20th Annual Expo Alfresco –A Taste of Hollywood
By Larry Blustein
HOLLYWOOD – Through the course of the year, the City of
Hollywood hosts some impressive events that attract residents and
visitors alike. But when it comes to the Expo Alfresco - A Taste of
Hollywood, it's three hours that not only showcases the many restaurants
and businesses, but puts this area in such a positive spotlight.
This year, The Greater Hollywood Chamber of Commerce (GHCC) hosts its
20th Annual Expo Alfresco –A Taste of Hollywood from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00
p.m. at ArtsPark at Young Circle (Hollywood Boulevard and Federal
Highway) on Wednesday, April 8th, 2015. Free parking downtown after
5p.m. or $1 per hour in the Radius and Van Buren garages.
This extravaganza will showcase over 100 booths from South Florida’s
finest eateries and businesses and attract over 3,000 attendees!
Event-goers will have the opportunity to meet local businesses, sample
signature dishes from some of Hollywood’s best restaurants and taste
selected wines from around the world--sponsored by Hollywood Liquor
Discount & Wine.
"We have been to the past 10 of these and it gets better and better
every year," said Hollywood resident Myriam Nieves. "We first came out
when they held this along Harrison Street and featured a number of local
restaurants, but the change to the ArtsPark, gives it a more festival
Some of the most popular dining hotspots in the city and surrounding
areas flock to this event that have become a signature day. With every
food imaginable being served up to those who attend, has really put this
three hours in a league by itself.
Among those restaurants taking part this year include:
Ala Turca Mediterranean Cuisine, Bistro 1902, Brio Tuscan Grille,
Center Stage Coffee, Corsair Restaurant at Turnberry Isle Resort Golf
Club, Diplomat Prime at the Diplomat Resort & Spa, Elements Bistro
at the Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach Resort, The Fresh Squeeze Café, GG'S
Waterfront Bar & Grill, Gino's Italian Market, Jardesca California
Aperitiva, J28 Sandwich Bar, Joes Crab Shack, Il Posto Ristorante,
Mamacita's Mexican Bar & Grill, Liguori's Fired Up, Mama Mia Italian
Ristorante, Miramar Bakery, Over The Top Catering, Perrone's Cucina
Italiana, Pita Pockets, Popcorn Zone Gourmet Popcorn, Popeye's Louisiana
Kitchen, Red Chair Catering, School of Culinary Arts -Sheridan
Technical College and VINO Hollywood.
Each year, several sponsors step up to make this a premier event.
This year's sponsors include: Memorial Healthcare System, Waste Pro,
Kindred Hospital of Hollywood, Hollywood Community Redevelopment Agency,
Billy's Stone Crab Inc., Hollywood Discount Liquor & Wine, Perfect
Liquor & Wine, Muzart Creative Arts Studios, South Florida Sun Times
Newspaper, Sidram Power Inc., Color Reflections, ArtsPark at Young
Circle, Hollywood Gazette, City Streetz, City Of Hollywood and Classical
In addition to the impressive list of restaurants, other exhibitors
include: ADT Security Service, Residential Business, and Medical
Pendants, ArtsPark @ Young Circle, Barry University, Bright Star Credit
Union, Cinema Paradiso, City College Hollywood, City of Hollywood, City
Streetz, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Color Reflections,
Combined Ins., Cooling FX Inc., Details and Design, LLC, Diplomat Golf,
Tennis & Yacht Club, Dolphin Limousine Service, Inc., E.H. Whitson
Services, Glen's Tent & Table Rental Service, Inc., Greater
Hollywood YMCA Family Center, Hollywood CRA, Hollywood Discount Liquors,
Perfect Liquor & Wine, Hollywood Gazette, Joe DiMaggio Children’s
Hospital –Bear Clinic, Jungle Queen River Boat Cruises, Kindred
Hospital, Leung Healthcare of Hollywood & Leung Dental Care,
Levitt-Weinstein Memorial Chapels, Liberty Tax Service 17507, Mary Kay,
Memorial Healthcare System, Metro PCS, Muzart Creative Arts Studio, PNC
Bank, Post Haste Pharmacy, Relay for Life/American Cancer Society,
Scarano Presidential Circle Funeral Home, Sidram Power Inc.
Signs Now Broward, Sun Credit Union, South Florida Sun Times Newspaper,
Toyota of Hollywood, Water Taxi of Fort Hollywood/ Lauderdale and Waste
FIREHOUSE COOK-OFF SHOWDOWN IS BACK? Back by popular demand,
“Firehouse Cook Off Showdown." Participating firehouses are: Broward
Sheriff’s Office Fire Department, Fort Lauderdale Fire Department,
Hollywood Fire Department, Hallandale Fire Department and City of Miami
Each firehouse will battle (Iron Chef Style) for one hour to produce
an appetizer, main course and a dessert utilizing a secret ingredient.
A panel of 5 judges will be deciding this year’s winner. The judges
are: Executive Chef Andres Teran -- Margaritaville Hollywood Beach
Resort, Executive Chef Prakash Alagarsamy -- Crowne Plaza Hollywood
Beach Resort, Marc Young --Radio Personality Hot 105 Cox Media, Susan
Wise --Radio Personality Easy 93.1 Cox Media Executive and Chef Michael
McDonnel --School of Culinary Art Sheridan Technical College.
