The Fort Lauderdale Art Walk returns Saturday, untangled from the confusion that formed as the urban stroll expanded over the years and meandered from FAT Village (the original, FAT Village Art Walk) through Flagler Village (Flagler Village Art Walk?) and into the MASS District (MASS Dist … never mind).
This is the first downtown Art Walk since gritty and muraled FAT Village was formally and officially emptied and laid to rest at the end of July. This in preparation for its demolition and the rise of a “new” FAT Village, home to two residential towers at least 24 stories tall, along with requisite retail spaces.
Until we are able to see what that completed project looks like in 18 to 24 months, perhaps even after the new FAT Village opens, the MASS District will be the focal point of creativity in general and the monthly Art Walk specifically. (Not that it hasn’t always been deserving of such attention, but some folks may require an introduction to FAT Village’s wise-guy little brother. Many have been there without knowing it.)
An acronym for Music & Arts South of Sunrise, the MASS District is home to perhaps your favorite restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Heritage. It has one of the city’s coolest, quirkiest bars, arcade-game mecca Glitch. It has the brilliance of fried chicken in an ice cream cone at Chick’nCone. Wells Coffee, Poke LoLo and Invasive Species Brewing are all part of MASS District.
Of course, it also boasts a bunch of artists who work with paint, light, ink, music and beer — who first made the neighborhood what it is.
The Fort Lauderdale Art Walk has been flourishing since summer 2021, according to Dylan Lagi, executive director of the nonprofit MASS District and a longtime advocate of the creative community in Flagler Village and the surrounding area.
The Art Walk in July 2021 was the biggest and most successful for the nonprofit ever — Lagi still isn’t sure why.
“I don’t know, maybe because of COVID changes, I’m not sure. But it was just huge, man. Since July 2021, all the way to now, with FAT Village changing, the crowds are just continuing to come out,” he says.
The MASS District and FAT Village were like brothers, and it was sad to see FAT Village fade away, Lagi says.
“We ended up buying some of their gear. It was really kind of bittersweet,” he says.
Lagi, whose day job is in construction and development, is looking forward to the “new” FAT Village.
“I like where FAT Village is going, in the sense of what they’ve said they’re going to do. They will still have art incubation spaces, the chef incubator space, they will have galleries. I think it’s a wonderful thing,” Lagi says. “I don’t really see it as the demise, but as … the next chapter in the book of FAT Village.”
New, nearby residential-hotel property Quantum Flagler Village has noticed the energy radiating from the MASS District and will collaborate on a new block-party series called the Spin at Quantum Street Festival, taking place noon to 10 p.m. Saturday.
The outdoor event will be set along Northeast Fifth Terrace, between Quantum Flagler Village residences and the Courtyard by Marriott Fort Lauderdale Downtown hotel, home to The Easton Rooftop Pool & Lounge. A collaboration with the MASS District, Art Walk and Sunny Side Up Market, the event will feature two stages, three large bars, food trucks, a lineup of artisan vendors, and a performance by salsa greats Timbalive.
Spin also will include access to the Easton, where an afternoon pool party will transition into a nightclub atmosphere at night. Both events are open to the public, and admission is free.
“It is a neighborhood festival, with an emphasis on neighborhood,” says Warren Zinn, food and beverage director for Prime Group, the real-estate company that created Quantum Flagler Village. “It is a festival that is geared for everybody in the community, young or old. You could come with your kids, you could come as teenagers, come in your 20s and 30s, or older, and there will be something going on for you.”
Quantum Flagler Village is a new project — while the hotel has been open for 16 months (famously debuting with a performance by DJ Diplo), the two residential buildings are just about to start welcoming residents.
Zinn says the property was always intended to have an artistic and cultural component, and the partnership with the MASS District is critical to that effort.
“We’re very, very excited to be partnering with them. The MASS District has that cachet. They know the people we want to partner with,” he says. “We have a great venue, but we certainly would like to piggyback off of their history and what they’ve been doing with the creative community in Fort Lauderdale.”
Lagi was president of the Flagler Village Association when the Prime Group first presented the project that would become Quantum to the city. He says from the beginning there was a cultural emphasis in the plan.
“There’s definitely a vision of a connected community. Clearly they need to make money, no one is disagreeing with that, but I like that that vision is built into their business model,” Lagi says.
The Fort Lauderdale Art Walk is from 6 to 11 p.m. on Saturday. For specifics on all of its events and the MASS District, visit MASSDistrict.com. For more information on Spin events, noon-10 p.m. Saturday, visit SpinAtQuantum.com.
