Get ready for a weekend full of laughter as the legendary comedian Tom Green takes the stage at the Stress Factory in New Jersey. With four shows spread across two nights, this Friday and Saturday, Tom Green promises to deliver an unforgettable experience for comedy lovers.
Tom Green at the Stress Factory
The Stress Factory, located in New Jersey, is renowned for hosting some of the biggest names in comedy. This weekend, they are proud to present Tom Green, a comedian, actor, and talk show host who has been entertaining audiences for decades.
Known for his unique style and outlandish humor, Tom Green rose to fame in the late 1990s with his hit MTV show, “The Tom Green Show.” His unpredictable and often controversial antics quickly made him a household name, and he became one of the most recognizable faces in comedy.
Four Shows, Two Nights Tom Green will be performing a total of four shows at the Stress Factory, with two shows each night. This allows fans multiple opportunities to catch his hilarious act and ensures that everyone gets a chance to experience his comedic genius.
The first show on Friday night will kick off at 7PM, followed by a second show at 930PM. On Saturday, Tom Green will take the stage again for two more shows, the first starting at 7PM and the second at 930PM.
Each show promises to be a unique experience, as Tom Green is known for his ability to improvise and interact with the audience. From his hilarious stories and observations to his trademark absurdity, Tom Green’s performances are always filled with surprises and laughter.
A Night of Laughter and Entertainment
Attending a Tom Green show is not just about the jokes; it’s an immersive experience that will leave you in stitches. His energetic stage presence and quick wit make every moment enjoyable, and his ability to connect with the audience ensures that no two shows are the same.
Whether you’re a long-time fan of Tom Green or new to his comedy, the Stress Factory is the perfect venue to witness his talent. With its intimate setting and state-of-the-art sound system, the Stress Factory provides an ideal environment for enjoying a night of laughter.
Tickets for Tom Green’s shows at the Stress Factory are selling fast, so be sure to secure yours before they’re gone. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to witness one of comedy’s true icons in action.
If you’re looking for a weekend filled with laughter and entertainment, make your way to the Stress Factory in New Jersey this Friday and Saturday. Tom Green’s four shows, spread across two nights, are guaranteed to leave you in stitches. Get ready to experience the unique comedic genius of Tom Green and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Get ready for a weekend full of laughter as the legendary comedian Tom Green takes the stage at the Stress Factory in New Jersey. Tom Green will be performing four shows spread across two nights, promising an unforgettable experience for comedy lovers. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to witness one of comedy’s true icons in action.
Dena Blizzard, the renowned comedian and creator of the viral video sensation “Chardonnay Go,” is back with an exciting new show titled “I Love You, Get Away from Me!” This three-generation multi-media comedy show is a hilarious exploration of finding humor in life’s transitions.
What sets this show apart is the inclusion of Dena’s son, Dean, who joins her live onstage, and her mom, Diana, who participates via Zoom. This unique blend of live and virtual performances adds an extra layer of comedy and connection to the show.
Embracing Life’s Transitions. “I Love You, Get Away from Me!” delves into the various stages of life and the transitions that come with them. From the challenges of parenting to the joys and frustrations of dealing with aging parents, Dena Blizzard fearlessly tackles these topics with her signature wit and charm.
With Dean by her side, Dena explores the ups and downs of motherhood, sharing relatable anecdotes that resonate with audiences of all ages. From sleepless nights and temper tantrums to the bittersweet moments of watching your children grow up, Dena’s comedic storytelling captures the essence of the parenting journey.
Meanwhile, through the magic of technology, Dena’s mom, Diana, joins the show from the comfort of her own home. Diana’s presence via Zoom allows for hilarious interactions and conversations that highlight the generation gap and the unique experiences of older adults.
A Multi-Media Comedy Experience. “I Love You, Get Away from Me!” is not just a stand-up comedy show. It incorporates various multimedia elements to enhance the comedic experience. From video clips and photos to interactive segments, the show keeps the audience engaged and entertained throughout.
The use of multimedia allows Dena to share personal stories and anecdotes in a visually compelling way. Whether it’s showing embarrassing childhood photos or sharing funny videos that capture the essence of parenting, the multimedia elements add an extra layer of humor and relatability to the show.
Finding the Funny in Every Situation. One of the key themes of “I Love You, Get Away from Me!” is finding humor in even the most challenging situations. Dena Blizzard has a unique ability to take everyday experiences and turn them into comedic gold.
