So, 10 months after leaving Abandoned Pet Rescue in downtown Fort Lauderdale with a dog my kids bonded with (me skeptical: A Siberian husky in Florida?) and many months after I fell into the rhythm of life as a dog walker and bag man, and long after I succumbed to the affectionate charms of this new family member we call Juneau — after all that, I have become one of those dog people that I used to wonder about. I am blessed.
As dog people used to try to tell me, the four-legged tour guide will introduce you to wonderful people and interesting places that you never would have seen otherwise. And so, with humidity waning, this weekend I plan to finally check out BarkYard n’ Brews, a dog park and beer garden (hello!) just north of Broward Boulevard, east of Northwest Ninth Avenue.
Opened in the dog days of summer (sorry), BarkYard n’ Brews is at 817 NW First St., set up in a muraled void among the warehouses a few doors down from Orchestrated Minds Brewing (excellent). It offers 10,000-square feet of grassy, fenced in, off-leash romping for dogs, with a splash pad. For you, there’s beer from a dozen taps, ciders, wine, coffee, tea and soft drinks; food trucks and vendors.
“It’s perfect,” said Holiday Park dog park acquaintance Danny Campos, who owns a giant poodle, Riva. “The other dogs were cool. I did a Hop Gun. My wife likes Bud Light. I wish I had thought of it.”
Hours are 3-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. Your dog needs to be a member to get in, which is $10 per day, with monthly and annual packages. If you come without a dog, it’s free. Visit BarkYardNBrews.com.
As I said, I found Juneau (or the other way around) thanks to Abandoned Pet Rescue, a no-kill shelter that has been doing this good work for 25 years now. APR will celebrate that milestone with the Fast and Fur-ious Car Show on Sunday at Bailey Contemporary Arts Center (41 NE First St.) in Old Pompano Beach. With support from Exotic Wraps and Florida Supercar Club, the free afternoon of exotic cars, food trucks and dog/cat adoptions runs from noon to 4 p.m. Visit Facebook.com/AbandonedPetRescue.
Of course you miss Chef Giovanni Rocchio, the revered restaurateur who surprised the South Florida dining scene with an abrupt retirement from four-star restaurant Valentino Cucina Italiana and companion eatery One Door East in 2019. Now rested and reinvigorated, he is poised to make a comeback at Holly Blue, coming soon to Flagler Village. But until then, you can get a glimmer of the Giovanni Rocchio experience at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, where he and the resort’s Chef Nicole Rhone have collaborated on a new menu being served on the oceanfront patio outside casual, lobby-level market Le Marché. The seafood-forward lineup of small plates, flatbreads and charcuterie does include a lasagna Bolognese, if you’re looking to recapture memories of Valentino. Visit Hilton.com.
Roxanne’s Liquor Bar & Kitchen has been one of the “it” spots in downtown Fort Lauderdale‘s Flagler Village since it opened forever ago. Or it seems that way. Roxanne’s will celebrate its first anniversary on Saturday, Oct. 30, with Rox Fest, a block party featuring the buzzy band Shwayze, joined by Marcus Amaya, West Grove, DJ Keen One and others. Roxanne’s is home to secret pop-up chef cameos, so the party will include the work of “Hell’s Kitchen All-Stars” Chef Robyn Almodovar and Takeshi Kamioka of Kaminari Ramen. Visit RoxannesFTL.com.
Black velvet, if you please
If you have ducked in for a takeout bowl recently at Memphis Garrett’s Poke House in Victoria Park Shoppes in downtown Fort Lauderdale, you likely have peeked behind the curtains to see the transition it is making into a bar called No Man’s Land Cocktail Parlor & Lounge. The space is dimly lit, with oversized velvet banquettes in a dark, peacock-plume cyan. Poised near the door is a battalion of black velvet ropes on their gold stanchions. Opening night? The gentleman at the door guesses “a couple of weeks.” Visit Facebook.com/nomanslandftl.
To raise money for two local nonprofits, two of Fort Lauderdale’s most popular chefs are putting their meatball where your mouth is.
As part of a friendly competition, stop in and order the meatball appetizers made by telegenic Chef Fabio Viviani (“Top Chef”) at Riviera by Fabio Viviani at Hotel Maren and Chef Marco Vico of Café Vico (two locations) and they will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Joe DiMaggio’s Children’s Hospital (Viviani) and Boys & Girls Club of Broward County (Vico).
