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Thursday, June 27, 2019

An Asian and Latin American collab at Jaguar Lab

Jaguar Lab with Chef Oscar Del Rivero has a special guest this week - Chef Pablo Zitzmann. Jaguar Lab is a monthly series at Jaguar Latin American Kitchen, where chefs are welcome to embrace their creativity and experiment with different flavors and cuisines, where no idea is too “extra”. Chef Oscar aims to collaborate with local chefs and various cuisines to bring everyone a new and unique menu that pushes the envelope every time. This culinary experience will attract those that are in for a new experience, letting go of their inhibitions as these dishes will awaken their senses and taste buds.


Last month’s Jaguar Lab was a major success as Chef Oscar and, guest chef, Persefoni Vordokas joined forces to bring guests intricate Mediterranean dishes. With experimental menu items such as Braised Lamb tacos, Platano Pudding, and much more, we are excited to see what’s going to be brought out during this month’s Jaguar Lab.

For this month’s edition, Chef Oscar and Chef Pablo will serve up something special for Jaguar’s guest list. Given Chef Pablo’s training in acclaimed restaurants in Hawaii and Hong Kong, as well as his Asian-centered concept restaurant in South Miami “No Name Chinese," guests will be lining up to indulge in this duo’s fusion of Asian and Latin American dishes.

Jaguar Lab will be taking place on Friday, June 28 at 7:30 pm. They are located at 3067 Grand Ave. To RSVP and Save Your Seat for Jaguar Lab go here. There is a $10 to reserve your seat which will be deducted from your meal bill.

And join Jaguar for lunch in celebrating National Ceviche Day on Friday, June 28 with their ceviche spoon sampler. Containing up to six different kinds of ceviche, these mini bites are derived from regular sized portions and include favorites such as the Peruano, Mexicano, the Black Market, and many more. As guests entice themselves into these spoonful samplers, they will also come walking out of lunch with a new, favorite ceviche. Summer is here and what better way to refresh than with any one of our cool and savory ceviches.



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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Grove Rotary raises $5000 for local charities

The Rotary Club of Coconut Grove held a silent and live auction on June 13; proceeds benefitted those in need in the community. 

About 75 Rotary Club members from the Grove and local clubs attended the cocktail mixer held at the Sailing Club. Auction items included high-end art, artifacts and trips donated by club members and local businesses.

Recent Rotary projects have included a jacket and sweater drive for students PreK to 5th grade that netted over 450 items that were distributed to local school administrators; larger sizes were sent to victims of Hurricane Michael through a Rotary Club in The Panhandle.

The Rotary Club of Coconut Grove provides service and financial support to initiatives within the community, as well as to various humanitarian projects in Colombia, Guatemala, and Bolivia through the Rotary International matching funds program. Locally, The Rotary Club of Coconut Grove has funded after-school programs, youth sports for at risk teens, health initiatives, and a Learn-to-Swim project for underprivileged youth.

The club meets every Thursday at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club at 12:30 pm. The cost is $25 with lunch, $10 without lunch.

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There's a new Taco & Tequila happy hour in town

The Spillover at the Mayfair Promenade is launching a new Thursday night Happy Hour, from 3 to 7 pm starting June 27. The new Happy Hour will feature two favorite things - Tacos and Tequila. 

The chef and beverage director outdid themselves this time with a menu so rich in flavor and creativity; it's going to be your new favorite Thursday night spot. 

Get innovative with your tacos, they are $5 each (Get 3 for $14).


They almost sound like the burger specials at Bob's Burgers:

Bao Chicka Wow: Pulpo Style
Cilantro garlic aioli, grilled onions. Bun Intended

Sun’s Out, Bun’s Out
Crispy portobello, sautéed peppers & onions, bean sprouts, and peanut dressing

Let’s Taco ‘Bout Lobster
Cured bacon, beet mustard, LT, micro greens, wonton wrapper

You’re Shrimply Amazing
Cajun Gulf Shrimp, Spicy MLT, cilantro, crispy shell

 Zenobia Loves Her Tequila Cocktails… $10 each.   

