Time and time again on the Old Boca and Old Boca2 facebook pages, many reminisce of Tom’s Ribs back in the day. As a Boca Raton resident for over 40+ years, I too long for those juicy smoked ribs. On numerous commutes, I have past the old Tom’s location on Dixie High Way, and seen restaurants come and go. For the past couple of years I noticed a BBQ Restaurant, Troy’s Bar-Be-Que. Usually having great reviews, and a line forming before the doors open.
From the North side of the restaurant, on Glades Road doesn’t seem to be much activity, and the parking lot is a bit hidden. I wondered how come there was no noticeable rising smoke from the establishment? Ah, all is answered when I patronized for lunch. The mystery of no smoke, and yet Troy’s meats have the flavor, is evident in the savory barbecue meat, because their smoker get fired up at 5a.m.!
Every morning, except on Mondays as they are closed, the magic happens. The smoker is located in the parking lot, beside the restaurant.
Juicy tasty BBQ has been here the entire time. Yes, at the same location where Tom’s Ribswas located! Troy’s Bar-Be-Que Restaurant, a family business will leave you wanting to come back at least once a week. The sign on the front door says it all.
I arrived 10 minutes before opening, and already there was a line forming. Owner Anthony Barber, takes the time to greet each customer. Observing, I was able to see who were the frequent customers. Service was quick, and efficient. I ordered the ribs and chicken combo.
General Manager Gary Davis, recommended the pork spare ribs, juicy, and falling off the bones with a bit of char, Gary didn’t disappoint!
The sides were equally mouth watering. Bake beans just like how grandma made, chunks of potato in the potato salad, and perfectly matched cole slaw. Every dish comes with a piece of corn bread.
For those of you who are barbecue lovers, give Troy’s Bar-Be-Que a lip smackin’ try. Make sure to go early on the weekends, or be prepared for a wait, and even sold out items. Troy’s Bar-Be-Que is available for catering, and also has a Boyton Beach location. In a rush, call your order in for pick up, or UberEats.
Boca Raton Location
1198 North Dixie High Way, Boca Raton, FL 33433
Boynton Beach Location
1920 S. Federal High Way, Boyton Beach, FL 33435
His business suit was as crisp as a new banknote and dyed to a uniform shade of bleak grey. He stood there in the distinguished cutting lines of a great tailor, one who could take his standard form and make him a figure of power. He gives his sleek business card before applying a firm handshake, still keeping eye contact.
When most people hear “networking,” they think of cheap coffee, awkward first encounters, sleazy salespeople, and business cards changing hands as people go through the motions with boring conversations. But this isn’t networking at ‘Entrepreneurs in Paradise’.
Celebrating ‘Global Entrepreneurship Week’ at Boca Raton’s Innovation Campus, ‘Entrepreneurs in Paradise’ featured over 100 local entrepreneurs, up to 350 attendees, and live music.
The event was put together by:
Boca Raton Innovation Campus (BRIC)
Client Focused Advisors
FAU Adams Center
FAU Tech Runway
Kapow! Noodle Bar
Palm Beach Tech Association
The Shrimp Tank Podcast
Some of the local entrepreneurs from the community included:
Client Focused Advisors
Florida Podcast Network
Get Fit Academy
SBDC of FAU
The Silver Logic
The Shrimp Tank
The host of Boca’s entrepreneur podcast, ‘The Shrimp Tank’ and CEO of Client Focused Advisors, Jason R. Hill, is the event organizer for ‘Entrepreneurs in Paradise’. Hill, who uses the podcast as a way for entrepreneurs to discuss successful business strategies, has put in four months of work to hold this event.
“The first event was done in 2018,” said Hill. “This is our first time doing it with ticket sales, having a VIP section, securing the location, and getting people to come out through emails, Facebook all that stuff was a lot of hard work.”
Soon to be FAU alumni Miranda Dunn has been with Boca’s ‘The Shrimp Tank Podcast’ since it started over 83 weeks ago. Dunn, who is part of public management, explained how they reach out to entrepreneurs and companies mostly through LinkedIn, Instagram, and emails.
“When we see someone original or with their own setup we find that special,” said Dunn.