Through her sharp observations and relatable storytelling, Dena reminds us that laughter is the best medicine. Whether she’s discussing the trials and tribulations of marriage or the joys and frustrations of juggling multiple roles, Dena’s comedic perspective helps us see the lighter side of life’s transitions.
By including her son, Dean, and her mom, Diana, in the show, Dena Blizzard creates a multi-generational comedy experience that resonates with audiences of all ages. The different perspectives and experiences bring a fresh and dynamic energy to the stage, ensuring that everyone can find something to laugh about.
Dena Blizzard’s new show, “I Love You, Get Away from Me!” is a must-see comedy experience that celebrates the funny moments in life’s transitions. With her son, Dean, and her mom, Diana, by her side, Dena fearlessly explores the joys and challenges of parenting and aging, while reminding us to find humor in every situation. This multi-media comedy show is a testament to Dena’s comedic talent and her ability to connect with audiences on a deeply relatable level.
Jon Stewart, The Iconic Comedian and Political Satirist along with the Comedy and Hosting of Tom Segura are coming together to the Wellmont Theatre.
Jon Stewart is an iconic comedian, writer, and producer who is best known for his influential tenure as the host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” From 1999 to 2015, Stewart led the program with unparalleled wit, incisive political commentary, and a satirical take on current events that redefined late-night television.
During his time as host, Stewart’s Emmy-winning work transformed “The Daily Show” into a cultural touchstone. With a unique blend of humor and astute analysis of American politics, he solidified his legacy as a comedic genius and a significant force in reshaping media and political discourse.
Stewart’s ability to navigate the delicate balance between comedy and political commentary was unmatched. His sharp wit and insightful observations allowed him to tackle complex issues with ease, making him a trusted source of information and entertainment for millions of viewers.
One of the reasons for Stewart’s success was his ability to connect with his audience. His relatable and down-to-earth persona made him approachable, while his intelligent and thought-provoking commentary earned him respect from both fans and critics alike.
Stewart’s impact extended beyond the boundaries of late-night television. His influence on the media landscape was undeniable, as he paved the way for a new generation of satirical news programs and comedians who followed in his footsteps.
Tom Segura, a comedian originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, is another notable figure in the world of comedy. Known for his Netflix specials such as “Ball Hog,” “Disgraceful,” “Completely Normal,” and “Mostly Stories,” Segura has established himself as one of the top-selling touring acts in the world.
Segura’s success can be attributed to his unique blend of observational humor, storytelling, and relatable anecdotes. His ability to connect with audiences on a personal level has made him a fan favorite, resulting in sold-out shows and a dedicated following.
In addition to his stand-up career, Segura is also a prolific podcaster. He co-hosts two of the most popular comedy podcasts, “Your Mom’s House” with his wife, comedian Christina P., and “Two Bears, One Cave” with fellow comedian Bert Kreischer.
Segura’s podcasts provide a platform for him to showcase his comedic talents in a more casual and conversational setting. Through these shows, he has been able to engage with fans on a deeper level, further solidifying his connection with his audience.
Furthermore, Segura has expanded his reach by producing multiple podcasts under his YMH Studios brand. This venture allows him to not only showcase his own work but also provide a platform for other comedians to share their unique perspectives and voices.
With his successful stand-up career, popular podcasts, and feature film appearances, Segura has proven himself to be a multi-talented entertainer. His ability to connect with audiences through various mediums has solidified his status as one of the most influential comedians of his generation.
In conclusion, Jon Stewart and Tom Segura are both comedic powerhouses who have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. Stewart’s influential tenure as the host of “The Daily Show” redefined late-night television and reshaped political discourse, while Segura’s stand-up comedy, podcasts, and film appearances have made him a beloved figure in the comedy world. Both comedians continue to captivate audiences with their unique styles and ability to connect with viewers on a personal level.
Presale runs now through Tuesday, November 21 @ 11:59pm. Use code LAUGH. Public onsale begins Wednesday, November 22 @ 10am.
Jon Stewart, born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz on November 28, 1962, is an American comedian, writer, producer, director, actor, and television host. He is best known for his role as the host of “The Daily Show,” a satirical news program that aired on Comedy Central from 1999 to 2015.
Stewart’s unique blend of humor and political commentary made him a beloved figure in American pop culture. He brought a fresh perspective to the world of late-night television, combining sharp wit with insightful analysis of current events.
Stewart was born in New York City and raised in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. He attended Lawrence High School, where he developed an interest in comedy and performing arts. After graduating, he enrolled at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, where he majored in psychology.
