These new stores are coming to The Gardens Mall

Three new stores, including two jewelry retailers and a cell phone provider, are slated to open over the next few months at The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens.

Alex and Ani, a jewelry store known for its bangles and other American-made pieces, is scheduled to open in September. The 1,000-square- foot store will be located on the upper level between Marmi Shoes and Tumi, mall officials said.

RELATED: This new store just opened in the Wellington mall

Kendra Scott, a women’s jewelry and home goods retailer, is tentatively scheduled to open on July 21. The 1,062-square-foot store will be located on the mall’s lower level outside of Nordstrom.

T-Mobile plans to open a location in the mall this summer. The 2,373-square- foot store will be located next to Macy’s on the mall’s upper level.

RELATED: Why Park Ave BBQ is going into The Gardens Mall

The mall welcomed two other stores this spring — Kay Jewelers and at Fast-Fix Jewelry and Watch Repairs.

Meanwhile, Park Avenue BBQ and Grill will take over the Counter Burger space (on the lower level near Sears) at the end of the summer.

 

CityPlace sues to evict Revolutions bowling, again

Revolutions at CityPlace

CityPlace has sued Revolutions Bowling Bar & Grille twice this month, and the latest lawsuit looks like the West Palm Beach retail center is serious about evicting the bowling alley — and collecting on guaranties backing a lease.

On June 23, CityPlace filed a Palm Beach County Circuit Court lawsuit, alleging Revolutions owes $429,801 in past due rent.

The lawsuit seeks to enforce a guaranty of $3 million by Revolutions chief executive Bruce Frank. The complaint also seeks to enforce a guaranty by Revolutions’ parent company, Jupiter-based Frank Entertainment Companies.

Frank Entertainment owns Cinebowl & Grille at the Delray Markplace. It also owns the Cinebowl slated to go into the Abacoa entertainment center in Jupiter, a deal just approved by the Jupiter town council.

It’s unclear what effect the guaranty enforcement on Frank Entertainment will have on its plan to go into Abacoa. But the guaranty does state that CityPlace Retail can pursue any of Frank Entertainment’s assets, court records show.

This lawsuit follows an eviction action filed June 2 by CityPlace in county court, seeking to toss Revolutions from the center for failing to pay the rent due by May 15.

This marks the fourth eviction lawsuit CityPlace has filed since Revolutions opened at the center in 2013.

The latest legal actions indicate CityPlace has lost its patience with Revolutions, which operates a high-end bowling alley at the north end of the mixed-use center on Okeechobee Boulevard east of Interstate 95.

Late last year, Revolutions quietly fended off two eviction lawsuits filed against it by CityPlace, according to court records.

Last November, CityPlace Retail sued Revolutions, alleging it was behind on the rent by $141,255 as of October 12, 2016. The Palm Beach County Court lawsuit was settled within days.

But the very next month, CityPlace sued Revolutions again, this time for $78,632. That figure represents one month’s base rent of $56,250, plus taxes, plus $10,441 in back payments for chilled water for the HVAC system.

This lawsuit was settled, too.

In May, Bruce Frank, Revolutions chief executive, said the bowling lane business has been strong. But it’s the food that has struggled to make its mark in a center crowded with competing restaurants, he said.

Late last year, Frank teamed up with Burger & Beer Joint of Boca Raton to offer burgers and other fare to bowlers and visitors. B&B also opened up an outdoor Flair Street bar at Revolutions

Live music, plus the new food and drink additions, should boost Revolutions fortunes, Frank said at the time.

Earlier this year, Frank said Revolutions had invested $7 million in CityPlace.  Frank could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday.

To read Revolutions’ response to the lawsuit, and its counterclaim against CityPlace, go to mypalmbeachpost.com

BREAKING: Is Lion Country Safari being sold?

Lion Country Safari, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in western Palm Beach County, could be sold to an animal conservationist, a spokeswoman confirmed on Monday.

The drive-through safari and amusement park is still weighing the details of the sale — a deal that could be finalized late next month, spokeswoman Jennifer Berthiaume said.

A young giraffe is seen at Lion Country Safari, which earned the county tourism award, the Providencia.
*
old: Nafari, which means “first-born” in Swahili, was born June 24 and is the first baby giraffe of the 2014 season at Lion Country Safari in Loxahatchee, Florida. Nafari was born weighing 141.5 pounds and measured 70 inches tall. Lion Country Safari is a leader in giraffe breeding programs in North America with more than 60 giraffes births. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

RELATED: Lion Country named one of the world’s “Top 10 Savanna Exhibits”

“They are working through details,” Berthiaume said. “It is possible that it will be sold…We hope to know more by the end of July. Nothing is finalized.”