LOCK IT PLATES:
Most old plastic containers recoil like they can feel the years of heat, wrinkling into a ruche around the burn. This is why co-founders Chris Mundy and Johny Delvar have created ‘Lock it Plates’. This modern portable container unlocks creating two separate plates. Each container has a built on cup attachment under the plates that make it possible to carry a full meal and a drink in just one hand.
Mundy and Delvar have known each other since 2009. But it wasn’t until the 2010 earthquake that hit Haiti where Delvar volunteered with the Red Cross and thought of the idea to start a business. During that trip, Delvar realized that the lockable plate idea would be useful for distributing food to the victims who were dealing with unsanitary conditions and they realized that there was too much usage of plastic.
“One of the greatest moments for us was when we stepped on the campus of FAU and we went to a dining hall seeing all the students with our products in their hands,” said Mundy.
Mundy and Delvar also won first place at the 2019 Spark Hollywood Pitch Competition and FAU 2018 Business Plan Competition.
Fashion and fitness come together with Nicole Biscuiti’s patented gym tops with built-in collarbone guard for athletes’ barbell workouts. Biscuiti is the founder and creator of ‘The Chestee’.
As a fitness enthusiast, Biscuiti knew a workout was going well when the sweat droplets on her skin began to run down her face and limbs and splash onto the floor. Beads as salty as tears would run into her lips. But at Wodapalooza in 2012, a barbell on Biscuiti became a bruise fest on her chest and in March of 2014, Biscuiti became stronger knowing she could protect herself and other women.
“Every single bra has a built-in collarbone bar for protection against bruising, scrapping, for those who work out or do barbells,” said Biscuiti.
‘The Chestee’ is designed with premium textiles and innovative technology, enabling sportswear to be more versatile and comfortable while still be fashionable.
“Celebrating and empowering strong women and giving women a voice to celebrate exactly who they are in their skin today,” said Biscuiti.
‘Two Degrees’ is an FAU Tech Runway that won the tech competition at the end of 2017. The app connects the community and world through mutual friends. ‘Two Degrees’ is creating a socially driven marketplace that allows businesses to establish and build networks directly with the friends of their customers, using the customer as a (mutual-friend) gateway to engage the second-degree friend.
The company uses a patented technology that creates new relationships for their users using geo-location and phone contacts. They have more than 275,000 users, 75 percent of whom reside in Florida.
“We’ve reached half a million users and we’re going to take that model we’ve done in Boca to other places,” said Business Development for ‘Two Degrees’ Jesse Todd.
Todd has seen the app getting more attraction from FAU, Gainesville, and Tampa.
Bryan Rammel of ‘Two Degrees’ has an interest in seeing local businesses grow which is why he got involved with ‘Two Degrees’.
“I have a passion for helping local businesses grow,” said Rammel. “Looking at the trends to see “what people want and seeing the spots people are going to and seeing if we can run a deal to our users to get them as returning customers.”
“There are no freaking lanes, you can blow up a lane and take your talents, your skill sets and go wherever the Hell you want to go,” – Heather Monahan
He has satisfaction as if having completed a deeply, personally needed action; expressed by the slightest curve at the mouth’s corner and youthful confidence worn in a slight raise of the eyebrow above a quizzical, joyful eye. Transaction specialist and ‘Entrepreneurs in Paradise’ attendee Alexander Lorenzo has an interest in cryptocurrency (a digital or virtual currency designed to work as a medium of exchange). Lorenzo attended ‘Entrepreneurs in Paradise’ to network and explain how blockchain is a growing list of records that are linked using cryptography.
“The reason I came to this event is because every single business in this whole entire establishment will eventually have to integrate blockchain technology or online transaction to help their business grow,” said Lorenzo.
By design, a blockchain is resistant to modification of the data. Lorenzo does local seminars on digital assets and Lorenzo wants to make cryptocurrency common to not just businesses but the common person.
“I put 14 to 16 hours a day to understand various topics,” said Lorenzo. “I come to network events like this to educate on making money off digital assets which are the best producing assets of 2019.”