During his college years, Stewart began performing stand-up comedy in local clubs. His talent and unique comedic style quickly gained recognition, leading to appearances on various television shows, including “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.”
The Daily Show. In 1999, Stewart took over as the host of “The Daily Show,” a show that had previously been hosted by Craig Kilborn. Under Stewart’s leadership, the show underwent a transformation, focusing more on political satire and social commentary.
Stewart’s tenure on “The Daily Show” coincided with a period of significant political and social change in the United States. His ability to blend comedy with astute analysis of current events resonated with viewers, making the show a critical and commercial success.
Awards and Recognition. Throughout his career, Stewart received numerous awards and accolades for his work. He won 22 Primetime Emmy Awards for “The Daily Show,” making it one of the most awarded shows in television history. In addition, he received two Grammy Awards for Best Comedy Album.
Stewart’s impact extended beyond the world of television. In 2010, he organized the “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The event drew thousands of attendees and aimed to promote civil discourse and rationality in political discussions.
Post-“Daily Show” Career. After stepping down as the host of “The Daily Show” in 2015, Stewart continued to be involved in various projects. He directed the film “Rosewater,” based on the memoir by Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari. He also signed a multi-year deal with HBO to produce digital content.
In recent years, Stewart has made occasional appearances on television, including guest hosting “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and advocating for various political causes. His unique voice and perspective continue to resonate with audiences, and he remains an influential figure in the world of comedy and political commentary.
Jon Stewart’s impact on American comedy and political satire cannot be overstated. Through his work on “The Daily Show” and beyond, he has entertained, informed, and challenged audiences. His ability to blend humor with astute analysis of current events has made him a beloved figure in American pop culture.
While Stewart may no longer be the host of “The Daily Show,” his legacy lives on. His influence can be seen in the next generation of comedians and satirists who continue to use comedy as a tool for social commentary.
Tom Segura is a renowned comedian known for his unique style of comedy and his ability to engage audiences with his relatable and hilarious observations. With a successful career spanning over a decade, Segura has become one of the most respected and sought-after comedians in the industry.
Born on April 16, 1979, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Tom Segura had a passion for comedy from a young age. He attended Lenoir-Rhyne University in North Carolina, where he studied acting and eventually found his way into the world of stand-up comedy.
Segura’s career began to gain momentum when he appeared on the reality TV show “Last Comic Standing” in 2010. Although he didn’t win the competition, his talent and unique comedic style caught the attention of industry professionals and comedy fans alike.
Comedic Style and Content. Tom Segura’s comedy is characterized by his deadpan delivery and sharp wit. He has a knack for finding humor in everyday situations and exploring topics that resonate with audiences.
One of Segura’s strengths is his ability to tackle sensitive subjects with tact and intelligence. He often delves into topics such as relationships, parenthood, and social issues, providing a fresh and humorous perspective that allows audiences to laugh while also reflecting on the world around them.
Notable Works and Achievements. Over the years, Tom Segura has released several successful comedy specials that have garnered critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base. Some of his notable works include:
Completely Normal (2014): This special showcases Segura’s ability to find humor in the mundane aspects of life, such as airport security and marriage.
Mostly Stories (2016): In this special, Segura shares hilarious anecdotes about his experiences with travel, family, and life’s absurdities.
Disgraceful (2018): Segura’s third Netflix special explores taboo subjects with his signature wit and charm.
Ball Hog (2020): Released on Netflix, this special offers Segura’s take on topics like masculinity, self-improvement, and the challenges of parenting.
In addition to his stand-up specials, Segura has also appeared on popular podcasts, including “Your Mom’s House” and “The Joe Rogan Experience.” These appearances have further solidified his reputation as a talented and versatile comedian.
Tom Segura is married to fellow comedian Christina Pazsitzky, and they have two children together. His family life often serves as inspiration for his comedy, and he frequently shares anecdotes about his experiences as a husband and father.
Segura’s impact on the comedy world extends beyond his performances. He has influenced a new generation of comedians with his unique style and ability to connect with audiences. His relatability and honest approach to comedy have earned him a loyal following and made him a respected figure in the industry.
Tom Segura’s comedy is a perfect blend of wit, intelligence, and relatability. His ability to find humor in everyday situations and tackle sensitive topics with grace has endeared him to audiences around the world. With a successful career and a growing fan base, Segura continues to make his mark on the comedy world, leaving audiences laughing and reflecting long after the show is over.