Bidi Bidi Bom Bom
Tanteo Jalapeno Tequila-Cucumber-Basil-Tonic-Lime
Anything for Selenas!
---
Que Exótica 
Milagros Tequila-Vida Mezcal-Coco Lopez-Sparkling Grapefruit-Cinnamon-Rose-Mint
Tell the lady to your right: Tu con curvas, y yo sin frenos
---
We’re Jammin’
Milagros Tequila-Homemade Berry Jalapeno Jam- Lemon- Lavender-Torched Rosemary
Tequiling Me Softly with this one…


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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Saving the canopy through urban tree mapping

Come closer and see; see into the trees. - The Cure

There is a new research project going on called Grove ReLeaf, "which focuses on teaching plant identification and inventory skills while also developing a citizen science network for urban tree mapping and monitoring across the Miami area."

This is a new research project from Florida International University. Trees are being mapped all over Coconut Grove and "services" provided by the trees are being calculated. Services such as root systems that combat flooding and a tree's cooling effects. 


The end goal is to help Miami create a tree policy.


WLRN has a lot about this here


I'm sure we all know this but the benefits of trees include:

Clean air: Trees produce oxygen, intercept airborne particulates, and reduce smog, enhancing a community’s respiratory health. The urban canopy directly contributes to meeting a city’s regulatory clean air requirements.

Access to trees, green spaces, and parks promotes greater physical activity, and reduces stress, while improving the quality of life in our cities and towns.

Urban landscaping, including trees, helps lower crime rates.
Studies show that urban vegetation slows heartbeats, lowers blood pressure, and relaxes brain wave patterns.

Climate change: Trees sequester carbon (CO2), reducing the overall concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Read more about trees and climate change here.

Energy conservation:

A tree is a natural air conditioner. The evaporation from a single tree can produce the cooling effect of ten room-size, residential air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.

Tree windbreaks can cut residential air-conditioning costs 20-50%.

Water filtration and retention: Urban forests promote beneficial water quality and reduce storm water management costs.

Wildlife habitat: Trees provide important habitats for numerous bird, insect and animal species.

Communities and business districts with healthy tree-cover attract new residents, industry, and commercial activity.

And many new developers, who seem to not be big fans of trees
would be well advised to know that:


Homes landscaped with trees sell more quickly and are worth 5% to 15% more than homes without trees.

Where the entire street is tree-lined, homes may be worth 25% more.
Trees enhance economic stability by attracting businesses; people linger and shop longer when trees are present.

Where a canopy of trees exists, apartments and offices rent more quickly and have a higher occupancy rate; workers report more productivity and less absenteeism.

Related reading: Bringing Nature Into Neighborhoods

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What should we name the manatee?

We wrote about Marisol Mcewan last week. She started this manatee mural on Friday and by Monday morning it was complete!
Marisol, with the help of her dad, Edward Mcewan did an incredible job. You can see it at the back of the Florentine Plaza building, right on Fuller, at the parking lot.

They are nice people to stop and talk with. I noticed that with James and Xenz, who did the interactive mural on the Dry Cleaners building. They like to stop and talk about their art, they enjoy the neighborhood. 

This image above is Friday; they are just starting the job. 
Marisol is a student at DASH (Design and Architecture Senior High).


When I first saw the outline on Friday I thought it was an elephant! 

The project was a combined effort of Alex Klumpp of Gadinsky Real Estate and Sabal Hill, owners of the property. Alex tells me there are two more murals in the works. 



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Monday, June 24, 2019

'Grove Green' workshop at Woman's Club

The Florida Plastic Free Initiative is having a workshop at the Woman's Club of Coconut Grove on Tuesday, June 25.

Coconut Grove has a “Grove Green” idea for the future to make the Grove an environmentally friendly place to live with lots of trees, bike paths, clean energy sources, clean beaches, clean Biscayne Bay, and clean water. Overall, to use products that are sustainable and reduce waste. Recycling is an ongoing improvement issue. This workshop is the start for eco-friendly restaurant awareness.

The workshop starts at 6:30 pm. Everyone is invited from 16 years-old and up.

Jason Koch, from Surfrider, will explain the Ocean Friendly Restaurant program that assists restaurants that want to replace their single use plastic ware and replace it with alternative products.

After this short training class, you will have the tools you need to confidently pair off with friends for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack (or happy hours) and observe the restaurants you visit. 

By the end of summer, our communities will be more aware of the “Plastic Free Initiative” movement to becoming eco-friendly. You will have made a difference for our marine life, our coastal shores, and ecosystems.  

The Woman's Club is at 2985 S. Bayshore Drive.

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Woman's Club holding summer happy hours

The Woman's Club of Coconut Grove is holding Happy Hours during the summer. The first is Thursday, June 27 from 5:30 to 8 pm.

Stop by for the summer kick-off. 

