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


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.


Here’s the reason why Subculture Coffee closed in Delray Beach

Subculture Coffee

Note: This post has been updated.

Subculture Coffee blamed “greedy landlords” on its Facebook page for the coffee shop’s closure Monday in downtown Delray Beach.

But it was a trial verdict and judgment that turned off the coffee drips at the popular java hangout, at 123 E. Atlantic Avenue Monday night.

On March 6, Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge Edward Garrison issued a final judgment against 123 East LLC, the entity that leased the space from property owner William R. Burke. Owners of Subculture, based in West Palm Beach, owned shares of 123 East LLC.

In a trial held earlier this month, Garrison ruled the coffee shop had violated its lease with Burke. The trial ended a two-year legal battle between Burke and 123 East LLC/Subculture.

The main source of contention: The sublease of the upstairs floor to real estate brokerage The Knight Group, without Mayo first obtaining written permission from Burke to do so. Subculture occupied the downstairs space.

According to court records, the lease limited the use of the entire premises to a restaurant. It also forbade the sublease of space without Burke’s prior written consent.

But Subculture co-owner Rodney Mayo leased the upstairs 1,000-square-foot space to Knight anyway, according to court records. The Knight Group also was named in the eviction action, first filed in October 2015.

The trial and judgment were not mentioned on Subculture’s Facebook page, which announced the store would be closing its doors Monday evening.

Instead, the Facebook post referenced “greedy landlords looking for any excuse to kick out existing tenants despite them paying rent on time.”

“It’s not about greed. It’s about trying to get your tenants to comply with the terms of the lease,” said Burke’s Boca Raton lawyer, Howard DuBosar. “They didn’t want to comply, and they paid the price.”

DuBosar added: “A judge would not enter an order of eviction unless the judge found there were material breaches of the lease, and in this case, that’s exactly what occurred.”

Garrison’s March 6 order gave Burke the right to take possession of his prime downtown Delray Beach space. It also ordered 123 East LLC to pay an accelerated rent of $366,708, plus attorneys fees and costs.

In an email, Mayo said the landlord won on a “technicality” based on an oral representation “versus a written.”

An oral agreement typically isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. Nonetheless, Mayo, a sophisticated commercial real estate owner, investor and restaurant/nightclub operator, said he relied on a broker saying a sublease was OK.

And despite the lease language allowing for an upstairs restaurant, that was “virtually impossible” due to city rules, Mayo added. An upstairs restaurant would have required installation of an elevator and two stairways, which would have used up pretty much all of the first floor, Mayo said.

Mayo concluded Burke wanted the property back “most likely due to the increase in values and his ability to rent the property at a higher rent.”
Caught in the middle of all of this is the Knight Group’s Jim Knight, a prominent commercial real estate broker in Delray Beach.
Knight said he responded to a sign in the Subculture window about the available upstairs space. And he said he did what he could to make sure the deal was OK, including obtaining a letter from the city that the space could be used as a commercial real estate office.
Furthermore, Knight said he also relied on a broker’s oral OK about the deal.
“The Knight Group was assured by the listing broker that all parties, including the property owner, approved the sublease,” Knight said. “Knight Group was not aware there was an issue with the sub-lease until being notified after taking occupancy.”
The listing broker, Christian Prakas, declined to comment, as did his father, Tom Prakas. Both men are with Prakas & Co. in Boca Raton.
Knight Group now had taken moved back to its former offices, at 10 S.E. 1st Avenue, second floor, Knight said.
And despite Subculture’s closing, Mayo tried to remain upbeat about the store’s Monday closing.

“We went out with a bang and everything was free all day,” Mayo wrote. “The support from the community was overwhelming and very much appreciated.”

Mayo said he’s actively on the hunt for a new location, and already he’s found a couple of possibilities in the immediate area. But an appeal of Garrison’s decision is unlikely, due to the legal expenses involved, he added.