EZSIGHT SOLUTIONS INC.:
With his crisp business suit and blazer sitting on his broad shoulders, Founder and CEO of EZSIGHT Solutions Erik Graff created a tech startup that utilizes computer vision and machine learning to automate terminal engine visuals for airlines.
“It’s manual, and this takes 10 to 30 hours,” said Graff. “We now scan the entire engine with cameras to document everything and we got that time down to 30 minutes instead of 30 hours.”
Graff, who has experience with flying and mechanical work, stated the importance of networking and how it may lead to open doors.
“As entrepreneurs, we have to learn to be humble and not think we know how to do everything in the beginning,” said Graff. “Even Steve Jobs had a really good team to help and it’s more than just sharing your business on Facebook because it’s more of who you can know to open doors for you and give you physical credibility.”
A faded red leather briefcase was held in the hands of the upright man. Together they glided along, the body and the case equally detached from the legs. A woman was half laughing half hiccupping. Even the most serious businessman found himself in a low rumble of laughter and feeling the vibe of the music from DJ/Producer Vinny Ventiera.
They stare at her in awe. She moved with feeling on that stage, pouring forth an outburst of emotions through her movements, not only moving her body but moving the crowd that watched and listened to her in pure amazement.
Author of Amazon’s number one selling Business Biography ‘Confidence Creator’ and motivational speaker, Heather Monahan, also attended. Monahan drove from Miami to discuss having confidence in your business no matter what failures or doubts one may face. As a Chief Revenue Officer in Media, Monahan is also a Glass Ceiling Award winner, who was named one of the Most Influential Women in Radio in 2017. Thrive Global named her a Limit Breaking Female Founder in 2018.
“After being named one of the most influential women in radio I was fired a month later,” said Monahan. “After the tears, I started to get real and remember that there are no freaking lanes, you can blow up a lane and take your talents, your skill sets and go wherever the Hell you want to go.”
Monahan’s speech leads to applause like an auditory volcano. It’s quiet one moment then deafening the next, rising to a crescendo.
Monahan said, “On every interaction, entrepreneur or not, if you are nice to people, care about them, and treat them well, they’ll treat you well and they’ll show up for you.”
Mizner Park Amphitheater turned purple as the Community united on Nov., 10th, Sunday, for the 6th Annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s -Boca Walk. To date, $310,000 has been raised, and still counting. More than 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. Director of Alzheimer’s Association Southeast Florida Chapter, Stefanie Mardar, is optimistic that, “We hold our yellow flowers high, and hope to one day see this crowd filled with white flowers”. White symbolizes a cure for Alzheimer’s.The Promise Garden was located at the front of the amphitheater’s stage during the festivities. Each participant in the Walk, had the opportunity to purchase a colored flower to be placed in The Promise Garden in honor of a loved one, or family member.
We attended the joint meeting between the City and Beach & Park District on November 12th, which was very interesting, but not too productive. The only thing positive from the meeting was that the City and the Beach & Park District agreed on the layout (BUT not the designer.) The layout will be 18 holes on west side, driving range on the south east side and the executive course or short course on the north east side. Also, which is very important, the design and everything else will be up to the city to develop including what and where everything will be located.
Thanks to Council Member Andy Thomson, with his comments and questioning with rapid word interpretation – disrupted any possible chance of compromise between the two groups. The same back and forth continued, around and around all night.
A highlight of the joint meeting was when Deputy Mayor Jeremy Rogers offered to buy the golf course property from the BPD for the appraised value – another sarcastic remark totally uncalled for! If I remember correctly it was a $22 million appraisal done by an outside well-know Florida appraiser.
Council Member Thomson requested City Manager Ahnell to have city staff put out an RFP to golf course designers to get presentations on how to do Boca National less expensively. This process according to City Manager Leif Ahnell will take approximately 6 months and then with the review of these presentations by City Council.
Commissioner Engel of the BPD requested consent, (not “veto”, the word Council Member Thomson keep using regarding BPD word “consent”) on the future design of the golf course, since the BPD own the land and this request makes sense. Again there was no decision on this request, just a long non-productive exchange about the interpretation of a common sense approach.
Thank God someone made a motion to adjourn the 3 hour joint meeting.
