Published On: Tue, Aug 16th, 2016

Barrys Buzz – August 17, 2016

         barry blue

     The new Miami Dolphins stadium with a canopy will have a new name, Hard Rock Stadium, selling the naming rights to Hard Rock International. Of course, the Dolphins and owner Stephen Ross will profit nicely from a long-term deal with Hard Rock. After the state legislature refused to let taxpayers vote on a proposal to pay for stadium improvements, Ross spent well over $400 million of his own money to add a canopy over the seats and modernize the entire facility. The upgrades have already landed South Florida the 2020 Super Bowl.

     The developers of Park Place has announced a dozen tenants for the 64,000 sq. ft. shopping center in Boca Raton. The Habit Burger Grill, rappy’s Deli, Chipotle and Burton’s Grill will open in the center on Military Trail north of Yamato Road. Other tenants include Sprint, The Cheese Course, Eileen Fisher clothing store, Phenomenon Nitrogen Ice Cream & Bake Shop, Raw Juice, Venetian Nail Spa and Fresh Kitchen. The Fresh Market is the 20,000 sq. ft. anchor tenant. Park Place is under construction next to Altis Boca Raton, a 398 unit apartment community, fully leased and will open by year’s end.

      Two new restaurants are opening: Teriyaki Madness in Mission Bay and Padano Gastro Bistro in Loggers Run Plaza. ABC Fine Wine & Spirits in Westwinds of Boca is looking to expand.

    Drivers in Boca Raton should leave more time for their commutes beginning this week. Plans to close roads for rail-system construction in the city overlap with the first few weeks of school. Six crossings over the next five weeks will be closed, prompting detours. Anyone who lives on one side of the Florida East Coast Railway — the easternmost tracks that mostly parallel Dixie Highway — and works or goes to school on the other side will be affected.

     Gold Coast School of Real Estate in Boca Raton has acquired Bert Rodgers Schools of Real Estate and will continue to operate separately, serving about 100,000 students annually.

     Construction of a new synagogue near downtown Boca Raton is on hold as legal battles surrounding the project advance. Two Boca Raton residents, who both identify as Christian and live less than a mile from the proposed project site, filed an amended complaint in federal court Friday trying to stop the Chabad of East Boca Raton project.

     The wait to experience Boca Raton’s new science playground is almost over, park officials say. Visitors to Sugar Sand Park at 300 S. Military Trail will have access to the playground Nov. 19 after about eight months of construction and an anticipated $1.8 million in project fees.

     Boca Raton’s leaders have canceled a special hearing on annexation, making it unlikely new areas will join the city this year. The city was considering annexing five subdivisions located on 449 acres north of Clint Moore Road and west of Military Trail.

      Palm Beach County commissioners reiterated their calls for the federal government to strengthen Lake Okeechobee’s troubled dike as quickly as possible. The 143-mile Herbert Hoover Dike is susceptible to erosion and is deemed to be one of the most at risk of failing in the country.

     Palm Beach County commissioners want to explore how much it would cost to equip deputies with body cameras. Commissioners instructed county staff to begin talks with Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, who has said he doesn’t oppose body cameras but he’d need additional dollars to purchase them.

    Early voting started Monday in Palm Beach County for the Aug. 30 election. Polls will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily until Aug. 28. Voters should bring a recent photo ID with a signature. The election features primaries for U.S. Senate, state House and Senate and Palm Beach County Commission, along with nonpartisan races for sheriff, school board, property appraiser, elections supervisor and judge. A sample ballot can be accessed by visiting the Supervisor of Elections’ website. The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot is Aug. 24.

     Andrea Levine O’Rourke has made it official, running for Boca Raton City Council. O’Rourke filed with the City Clerk’s office on Aug. 10 along with Emily Gentile to run in the next Boca Raton Municipal Election on March 14, 2017. Both women declared their candidacies with the state and can now open campaign accounts, and named themselves as treasurers. Mayor Susan Haynie filed to run again for mayor on April 14. The deadline to file as a candidate for that election is Jan. 11, 2017. O’Rourke and Gentile are both running for Seat B, held by Deputy Mayor Mike Mullaugh, who is term limited, so they won’t face an incumbent.

    Alligator season opened Monday evening in Florida, as hunters headed out to swamps and lakes to kill Florida’s most feared reptile. More than 6,000 hunters won permits to take up to two alligators during the hunt. In South Florida.

     The Waterstone’s executive chef Matthew Mixon wanted to celebrate Julia Child’s birthday in a big way. An aficionado of the late gourmet chef and cookbook author, he’s planning a five-course French dinner on Aug. 25 that even includes her famous beef bourguignon.