There will be various themes throughout the summer:
Broadway Musicals by Nikki Simon Blacker and John Reubens
Line Dancing with Lisa Sprangler
Zaida Alfaro's New Mystery Book Signing Event
A Fabulous Art Workshop
Karaoke
Salsa Dance Class and much more.

The Club is at 2985 South Bayshore Drive.

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Isabelle’s Grill Room & Garden at The Ritz-Carlton

Isabelle’s Grill Room & Garden, the companion to The Commodore, the newly-opened cocktail lounge at The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, is now open. 

The chic new restaurant features the inspired, elevated cuisine of Corporate Chef Paolo Dorigato and Sous Chef Miguel Fajardo. Operated by LDV Hospitality (the team behind Miami Beach’s acclaimed Dolce restaurant and award-winning Regent Cocktail Club), Isabelle’s Grill Room & Garden is named in honor of Isabella Peacock, one of the Grove’s earliest settlers. Isabella and her husband Charles founded Coconut Grove’s first hotel, the Bay View Inn back in 1882, later to be named the Peacock Inn, which was right at the water's edge in Peacock Park.


“Coconut Grove is an historic place with a charm and spirit all its own,” says LDV Founder and President John Meadow. “With Isabelle’s we wanted to embrace that, and pay tribute to it, while creating something that also looked forward stylistically and conceptually. Coconut Grove is going through an exciting culinary renaissance and we’re thrilled to be a part of that. Isabelle’s is a place where people will feel that sense of history while enjoying food, drink and service very much in sync with the times.” 


Dinner, served daily, offers an assortment of land and sea options. Oysters, Jumbo Shrimp, Lobster Cocktail, Jumbo Lump Crab Meat, Market Ceviche, Tuna Poke and Seafood Towers are a big part of the menu.

Main Courses range from Lobster Pappardelle, Kurobuta Pork Chop, Seared Striped Bass and Grilled Jumbo Prawns. Burger lovers, prepare for Isabelle’s Cheeseburger with smoked tomato aioli, brandied onions, Nueske’s bacon, cheddar, lettuce and tomato.

From the Grill options include a variety of prime, aged cuts. 


Breakfast and lunch are also served daily.  Sunday brunch  is each week from 11 am – 5 pm. The a la carte brunch is a deft blend of classics and new favorites, including Bottomless Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas ($22 per person) and the lively Mad Jazz Duo. In a town known for killer brunches, Isabelle’s Grill Room & Garden is prepared to join the party with a lineup sure to please. 

The large menu was created by Corporate Chef Paolo Dorigato and Sous Chef Miguel Fajardo. 


The stunning bar, adorned in brass, stone and rich stained wood, overlooks the charming outdoor garden terrace and is the perfect spot for pre-dinner drinks. 

The restaurant is made up of warm rich, stained woods, burnished brass, cognac leather, and hints of white with deep green accents which create a space that is classic and stylish while utterly modern and welcoming. Adjacent to the restaurant is the trellised outdoor garden terrace. The outdoor garden terrace along with the private dining room are available for private events.  


Isabelle’s Grill Room and Garden is located at 3300 SW 27th Avenue at The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami. Breakfast is offered daily from 7 – 11 am. Lunch is offered daily from 11 am – 3 pm. Dinner is offered Sunday through Thursday from 5 – 10 pm and Friday and Saturday from 5 – 11 pm. Guests that valet will enjoy a discounted rate of $7. And stop by for Happy Hour nightly!

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Sunday, June 23, 2019

People seem to have an issue with the scooters

A twofer gliding down the street.

I wrote about the electric scooters being legalized in the state the other day and received so many comments, mostly against the scooters.

It seems that I'm one of the few who likes them. I don't see a problem. And many of you claim to have been accosted by wayward scooter drivers. Luckily, I've never witnessed that.

I usually see them on the street, but even if they are on the sidewalks, they take the space of one person, it's not like a car is driving on the sidewalk. One lady says they take the space of motorcycles on the sidewalks. Do they?

One person said, "The scooters are dangerous, kids shouldn't use them, people don't wear helmets, they are on the sidewalks . . ."

Miami has one of the most successful scooter programs in the country in terms of usage rates. There is a 60 day pilot program going on at the moment. According to Commissioner Ken Russel, "Each scooter is used more than five times a day on average. In the last two months, 300,000 trips have been made on our streets and sidewalks."

The program will be evaluated but it seems to be working for short trips, which is what people seem to be using them for. A lot do ride them for fun or to just try them out for the first time.