The next step is for the city to write an ILA for the BPD to review. I hope the BPD looks it over carefully because they are the actual owners of the property and still are responsible for anything and everything on it or whether it is a success or failure. They need to have the right to look over the future design and approve what goes on the golf course. It is their fiduciary responsibility even though the city is paying for it.
The other challenge is how these 2 groups are going to work out an agreement about this whole project using this land owned by the BPD according to the BPD charter. What happens after the bond from the City is paid off and the title is turned over to them. There are lots of details that have to be worked out and should be discussed before an ILA is agreed upon and signed.
Please send emails to the City Council & Beach Park District commissioners recommending that the City Council use the Price/Fazio design for the golf course to move this project forward and after development, give the golf course back to the Beach & Park District to operate and maintain for the best outcome.
Thanks for all your support – your emails really do count!
Harold Chaffee, KEEP GOLF IN BOCA
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The Boca Raton Kiwanis hosted their annual 5K Run/Walk fundraising dinner at the Boca Raton Community Center, on Nov. 5th, at 6p.m. A tasty buffet was enjoyed by Kiwanians, Key Clubbers, sponsors, and guests, catered by GoodEats of Lake Worth.
There’s a City Council Workshop today at 2:00 P.M. The Agenda is here. Brightline will be presenting, in advance of the Ordinance being introduced at tomorrow’s City Council meeting at 6:00 P.M. That agenda is here. The actual vote will likely be on November 26th, when everyone is out of town. Sneaky? You better believe it!
The T.O.D, or Transit Orientated Development option on the downtown library grounds, is still very much at issue, although the spinmeisters at City Hall have rechristened it a right of first refusal, merely a “defensive” position to protect Brightline from other developers coming in at a later date and capitalizing on Virgin/Brightline’s investment. Whatever. You say tomato, I say tomatoe. The fact remains: the garage size and placement are designed to accommodate more building on the library lot by the hybrid train/development company at a later date.
If the Council truly wanted to protect the library environment for patrons, and as they claim protect Brightline, they would simply legally mandate at the outset that no further development on library grounds after the station and garage are built will ever be permitted. But they won’t. Because It’s all about the T.O.D., Stupid!
Please plan on attending today’s workshop and tomorrow’s Council meeting. Of paramount importance is getting the proposed vote moved from November 26th to a later date before the December holidays. Lack of Transparency has always been a knock on Boca’s City Council, and residents deserve better than to have the first phase of a massive redevelopment project sneaked through when large portions of the tax paying public will be out of town for Thanksgiving. Additionally, there are many of us who will be presenting an alternative vision for the library lot, one that encompasses a station, garage, and a beautifully designed Library Orientated Development vision, or L.O.D., that will not only appropriately welcome those visiting world class Boca Raton by train, but will also preserve an open and accessible library environment for downtown’s children, families, elderly, and all others seeking a safe and aesthetically pleasing place to live and learn.
SEE YOU THERE!
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The Political Saga of Boca National has reach new heights but the expected outcome remains the same…no deal!!!
Last week a proposed solution was brokered at the City Council by Councilmember Andy Thomson with all Council members’ concurrence . Since then, the Beach and Park District has met to discuss and has now issued a response letter to the City with the District’s conditions to ‘close the deal’ (see below). These conditions are scheduled to be discussed at the joint meeting between the City Council and the Beach and Park Commissioners next week.
The early reaction so far is that the District’s response conditions are non-starters…that the District’s response is ‘dead on arrival’ at the City Council.
So what else is new….
Let’s face it…
The City Council wants complete control of the golf course design, construction and operation. They are not interested in any cooperation or interaction with the District. If this is not evident to you by now, than you must have had your head buried in the proverbial sand for the last two years.
The District, for its part, has demonstrated a lack of backbone, a lack of independence to set the stage and bring Boca National to life regardless of the City Council. The District has compromised its position in so many way that it is almost not measurable. The final straw was failing to raise millage to facilitate a revenue bond and move the course forward. Oh well….what’s done is done….
