The Biscayne Times

May 25th
BizBuzz: March 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pamela Robin Brandt - BT Contributor   

Sales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible

Rbigstock-White-daisies-on-blue-sky-back-15347264enewal, revitalization, replenishment, rebirth, rebuilding, restoration, rekindling, regeneration, and all those other words beginning with the prefix “re-” (meaning “again”): March is indeed the month for RE- words. Because once again, spring has REturned! The vernal equinox on March 20 signals that this is the season for starting anew.

Certainly BT advertisers seem to think so. This month’s “BizBuzz” news is dominated by the idea of REnewing minds, bodies, spirits, homes, careers, wardrobes, dreams…. Whatever your hopes, you’ll find help from our friendly neighborhood businesses.

Out of R-E-S-P-E-C-T for International Women’s Day on March 20 (not to mention Aretha Franklin’s birthday, March 25), ladies first.

This month’s sweetest inspiration comes from Felicia Hatcher, who turned a disastrous accident -- a full-face fall while chasing an ice cream truck in high heels -- into cold gold: Feverish Pops, popsicles REinvented for grown-ups. Featuring fresh fruits/herbs rather than kidsicles’ artificial ingredients, and sophisticated flavor combinations (pineapple basil, watermelon/ginger vodka, more), the treats were originally sold from carts -- non-rolling ones. But those in high heels may prefer the even more stationery Fever Pop Shop (3252 NE 1st Ave. #120, 305-482-1832), opened two months ago in the Shops at Midtown Miami.

Whether you’re a sewing maven or just a novice with a needle and DIY fashion dreams, you’ll rejoice at the RElocation of new advertiser R.M. Fabrics Boutique, from a not sew convenient neighborhood west of I-95 to the hip heart of BT territory (901 NE 79th St., 305-687-0966). Restocked by proprietor Paule Belony: the astonishing variety of every-occasion fabrics (plus sewing accessories and notions) for which R.M. has long been famous. And 3000 square feet of space also leaves room for innovations, including a Saturday sewing instructional series, tentatively scheduled to start March 23.

If you’re a golfer, or shop for one, you won’t want to miss the semi-annual tent sale at Palm Beach Golf (14791 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-7030), March 21-23, featuring great prices on clothing, shoes, gloves, golf balls, much more. Actually the store’s Miami location will have the sale inside, because its outdoor plaza is too small for a tent huge enough to hold all the sale items.

With a REplenished wardrobe, you’ll need hair to match. Visit The Cutting Room (1666 79th Street Cswy., 305-868-8725), a new advertiser that offers $30 haircuts for women plus frequent nicely priced specials. And while you’re there, ask partners (in work and life) Kevin and Francis Balboa about the “No Flip Balboa Comb,” invented at the shop and premiering at Fort Lauderdale’s “I” Beauty Show March 3-4. Inventor Kevin sez the ergonomic comb does sectioning, teasing, highlighting, and more in half the time of old school combs.

Thinking of upgrading your career path? According to Dennis Esposito, managing partner of Century 21 King Realty (3495 NE 163rd St., 305-651-6161), the real estate market is REbounding, with prices going back up owing to international demand -- so much so that the company is now hiring new agents for its team of the best and brightest. So call if you’re interested in movin’ on up to the longest-established Century 21 firm in South Florida (or, of course, if you’re interested in a great new home).

At Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell Realty Miami Beach (419 Arthur Godfrey Rd., 305-329-7718), the Nancy Batchelor Team has just announced a new member: Anna Moreno-Nava. A native Miamian, Anna has been familiar with the local luxury real estate market practically from birth, as a result of studying her mom, Tina, flipping luxe houses for fun.

If you need to REjuvenate your existing home, new advertiser Antique 2 Chic (2751 N. Miami Ave. #3, 305-573-3477) has, in its new Wynwood boutique, a selection of one-of-a-kind décor finds so varied in era and style that they virtually escape categorization. Owners call their stock “home couture.” Expect items ranging from slip-covered sofas to spa candles to coffee-table books, and a 20% discount if you bring in this issue’s ad.

The name of Modern Home 2 Go, a dozen blocks north in the Design District (270 NE 39th St., 305-572-1222), makes it crystal clear what era of décor buyers can expect. The surprise is the showroom’s astonishingly affordable prices. This month’s new surprise is a just-opened outdoor showroom, next door at 286 NE 39th St., with weather-appropriate lounging, bar, and dining sets that’ll get your home’s outside entertainment areas looking as striking as its insides. And prices are also shockingly low.