Hannah Berner was born in Brooklyn, New York and emerged on the comedy scene by writing, directing, editing, and acting in videos on social media and writing viral tweets. She has two podcasts, Berner Phone and Giggly Squad with over 50 million combined downloads. She was a cohost on Bravo’s Chat Room, as well as a member of Bravo’s Summer House for three seasons, and has over 4 million followers across her social media platforms. Through her viral digital series, Han on the Street, she hascaptured millions of views with her hilarious interviews of unsuspecting New Yorkers on the streets. She also uses her platform to speak candidly about mental health and body positivity, which has generated a strong and loyal following.
Her rise to stardom in the entertainment industry is a testament to her creative talents and comedic prowess. The journey began in Brooklyn, New York, where she first emerged on the comedy scene by using social media as a platform to showcase her skills in writing, directing, editing, and acting in videos. Her unique style and clever humor quickly attracted a massive following, making her a social media sensation.
Berner’s success has continued to grow with the launch of not one, but two popular podcasts, “Berner Phone” and “Giggly Squad”, which have earned a combined 50 million downloads and counting. Additionally, she has made notable appearances as a cohost on Bravo’s “Chat Room” and as a cast member of Bravo’s hit show “Summer House”. With over 4 million dedicated fans following her every move on social media, Berner is a force to be reckoned with.
But beyond her inherent talent and comedic charm, Berner’s innate ability to connect with her audience sets her apart from the rest. Her viral series “Han on the Street” has garnered millions of views for its off-the-cuff interviews with unsuspecting New Yorkers, while her candid discussions about mental health and body positivity have earned her even more admiration and respect from her fans. All in all, Hannah Berner is undoubtedly one of the brightest stars in the world of entertainment today.
Overall, she seems to a multi-talented comedian from Brooklyn, New York who took the comedy industry by storm with her social media videos and viral tweets. She hosts two popular podcasts, Berner Phone and Giggly Squad, with more than 50 million combined downloads. She was a cohost on Bravo’s Chat Room and starred in Bravo’s Summer House for three seasons. Her viral digital series, Han on the Street, features interviews with high-profile celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence, Hailey Bieber, Priyanka Chopra, Kesha, and the Jonas Brothers.
Currently, she’s on a theater tour across America for her stand-up comedy. In 2022, she was one of Just For Laughs’ “New Faces Of Comedy” in Montreal, and in 2023, she was named one of Variety’s “Top Ten Comics to Watch”.
Presale is available until November 9th, and the public onsale begins on November 10th, so hurry and grab your tickets.
Are you looking for the perfect way to ring in the New Year in New Jersey? Look no further than The Stress Factory in New Brunswick, where comedian Jesus Trejo will be hosting a New Year’s Eve extravaganza that is sure to have you laughing your way into 2022.
Jesus Trejo is a rising star in the comedy world, known for his unique perspective on life and hilarious storytelling. With appearances on Comedy Central and Netflix, Trejo has quickly become a fan favorite, bringing his infectious energy and relatable humor to audiences across the country.
The New Year’s Eve extravaganza at The Stress Factory promises to be a night filled with laughter, good vibes, and unforgettable memories. As you step into the comedy club, you’ll be greeted by a lively atmosphere and friendly staff, ready to make your night one to remember.
The show will kick off at 8:00 PM, giving you plenty of time to enjoy a delicious dinner before the laughter begins. The Stress Factory offers a full menu of mouthwatering food and refreshing drinks, ensuring that your taste buds are just as satisfied as your funny bone.
Throughout the evening, Jesus Trejo will take the stage, delivering his signature brand of comedy that blends personal anecdotes, social commentary, and sharp wit. His ability to find humor in everyday situations will have you nodding in agreement and laughing out loud.
As the clock nears midnight, the excitement will reach its peak. The Stress Factory has planned a special countdown to welcome the New Year, complete with party favors and a champagne toast. It’s the perfect way to say goodbye to 2021 and hello to all the possibilities that 2022 holds.
Whether you’re attending the New Year’s Eve extravaganza with a group of friends, a significant other, or flying solo, The Stress Factory provides a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. Laughter has a way of bringing people together, and this event is no exception.
Tickets for the New Year’s Eve extravaganza with Jesus Trejo at The Stress Factory are selling fast, so be sure to secure yours as soon as possible. General admission tickets are available, as well as VIP packages that include priority seating and meet-and-greet opportunities with the comedian.