Some of the money raised through the scooter program will go to more bike lanes.

When we were kids we rode bicycles all over the place, without helmets. We left the house in the morning and came home when the street lights went on at night. There was no way for our mothers to reach us all day, we were just out and when we returned, we returned. Now everything has to be regulated, even who, when and why people ride scooters around town is being dissected. I guess when bicycles were invented there were those who felt the same about them.

All that being said, Hoboken has had its first arrest as scooter ridership soars. Apparently a guy was riding the scooter against traffic and he struck a pedestrian. 

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Saturday, June 22, 2019

Mayfair Hotel & Spa has new owners

Mayfair's beautiful rooftop pool and cabanas.

The Mayfair Hotel and Spa was sold this week to Brookfield Asset Management. They purchased the property at 3000 Florida Avenue for around $40 million. The last sale was in 2014 for $28 million by Copperline Partners (West Palm Beach and New York) in partnership with Dallas-based TriGate Capital.

The hotel is not part of the whole Mayfair complex, which today is mostly offices. The hotel is it's own separate property, built in 1985, designed by local architect Kenneth Treister. 

The Mayfair Hotel has a lot of the original look from 1985 in their atrium outdoor area. At one point, the whole Mayfair complex, which was a mall, looked like that. If you ever want to see and get the feel of the original mall, just step into the Mayfair Hotel lobby. The multi-level mall/shopping center was all open air with lots of trees and plants and water features.

Aside from the atrium, the rooftop pool and cabanas are probably the best part of Mayfair. Do you remember in 2008 when the pool was raised to the roof? Virginia Street was closed for weeks while that project was being worked on. 


Crescent Hotels & Resorts will now manage the property.

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A couple of new murals are going up

This is Marisol Mcewan and her dad Edward Mcewan.

Marisol is painting a mural on the back wall of Florentine Plaza and dad is helping her out. You can see her working in the parking lot at Fuller and Grand. It's a perfect wall just ready for a nice mural. Edward told me that the large green outline behind him in this photo, will be a manatee. I joked with him about wearing a shirt that matches the blue paint on the wall.

Across the way, on the sidewall of Jaguar on Grand Avenue, another mural has just been started. I haven't been able to meet the painters yet. I'll get some photos when that one starts going.

Of course we have our interactive mural on the dry cleaners building at Matilda and Grand.

We're becoming a mini Wynwood!

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Friday, June 21, 2019

Three car break-ins in six months

A reader sent this in, I find it interesting about the locations of the car break-ins and the area where the break-ins did not happen.


"I never really thought I’d be reaching out for such an insignificant issue, but I’ve been a victim now three times of a break-in and I feel this needs to be given more attention. I recently moved to [a condo] on Bird Avenue after my divorce, and have been the victim of a car break-in three times in six months. I lived near CVS on Grand Avenue for five years and never had a single problem, and yet I move into a different gated community, off of a busy road and have suffered a number of great losses. The City is swamped with these kind of things, and cannot provide any real solution, but my fear is that this acceptance will only continue to hurt the Grove."

What do you make of this? Have any of you been the victim of a car break-in recently?

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CocoWalk announces new eclectic mix of tenants

As the redevelopment of CocoWalk progresses, four new retail concepts have signed leases to move in when they reopen to the public next year. Joining the center’s tenant mix will be Mister 01 Extraordinary Pizza as we shared with you here. They are an Italian pizzeria that has become one of Miami’s most popular pizzerias; Edward Beiner, a homegrown luxury eyewear boutique that will return to CocoWalk; School of Rock, a national concept that offers music lessons led by veteran composers for both children and adults; and The Spot Barbershop, which offers classic and contemporary haircuts along with grooming services for the gentlemen of Miami.


The Spot Barbershop offers a modern setting. From hot towel shave treatments and trendy haircuts to straight razor shaves and additional a la carte services, the ambiance and skilled barbers make each visit more than just a haircut, they make it a true gentleman’s experience. The Spot Barbershop, set to occupy 1,200 square feet on the second floor of CocoWalk, has 14 locations across Florida.

School of Rock is very popular at the King Mango Strut ever year, these kids are excellent, you've probably seen, and heard them. They are open to children and adults, rookies and experienced musicians, the programs at the school are designed to inspire students to learn and develop a strong musical proficiency. The School of Rock will span 3,200 square feet on the second floor at CocoWalk. The music school, with several locations in South Florida, performs thousands of shows across the world each year. 