The fundraiser runs through the end of the year. On Jan. 11, the showdown will be settled with a live cook-off and other festivities on Fort Lauderdale beach.
How did downtown Fort Lauderdale’s Day of the Dead celebration (Nov. 2) become one of the best in the country? (Says the Travel Channel, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times and others.) Impresario and puppeteer Jim Hammond and his merry band of artistic Deadheads get most of the credit. But Hammond will tell you it cannot happen without volunteers, who help on everything from setting up stages to working the inside of his massive puppets. If you are interested in helping out, be at a volunteer meeting 6 p.m. Tuesday at American Icon Brewery in Progresso (911 NE Fourth Ave.). Visit DayOfTheDeadFlorida.com.
Comedy on the Green series makes its debut 8 p.m. Friday at Boca Raton’s Mizner Park Amphitheater with a performance by Kurt Metzger, a writer for comedian-actors Sacha Baron Cohen and Amy Schumer. Miami stand-up Kyle Grooms will be the opening act. A distanced audience will watch in three styles of seats: low-slung canvas beach chairs up front (VIP), blankets in the grass in the center of the space and standard folding chairs lined along the back. There will be waitstaff bar service for beach chairs and blankets, and a walkup bar in the rear. Tickets start at $38. Visit Ticketmaster.com.
Rising comedian Taylor Tomlinson (you may have seen her “Quarter-Life Crisis” special on Netflix earlier this year, which the Washington Post dubbed “your favorite quarantine-watch”) performs at The Parker (newly gussied-up) in downtown Fort Lauderdale 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets starts at $27.80 at ParkerPlayhouse.com.
For the record, Trevor Noah’s stop at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood 8 p.m. Friday on his Back to Abnormal Tour is essentially sold out. Try your luck at MyHRL.com.
The fast-paced celebration of creatively bad films known as Swede Fest Palm Beach returns from the dead 6:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Kelsey Theater in Lake Park (with an after party next door at Brewhouse Gallery). The seventh edition of the festival (and the first since 2018) again takes its cues from the 2008 cult movie “Be Kind, Rewind,” inspiring witty, 3-minute, no-budget remakes of classic films created by fans from across Palm Beach County. Think “The Fast and the Furious” re-enacted using children’s Big Wheels or “Castaway” with Wilson played by a tennis ball. Presented by the Palm Beach Film Society, the evening includes a performance by the improv group Cheese & Crackers. Tickets cost $12. Visit SwedeFestPalmBeach.com.
III Points Music Festival returns to Mana Wynwood Friday and Saturday with a long lineup led by the Strokes, Wu-Tang Clan and Khruangbin. Two-day general-admission passes are sold out, and single-day GA tickets cost $149. Visit IIIPoints.com.
You can still get tickets, starting at $25.95, for the Friday and Saturday shows by Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin at Miami’s FTX Arena (formerly AmericanAirlines Arena). Visit Ticketmaster.com.
The Weekender – South Florida Events Newsletter
Get a roundup of the best events and things to do in South Florida so you can make it an epic weekend.
Due to popular demand, Hard Rock Live has added a second show by Van Morrison on Feb. 11. Tickets cost $235, $185, $145, $105 and $55 and go on sale 10 a.m. Friday at MyHRL.com. There also is presale happening on the Hard Rock Hollywood Facebook and Twitter pages.
Altruistic former NFL player Stephen Tulloch will open a second Circle House Coffee location on Saturday, Oct. 30, with a party to benefit the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation. Joining his popular spot in Flagler Village, the new shop is in Oakland Park, at 119 W. Oakland Park Blvd., just west of Andrews Avenue (in the old La Molienda restaurant). The free, family friendly party is from 4 to 8 p.m. and will include food trucks, games, balloon animals and a DJ. Pink T-shirts designed by Circle House Coffee will be on sale to benefit the Foundation. Visit CircleHouseCoffee.com.
The LOOP Fort Lauderdale Beach (at Las Olas and A1A) will be decked out for the season during the Pumpkins & Palm Trees fest 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. The day includes a farmers’ market (more than 40 vendors), morning yoga (kids free), games, pumpkin crafting, a pie-baking competition and music from JJ & The Florida Oranges. Visit Facebook.com/theloopflb.