Don’t miss out on the chance to start your New Year with laughter and joy. Join Jesus Trejo and The Stress Factory for an unforgettable night of comedy, camaraderie, and celebration. Say goodbye to 2021 in style and welcome 2022 with open arms and a smile on your face.
Youngstown Events | Upcoming Major Events | September/October– We give priority to the greater Youngstown-Warren area, Columbiana County and western Pennsylvania. Email questions or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org… or call 330-259-0435. A list of upcoming major events (through December) appears in the September print edition.
King’s X. Robins Theatre, 160 E. Market St., Warren 44481. 234-437-6246, email@example.com…. King’s X mixes progressive metal, funk and soul with vocals influenced by gospel, blues, and British Invasion rock. The hits include “Its Love,” “Black Flag,” and “Dog Man.” Sound and Shape opens. 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 8. $65-$40.
Michael Franzese. Robins Theatre, 160 E. Market St., Warren 44481. 234-437-6246, firstname.lastname@example.org…. Michael Franzese grew up as the son of the underboss of New York’s Colombo crime family. Franzese will discuss his former life in organized crime. A special VIP package includes a meet-and-greet dinner at Salvatore’s Italian Restaurant. Call for VIP ticket prices and reservations. 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 9. $49-$20.
The Thomas Colloquium on Free Enterprise Presents Allyson Felix.Stambaugh Auditorium, 1000 Fifth Ave., Youngstown 44504. 330-259-0555. www.stambaughauditorium.com…. Allyson Felix has earned 11 Olympic medals, 13 global titles and 10 U.S. championships. She delivered the fastest 400m relay split in world championship history. Felix holds the most U.S. Track & Field Olympic medals of all time, and her accomplishments make her as one of the world’s greatest female athletes. Felix will share her stories of hard work and perseverance on the track and in her advocacy work.7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 14.
Anthony Rodia: Totally Relatable Tour. Stambaugh Auditorium, 1000 Fifth Ave., Youngstown 44504. 330-259-0555. www.stambaughauditorium.com…. Comedian Anthony Rodia will perform at Stambaugh as part of his Totally Relatable Tour. Rodia’s observational humor covers marriage, parenthood, and road rage. During the quarantine, “Road Rage Wednesday” became a fan favorite.7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 15. $69-$49.
Hardy: The Mockingbird and The Crow Fall Tour. Covelli Centre, 229 E. Front St., Youngstown 44503. 1-800-745-3000. covellicentre.com….Special guests include Lainey Wilson and Dylan Marlowe.7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 16. $99.75,$89.75,$59.75,$39.75(applicable fees may apply.
The Six Ages of Woman. Robins Theatre, 160 E. Market St., Warren 44481. 234-437-6246, email@example.com…. In “The Six Ages of Woman,” Mary Faktor’s explores the stages of a woman’s life with humor. 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 16. $25.
Why Me? Ford Family Recital Hall, 260 W. Federal St., Youngstown 44503. 330-744-0264. www.youngstownsymphony.com…. Youngstown native Michael Anthony will present“Why Me?” The show is based on the ForneyExtremeTV film series of the same name. 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 16.
Warren Civic Music Association: Rhinestone Cowgirls. W.D. Packard Music Hall, 1703 Mahoning Ave. N.W., Warren 44483. 330-841-293, 330-399-4885.Warren Civic Music will open its 83rd season with Rhinestone Cowgirls, a flashy, down-home homage to country music’s legendary female singers and songwriters. The group includes Kirbi Long, Gianna Van Pelt, and Donna Louden. 7 p.m.,Tuesday, Sept.19. $125 (season), $40 (single ticket).
Trumbull Town Hall Presents Stefanie Powers.W.D. Packard Music Hall, 1704 Mahoning Ave., N.W., Warren 44483. 800-745-3000. www.packardmusichall.com…. Ticketmaster.com….Trumbull Town Hall welcomes Stephanie Powers, the award-winning stage actress, fitness advocate and an internationally recognized animal conservationist.10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 20. $100 (series), $35 (single lecture).
Thorgy Thor and the Thorchestra. Edward W. Powers Auditorium, 260 W. Federal St., Youngstown 44503. 330-744-0264. www.youngstownsymphony.com…. Youngstown Symphony Orchestra will led by guest conductor Lawrence Loh. The guest artist is Thorgy Thor, a New York-based drag performer and musician. 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 21.