Berthiaume said Lion Country has had the same owners for 50 years, adding that the proposed sale could mark “an exciting time” for the park.

Earlier this month, Lion Country Safari was named one the best “Savanna Exhibits” in the world, according to a ranking released by Zoo Nation.

The list features the top 10 places in the world to view African wildlife outside of Africa. Lion Country took the 10th spot on Zoo Nation’s list — a ranking it is using to help draw out-of-town visitors to its drive-through zoo.

 

Botox at the beach? You can have it at the Four Seasons

Palm Beach Post file photo

 

The Four Seasons Palm Beach has it all when it comes to relaxing: Ocean views, soothing interiors and a spa providing massages and facials.

But in a new level of service, now offers a plastic surgeon’s services to guests who want to keep that refreshed look going, long after they check out of the hotel.

Dr. Harold Bafitis, a board-certified plastic surgeon, provides services such as Botox, fillers and Coopsculpt in a dedicated spa room. Bafitis is available both to hotel guests as well as local residents, based on appointment availability. The Four Seasons is at 2800 S. Ocean Blvd.

The Four Seasons in Maui offers plastic surgery services, but this arrangement marks the first time the Four Seasons has offered this service in the continental United States.

Plastic surgeon Dr. Harold Bafitis now gives treatments at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach. (Meghan McCarthy / Palm Beach Daily News)

“We’re the only ones offering the combination of the resort experience and the spa experience,” said Colin Clark, formerly general manager of the Four Seasons. (Since the interview, Peter has taken a job as general manager of the Four Seasons Resort in Hualalai, Hawaii.)

Bafitis’ services have been offered quietly for the past several months, and they’re gaining steam with hotel guests who love the extra services.

“We make them look good and provide  services to this five-star hotel and spa that’s never been done before. It’s worked out well,” Bafitis said.

Bafitis said these types of services have been done on cruise ships in the past, but he thought providing them at a five-star resort would be a good fit. And with the Four Seasons right in his backyard, it seemed like a smart way to broaden his patient base.

From the hotel’s standpoint, the alliance could be a springboard to offering plastic surgery services at other properties, Clark said:  “We might be taking it to other Four Seasons as well.”

Spa director Al Kawasmeh said Florida was a natural for Four Seasons to try the services out with guests. People in Florida are into wellness and fitness, Kawasmeh noted.

Kawasmeh is in the perfect position to suggestion expansion of the plastic surgery services to other Four Seasons resorts: This month, he was named senior spa director for the Four Seasons’ North America hotels and resorts.

Prices range from $14 to $16 per Botox injection, $400 to $750 per cc for fillers and about $600-$800 for Coolsculpt, a non-surgical fat removal procedure. There’s no bruising, no special garments to wear: “You go right to the pool,” Bafitis said. Guests often book services prior to arrival.

Even though it’s off season now, the hotel never really slows down. Occupancy is strong year-round, so gone are the days when summers are quiet, hotel officials said.

Bafitis said he’s benefited from the Four Seasons alliance, too.  He was required to attend hotel training, where he learned the Four Seasons philosophy toward guests. They include smiling all the time, making eye contact and providing an extra level of service that’s not expected but is appreciated.

Bafitis said he now employs these techniques in his plastic surgery practice, which has offices in Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and Wellington.

 

Dads eat FREE at this chain on Father’s Day

McDonald’s restaurants across Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast are treating dads to a FREE breakfast this Father’s Day (June 18).

Photo provided

The promotion, which is available during morning breakfast hours at 84 participating McDonald’s restaurants in the Palm Beach-Treasure Coast area, includes a free breakfast sandwich or breakfast extra value meal with a choice of a small orange juice, coffee or soft drink.

RELATED: Fast food faster: McDonald’s also woos customers with ordering kiosks

To receive the free breakfast, dads must be accompanied by a child and dine-in the lobby. Limit one free offer per customer, per visit.

Michael Kors closing up to 125 stores

Michael Kors, a high-end accessory and clothing company, announced Wednesday that it plans to close up to 125 stores over the next two years amid plummeting sales.

The company did not release a list of the stores that would close. In Palm Beach County, Michael Kors has locations in Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens and Boca Raton.