In any event, hope–  and coffee — spring eternal as spring nears.

Mayo said Subculture will be doing a “pop up” store Friday at Mizner Park in Boca Raton for St. Patrick’s Day.

Meanwhile, Subculture’s original location at 509 Clematis St. remains open.



Holidays 4-1-1: Your shopping guide to the season






For those who have everything: Give an ‘experience’ this holiday


Here is a roundup of mall hours to kick-off the holiday shopping season.

(Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)
(Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Best Buy

Thanksgiving evening: 5 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Black Friday: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.


Thanksgiving: 4 p.m to 2 a.m.

Black Friday: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.


Thanksgiving: Closed

Black Friday: 7 a.m.


Thanksgiving: 6 p.m. opening. Doorbuster deals continue through 1 p.m. on Black Friday. Stores will be open for 30 consecutive hours.


Thanksgiving: 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Black Friday: 6 a.m.


Thanksgiving: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., 11 p.m. or midnight (depending on store location)

Black Friday: Hours vary, Check for specific store hours


Thanksgiving: 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. on Black Friday

Note: Some hours vary, click here for specific store information.


Thanksgiving: Stores open at 6 p.m.

Shoppers grab merchandise on Black Friday 2015. (Palm Beach Post file photo)
Shoppers grab merchandise on Black Friday 2015. (Palm Beach Post file photo)


The Boynton Beach Mall

Thanksgiving Day: 6 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Black Friday: 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.

The first 500 people to spend $100 on Friday, November 25, will receive a free Black Friday Fanatic tote bag. Shoppers should bring their receipts to the Guest Services table in Center Court to receive the free gift.

The Gardens Mall

Thanksgiving: Closed

Black Friday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Mall at Wellington Green

Thanksgiving: 6 p.m. to midnight

Black Friday: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Palm Beach Outlets

Thanksgiving: 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Black Friday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Town Center at Boca Raton

Thanksgiving: 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Black Friday: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.


Restoration Hardware and its new modern twist

Aquitaine round chandelier by RH Modern
Aquitaine round chandelier by RH Modern

Restoration Hardware is upping its game at West Palm Beach’s CityPlace, bringing in a new line of furniture as construction on a standalone gallery continues next door.

The company, known for its roots as a purveyor of rustic furnishings, has started selling a modern line of furnishings at stores, dubbed RH Modern.

The line features minimalist furnishings likely to appeal a range of buyers, including the younger buyer. RH Modern is being rolled out at Restoration Hardware galleries across the country.

Restoration Hardware worked with top designers to create the home furnishings. Different materials and textures were incorporated into the designs.

Among the RH Modern designs now in West Palm Beach are Jonathan Browning’s elegant brass Aquitaine Round Chandelier and the Italia Chesterfield Sofa, which offers a “contemporary take on the classic silhouette,” according to a press statement.

Italia Chesterfield Sofa
Italia Chesterfield Sofa


As Restoration Hardware rolls out this line of home furnishings, work continues on the gallery under construction in the median of Okeechobee Boulevard, just south of CityPlace.

The four-story gallery, dubbed a furniture “mansion,” was first set to be open by now.

But an opening now is slated for March or April due to design changes, including the creation of a rooftop café.

When the Restoration Hardware gallery does open, Restoration Hardware will move there from its location at CityPlace.

The Related Cos., developer of CityPlace, is developing the standalone Restoration Hardware building.


Halloween City opens at Palm Beach Outlets

The Halloween shopping season is in full swing, and pop up retailers are opening their doors across Palm Beach County offering a variety of costumes, decorations and other holiday items.

Photo by: Jeff Ostrowski/Staff writer
Photo by: Jeff Ostrowski/Staff writer

Halloween City has opened at Palm Beach Outlets on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard in West Palm Beach. The chain also has a location on Northlake Boulevard.