And Edward Beiner was a long-time tenant at CocoWalk, who many of you have probably visited or at least seen. A brand known for its carefully curated selection of artisanal eyewear, Beiner was inspired by a lifelong quest to create the world’s most imaginative, trendsetting, and high-tech eyeglasses.

In addition to 150,000 square feet of new experiential retail, dining and entertainment space, the redevelopment will encompass a 85,762-square-foot, Class A office building – One Cocowalk – which includes a 21,000 square-foot Penthouse on the 5th floor. They have been putting beautiful dark blue/black glass on the face of the building these past two weeks and you can really get a look and feel for the place now.

CocoWalk is scheduled to open in phases over the next 18 months.


Los Generales Mezcal & Grill was the first restaurant to sign on at the new CocoWalk. It is the creation of several top chefs from Mexico, including TV personality Chef Aquiles Chavez. Located on the third floor of CocoWalk, the 7,500-square-foot space will include a rooftop terrace overlooking the new interior courtyard and Grand Avenue.

“Our vision for CocoWalk is to attract a diverse mix of local concepts and national and international brands that will meet the everyday needs of Coconut Grove’s residents and families, businesses and visitors,” says Stuart Biel, Senior Vice President of Regional Leasing at Federal Realty Investment Trust.

CocoWalk was just given an "approval of noise ordinance" by the City of Miami, where they can work through the night from 7 pm to 5 am from June 17 through August 17, 2019, so things should be moving fast now that they have the extra work hours.


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Thursday, June 20, 2019

County suing City over Coconut Grove Playhouse

On June 17, 2019, Miami-Dade County filed a lawsuit against the City of Miami regarding the Coconut Grove Playhouse. The County is not going to take "no" as an answer.

The county seems quite spiteful and they are going to ram the chrome and glass structure down our throats.

The county is asking that the court, "issue a writ of certiorari quashing the City of Miami Mayor’s veto."

The long boring lawsuit, goes over the same old, same old, giving the history of the Playhouse. What they fail to mention is that it's all about developing that prime property and has nothing to do with saving theater in Coconut Grove.


It sort of reminds me of so many years ago when The Home Depot wanted into the Grove and locals did not want a big box store. After all the development over the past 10 years, The Home Depot issue seems so trivial now.

But at the time Home Depot threatened lawsuits and they threatened to take over the Milam's spot leaving the Grove without a supermarket, but I was glad to see a few years later that Milam's expanded, rather than shrunk.

According to Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, the county has zero dollars to put toward the project.

It looks like developers, with the county's backing, will not be happy until the whole Grove is paved over.

At a performance last week at GablesStage, Joe Adler gave a speech about the Coconut Grove Playhouse and talked very glowingly about County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and made Miami Mayor Suarez out to be the bad guy. Dirty politics at the theater. What next? The interesting part about all of this is that in the end, Adler may be out no matter which plan ends up being the implemented at the Playhouse. And if the City's plan goes through, he certainly killed his chances of running that.

Here is the 62 page lawsuit if you would like to read it.

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We had the very very secret special for lunch

A funny thing happened at lunch yesterday.

For the past few days I've been seeing an advertisement floating around on social media for a Grove restaurant. It's a good deal at a place I like. I have a friend who is always complaining about the cost of food in the Grove, so I showed him the ad and he said, "Let's go!" So we went.

We met up there and sat down and asked the waiter for the lunch special. He said that it was only for people who lived in the Grove. My friend and I looked at each other and said, "We live in the Grove." He then asked for ID!

So we took out our drivers licenses and showed him, a bit incredulous that this was happening, but we showed him the licenses without saying anything.

He said, "I need to see your Coconut Grove ID." I said, "I'm Tom and this is [my friend's name], that's our Grove ID." But he was serious.

I told him there was no such thing, at least not yet. With the state of our country these days, who knows if this will ever become a thing. God forbid.

He said he would have to go speak to the manager. Now let me say this, the special is about $5 off the regular price on the menu, so all this to save $5 was a bit much.

He came back and said, "OK, I have permission to serve you the special of the day." And he proceeded to do so.

I asked him if he was from another country, which he was, and I asked him about the ID. "Do you have an ID for your country to show you are a citizen of your country?" He told me he did. I asked if I could see it out of curiosity, but he said he didn't have it on him.

Later on I asked the manager about the special and told him I was going to write about it in the Grapevine, and share the info, but he told me not to.