   Habit for Humanity’s new CEO wants to look for land in Boca Raton to start building affordable homes. “The mission of Habitat is simple: to build more houses. We need to build more houses in Boca,” said Randy Nobles, speaking at Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County’s 25th birthday party.    

     Summer in the City: Music and Movies Under the Stars will run through Aug. 19 at the Mizner Park Amphitheater in downtown Boca Raton. On nights with free concerts, the event will start at 7:30 p.m., Movies are set to begin at 8 p.m. Here’s a list of the free performances and movie showings: Aug. 19: The Symphonia.

        The World Goes Round is in the Rinker Playhouse at the Kravis Center through Aug. 21. Tickets at

     Midsummer Night’s Dream is at the Sol Theatre, 3333 N. Fed. Hwy. in Boca through Aug. 21. Tickets at or call 561-447-8829

      CareerSource Palm Beach has a hospitality job fair 1 to 4 pm Aug. 31 at Palm Beach State College Humanities and Technology Building HT103, 801 Palm Beach State College Drive, Boca Raton.

        Gold Coast Tiger Bay Club will feature Jeff Dawson, AIPAC’s Florida Deputy Director on BDS: The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement Against Israel, 11:30 a.m. Sept. 14, at City Fish Market, Glades Road and the Turnpike. RSVP at

     Lucie Arnaz brings her father’s Desi Arnaz’s Cuban pedigree, and the Capitol Steps their election satire to Libby Dodson’s Live at Lynn Theatre Series starting Oct. 1. The series has seven shows performed twice through March 26, 2017 at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center on the Lynn University campus, 3601 N. Military Trail. The Steps do 30 songs and skits with five people and a pianist. The Live at Lynn series will also include shows about Michael Jackson and French chanteuse Edith Piaf; Tenors Unlimited – The Rack Pack of Opera, The New Shanghai Circus and top 40 and Broadway hits by The Company of Men. Also on sale are tickets for Mabel Mercer Foundation’s Cabaret at Lincoln Center comes to Live at Lynn series starting in January with five shows in the university’s Amarnick-Goldstein Concert Hall through May 17. Season subscriptions, available now at 25 percent discount, and individual show tickets for Libby Dodson Live at Lynn Theatre Series are at events/ or the box office at 561-237-9000.

     The second annual Boca Raton Mayor Ball is Oct. 8 at Broken Sound Country Club, honoring Christine E. Lynn, Boca Raton Resort & Club and Boca Helping Hands with coveted George E. Long Awards. The event is co-chaired by Rotary Club of Downtown Boca Raton members Jon A. Kaye, immediate Club past president who served as the founding chair of the inaugural 2015 Mayors Ball and Club member Constance J. Scott. The 2016 Mayors Ball Honorary Chair is Former Mayor Bill T. Smith. Honorary Advisors include Mayor Susan Haynie, Former Mayors Susan Whelchel and Steven Abrams who currently serves as a Palm Beach County Commissioner; Boca Raton Deputy Mayor Michael Mullaugh and Council Members Robert Weinroth, Jeremy Rodgers and Scott Singer. For sponsorship and underwriting opportunities, visit or contact Jon A. Kaye at 561-392-5166 or Deborah Freudenberg at 561-299-1429, email

     Good Morning America news anchor Amy Robach and her husband Andrew Shue will be the keynote speakers at the 13th Annual Go Pink luncheon to benefit Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation in the fight against breast cancer. Save the date: October 21, 2016.  

     The Fourth Annual Hope Bash Boca is 6:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at Boca West Country Club. For sponsorship opportunities and additional event information, visit Tickets at $250 each will be available for purchase online late summer.

     Woman of the Year Luncheon is Nov. 18 at the Boca Resort & Club with fashion show by Saks Fifth Ave. Tickets and info at or 620.2553.

      The 2016/2017 Broadway series at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts include Cinderella, Cabaret, The Little Mermaid, Something Rotten!, Matilda and Finding Neverland. More info at

    The Marmot Boca Raton Bowl game will take place at 7 p.m. on Dec. 20 at the Florida Atlantic University Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN. It will be the third annual bowl game for FAU.

      Sun-Sentinel, South Florida Business Journal, Palm Beach Post contributed to this column.

          Barry Epstein, APR, is a noted public relations, marketing and political consultant based in Boca Raton, president of the, the, the and the founder and former president of the West Boca Chamber of Commerce; His motto is: Public Relations is the enemy of anonymity. Email:, or fax column items to 561.451.0000. and on his website:

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  1. Kelly Kigar says:

    Just wondering why you don’t mention The Wick Theatre season when listing area entertainment? To keep it completely transparent I am the daughter of Marilynn Wick but I read your columns and The Wick seems to be intentionally left out.

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