RELATED: Ghostbusters? Deadpool? Get your Halloween costume at this Downtown store

Halloween City is located in the 300,000-square-foot Marketplace at the Outlets, which is on the western edge of the mall. The store is the former Sports Authority spot. Sports Authority, which ha 35,000 square feet at the Outlets, closed its doors this summer after filing for bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, two other seasonal Halloween retailers have also set up shop in Palm Beach County.

Photo by Jeff Ostrowski/Staff writer
Photo by Jeff Ostrowski/Staff writer

Spirit Halloween has five locations, including shops in West Palm Beach, Greenacres, Royal Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, and Boca Raton. A sixth location is opening soon in Delray Beach, according to the company’s website.

Halloween Express has two Palm Beach County locations – in the Mall at Wellington Green in Wellington and Downtown at The Gardens in Palm Beach Gardens, according to the company’s website.


Sale of Mizner Park in Boca Raton falters

Mizner Park
Mizner Park

For a time this year, downtown Boca Raton almost saw the biggest retail shakeup in recent history: The near sale of the Mizner Park shopping, living and office center.

The landmark property, built 27 years ago, was offered for sale by its current owner, General Growth Properties Inc., according to several real estate brokers.

Prospects coveted the property, and some even crafted plans to spend millions of dollars on upgrades to the aging center on Federal Highway, just north of Palmetto Park Road.

But the deal was pulled last month after pricing fell short of expectations. Brokers say would-be buyers lowered their purchase price because the center’s apartments weren’t part of the sale. Only the retail space, offices and office tower were included.

As a result, the bid price fell short, and the project was pulled from the market, sources said.

The project might still be sold if an unknown magic number is offered. But right now, nothing is in play. Mizner Park manager Andrew McKinney declined to comment.

But Mayor Susan Haynie said she was aware the property had been offered for sale.

Whether it is sold now or in the future, Haynie said the city will need to work closely with the owner because some of the project’s ground leases will be coming due during the next five years.

The city likely “will sell those to whoever owns the structures,” she said.

Mizner Park is an Italianite low-rise collection of buildings surrouding a central green space featuring fountains and benches. It evokes the feel of a downtown with streets that run through its interior, a design familiar to those who frequent CityPlace in West Palm Beach.

But unlike the massive CityPlace, Mizner Park is more intimate. A collection of boutiques, restaurants and once, the popular bookstore Liberties, made it an instant hit among the well-off and wannabes of Boca Raton and surrounding areas.

Through the years, Mizner Park’s tenant roster changed as new stores and eateries moved out and others moved in. More recently, General Growth has revived the center by bringing in the popular Ipic Theaters luxury movie theater to replace a former indie movie house.

Mizner Park also features an amphitheater that hosts musical performances, holiday events and a range of cultural offerings throughout the year.

Now that a trade is on hold, Haynie said the city is  working to improve Mizner Park’s parking issues. The street parking is paid, but the garages are free; however, the garages fill up with employee and valet parking.

This is especially the case since the Lord & Taylor department store opened at Mizner Park in 2013, she said.

So Haynie said the city and General Growth are looking for ways to move some parking offsite, such as to city-owned properties or nearby properties not in use at certain times.


Sleep Number adds store, but its new bed is online-only

Sleep Number is opening its fourth store in the region Friday. This one, in Jensen Beach, follows three other stores in Palm Beach County.

Sleep Number's newest bed is available online. (Provided)
Sleep Number’s newest bed is available online. (Provided)

But when the company rolls out its next big product, the “it Bed” in the fall, you won’t find it any of the regional stores, or in any other Sleep Number’s 500 locations.

» RELATED: Is there an item you only buy at a store vs online? A mattress?

It will only be sold online.

The company bills the it Bed as high-tech assisted sleep. It will, among other features, track your heart and breathing rates hundreds of times as you sleep. The goal is to better help know how to adjust the adjustable bed.

And if you think adjustable beds and other ways of dealing with issues like snoring are for older people, guess again.