So we had the secret special that no one is supposed to know about. And it was good. But you didn't hear about it from me.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Looks like the electric scooters are here to stay

It looks like some of the electric scooters were taken out of the Grove, like the Bird brand, but the orange Spin brand is in big supply, seems like there is group of them every few feet.

The program has worked well, the scooter companies are abiding by the laws and taking care of the scooters - keeping them juiced up and out of walkways.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill legalizing electric scooters in the state of Florida. So they could be here to stay.

There are many who don't like them. I love them. I don't actually use them, but I love seeing people scoot down the streets alone or in groups.

The new bill (HB453) takes effect immediately.

Cities still have control over how they are operated and regulated, but the new law says they are legal.

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Welcome The Bazaar Project to the neighborhood

Monkeys hanging from the ceiling, flamingos on the shelves, purple, orange and blue bunnies along the side wall, a pink lipstick chair as you enter; yup, that's The Bazaar Project, the new lifestyle store on McFarlane Road.

That's Yeliz Titiz on the right, owner, and her friend Sofia Blomqvist Sohl who stopped by to visit.



The Bazaar Project is located at 2990 McFarlane Road, right next to the entrance to the new Mr. C Hotel. It's the place with the big garage door wall, which will soon open onto McFarlane, to reveal a new, long, white wine and coffee bar.


You may remember Fastbuck Freddie's in Key West; this store reminds me of that. There are so many fun things for the home and so many housewarming and hostess gifts fill the walls.

They're open seven days from 11 am to 7 pm; those are their summer hours, which may change in the fall.




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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Bluegrass Night at The Grove Spot

Enjoy a night of good old-fashioned picking, vocal harmonies, fiddle solos, and instrument swapping with Bryan and the Not Really a Family Band on Thursday, June 20 from 8 to 11 pm at The Grove Spot.

Bluegrass Nights is a regular feature at The Grove Spot.

With roots from across the county, the Not Really a Family Band plays classic bluegrass and country songs, old time fiddle tunes, and dash of contemporary folk/americana music.  The group is led by Bryan Dubrow (vocals/guitar/banjo/mandolin), who will be joined by Ariele Macadangdang (fiddle/vocals) and Nick Petumenos (vocals/guitar/bass/mandolin/dobro).  

There is no cover, and seating is first come first serve.  The first set starts at 8 pm; the band will be picking and singing until 11, so come grab a drink and take in some live bluegrass music. 

The Grove Spot is at 3324 Virginia Street.

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Books & Books is perfect for a light lunch

I was walking by in the rain and ended up at Books & Books for lunch yesterday. I hadn't been there for awhile. I loved that their cafe area is much larger than it was, and their menu has something for everyone.


Chef Matthew Cabanes

As people checked the books out and others ate at tables outside or at the counter, I ordered the Turkey Panini, which I don't think is a panini since it's made on Jewish Rye, not ciabatta bread, or focaccia or multi-grain bread, according to Betty Crocker. But that's good, I don't like ciabatta or focaccia, the rye was perfect and the sandwich was warm and creamy-like and the bread was toasted and cruncy. Perfect. It comes with maple syrup, I passed on that. 

This is just one of the delicious creations by chef Matthew Cabanes.

Books & Books is quite cozy, maybe it was the gloomy day, but it had the feel of Vinos in the Grove, which used to be in that space at 3409 Main Highway (Vinos is now at 2889 McFarlane Road). There is wine and craft beer and lots of different foods on the menu, surrounded by books, lots of books in wooden shelves.

New on the menu is a Tuna Melt or Tuna Cucumber Sandwich and they also have a Caprese sandwich now, to go along with their Turkey "panini," Avocado Toast, Prosciutto Tartine, Artisan Grilled Cheese and Curry Chicken, also there's an Israeli Salad, all from $11 to $14.

They have a "passionate commitment to local fresh ingredients." Also on the menu is a Mezz Board (hummus, baba ghanoush, labneh, white bean dip and herbs), a Barcelona Board with prosciutto, manchego, brie and other cheeses; a Shuk Board with chickpeas, hummus goat cheese and other things and an Adriatic Vegan Board with lots of things like avocado, zucchini and baba ghanoush.

Every Wednesday at the Café at Books & Books it's Wine Down Wednesday. Receive 50% off all bottles of wine all day long.


They are open Monday-Saturday: 11-10 pm and Sunday: 11-7 pm.

It's worth a visit to check out the menu, or of course to buy some books!

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