My prediction: At next week’s meeting, these amateur deal makers, these political neophytes, will ‘hem and haw’ and again result in a dismal failure at resolving the issues. Read the letter below and make up your own mind…
Publisher of BocaWatch
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The above is a play on James Carville’s 1992 message used to remind campaign workers to help focus Bill Clinton’s reelection message. It worked, and hopefully will now help in modified form to educate Boca residents on the City Council’s current desire to allow Brightline to cannibalize the rest of the Downtown Library’s parking lot for further private development after the installation of a garage and station.
T.O.D. What is it?
It stands for Transit-Orientated-Development. They build a station, and redevelop the surrounding areas, usually low-income neighborhoods that can use it, by building residential housing and retail. A great idea, right?
Yes and no is the answer.
In Palm Beach they built a residential tower by the courthouse on unused land, and it’s nice, although very high. In Fort Lauderdale they haven’t, since the station is next to a Greyhound Bus station and a McDonald’s that is commonly encamped by homeless and other people that need our help. Certainly, neither area is equivalent to the proposed site here.
The problem in Boca, of course, is they are building on the grounds of downtown’s most cherished and busiest cultural institution, the library, which also happens to be part of a beautiful residential neighborhood, comprised of Library Commons and Spanish Village. What Brightline and their partner local developers are attempting here is unprecedented, and could easily be stopped by the Council by simply trimming the train company’s all-encompassing development requests to permanently block any future development of the library grounds after the station and garage are built. Put it in the Brightline lease, by covenants, or declare the remaining library lot to be a city park. Just make it clear: preserve the remaining library environment!
I live in Library Commons, and like many of my neighbors, I moved here with my wife and two young children because of the library. It’s a daily ritual for us, like it is for so many. And now, unfathomably, the dreams, inspiration, and aesthetics that only our easily accessible, safe and open library can provide for all of downtown’s children, families, elderly, and others looking to learn, gather, or simply spend a pleasant afternoon or evening, are in jeopardy.
Make no mistake about it. Everyone, Library Commoners included, think the station and an appropriately sized garage running parallel to the station are a great idea. Redeveloping the blocks of warehouses next to the library, which Brightline is already working to acquire, is a benefit too. Even the second Brightline T.O.D. request, the empty land running along Boca Raton Boulevard across from the library and the tennis center, can be given to Brightline to fulfill their desire for a hotel or residential tower. But to put four and ten story walls up over the existing library lot, leaving one lane of open driving space next to the library entrance? To give them both a residential tower T.O.D. and a separate hotel T.O.D. while compromising a public institution? Astounding that it’s even being considered.
Think about it. Would leaders in Brookline, Massachusetts, where Councilwoman Andrea O’Rourke is from, allow the private takeover of their library? Would the New York Public Library, where Mayor Scott Singer moved from, be allowed to be compromised in such foreboding fashion, even with the astronomical land values in Manhattan? Of course not. In those places, as well as throughout Florida and the nation, libraries, particularly downtown ones, are afforded the reverence and dignity they deserve for so many obvious reasons. As author Eric Klinenberg put it, libraries are Palaces For The People, and should be respected and fought for by Boca’s City Council.
The Council is getting ready to introduce an ordinance to allow Brightline to put down an extra-large capacity, four-story, awkwardly designed, L-shaped garage at the back of the library lot. It’s not parallel to the station, where there is plenty of room given parked city trucks already take up most of the spaces next to the station/community garden. It’s not parallel to the station, where the train passengers would derive the most benefit due to proximity. It’s not parallel to the station, where the building would shield library patrons from speeding freight train and transit noise and activity, and preserve the same open and inviting atmosphere that downtown residents currently enjoy. And yes, it is in a place that is mere feet away and towering above palm trees and homeowners in Library Commons, who most definitely have a right to quiet and toxic car exhaust fume-free enjoyment of their property.
So why is it at the back of the library lot, anyway?
It’s the T.O.D., stupid!
That’s right, it only makes sense size-wise and placement-wise by understanding it’s designed simply to accommodate their future T.O.D. tower on the library parking lot at a not so later date!