The Guess Who.Robins Theatre, 160 E. Market St., Warren 44481. 234-437-6246, firstname.lastname@example.org…. This legendary Canadian band, a staple of 1970s radio, comes to Warren for one show. The Guess Who has 11 studio albums, and charted 14 Top 40 hit singles, two of which went to number one in the United States. The hits include “American Woman,” “These Eyes,” and “No Time.” The band lineup includes Garry Peterson, Derek Sharp, Michael Devin, Leonard Shaw, and Michael Staertow.8 p.m., Thursday Sept. 21. $65-$20.
Drive-By Truckers with American Aquarium.W.D. Packard Music Hall, 1704 Mahoning Ave., N.W., Warren 44483. 800-745-3000. www.packardmusichall.com…. TicketMaster.com…. 8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 21. $65, $49.75, $35, $25.
Neil Berg’s 50 Years of Rock & Roll Part II.Westminster Celebrity Series, Orr Auditorium, Westminster College, 319 S. Market St., New Wilmington, Pa. 16172. 724-946-7354. www.westminster.edu… Neil Berg’s 50 Years of Rock & Roll celebrates the history of rock ’n’ roll from 1929-1981. Sponsored by UPMC Jameson & UPMC Horizon. 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 23. $45, $42, $39, $33.
Tangled Up In Blues Fest 2023.W.D. Packard Music Hall, 1704 Mahoning Ave., N.W., Warren 44483. 800-745-3000. www.packardmusichall.com…. Ticketmaster.com…. Features Shemekia Copeland, Ana Popovic, Tommy Castro and The Painkiller. 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 30. $55, $45, $35, $29.50.
The Centofanti Symposium Lecture Series Presents Dr. Amy Acton. Stambaugh Auditorium, 1000 Fifth Ave., Youngstown 44504. 330-259-0555. www.stambaughauditorium.com…. Dr.Amy Acton is noteworthy for her role as director of the Ohio Department of Health during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic. Her leadership earned her the JFK Library Profile in Covid Courage Award. Acton has over 30 years of experience in executive leadership, philanthropy, public service, teaching, and advocacy. She was recently named one of USA Today’s Women of the Year. This event has a limit of four tickets per order. 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 4.
An Evening in Casablanca. Stambaugh Auditorium, 1000 Fifth Ave., Youngstown 44504. 330-259-0555. www.stambaughauditorium.com…. “An Evening in Casablanca” is United Returning Citizens signature fundraising gala. The keynote speaker will be Jay Williams, president and CEO of the Hartford Foundation, and former mayor of Youngstown.6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 6.
Brass Metropolis Presents a Tribute to Chicago. Ford Family Recital Hall, 260 W. Federal St., Youngstown 44503. 330-744-0264. www.youngstownsymphony.com…. This eight-piece band captures the music and stylings of the early Chicago Transit Authority.7:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 7.
Theresa Caputo Live: The Experience.W.D. Packard Music Hall, 1704 Mahoning Ave., N.W., Warren 44483. 800-745-3000. www.packardmusichall.com…. Ticketmaster.com…. 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 7. Tickets start at $44.75.
The Doo Wop Project.Robins Theatre, 160 E. Market St., Warren 44481. 234-437-6246, email@example.com…. The Doo Wop Project celebrates the classic vocal harmonies of the 1950s and early ’60s. The program begins with groups like the Crests and the Flamingos and continues with Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The Temptations, and The Four Seasons. The night also explores modern performers influenced by doo-wop, artists like Michael Jackson, Jason Mraz, and Maroon 5. The Doo Wop Project features stars from “Jersey Boys,” and “Motown: The Musical.” 5 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 8. $45-$20.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show 48th Anniversary.Robins Theatre, 160 E. Market St., Warren 44481. 234-437-6246, firstname.lastname@example.org…. This 48th anniversary show will feature original “Rocky Horror” actor Patricia Quinn who starred as Magenta. The event includes the original unedited movie (with a live shadow cast and audience participation). No outside props will be permitted. The event includes a special meet and greet add-on with Quinn. 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 10.
Latin Fire.Edward W. Powers Auditorium, 260 W. Federal St., Youngstown 44503. 330-744-0264. www.youngstownsymphony.com….Guest conductor Francisco Noya will lead the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra through Latin-flavored pops concert.Noya is music director of the Boston Civic Symphony Orchestra. 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 14.
That Arena Rock Show.Robins Theatre, 160 E. Market St., Warren 44481. 234-437-6246, email@example.com…. That Arena Rock Show pays tribute to 1970s and ’80s rock anthems, and includes the music of Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Bon Jovi, and others. Blackwater opens. 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 14. $25.