FILE – In this Nov. 27, 2015 file photo, a doorman holds the door for a shopper at a Michael Kors store at the Cincinnati Premium Outlets in Monroe, Ohio. For those willing to wait, there’s a best time of year to buy all kinds of things, from TVs to bathing suits. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Michael Kors is the latest in a series of retailers to announce store closings amid a surge in online buying. Macy’s, JcPenney, Hhgregg and BCBG Maxazria have all announced closures.

RELATED: These stores are closing in Palm Beach County

According to an earnings report released Wednesday, sales at the Michael Kor’s stores tumbled during the last quarter of the fiscal year. Total revenue fell by 11.2 percent to $1.06 billion from $1.20 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016, the report said.

As of April 1, Michael Kors operated 827 retail stores, including concessions, compared to 668 retail stores, including concessions, at the end of the same prior-year period. The Company had 133 additional retail stores, including concessions, operated through licensing partners. Including licensed locations, there were 960 Michael Kors stores worldwide at the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017.

New food tour in Delray Beach offers taste of Atlantic Avenue

Delray Beach-based Craft Food Tours opened its doors in December, offering both tourists and locals a chance to eat their way through a 1.1-mile tour of the city.

The company, run by owner Matt Guidice and his business partner Anthony Guzman, offers three-hour walking tours with stops at six restaurants in downtown Delray Beach.

MORE: Culinary tours bolster Palm Beach County’s tourism menu

Since opening six months ago, Craft Food Tours has hosted roughly 45 groups. Public tours are offered on weekends.

Now the company is looking to expand.

Guidice, who recently decided to quit his full-time job with a bank in Miami to focus on growing the tourism business, said he plans to launch a Thursday night tour for locals this summer. By the start of the winter tourism season, he plans to offer tours Tuesdays through Sundays.

Guidice also hopes to begin offering private tours for large groups.

Since opening last year, the tour company has built up its reputation on the tourism-related website TripAdvsior. The site now ranks Craft Food Tours among the Top 10  “Things to Do” in Delray Beach.

Craft Food Tours is one of four local businesses seizing on a growing trend in the tourism industry — food-themed travel.

RELATED: New beer bus offers tours of Palm Beach County’s local breweries

“The great thing about these tours is that a lot of them introduce you to local restaurants you may not have experienced on your own,” said Ashley Svarney, the Director of Public Relations and Communications at Discover The Palm Beaches, the county’s tourism marketing organization.  “That is what more and more travelers want. They want to know these local places that they can only experience when they visit a place like The Palm Beaches.”

As many as 40 percent of U.S. travelers plan their vacations around food, according to the World Food Travel Association. In Palm Beach County, 28 percent of all tourists cite culinary motivations as the reason for their visit, tourism officials have said.

“Food is really the only universal language,” Guidice said.

After taking roughly 20 food tours in cities across the world, Guidice said he decided to start his own. Guidice and Guzman decided to launched the company in Delray Beach.

The tours cost $65 for adults and include 12 tastings, 2 cocktails and a craft beer.

The company partners with eight restaurants in Delray Beach, including several smaller spots,  Guidice said.

“We have fantastic relationships” with the restaurants, Guidice said. “Without the restaurants we can’t do the food tour.”

The rise of culinary tours in Palm Beach County is a testament to the area’s flourishing food scene,  Svarney said.

“The culinary scene it really is taking off, and more and more people are noticing,” Svarney said.

The county’s culinary tours can also help drive business to area restaurants, she added.

“These culinary tours have the opportunity to produce more business for these restaurants and bars later on down the road,” Svarney said. “These visitors might have samples of a very small dish that they fell in love with and maybe the come back and enjoy a full dinner or a full lunch.”

Why Park Ave BBQ is going into The Gardens Mall

Park Avenue BBQ Grille

It’s been a long time coming, folks. But Park Avenue BBQ Grille owner Dean LaVallee is a patient man. He’s a happy one, too, because Park Avenue finally is going to be part of the The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens.

Park Avenue will take over the Counter Burger space in the mall. Expect a full bar and outside seating, with an opened slated for August.

LaVallee said he’s craved a high-profile location for years but was never prominent enough to win the attention of bigtime shopping centers.

But shopping centers are undergoing big changes now.

With sales pinched by online retailers and fickle shoppers, mall leasing managers are looking for creative and popular tenants that will create a sense of community — and draw people back to the malls.

Park Avenue BBQ fits the bill, said mall leasing manager Al Ferris.

“It’s the right place at the right time,” LaVallee said.