Spring also means less-than-fun spring cleaning time, traditionally a month on one’s hands and knees with a scrub brush. It doesn’t have to be that way. Call in the Grout Doctor (785-522-5433,, who, since 1992, has been cleaning, sealing, staining, replacing, and otherwise REpairing tile floors’ grout -- way better than you could. Naturally, they do the same for the scuzzy tiles, too. See this issue’s ad for a 20% discount off any job.

REpelling pests is not only not fun but not something you should try at home, kids, if the pests are iguanas. Wild adults bite big, scratch deep, devour landscape plants, and dig holes to access good nesting areas -- in the process destroying roofs, house foundations, you name it. Who ya gonna call? Blue Iguana Pest Control (855-525-5656). The company uses cunning barrier devices to make your yard about as iguana-friendly as an alligator (one of the lizards’ few Florida natural enemies), trapping only if the occasional lazy lizzy won’t leave. Of Blue Iguana’s many services, 95% are preventative.

Keeping iguanas out of your home or car: good. Getting locked out of your home or car: not good. Call returning advertiser AAA Miami Locksmith (3501 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-9320). The full-service company also sells/installs safes, doors, and security hardware.

With weather due to start warming up by March’s end, you’ll want to make sure your pool is in shape for summer, and new advertiser Pinch-A-Penny Pool and Patio Spa (9071 Biscayne Blvd., 786-518-3193) can do that for you. They’ll do a free water test (pH, dissolved solids, and more), advise you about how to keep your pool healthy, and provide all necessary pool chemicals and parts for REpairs.

Fans of vintage hi-fi equipment know it’s virtually impossible to get it REpaired. So jot down the name and number of new advertiser Beta Electronics (669 NW 118th St., 305-688-2664), a shop that has both the parts and the expertise to fix your old amps, speakers, even record players. Owner and one-man show Roy Wright was the subject of Gaspar González’s BT cover story “For the Love of Audio” (August 2012).

Elderly cars are often problematic, too, but one of our BT staffers swears that her geriatric, 16-year-old car (that’s 120 years in people years) is still going strong solely thanks to new advertiser Munich Autohaus (12400 NE 13th Pl., 305-893-5958), where the specialty is BMW service and engine repairs. This month they’re offering a free 27-point vehicle check-up (no purchase required), and a $90 synthetic oil change.

It goes without saying that kids’ whole lives can be REdirected for the better with the right learning experience. So parents, welcome William Jennings Bryan Elementary Museums Magnet School (1201 NE 125th St., 305-891-0602), a new advertiser that’s also an historic landmark. What the school wants readers to know is that pre-K through grade 5 students, especially “out-of-boundary” candidates in Miami Shores, Sans Souci, Keystone Point, Bal Harbour, and Bay Harbor Islands, will be accepted even this late in the school year, to finish the term in an artistic environment that emphasizes exploration, invention, and inquiry through ongoing visits to museums and cultural institutions.

And Monsignor Edward Pace High School (15600 NW 32nd Ave., 305-623-PACE ext. 212) continues to excel in both education and fun. Three top history students (Adrian Verdin, Kenny Gomez, Carlos Gonzalez) have recently been selected to attend the Florida American Legion Boys State program this summer, to learn how the government works. We hope they clue us in when they get back. Meanwhile, all can understand Legally Blonde, the Musical presented by Pace’s Drama Club and International Thespian Honor Society. Performances are April 16, 17, and 18; visit for tix and further info.

Adults have several outstanding educational and cultural enrichment opportunities during March, too, including two workshops by health coach Diane Moura, owner of Atlantis Natural, located on the second floor of the Grand condo building (1717 N. Bayshore Dr., #218). On March 2, from 2:30-4:00 p.m., certified aroma therapist and professional chef Cindy Hill will give you the full rundown on essential oils, from history to health uses, and guide participants in creating their own blend. On March 9, from 1:00-5:00 p.m., Diane will lead a family-oriented “yummy workshop” on healthy cooking; included are a lecture, hands-on cooking demonstration, a tasting, and recipes to take home. For pre-registration (required): 305-379-2722 or