Warren Civic Music Association: RocOpraNatra.W.D. Packard Music Hall, 1703 Mahoning Ave. N.W., Warren 44483. 330-841-293, 330-399-4885.This Canadian trio fuses rock, opera, and the stylings of classic crooners like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. The repertoire mixes pop, music from the American songbook, and dramatic readings of classically influenced material. The group features Brian Roman, Danny Scott, and Christopher Dallo. As RocOpraNatra notes in a promotional video, “When worlds collide, the musical universe expands.” The group will be backed by a live band. 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 17. $125 (season), $40 (single ticket).
The Price is Right Live.Edward W. Powers Auditorium, 260 W. Federal St., Youngstown 44503. 330-744-0264. www.youngstownsymphony.com…. This interactive stage production takes the classic TV game show on the road where the audience can participate in competing for and winning prizes.7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 17.
Elizabeth Smart: Her Life Two Decades after Abduction and Terror.Ford Family Recital Hall, 260 W. Federal St., Youngstown 44503. 330-744-0264. www.youngstownsymphony.com…. This program is presented as part of the Mahoning County Bar Association Foundation Speaker Series. Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her bedroom in Salt Lake City in In 2002. Smart will tell her story of survival and her efforts to help children. The topics discussed in Smart’s story can potentially be graphic in nature. Discretion is advised. 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 18.
Justin Hayward: The Voice of the Moody Blues.Robins Theatre, 160 E. Market St., Warren 44481. 234-437-6246, firstname.lastname@example.org…. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Justin Hayward is known principally as the vocalist, lead guitarist and composer for the Moody Blues. Hayward joined the Moody Blues in 1966 and hit with the single “Fly Me High.”Other classics include ”Nights in White Satin,” “Tuesday Afternoon,” “Question,” “The Voice,” “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere,” and “Your Wildest Dreams.” 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 21. $57-$39.
The Tamburitzans.Ford Family Recital Hall, 260 W. Federal St., Youngstown 44503. 330-744-0264. www.youngstownsymphony.com…. Theensemble will perform the music and dances of Bulgaria, Ukraine, Croatia, and others. 3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 22.
The Sixties Show.Robins Theatre, 160 E. Market St., Warren 44481. 234-437-6246, email@example.com…. The Sixties Show features the hits, B-sides and deep cuts from the greatest songs of the 1960s. 7 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 22. $49.
Joe Gatto’s Night of Comedy. Edward W. Powers Auditorium, 260 W. Federal St., Youngstown 44503. 330-744-0264. www.youngstownsymphony.com…. Comedian, actor, and producer Joe Gatto is best known for the TV shows “Impractical Jokers” and “The Misery Index.”He is also a founding member of The Tenderloins Comedy Troupe, and co-host of the “Two Cool Moms” podcast.The performance will include an additional meet and greet ($100).Separate tickets must be purchased to attend meet and greet. 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 26.
Tony Hinchcliffe: Fully Groan Tour.Edward W. Powers Auditorium, 260 W. Federal St., Youngstown 44503. 330-744-0264. www.youngstownsymphony.com….Hinchcliffe is a stand up comedian, writer, and host of the “Kill Tony” podcast, locatedat The Comedy Mothership, Joe Rogan’s club in downtown Austin. This event prohibits devices. Cellphones, smart watches, smart accessories, cameras, and recording devices will not be permitted.7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 27.
Metro Monthly is a local news and events magazine based in Youngstown, Ohio. We circulate throughout the Mahoning Valley and offer print and online editions. Be sure to visit our publication’s website for news, features, and community events. Office: 330-259-0435.
You might think Allure of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s second Oasis Class ship, is merely a carbon copy of Oasis of the Seas, but that’s no longer true.
The first-in-class Oasis of the Seas set a megaship precedent in 2009 with its seven-neighborhood concept, a dizzying number of bars and restaurants, and groundbreaking entertainment such as a high-diving acrobatics show. The cruise line had no need to make changes when it launched ship number two, so Allure originally was an identical twin.
But more than a decade later, Allure of the Seas is hardly a copy. While Oasis got upgraded in 2019, Allure has yet to receive a second major refurbishment. (It was postponed due to the pandemic and is now scheduled for 2025.)
In truth, it’s looking a bit shabby, but more importantly, it still has some holdovers from its earlier days — venues that I thought were gone forever but which I discovered passengers still have a bit more time to enjoy.