“Snoring is a big issue for many people,” said Pete Bils, Sleep Number’s vice president for sleep research. “It affects not just by age, but also by weight and lifestyle.”

West Palm Beach shop offers summer staycation series

Shoppe 561 in West Palm Beach is offering a series of summer “staycation” classes.

The art, food and fragrance classes will be held on Wednesday and Thursday evenings at Shoppe 561, 319 Belvedere Road, #4, West Palm Beach. Registration is required. Visit to sign up.

Since opening in 2013, Shoppe 561 has donated over $11,000 to Hope House Florida, a faith-based, state licensed organization, which provides professional care for minor girls victimized by human trafficking. More than 70 artisans showcase their talents both in the studio and on Shoppe 561’s website.

“This is our way of creating part of what people love about travel, the opportunities to learn something new from others who have perfected their crafts,” said Shoppe Owner Janelle Lang. “If you’re in France, you stop in a perfumerie. If you’re in Latin America, you eat from amazing street vendors. If you’re in Italy, you watch artisans make something exquisite. Now, residents and visitors of Palm Beach County can do that right here surrounded by friends and neighbors.”

Class schedule as follows:

Wednesday, June 22, 7-9 p.m.: Intro into Mirror Lettering Mirror Lettering($50 pp). Instructor Carla Hagan will teach participants how to make a beautiful piece for their homes. Create your own design and letter it onto a mirror to take home. All supplies are included.

Thursday, June 23, 7-8:30 p.m.: Summer Entertaining with Avocados ($40 pp). The countdown is on for the opening of Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen winner, Clay Carnes’ new venture, Cholo Soy Cocina, opening this summer in West Palm Beach’s Antique Row District. Carnes will teach attendees the art of the Epic Avocado Toast, Perfect Guacamole, Florida mango season inspired Grilled Avocado Wedges with salsa and Avocado Margarita with spiced salt rim.

Wednesday, June 29, 7-8:30 p.m.: What is your Fragrance Personality? ($30 pp) Master Perfumer Elise Pearlstine will talk about fragrances and the science behind creating perfumes and colognes. Elise will suggest a perfume or cologne blend tailored to you and create the blend. Participants will leave with a 1/3-ounce bottle of his or her personal blend.

Thursday, June 30, 7- 9 p.m.: Summer Entertaining: Fresh – Cool – Asian Inspired Snacks ($40 pp)
This second class will be a mix of demonstration and hands on interactive. Each person attending will receive a $10 Cholo Soy Cocina gift card and enjoy a fresh drink sure to please (you choose if it contains alcohol if you are 21 and older). In this class you will learn how to make crispy vegetable and teriyaki chicken lettuce wraps, sesame – ginger shrimp skewers, green papaya and peanut salad with fresh chili, yummy pool side tropical white sangria and sparkling passion fruit fizz.

Thursday, July 14, 7-9 p.m.: Summer Entertaining: Did Somebody Say Fish Taco? ($40 pp)
This final class in the series will be a mix of demonstration and hands on interaction where you will learn how to make the perfect fish taco. Each person attending will receive a $10 Cholo Soy Cocina gift card and enjoy a fresh drink sure to please (you choose if it contains alcohol if you are 21 and older). In this class you will learn how to make delicious Florida inspired shrimp ceviche like a pro (distinguishing the myths behind ceviche); how to buy seafood – where to buy, what to avoid, how to handle; how to make the Mexican inspired – michelada beer cocktail; how to make the Classic 100% THE BEST MARGARITA you will ever have and make for your friends!

Wednesday, August 3, 7-9 p.m.: Wine 101($25 pp)

Can you tell your Cabernet from your Chardonnay? Does speaking to a sommelier intimidate you? Would you like to learn more about wine in general? if so, join Shoppe 561 and VINOUTLET for a Wine 101 class that promises to be fun, informative, and casual. You’ll learn about the basics of wine, taste several different wines to put what you learned into practice, and spend an evening in a relaxed, fun environment.