CityPlace Macy’s will be site of mural as RH set to open gallery

The shuttered Macy’s at CityPlace in West Palm Beach will have a new look in December: A mural covering the exterior of the entire building.

The mural will closely follow the November opening of the new Restoration Hardware gallery just south of the shopping and dining center, in the Okeechobee Boulevard median.

The Macy’s art installation was described in a recent Wall Street Journal magazine article.  Visual artist Michael Craig Martin will transform the former department store space, which closed earlier this year, into his largest mural to date, according to Ken Himmel,  president of Related Urban, the mixed-use unit of New York-based Related Cos., which built CityPlace.

In addition, sound designer Stephen Vitiello will create a sound installation “that will live in and around the detritus left behind” by brands that once called the space home, according to the article.

If it sounds a bit like the “Derelicte” fashion campaign imagined by the character Mugatu in the movie Zoolander, Himmel said there’s a method to this experiment.

“It’s all about driving different kinds of traffic to a project,”  Himmel told the Journal. “Mixed-use retail developments centered on cultural offerings are outperforming every other type of retail offering by a longshot.”

In other words, art and culture are cool, and they help stores sell things.

Meanwhile, an invitation-only opening is set to Restoration Hardware’s new West Palm Beach store on Saturday, Nov. 18. The opening will feature socialites such as Georgina Bloomberg, Lourdes Fanjul and Ariana Rockefeller. Golf great Greg Norman and wife, Kirsten, also are slated to attend.

A bellini bar, cavier bar, mojito bar, gourmet bites by RH’s café, plus a DJ, are part of the festivities.

At a time when retailers (see Macy’s) are shuttering their brick-and-mortar stores, Restoration Gallery is going in the opposite direction, opening grand galleries dubbed RH in selected locations.

The RH invitation describes the four-story, 80,000-square-foot furniture store as a gallery that “blurs the line between residential and retail, indoors and outdoors, home and hospitality.”

The gallery features a skylit rooftop restaurant with French antique black-and-white marble floors. In addition to interior furniture collections, including those for babies and teens, the gallery also has a rooftop “park” showcasing the store’s collection of outdoor furniture.

 

 

Who’s the new owner of iPic’s planned theater in Delray?

iPic Theater set for Delray Beach

iPic Entertainment is underway with construction of a luxury movie theater, office and retail complex in downtown Delray Beach.

But even before the shovels hit the ground this summer, iPic decided to bring aboard its developer, Samuels & Associates, as a partner in the venture, called 4th & 5th Delray.

In May, an iPic entity assigned its contract with the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency to a new entity, dubbed Delray Beach 4th & 5th Avenue LLC.

The LLC’s manager is, in turn, Delray Beach 4th & 5th Avenue Developer LLC, consisting of a Samuels & Associates entity and another iPic entity.

iPic Chief Executive Hamid Hashemi said iPic and Samuels are 50-50 partners in the deal to build the theater complex along Federal Highway, south of Atlantic Avenue between 4th and 5th avenues.

Earlier this year, iPic purchased the property from the CRA for $3.6 million, the same value assigned to the new entity.

A 20-year lease, with several options, has been signed and all the elements of the deal crafted by iPic are the same, Hashemi said. “Nothing is going to change,” Hashemi said. “The use cannot change. It’s a theater and offices.”

Cary Glickstein, Delray Beach’s mayor, agreed. Whatever entity owns the property is limited by the approved uses for a theater, offices, some retail space and a parking garage.

Glickstein said he was comfortable with Samuels & Associates being brought in as a partner in the deal. “iPic are not developers,” Glickstein said. “And this is a complicated project. This is right in Samuels’ wheelhouse, this mixed-use construction project.”

Indeed, Hashemi said he brought Samuels & Associates in as a partner because the company is an experienced developer with a deep knowledge of building mixed-use projects in urban locations. As such, Samuels will handle the “day-to-day” of running the job, Hashemi said.

“Developing in in an urban environment is much different than buidling on 441,” Hashemi said, referring to the western main road of Palm Beach County, which has plenty of wide-open space.

“It takes a high-level of supervision, and they have a team that does this on a day-to-day basis in multiple locations. They’re a good fit for us. But we’re still 50-50 partners in the site and very much involved,” Hashemi said.

Samuels has completed various projects in New England, particularly Boston. For instance, it built Van Ness, a Boston mixed-use project featuring apartments, shops, restaurants and an urban Target retailer.

The company also is familiar with the Palm Beach County market: The Samuels family has a home in Boca Raton, Hashemi said.

Foundation work is underway on the site, said Mark Butters, vice president of Butters Construction, the project’s builder.

Plans are to try to have the project completed by November 2018, barring any weather or government delays out if Butters’ control, he said.

If not completed by year end 2018, then the first quarter of 2019 will be the opening, Hashemi said.

Meanwhile, Hashemi said he’s busy with other deals nationwide. In fact, he said he has 20 other deals in various stages of completion, including in San Francisco and Dallas.