When you talk about Park Avenue, you can’t get more local or community-minded.

The eatery was started by LaVallee in 1988 in Lake Park, and it has  maintained a loyal following as it has grown to seven locations in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast. The Gardens Mall will be its eighth store.

“Every city in the world has five Outbacks and they’re all the same,” LaVallee said. “Now the marketplace is swinging back to what’s truly local.”

Park Avenue has a very loyal fan base: It ranked #1 on a reader poll of Most Popular BBQ joints around.

Customers say the meat is tender, the sauces flavorful and the sides to die for, especially the cornbread.

But Park Avenue also is innovative and willing to live up to the Park Avenue in its name.

The farm-to-table method of dining, so popular at upscale eateries, is about to become a staple at Park Avenue, which actually has its own farm.

Look for pineapple, mango, avocado and various citrus fruits as part of menu items.

What can you make with pineapple? “Pineapple mango chutney, pineapple shortbread, pineapple a million ways,” LaVallee said.

LaValle offers this reminder: Some 100 years ago, the county’s plentiful sun and sandy land made the area a popular place to grow pineapples.

In addition to homegrown foods, Park Avenue is hopping onto another trend: The craft cocktail craze.

For instance, The Good Dean features white tequila and watermelon juice.

LaValle also is toying with the idea of offering some bespoke items, such as a delicate pork panini with “interesting greens.”

There may even be a vegetarian item on the menu to appeal to a greater variety of diners.

As for the future, LaVallee said he’s looking for new locations. He closed an east Boca Raton location but he’s on the hunt for a location in west Boca Raton.

And he’d like to open a store in Royal Palm Beach, too, he said.

 

 

See where Duffy’s is opening its 35th restaurant

Jason Emmett, president of Duffy’s Sports Grill

Duffy’s Sports Grill, the homegrown restaurant chain expanding throughout the state, is opening its first new Palm Beach County location in six years: At a prime intersection west of Boca Raton.

By the end of the month, Duffy’s will take over the TGI Friday’s restaurant at the northwest corner of 441 and Glades Road, said Jason Emmett, Duffy’s president.

The eatery marks the Lake Worth chain’s 35th restaurant. It also ends a 10-year search for a west Boca Raton location, Emmett said.

Although Duffy’s already has a restaurant in central Boca Raton, on St. Andrews Boulevard, Emmett sees west Boca as a different market. It’s surrounded by housing communities, including country club communities, but it doesn’t have a lot of restaurants.

“It’s dense with lots of housing and lots of Duffy’s customers,” Emmett said.

Emmett likened the spot to the chain’s location west of Boynton Beach, at Jog Road and Boynton Beach Boulevard. That store is the company’s best performer, with customers ranging from older diners to families, he said.

TGI Friday’s is expected to close by around May 21. At that point, Duffy’s will commence with its signature interior renovations, including adding more than 100 televisions, plenty of memorabilia and lots of green paint.

Plans are to open the space as a Duffy’s by early September.

This restaurant marks the chain’s 14th Palm Beach County location. Over time, Emmett sees the county’s western housing growth as an opportunity for new Duffy’s restaurants. But not right away.

In the meantime, the chain continues to grow throughout the state, opening a Sarasota location on March 10. That date is the birthday of Jason’s father, Duffy’s patriarch Paul Emmett, who died two years ago in February from cancer. He was 62.

 

Two more Brightline trains to arrive in West Palm Beach today

Two more Brightline trains are expected to arrive in West Palm Beach this morning, the company said.

Brightline’s BrightGreen and BrightOrange trains, named for the coloring on their passenger cars, are being pulled across the country by a locomotive. They are expected to complete the 3,052-mile journey from California this afternoon.

Two other trains have already arrived at the company’s rail facility near 15th Street in West Palm Beach.

RELATED: Tri-Rail to start service between Palm Beach County and Brightline’s Miami station late this year

Brightline’s 5th train, BrightRed, is expected to be shipped from California in mid-June.

Brightline plans to launch the first leg of its passenger service this summer.

The first leg will carry passengers between West Palm Beach and Miami. Eventually, Brightline plans to expand service north to Orlando.

Construction on the company’s West Palm Beach-to-Orlando leg has not yet begun. Brightline officials have said the project will take at least two years to complete.

Brightline has said it will start “pre-season” service between West Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale in late July. Service between West Palm Beach and Miami is expected to begin in August.

Ticket prices have not been released.

A grand opening of the rail project is planned for mid-September, the company said.