Canine lives: Friday is National Dog Day, which we take seriously in these parts. Among the places to celebrate is The Hilton Palm Beach Airport in West Palm Beach.Check out the dog-friendly Tails from the Tiki at its tiki bar overlooking Pine Lake from 4 to 8 p.m., with Tito’s drink specials and swag, plus raffles to benefit Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League. Visit PeggyAdams.org.
The monthly Dogs, Beaches and Brews happy hour returns to Fort Lauderdale’s World Famous Parrot Lounge, where your scamper on nearby Dog Beach can end with 5-10 p.m. festivities. There will be live music, raffles and a free drink with a $5 donation to Everglades Angels Dog Rescue. Call 954-563-1493.
Down the beach in Fort Lauderdale, the Movies by Moonlight series returns to the Main Lawn at Las Olas Oceanside Park with a free, dog-friendly screening of the dog-show satire “Best in Show.” The park’s weekly market, which includes food vendors offering movie-snacking options, begins at 5:30 p.m. There will be a limited number of chairs and blankets available to borrow. Visit TheLoopFLB.com.
About that THC beer dinner: Kind of disappointed with you people … LauderAle’s Beer & Buds THC-infused beer dinner, a collaboration with the Green Baker, was supposed to happen Friday night. Ticket sales were, uh, sluggish, according to LauderAle owner Kyle Jones, so the event has been pushed back to Friday, Oct. 21. To recap, the four-course dinner will take place in the brewery’s relaxing beer garden, with dishes using Delta-8 THC, the more subtle version of marijuana’s Delta-9. Tickets cost $120. For tickets and details on the menu, visit LauderAle.co. C’mon, South Florida, think of the kids!
Free beer: Flagler Pizza & Pasta, which opened in June in downtown Fort Lauderdale’s Victoria Park Shoppes (next to popular restaurant Shuck-N-Dive), serves wonderful housemade pasta, sandwiches on bread baked in-house and top-notch pies made by Pablo Crespo, for 16 years a chef at the revered Casa D’Angelo Ristorante in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale. What it does not have is a license to sell beer and wine (a bureaucratic scandal in my mind, especially when I’m thirsty). You’re welcome to bring a bottle of wine in with you, which is fine, but it’s harder with beer. So until the license snafu is settled, Flagler Pizza & Pasta will offer you a Miller Lite on the house with your order. That’s not nothing. Visit FlaglerPizzeria.com.
Music & BBQ: The every-Saturday food freakout known as Smorgasburg Miami will be open 6-11:30 p.m. Friday to host the Summer Nights Music Series, with all-gas-no-brakes party band Les Greene & the Swayzees headlining at 9 p.m. There will be more than 40 food and drink vendors, too. On Saturday, Smorgasburg will have BBQ Day, with local pitmasters doing their thing. Visit SmorgasburgMiami.com.
Take the kids: The Nights at the Museum series returns to the Cox Science Center and Aquarium in West Palm Beach from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, with interactive science crafts and activities, a planetarium show, touch tanks, mini golf and a chance to view the night sky in the observatory (weather permitting). Food is available for purchase at Nuts About Sugar. Tickets for Nights at the Museum (purchased at the door) are $17.95 for adults, $15.95 for seniors, and $13.95 for kids age 3 to 12 . Planetarium shows are $5. Visit CoxScienceCenter.org.
College football is back: If you’re new to South Florida and don’t have a local college team to root for, you should pick one. Keep your hometown team, of course, but having a Florida dog in the fight makes life much more interesting at the water cooler, the barbershop or the club. The big dogs are Florida, Florida State and Miami, but do your research.
You can tell FSU fans by their gloomy faces this time of year. But they may crack a few smiles on Saturday as the Seminoles open college football watch-party season with a 5 p.m. game against Duquesne. Kind of like playing the St. Thomas Aquinas JV (the varsity could probably handle Duquesne), but still.
The Palm Beach County Seminoles Club will gather for the game in West Palm Beach at their regular spot on Clematis, Grease Burger, Beer and Whiskey Bar. Grease will offer 20% off food and drinks and $1 touchdown shots to FSU fans wearing the required wristbands. A portion of proceeds go to the club’s scholarship fund. Visit PBNoles.com. Even if you’re a free agent there just to kick the tires on the Seminoles, Grease makes some of the best burgers in the area.
The Seminole Club of Broward County will host its official watch party at Slackers Bar and Grill in Fort Lauderdale. Visit BrowardNoles.com. Fans also will meet at a traditional FSU watering hole, Las Olas Boulevard hot spot American Social. Visit Facebook.com/AmericanSocial.
