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.



This retailer has closed its doors in The Gardens Mall

The Limited, a national women’s apparel chain, has closed its doors in The Gardens Mall.

The Gardens Mall
The Gardens Mall

The Palm Beach Gardens store is one a series of locations the company has closed in recent days. Columbus Business First reported this month that the clothing chain planned to lay off all 248 employees at its headquarters in New Albany, Ohio in the wake of lackluster sales.

On Thursday, the company’s website advertised 50 percent discounts, noting that all sales were final and that orders may take up to 10 business days to process.

All references to the chain had also been removed from The Gardens Mall’s website. The store was located next to Apple on the first level.

In an emailed statement, a mall spokeswoman did not address the closure, saying instead that the New Year would bring “exciting changes” to the upscale shopping hub.

The Gardens Mall (photo provided)
The Gardens Mall (photo provided)

“We are re-merchandising our shopping center to better align with our guests’ expectations,” the statement said. “While we have many new and enticing retailers to announce, I cannot share the specifics just yet. However, I can assure you that we are constantly listening to our customers and are striving to provide the shopping, service, and dining experiences that our clientele has come to expect from us. We take our commitment to our guests extremely seriously as we seek to deliver on the promise of exceptional experiences every day. We look forward to announcing these changes in the near future.”

The Limited was acquired by Boca Raton-based Sun Capital Partners in 2007.

In October, Limited CEO Diane Ellis left the company to become president of the Chico’s brand, another women’s clothing company.


PGA Commons celebrates 15th anniversary with deals, discounts

PGA Commons will celebrate its 15th anniversary next month, and its businesses plan to mark the milestone with deals and discounts.


The mixed-use shopping and entertainment hub, located on PGA Boulevard west of Military Trail, opened its doors in Oct. 2001.

“We are proud to have created and remained active participants in this remarkable community for 15 years,” said Joel Channing co-founder of PGA Commons. “Since day one, PGA Commons has served as the area’s premier retail/social destination, and we are grateful for all the support we have received over the years. We are excited to celebrate this milestone with the community and look forward to a successful future together.”

PGA Commons said discounts and specials at participating stores and restaurants including (but are not limited to):

  • Bamboo Clothiers – $15 for all earrings.
  • Blowtox | A Blow Dry Bar – 15% off all color services.
  • Flourish Massage – 15% off 60-minute table massage or 60-minute table/foot massage combo.
  • Kabuki Sushi Thai Tapas – $15 PGA Roll (made specially for mall’s anniversary), with shrimp tempura, cucumber, avocado, cream cheese, topped with spicy tuna, tempura flakes, eel sauce, and spicy mayo.
  • Onessimo Fine Art – 15% off specific artists’ artwork.
  • Polished Nail Spa – 15% off a Deluxe Hot Stone Pedicure.
  • Prosecco Café – $15 selection of wines and prosecco by the bottle.
  • Revolution Dating – 15% off any membership package.
  • Spoto’s Oyster Bar – 15% off lunch or dinner check.
  • Studio E Gallery – 15% off any purchase.
  • The Tux Shop – $15 off a Private Collection tuxedo rental.
  • The Cooper – 15% off lunch check.

Report: Aeropostale files for bankruptcy; Gardens Mall store to close

Children fashion retailer Aeropostale announced Wednesday it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in federal court in New York, and plans to close 154 stores in the United States and Canada.

112307 tc biz shop (10 of 12).....0045339A.....Photo by David Spencer/The Palm Beach Post....Jensen Beach......At the Treasure Coast Square Mall early friday, Aéropostale sales associate Ariel Mitchell (cq) trys to lure shoppers into the store by displaying a special teddybear customers can get for free if they purchase $100 worth of merchandise. Mitchell said everything at Aéropostale is priced at 50% off for the next 3 shopping days. Most stores at the Treasure Coast Square Mall opened early at 5am for the traditional "Black Friday" shopping day after Thanksgiving. ...........Photo by David Spencer /The Palm Beach Post......11/23/07
At the Treasure Coast Square Mall, an Aéropostale sales associate tries to lure shoppers into the store by displaying a special teddy bear customers. Photo by David Spencer /The Palm Beach Post (11/23/07)

Store closing sales are scheduled to begin in the United States this weekend, the company said.

The apparel chain has four stores in Palm Beach County. They are located at The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens, the Mall at Wellington Green and Town Center in Boca Raton. The chain has a factory store at the Boynton Beach Mall.

Areopostale’s Gardens Mall store is one of 6 Florida locations set to close, according to USA Today.

The company operates roughly 800 stores.


Five new restaurants and shop coming to Palm Beach Gardens

Five new restaurants and shop are set to open this year at Midtown in Palm Beach Gardens.

Visitors to Midtown in Palm Beach Gardens enjoy a live music performance as part of Mainstreet at Midtown's Music on the Plaza concert series. (Photo provided by Mainstreet at Midtown)
Visitors to Midtown in Palm Beach Gardens enjoy a live music performance as part of Mainstreet at Midtown’s Music on the Plaza concert series.
(Photo provided by Mainstreet at Midtown)

Blaze Pizza, OXXO Care Cleaners, and Iconic Eye Care Center have already opened for business. Bonefish Grill and 18/8 Fine Men’s Salon are scheduled to open in August, according to a news release from Ram Realty Services and Mainstreet at Midtown.

The new tenants will occupy a combined 13,078 square feet, bringing total occupancy level at Midtown to 96.5 percent, the highest in the mixed-use center’s history, the news release said.

» RELATED: Blaze Pizza, with connection to LeBron James, opens at Midtown

See which store just opened at The Gardens Mall

Sam Edelman, a woman’s shoe store that also sells handbags, jewelry and outerwear, has opened a 2,600-square-foot store at The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens. IMG_0314

The store opened on February 6 and is located on the upper level of the mall at the Bloomingdale’s end.

“The Palm Beach customer embodies the aspirational essence of the Sam Edelman brand, making The Gardens Mall a perfect location for our newest retail store,” said Sam Edelman, designer, founder and division president for the Sam Edelman division.

The brand has retail locations in New York, New Jersey, California and Las Vegas.