Labor Day Weekend things to do: The Ray, Thomas Rhett and champagne on Fort Lauderdale’s New River

South Florida Sun Sentinel

Sep 02, 2021 2:22 PM

Thomas Rhett will bring music from his excellent new album,

Thomas Rhett will bring music from his excellent new album, “Country Again,” to iTHINK Financial Arena in West Palm Beach on Friday, Sept. 3. (Mark Humphrey/AP)

Like the old boots Thomas Rhett digs out and slips on in his hit “Country Again,” this weekend has a good, familiar feel. College football is being played, the Sunday Jazz Brunch returns to the New River, Takeshi Kamioka is cooking … heck, Brody Jenner is back!

It was not unfair to wonder about Orchestrated Minds Brewing when it opened in 2019, owner-brewer Davy Martin and wife Jaime putting everything they had into Martin’s dream, a 1,500-square-foot nanobrewery in a former auto body shop in an untested part of downtown Fort Lauderdale’s Dorsey-Riverbend community. Then came the pandemic. But Martin is an irresistible personality and makes beer of remarkable depth and individuality — so here we are, on Saturday, celebrating OMB’s second anniversary from 2 to 10 p.m. with dozens of familiar favorites and new releases flowing from 13 taps. The brewery is at 803 NW First St., a block north of Broward Boulevard and a block east of Powerline (behind the colorful CubeSmart storage building). Visit

Head brewer Davy Martin now has two years under his belt at Fort Lauderdale nanobrewery Orchestrated Minds Brewing.

Head brewer Davy Martin now has two years under his belt at Fort Lauderdale nanobrewery Orchestrated Minds Brewing. (Orchestrated Minds Brewing / Courtesy)

This is opening weekend at The Ray, the youthful, design-forward hotel in downtown Delray Beach (it’s part of Hilton’s clubby Curio Collection). It’s very pretty. And its Rosewater Rooftop, especially, is likely to be a big hit with the Atlantic Avenue bar crowd. Architecturally striking, its location in the heart of the city’s funky Pineapple Grove Arts District nonetheless feels accidental. The Rosewater is not for everyone — and doesn’t aspire to be, with a $27 Impossible Burger, $20 glasses of Meiomi (it’s a fine wine, but really?) and $7 cans of Bud Light. The hotel calls the canopies at the Rosewater “baldachins.” But it’s very pretty. Visit

In a story about the hotel under the headline “The Ray introduces luxury to Delray Beach,” a Forbes magazine writer observed changes in the once “sleepy outlier” of a city amid South Florida’s explosive growth. “Slowly, the city with a welcoming low-key vibe began going upscale,” he wrote. I think he meant it as a compliment.

Johnny Brown’s, the popular Atlantic Avenue rock-n-burgers joint in downtown Delray Beach, is offering half-price drinks when it rains through the end of September.

The Sunday Jazz Brunch returns to the Riverwalk in Fort Lauderdale this weekend, a tradition beloved for its ability to bring a relaxing outdoor atmosphere to the energetic downtown vibe for a few hours. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday there will be performances on three stages along the north bank of the New River east of the Broward Center (Blues Therapy & Jazz, Glyn Dryhurst Swingtet and Jazz Survivors), plus food and drink vendors and an army of locals (and dogs) who spread blankets in the shade, sip champagne, people-watch, read and snooze. Visit

You’ll find a couple of special dining experiences this weekend at Palm Beach Meats (4812 S Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach): On Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. they’re doing a pop-up brunch (mimosas, yes) with Chef Emerson Frisbie (EmKo in West Palm Beach, 3rd and 3rd in Delray Beach). Sunday brings a 3 p.m. celebration of Asian street food produced by Wagyuboyz — Frisbie, Takeshi Kamioka (Fort Lauderdale’s Kaminari Ramen) and Orlando Chef Denni Cha, who’s recent summer tasting event at Palm Beach Meats was a quick sellout. Ben Childs of the Killbillies will be playing, Boynton Beach’s Copperpoint Brewing will be pouring and La Gringuita Cookies will be cookie-ing. Visit

Scattered tickets remain, starting at $36, to see Thomas Rhett’s stop on the tour supporting the album “Country Again” (a welcome return to his roots) 7:30 p.m. Friday at iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach. Visit You can also still get seats to see country star Sam Hunt at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood 8 p.m. Sept. 9. Tickets start at $30 at

Top-ranked rapper Future has partnered with the nonprofit Direct Relief to produce the Miami Benefit Concert for Haiti at the Oasis Theater in Miami’s Wynwood District (2335 N. Miami Ave.) 8 p.m. Friday. The lineup is said to include Kodak Black, Lil Uzi Vert, Zoey Dollars and others. Tickets: $100. Doors open at 7 p.m. Visit

College football returns in a big way this weekend, with the Miami Hurricanes taking on defending-champion Alabama at 3:30 p.m. Saturday; the Florida Gators hosting FAU, pride of Boca Raton, 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and the Florida State Seminoles playing universally unloved Notre Dame at 7:30 p.m. If you’re getting off the sofa, know that Township in downtown Fort Lauderdale will have watch parties for all three games. Sunday’s tailgate will be the most elaborate (mechanical bull, dunk tank, beer pong), possibly due to their FSU connection (the other Township is in Tallahassee), but also because Notre Dame. Visit

Big weekend at the Hard Rock’s DAER nightclub-dayclub spaces: “Big Bootie Mix” duo Two Friends perform noon-sunset Saturday ($75); chart-topping DJ Zedd (“Clarity,” “The Middle,” “Stay the Night”), 10 p.m. Saturday ($75); ace rapper-songwriter Nas, 11 p.m. Saturday ($80); Brody Jenner and LA DJ Devin Lucien, noon Sunday ($30); Colombian DJ-producer Alex Sensation noon Monday ($40). Visit

Another big-named DJ in South Florida this weekend is EDM star Borgore at 10 p.m. Friday at the Venue Fort Lauderdale (2345 Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors). Tickets are $30+ at via

North Beach Shoppes, the inviting little center tucked in the northwest corner of A1A and Oakland Park Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, will be the setting for its inaugural Labor Day Weekend Block Party 1-9 p.m. Saturday. Stretching across three blocks, the free event includes food and drink specials from more than 15 neighboring restaurants and bars, a kids’ zone, a car show and three stages of live music from popular locals Slip and the Spinouts, Smokin’ Aces and Southern Blood, all at 1 p.m., as well as Remix at 4:30 p.m. Visit

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