Hashemi’s ambitious expansion will be aided by a planned initial public offering of iPic stock, an offering he hopes will net the company between $30 million to $50 million.

Capital is important for iPic’s expansion. While most Palm Beach County residents are familar with its retrofit of an old theater at Mizner Park in Boca Raton, Hashemi said the bulk of its growth is in new theaters.

A successful IPO will bode well for iPic’s headquarters, slated to take office space in the new Delray Beach theater/office complex. The company employs 60 now in its Boca Raton headquarters but Hashemi said the space in Delray Beach can hold up to 150 people, more than double the headquarter’s current job count.

Glickstein said having a publicly-traded company in the heart of downtown Delray Beach “is a good thing for the city,” diversifying its core  with a growing workforce, in addition to the already numerous sources of entertainment and dining.

Louie Bossi coming to Delray, taking over 32 East spot

A Louie Bossi restaurant, coming soon to Delray Beach

Downtown Delray Beach is gaining a new Italian restaurant, Louie Bossi, but losing a venerable establishment: Word is that 32 East will close to make way for the Italian eatery.

 

32 East will stay open until building permits are submitted and approved for a major renovation of the space, a process that could take six months.

If all goes to plan, the Louie Bossi restaurant will open roughly this time next year.

32 East general manager John Bates on Tuesday said he’s aware of “rumors” but said the deal hasn’t yet happened: “I believe what they’ve been doing is talking the details. Nothing’s been inked,” Bates said.

However, sources said the Italian concept from West Palm Beach’s Big Time Restaurant Group is a done deal and set to go into the 32 East space at 32 E. Atlantic Ave.

32 East owner Butch Johnson did not return a phone call seeking comment. Big Time’s Todd Herbst declined to comment.

But longtimers know what a mark 32 East has made on the downtown Delray Beach dining market when it opened in 1996, and what a loss it will be for the local dining scene.

32 East restaurant in Delray Beach

 

32 East was among the first upscale restaurants to open on Atlantic Avenue back when the city’s downtown was just getting going in the 1990s.

What a difference 20 years makes. Now downtown Delray Beach is crowded with a range of eateries, and more restaurants clamor for prime space every day.

But the stylish New American-themed 32 East has continued to maintain its place in the downtown dining scene, offered innovative items for years in a casual yet elegant setting.

In a 2000 restaurant review, former Palm Beach Post food critic Paul Reid had this to say about 32 East: “32 East is simply one of the best places within 50 miles, so why don’t we just leave it at that, and I’ll take the rest of the week off, and our readers can call 32 East, make reservations, go and enjoy.”

Louie Bossi originally was slated to go into 44 E. Atlantic Ave., the former Masonic Temple building at Atlantic Avenue and SE First Avenue in downtown Delray. But the deal to retrofit the historic 1924 building, and find adequate parking, became complicated.

So Big Time looked elsewhere.

In an interview last year, Herbst said Big Time has been thrilled, and a little surprised, by the success of Louie Bossi on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. The restaurant opened in 2015, and it has exceeded expectations, he said.

Earlier this year, Louie Bossi opened in Boca Raton, attached to the new Hyatt Place hotel. The Hyatt is in the heart of downtown on the southeast corner of Federal Highway and Palmetto Park Road.

Last year, Herbst said Big Time was eager to open in Delray Beach even though Boca Raton’s Louie Bossi is in the next city south.

“We love the Delray market,” Herbst said.

Big Time knows it well. The company has operated City Oyster on Atlantic Avenue for 17 years, and it opened Rocco’s Tacos, its Mexican food concept, in 2015.

Louie Bossi is popular because the food is fresh and the wood-and-brick interior is inviting, Herbst said last year. Everything is made in-house, too, including the breads, numerous types of pasta and desserts.

Delray Beach already overflows with Italian restaurants, including Tramonti, Sazio, Vic & Angelo’s and Caffe Luna Rosa, to name a few.

Many are good, Herbst said.

“But we’re going to build a great Italian restaurant,” Herbst said last year. “It’s a natural for downtown Delray Beach.”

West Palm Beach tourism company to offer 90-minute eclipse cruise

Looking for a place to watch Monday’s historic Solar Eclipse?

Visit Palm Beach,  which offers kayak and paddle board rentals and cruises aboard its 50-foot catamaran Hakuna Matata from the West Palm Beach waterfront, has just announced it will offer a 90-minute eclipse catamaran cruise for residents and tourists who want to view the event from the water. 

RELATED: Fake eclipse glasses ‘flooding’ market, astronomy group says

The 2 p.m. cruise departs from the waterfront docks along the Intracoastal Waterway in downtown West Palm Beach.

To reserve a spot call (561) 881-9757 or visit www.visitpalmbeach.com.

MORE: How Floridians can watch the Aug. 21 solar eclipse

Monday’s eclipse is the first to travel coast-to-coast in the U.S. in 99 years.

ALSO:Upcoming total solar eclipse stirs fears of apocalypse

Florida is not in the path of totality, where the moon will completely overtake the sun and complete darkness will reign for more than two minutes.

