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.”


NEW: Carl Von Luger owner in town for talks with North Palm Beach leaders

The owner of the Carl Von Luger restaurant from Pennsylvania has been in North Palm Beach for the past few days, and not for vacation reasons.

Robert Dickert and his team have been in damage-control mode, talking to village officials about a nasty lawsuit that threatens to derail the deal to bring Dickert’s steak and seafood restaurant to the village’s planned $15 million new club house at 951 US 1.

» Steak house with a fabled history coming to North Palm Beach

» Peter Luger Steak House sues eatery set for North Palm Beach

The goal is to assuage village officials caught off-guard by the lawsuit filed against their new club house restaurant operator, who has a contract with the village to operate two restaurants there.

Robert Dickert, owner of Carl Von Luger Steak and Seafood

In May, Dickert and his Carl Von Luger restaurant were sued by Peter Luger Inc. of New York in federal court. The trademark infringement lawsuit alleges Carl Von Luger is ripping off the famed Luger steak house brand by appropriating the name.

The Luger name does have allure, but Dickert said in a recent interview he’s entitled to it.

It is a name that he says is part of his family tree: Peter Luger was his great-uncle. He worked for a decade in the family restaurant, learning the trade in all manner of role.

And in 2009, he filed a trademark for the Carl Von Luger restaurant. Peter Luger didn’t object to the name and the restaurant, in business in Scranton since 2011.

Word is that’s what the Dickert team is telling village officials, who reportedly still want Dickert operating two restaurants at the club house, as per the contract with him.

Village manager Andrew Lukasik could not be reached for comment.

The club house is expected to be ready by December 2018.

Stay tuned for more details.

» RELATED: What’s driving spending on posh clubhouses in north county?


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.


New AT&T Authorized Retailer opens in Jupiter

A new AT&T Authorized Retailer store has opened at 4050 U.S. Highway One in Jupiter. Jupiter_authorized_retailer_store_exterior-4.18.16

USA Wireless owns and operates the store. The new location offers DIRECTV, AT&T U-verse, AT&T Digital Life and the latest wireless devices.

With this new store, AT&T now has 2 authorized retailer locations in Jupiter for a total of 26 in Palm Beach County.

“We’re expanding our retail presence to better serve our customers,” said Carlos Blanco-Sposito, AT&T Florida vice-president and general manager. “When it comes to shopping, convenient locations are key.”

The new store is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday.