Tri-Rail expansion into downtown.”

RELATED: Brightline hopes to woo commuters with Park-Line apartments

MiamiCentral is an 11-acre train station and mixed-use development spanning six city blocks. In addition to the Brightline station, the project includes 300,000-square-feet of office space, 180,000-square-feet of retail and dining space, and 800 residential rental units.

 

AT&T upgrades more than 130 cell sites across South Florida

AT&T announced this week that it has upgraded more than 130 cell sites in South Florida, adding extra capacity that the company said would allow it to handle more network traffic in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami Dade counties.

The upgrades will result in faster data speeds and better overall network performance, the company said.

RELATED: Comcast to cap home data usage for Palm Beach County customers

AT&T said areas covered by the network upgrades in Palm Beach County include: Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Highland Beach, Jupiter, Lake Park, Lake Worth, Loxahatchee, North Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, and West Palm Beach.

“AT&T works hard to deliver a great network experience for our customers, wherever they are,” AT&T Florida President Joe York said. “That’s why we continue to invest in our South Florida networks. Our investments will help customers get the most out of their mobile devices.”

 

This local airport was named one of the best in the country

Palm Beach International Airport is one of the best in the country, according to Travel + Leisure magazine.

PBIA took the 9th spot on the magazine’s list of the Top 10 best domestic airports, which was released on Tuesday. The list appears in the August 2017 issue of the magazine and on Travel + Leisure’s website.

A Frontier jet taxis toward its gate at the Palm Beach International Airport Friday, November 21, 2014 after arriving for the first time from Trenton, NJ just before noon. (Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post)

RELATED: This local resort made Travel + Leisure’s Top 10 list

PBIA bills itself as a “user-friendly, congestion-free, comfortable yet modern airport.” It has nearly 200 daily non-stop arrivals and departures to more than 25 destinations in the US, Canada and the Caribbean on 13 airlines.

Other airports that made Travel + Leisure’s Top 10 list include: Minneapolis – St. Paul International; Austin-Bergstrom International, Texas; and Tampa International, Florida.

Portland International in Oregon claimed the top spot — marking the fifth consecutive year its earned the number 1 ranking.