Hey, art lovers. It’s road-trip time, up to Scan Design’s Hollywood showroom (4150 N. 28th Terr.) for the thought-provoking contemporary furniture firm’s sixth annual “Fall in Furniture Love” art event, March 23 from 6:00-9:00 p.m. The main exhibit features up-and-coming artists’ interpretations of what it means to fall in furniture love. We haven’t the vaguest idea, but it sounds fun, as do extras like live entertainment, gourmet food, and drinks. Proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity. Info and RSVP:

To celebrate Dade Heritage Days, new advertiser Downtown Miami Partnership and Dade Heritage Trust present an event even history haters have to love: “A Taste of Historic Downtown Miami,” a sort of progressive cocktail party that pairs a peek into Miami’s architectural heritage with something Miamians already know and love: food and drink. Stops are at nine historic buildings, three of which are now restaurants/lounges; additional food and drink is provided, in part by the Miami Culinary Institute, at three other landmarks. For info and REeservations (required): 305-358-9572.

And for writers (or those serious about becoming writers), the Center for Literature and Theatre at Miami Dade College will be presenting the Miami Writers Institute, four days of intensive workshops on fiction, nonfiction, poetry, publishing, and more. Also offered: one-on-one manuscript consultations; lunchtime reads; and “Pitch-O-Rama 2013!” -- a one-minute pitch to a panel of industry pros. Register now at or call 305-237-3940; the Institute isn’t till May 8-11, but workshop space is limited.

On to literal enrichment, our favorite being the rich but cloud-light berry-studded mini-flans at new advertiser B Sweet (20 NE 41st St., 305-918-4453), a homey-feeling mom-and-café in what was once an actual home -- one of the Design District rare residential apartment buildings. The very hidden location seemed destined to make this newly opened eatery one of those “best-kept secret” spots. But sufficient word of mouth has already gotten around regarding veteran pastry chef Tom Worhach’s remarkable desserts that breakfast/lunch hours have already been extended: Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

REplenish yourself any weekday morning this month with one of David Cohen’s blue-plate breakfast specials, described in this issue’s ad for Bagels and Company (11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435). Just remember to schlep the BT along with you so David knows we sent you -- or preferably, if it’s a Friday (when our personal fave meal deal includes nova, eggs, and onions; a bagel; choice of home fries, grits, or oatmeal; OJ; and coffee or tea), remember to bring us along with you.

We regret to remind you that after this month of renewal comes a day of dread: April 15, income tax time. If you’ve been tackling your own tax forms the past few years because professional preparers are too expensive, check out Miami Financial Center (12573 Biscayne Blvd., 786-329-9950). It’ll seem wise to REprofessionalize after seeing the miraculously reasonable prices this new advertiser charges for taking the whole mess off your hands: $45 for students and singles with just one W-2; $115 for the infinitely more mindboggling taxes of freelancers, independent contractors, and self-employed people. (Note to non-Spanish speakers: Don’t worry about that, either. Olga and Michael Fidlin, a Russian mom-and-team, speak charming English.)

Frankly, just writing about taxes gives us the vapors. So it’s darned good timing to hear from Chris MacCleod, general manager at The Corner (1035 N. Miami Ave. #101, 305-961-7887) -- downtown’s warmest-looking, coolest-vibed late-night eating/drinking spot -- that the place just this month initiated beer and spirits “flights.” The samplers feature four glasses of one particular monthly changing beer or liquor style, each of the four made by different brands and served together to compare and contrast. March’s spirit style: Japanese whiskey. March’s beer style: Belgian India Pale Ales, which run up to 12% alcohol (average beers are around 5%) . Enjoy your certain attitude REadjustment.

Finally, even if anticipation of next month’s tax crap has you down, anticipation of one unique new advertiser’s upcoming opening will surely raise your spirits: the Butcher Shop Beer Garden & Grill (165 NW 23rd St., 305-846-9120). Owner Igor Niznik’s very continental concept is to sell prime (yes, truly prime-grade) meats, custom-cut and trimmed as old-fashioned butcher shops used to, for customers to either take home or take to the indoor/outdoor compound’s festive beer garden for open-fire grilling and dine-in enjoyment. The only snafu in the way of an early April opening: City of Miami permitting, pending since 2011. Isn’t it fun to have an evil government villain this time of year that is not the IRS?


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