In this dreary summer of inflation, rapper Vanilla Ice is back with a brand-new invention: a brewery in Lake Worth Beach.
Or at least, that’s his plan.
“You can see behind me it’s all a mess, but we’re about to be like ants on a candy bar: We’re gonna get it done in six months,” proclaimed the Grammy-nominated man born Robert Van Winkle in a recent Facebook video hyping his under-construction combination microbrewery, speakeasy, pop-culture museum and rooftop bar.
During his walk-through tour of a three-story building in downtown Lake Worth, the Wellington resident dashed upstairs, rattling off the amenities of his new entertainment destination.
Van Winkle gave no timeline for opening the canary-yellow, former 1920s Masonic building located on the northwest corner of North H Street and Lake Avenue.
Vanilla Ice also doesn’t explain why he’s jumping into microbrews, but we assume he likes the remodeling work. Following a breakthrough as the most famous and reviled rapper of early-1990s America, his post-”Ice, Ice Baby” career veered in the 2010s toward an unlikely second act: professional home-flipping reality TV on the DIY Network.
“I know how to do it through my real-estate construction [experience],” the rapper said in the video.
The first-floor brewery would include a bar counter and “15 vats” of celebrity-themed beers, with participating celebrities earning a cut of revenues from beer sales. He declined to name those celebrities, but name-dropped Guy Fieri, the “Mayor of Flavortown” and Lake Worth Beach resident — adding that Fieri would help design the kitchen.
There would be four floors of entertainment, he promised, including a speakeasy in the basement “with a piano player in there and all that.”
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The centerpiece of his complex: a second-floor, pop-culture museum, featuring displays of “everything from Muhammad Ali to the movies to Vanilla Ice to ‘90210,’ ” he said. (Will it include those Elvis and Marilyn Monroe statues he rescued before the closure of the 1950s-themed Ellie’s Diner in Delray Beach?)
“The tourism will be an impressive thing for the county here. On top, we’ve got a rooftop bar,” he said, chuckling to himself. “We’ve got so much entertainment on every floor.”
Michelle Hillery, deputy film commissioner for the Palm Beach County Film Commission, who works with the rapper for its annual student-film showcase, called Vanilla Ice a champion for Palm Beach County.
“He’s obviously a very talented guy and certainly knows how to put it all together,” Hillery said of Van Winkle’s home-remodeling panache. “He loves this community, so it’s not surprising that he wants to put some investment into it.”
There is no announced opening date, but we can be assured of one thing about Vanilla Ice’s project: Expect the brews to be ice-cold.
“The Ice-Man is back at it like a jackrabbit,” Vanilla Ice said in the video.
Word to your beer lover.