Brightline, and their local developer partners, and the pro-development City Council, aren’t the stupid ones here. But they think Boca residents are. That’s why they strategically cut back their initial grand requests, and are supposedly only asking for the station and garage now. It’s why they have snuck discussions of the topic in the past onto Mayor’s Notes instead of full blown agenda items, and why the next stage will likely be pushed to the November 26th Council Meeting, when lots of people are gone for Thanksgiving. But don’t be fooled. As soon as their awkward, monster L-shaped garage is approved, the incredibly liberal so-called “option” to buy the remaining library parking area will be exercised, and a behemoth residential tower or hotel will be built according to their original vision on library grounds. And Boca residents will once again lose.
What can library lovers do?
We can stand up to the Council, for one. Force them to ask Brightline tough questions in public, and get real answers, and make them come back with different designs that don’t depend on and accommodate further building on the library campus, and properly incorporate the environmental impacts the extra traffic drawn to the station will have on the library and Spanish Village as a whole. Force them to negotiate for us, and not for the benefit of developers, and to exercise Boca’s extensive leverage as one of the most heavily concentrated areas of affluence in Florida, precisely what Brightline needs to boost ridership as both a marquee destination and a service to the many Boca Ratonians who can afford to ride an expensive train to cruise ship terminals, airports, Orlando, and other costly vacation destinations. We are precisely their target demographic, and the City Council needs to stand up to Brightline in regards to one simple, common sense area: only a station and garage on library grounds!
It won’t be easy though. The City Council seems beholden to Brightline’s and their partner developers’ interests. They seem afraid. I have personally been told by Council members that “it’s premature” to publicly press the train company on the library T.O.D., that it would be “grandstanding” to ask them about it from the dais, and that Boca essentially doesn’t have strong leverage in this negotiation! They simply won’t discuss in detail plans for the future library parking lot T.O.D., let alone kill it at the onset. In fact, Mayor Scott Singer also refuses to commit to allowing the Library Commons Homeowners Association a specific extended period of time before the City Council, one akin to the time allotted to Brightline on multiple prior occasions, to present general concerns and alternate design suggestions. It’s not fair, and sad, and once again, up to the residents to stand up for themselves against over-development in our beloved and formerly arts and education loving city.
In closing, a common sense plan. Send this article, and the one recently written by Randy Schultz in Boca Raton Magazine on the T.O.D. issue, to everyone you know who loves libraries. Pack the City Commission meetings on November 13th and 26th, and speak your mind. Write letters, make calls, ask for meetings with Council members. And lastly, consider paying the $300.00 filing fee to run for City Council yourself. Andy Thomson, Andrea O’Rourke, and Scott Singer are all up for election, and in a large turn-out Presidential Preference Primary, this is Boca residents’ best chance in years to not only save our precious library campus from private developers, but to finally temper the inexorable pro-development march of the City Council that’s turning our once quaint city into Fort Lauderdale or Miami.
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Midtown hasn’t had the easiest time with balloons in 2019. We’re all aware of the scare in Town Center, where popping balloons were mistaken for gun shots and a panic ensued. Luckily, with those balloons, our panic turned out to be little more than post-Dorian jitters. The little balloons popping made some of us run in fear. It’s ironic that little balloons made the folks in Midtown so agitated, because there’s still a balloon problem in Midtown. Boca’s like one big balloon, and what’s happening to that balloon is pretty scary for us Midtowners.
How the City of Boca, Mayor Singer, George Brown, Commissioner Weinroth and the County of Palm Beach are affecting the lives and security of over 2000 residents in 12 Boca Raton-Unincorporated PBC communities, due to distances of Fire & EMS responder stations.
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BOCAWATCH’S MISSION IS TO INFORM, EDUCATE AND CREATE DIALOGUE IN SUPPORT OF RESPONSIBLE, SUSTAINABLE GROWTH IN BOCA RATON. WE ARE DEDICATED TO PRESERVING THE BEAUTY AND QUALITY OF LIFE IN OUR CITY WHILE ENCOURAGING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TO FLOURISH. WE CONTINUE TO STRIVE TO STRENGTHEN THE AWARENESS OF THE CITIZENS REGARDING MATTERS OF CITY GOVERNANCE, AND WE STAND READY TO FIGHT THE FIGHTS NECESSARY TO CONTINUE TO PROTECT THE TRADITIONS, ATTRACTIONS AND CHARM OF OUR PICTURESQUE CITY.
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