Each firehouse will be cheered on by local high schools pep bands!
"Expo Alfresco—A Taste of Hollywood is a great experience as a
business owner," said Maribel Ruiz & Luis Guevara, Beauty of Wax
& President of the Hollywood Downtown Business Association. "Not
only did we get great exposure, but added many new customers. We gave
coupons for our spa with the Expo Alfresco logo on the back and got at
least 25 new clients redeem them. We definitely will be part of this
event this year and in the years to come.”
The day has become so popular that the 2015 Expo Alfresco –A Taste
of Hollywood has been sanctioned as an official Broward Centennial
event. 2015 marks the 100th birthday of Broward County. Broward 100 is
embarking on a yearlong centennial celebration between October 2014 and
October 2015 to showcase the communities within the County and
commemorate its history, culture and arts.
Also back by popular demand, Hollywood’s very own Muzart Creative
Arts Studio’s Kidz Korner, sponsored by Billy’s Stone Crab Restaurant
& Market. The corner will entertain interactive cooking booths for
kids 4 to 12 years old, a drum circle, interactive games for all ages
and a live art show! In addition, this year we will welcome for the
first time the Joe DiMaggio’s Bear Clinic!
Tickets for Hollywood’s Expo Alfresco are only $20 and children
under 10 are free! To reserve your booth or purchase tickets, visit our
website at: www.hollywoodchamber.org or call 954 923-4000.
By Larry Blustein
It could be 163rd
Street, Miami Gardens Drive, Ives Dairy Road, Hallandale Beach Blvd.,
Hollywood Blvd., Sheridan Street or Stirling Road. You are headed east
in the morning and west in the evening and you are not moving!
Welcome to winter and spring in south Florida - and while we all realize
that traffic is with us 12 months a year - it tends to get worse during
the five months from November until late March.
flocking to this warm weather paradise, the traffic increases and many
locals are not happy. Routine five minute drives turn into 30 and 45
minute excursions in some areas - and if you add in construction - the
lines can be longer!
"There is nothing routine about the traffic
this time of year," Hallandale Beach resident Jennifer Attencio. "I
needed to go to Wal Mart last week and I live near the middle school
(Gulfstream). It took me 25 minutes. That is a bit crazy."
many are not happy, there are those who have lived in south Florida long
enough to know the routine and fully understand that if there is no
traffic this time of year, it signals that our businesses are not
thriving, and in order to survive a full year, these are the months that
they really need.
With many new businesses opening up in this
region, traffic signals that there is some light at the end of a tough
economic time. Hollywood resident Milo Dunbar has run a business in
Dania Beach, and has remained patient that these months will bring in
business and perhaps attract a few new customers that actually live
"I deal in antiques and items that are priced fairly,"
Dunbar said. "We are a Facebook and Twitter promoted company, so it's
essential to always generate revenue this time of year."
It's not bad enough that the traffic increases during the tourist
season, but the powers who call the shots at the Department of
Transportation feel that this is also the time of year that is good to
have road construction - and not minor fixes.
I-95 has an ongoing
traffic issue that may not directly impact our traffic, but it
certainly doesn't help that A1A from Seacrest Parkway to the County Line
Improvements Project in Hallandale Beach and Hollywood have caused
backups. Up to two lanes in each direction of A1A from Seacrest Parkway
to the Miami-Dade County Line have been closed Monday through Friday
between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Sidewalks on both sides of A1A will be
closed intermittently Monday through Friday. Signs will be in place to
direct pedestrians to sidewalk detours.
Also, U-turns from A1A
northbound at the intersections of La Mer Condominiums (1890 S. Ocean
Drive) and Hemispheres Condominiums (1980 S. Ocean Drive) are restricted
Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. due to lane closures on
"While I do understand that many of these
repairs or rebuilds take years to complete, there are other road issues
that could be taken care of in June, July, August or September," A.J.
Acker of Hollywood Beach explained. "This is the time of year when any
lane closure can result in a lengthy delay."
US 441 Improvements Project in Hollywood and Seminole Tribe of Florida
improvements include adding one through lane in each direction for a
total of six lanes with left turn lanes separated by raised medians,
constructing new storm sewer system and retention ponds, installing new
water and sewer lines, constructing bus bays at current bus stop
locations, constructing curbs and gutters, adding or replacing sidewalks
with ADA compliant ramps on both sides of the road, upgrading existing
signalized intersections with mast arms and add pedestrian countdown
timers at Johnson Street, Taft Street, and Sheridan Street, installing a
new signalized intersection and pedestrian countdown timers at Fillmore
Street, improving street lighting along the corridor by installing new
lighting system along the west side of SR 7 / US 441, adding Intelligent
Transportation System components including digital message signs and
traffic monitoring cameras, and resurfacing the roadway.
US-441/State Road 7 Roadway Project
The US-441/State Road 7 corridor has been one of the City of
Hollywood’s most important residential and commercial districts for
decades. The corridor is home to retail shops, restaurants, automotive
dealerships and many other businesses, and thousands of Hollywood
residents live in the area. US-441/State Road 7 is accessed every day by
individuals heading to work along the corridor or elsewhere in
Hollywood, and local businesses depend on this thoroughfare for
commerce. Construction work on US-441/State Road 7 in Hollywood is
scheduled to be completed by 2018.