About 80 percent of the sun will be covered by the moon in South Florida.

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.”

 

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

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

What new concept will take over Boca Raton deli?

Park Place shopping center in Boca Raton

Goodbye, pastrami. Hello, pasta.

Rappy’s Deli closed in May after just five months at the new Park Place shopping center in Boca Raton. The space subsequently reopened as a lower-priced deli, Park Place Deli.

Now the prime location at 5560 N. Military Trail will be turned into a different concept: An Italian restaurant, according to restaurateur Burt Rapoport.

The Italian theme is one the veteran restaurant operator knows well.

Restaurateur Burt Rapoport

Back in 1989, Rapoport and another venerable restaurateur, Dennis Max, opened Prezzo on Glades Road.

The casual Italian joint that was a smash hit among area diners.

Rapoport said Prezzo, which operated for 10 years, was the first place in South Florida to have a wood-burning pizza oven.

And soon the Park Place space will have a wood-burning pizza oven, too, as well as other casual, “approachable” Italian dishes, Rapoport said.

An Italian restaurant is a concept Rapoport is confident will have greater success than Rappy’s did.

Rapoport said delis with an upscale tilt are springing up around the country, and that’s what his goal was with Rappy’s: Classic deli items with a modern twist.

“But it turns out this is the worse place in the country to do that,” he said.

Diners have a fairly set concept of what they expect in a deli, and creativity isn’t on the menu, Rapoport said.

“I knew the first week when we were serving this good-quality French mustard, and everyone said, ‘Where’s your deli mustard? How can you have a deli without deli mustard?’ ” he said.

“When people hear deli, the old-school deli comes to mind and that’s what everybody wanted, in terms of price and quality.

“I just totally misread the demand for the marketplace,” Rapoport said.

In addition, people tend to think of delis as breakfast and lunch places, he said. So dinner at Rappy’s wasn’t robust.

Now Rapoport is turning to everyone’s favorite food, Italian, which also tends to do well at dinner.

Of course, there are plenty of Italian restaurants in downtown Delray Beach, and several in east Boca Raton, including the newest one, Louie Bossi.

But Rapoport said there are few Italian eateries west of Interstate 95 in Boca Raton, with the exception of some chain eateries.

So he thinks there’s demand for a casual Italian eatery in the area.

Plans are to open the as-yet unnamed Italian restaurant at Park Place in October or November.

 

See which new store just opened at CityPlace

CityPlace

Natuzzi Italia has opened a 9,000-square-foot store at CityPlace in West Palm Beach, a move that signals the shopping, dining and entertainment center continues to boost its home furnishings offerings.

The Italian furniture brand is located on Rosemary Avenue, just south of the Cheesecake Factory restaurant.

Natuzzi’s products, made in Italy, feature sofas, armchairs, furniture and home furnishing accessories. The company is known for its sleek, contemporary styles.

Natuzzi has six other stores throughout Florida but only one other in Palm Beach County, in Boca Raton. Worldwide, Natuzzi has 1,200 stores.

In a statement, Natuzzi’s global retail chief, Nazzario Pozzi, said the company is moving quickly to expand its presence in the United States.

Plans for Natuzzi’s new store first were revealed to the Palm Beach Post in September 2015 by Ken Himmel, president of Related Urban, the mixed-use unit of New York-based Related Cos. and the developer of CityPlace.

At the time, Himmel predicted the store would open in the spring of 2016. It’s not clear why the store is opening more than a year later.

But back in 2015, Himmel said Natuzzi was lured to the site by the presence of a massive  “mansion” being built in the median of Okeechobee Boulevard for Restoration Hardware, a furniture and home furnishings store.

The 60,000-square-foot store is slated to open soon and will kick off Himmel’s plans to transform CityPlace into a home furnishings destination.

CityPlace has changed up its retail roster during its 17 years of operation.

It was designed as a large retail destination, with a number of high-end stores. Then it focused on home furnishings during the real estate boom. It then switched heavily to entertainment and dining when the recession hit.

Lately, women’s retailers have cycled out due to the advent of on-line sales, so Himmel has said home furnishings stores will play an important role at the center.

Last September, The Shade Store, a  Port Chester, N.Y.-based company selling premium custom window treatments, opened at CityPlace.

 

Lilly Pulitzer lovers in South Florida get early access to new summer items

Lilly lovers in South Florida have the chance to score the company’s latest summer items a week before anyone else.

Photo provided by the Lilly Pulitzer store in Boca Raton.

The store in Boca Raton is the first location in the country to offer the retailer’s new summer items, including dresses, strapless tops and resort evening wear.

RELATED: These new stores are coming to The Gardens Mall

Assistant manager Sara Mignano said the Boca store was selected by the company to be a model for visual displays for the last summer delivery, and as a result those items are already available here.

You won’t be able to get the items online or in any other Lilly store until July 5, Mignano said.

“We have the product out,” Mignano said. “It is the only place people will be able to shop this brand new line.”

The store is located at the Town Center at Boca Raton.