A new brunch: The bright and beautifully designed Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chão just opened in downtown Fort Lauderdale (201 E. Las Olas Blvd.) with an intriguing Saturday-Sunday brunch. Offered from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day, the Fogo Churrasco Experience features a dozen unrelenting options of meat, including tableside cuts of filet mignon, top sirloin, ribeye and classic picanha, plus bacon-wrapped chicken and steak, ribs, pork chops and more. Paired with a selection of sides, including warm pão de queijo (the signature cheese bread), the cost is $43.95 per person, half-price for children ages 7 to 12, and free for those 6 and younger.
The Fogo Churrasco Experience includes access to the Brunch Market Table, a buffet with seasonal salads, imported cheeses, cured meats, along with made-to-order crepes and omelets, Brazilian sausage, black-pepper candied bacon, Greek yogurt parfaits and bolo de fubá (sweet cornmeal cake) with whipped banana créme. If you just want to dine on the Brunch Market Table buffet, it costs $32.95 per person, again half-price for children ages 7 to 12, and free for those 6 and younger. Visit FogoDeChao.com.
Disco inferno: The new-old-cool cocktail-forward Delray Beach gastropub The Falcon, which Annie Blake conjured a few months ago from the shadow of her popular bar Death or Glory(RIP), will host the late-night Studio 54 Soiree beginning at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Dress the part (Blondie, Warhol, Bowie, Grace Jones and Truman Capote all partied there, just saying) and get a free drink. Visit Facebook.com/falcon.delray.
Get a roundup of the best events and things to do in South Florida so you can make it an epic weekend.
Lemon Aid: The tarts at the Wharf Fort Lauderdale host the inaugural When Life Gives You Lemons… Lemon Cocktail Festival beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday, featuring lemon drink specials and food items, plus live music. Can I request my guilty-pleasure U2 song, “Lemon”? Free lemon jello shot (before 8 p.m.) for your RSVP at WharfFTL.com.
Weekend jam: Local big-band reggae group The Resolvers have a new single out this weekend, “All the Lovin’,” a soulful, cool-rocking message of positivity featuring lead vocals by O’Jay Smith, son of famed Jamaican reggae singer Ernie Smith. The song will be available for download on Friday on multiple digital platforms and would make a fine mood-enhancing addition to your weekend playlist. In June, the band released the righteous “Awake David,” with powerful vocals by Ernie’s daughter, Sahara Smith. Hear the music live at 8:30 p.m. Saturday when the 10-piece band will squeeze onto the stage at Crazy Uncle Mike’s in Boca Raton. Crush Company opens. Tickets: $15. Visit Crazyunclemikes.com or Facebook.com/TheResolvers.
Farewell, Daddy: We’re coming up on 20 years since Daddy Yankee fueled the first wave of mainstream popularity of reggaetón with “Gasolina,” but he’s still the king of the genre and an influence on acts including Bad Bunny, Ozuna, Anuel AA and many others. His farewell world tour stop at 8 p.m. Saturday at Miami’s FTX Arena is, not surprisingly, a virtual sellout. Ticketmaster’s Verified Resale tickets start at about $190 for upper deck GA seats. Visit Ticketmaster.com.
Tell all the folks: The Love Train is pulling into South Florida for the last time as The O’Jays’ Farewell Tour hits Miramar Regional Park Amphitheater at 7 p.m. Saturday. The O’Jays — still led by Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Eddie Levert (he just turned 80) and Walter Williams (79), joined by Eric Grant — made some of the best music of their era, including “Love Train,” “Back Stabbers,” “For The Love of Money,” “I Love Music,” “Use Ta Be My Girl” and the under-appreciated “Stairway to Heaven.” And nobody wore it better. Tickets start at $60 for GA lawn seating. Worth it just to say thank you to Levert and Williams. Opening act: Gerald Alston and The Manhattans. Visit Miramaramp.com.
Art and wine: Sunday is Fort Lauderdale Neighbor Day at NSU Art Museum, with free admission and two-for-one wine in the cafe from noon to 5 p.m. (with photo ID or utility bill proof). Sunday also offers the debut of a new exhibition, “By the Sea, By the Sea: Waterscapes and Beach Scenes by William J. Glackens and the Ashcan School,” drawn from the museum’s vast collection of Glackens’ work. Visit NSUArtMuseum.org.
Blue Sunday: When an audience member’s review of a Colin Kane performance called him “offensive, vulgar, disgusting and insulting,” the comedian knew it was meant as the highest praise, and he includes it in his digital resume. The New York native brings his NSFW show to the Dania Improv at 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $20+. Visit DaniaImprov.com.