In this review, I’ll cover the good and not-so-good parts of cruising Allure of the Seas.
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Allure of the Seas overview
Allure of the Seas, the second of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class ships, debuted in 2010. Back then, at 225,282 gross registered tons, it was just a smidge larger than Oasis of the Seas, making it the biggest cruise ship in the world — a title it held briefly until it was outdone by subsequent vessels in its class.
There’s a lot to do on the 5,492-passenger ship, which offers a plethora of activities, multiple food and drink options and a stellar kids club. For those reasons, Allure of the Seas appeals to families — particularly those with young children. It also attracts multigenerational families, friend groups and couples.
Oasis-Class ships are divided into seven neighborhoods. Below is a brief overview of Allure of the Seas’ major sectors.
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The Boardwalk on Deck 6 is themed around a day at the shore. Food options hit the mark with Johnny Rockets burgers, fries and milkshakes, as well as separate venues for hot dogs, candy, ice cream and doughnuts.
Anyone seeking a carnival-style experience can ride the free carousel, hit up the arcade or check out a high-diving acrobatics show at the wake-facing AquaTheater, flanked by two rock-climbing walls on Deck 10. Look up to glimpse passengers winging their way down the zipline above.
The only unfortunate aspect of this area is that there are few sea views. They’re blocked by inward-facing balconies, which the line pioneered in 2009.
Central Park feels like an actual park, just on a cruise ship. It’s home to more than 17,000 live plants, which are cared for by a team of resident gardeners.
The green space, which takes up a large chunk of Deck 8, is flanked by shops like a Coach store and the ship’s photography studio, as well as Chops Grille steakhouse, 150 Central Park restaurant, grab-and-go Park Cafe, Italian eatery Giovanni’s Table, Vintages wine bar and the Chandon bar, which serves delicious spritzers.
Central Park is a lovely space to stroll, grab a bite or sit and enjoy the greenery, but it’s often excessively hot with little shade, despite all the plants. Like the Boardwalk, it’s open to the sky, but the several decks of inward-facing balcony cabins that rise up around it don’t allow for any sea views.
If nightlife is what you seek, you’re sure to enjoy Entertainment Place on Deck 4. Clustered together are Comedy Live, a club offering live comedy shows; Studio B ice rink, where passengers can take in ice-skating performances or sign up to strap on a pair of skates themselves; and the Blaze nightclub, which has an inferno theme.
A former jazz club, Jazz on 4, is no longer there; it remains on the deck plans even though it has been converted into a small nonsmoking casino, making it one of several defunct onboard locations that an eagle-eyed cruiser might notice if they look closely. Heading aft, the Hall of Odds leads to the art gallery and Casino Royale, the ship’s main casino space.
Pool and Sports Zone
The ship has four pools — Main Pool, graded-entry Beach Pool, family-friendly H2O Zone Pool and Sports Pool, which hosts lap swimming, water polo and badminton — in its Pool and Sports Zone on Deck 15. The area also encompasses six hot tubs, two FlowRider surf simulators that also allow boogie boarding, a miniature golf course and a zipline, as well as a sports court and Ping-Pong tables.
This neighborhood also has several bars and the Wipe Out Cafe, which now houses El Loco Fresh, a complimentary Mexican restaurant. The Windjammer buffet is also located near the pools.
One of the ship’s major hubs, the Royal Promenade is reminiscent of a shopping mall and runs nearly the length of Deck 5. Here you’ll find the guest services desk, the Champagne Bar, the Globe and Atlas Pub, a stand-alone Starbucks, future cruise and shore excursion desks, several shops, a karaoke lounge and Latin music-themed Boleros nightclub.
One neat attraction is the Rising Tide Bar, which slowly rises and descends between the Royal Promenade and Central Park on Deck 8 at regular intervals while passengers sip cocktails.
Craving pizza? Some of the best at sea is in this neighborhood at Sorrento’s, and Cafe Promenade serves up free light bites along with both free and for-fee coffee drinks. (Note that if you have the basic beverage package, you can get free specialty Starbucks coffees there. If you go to Starbucks, your package won’t cover it.)
Hang around the Royal Promenade long enough, and you’ll likely catch a parade or a party, complete with a balloon drop.
Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center
Allure of the Seas’ spa and fitness area on Deck 6 is impressive. It offers a full battery of added-cost spa treatments (massages, facials, IV treatments, cellulite reduction, acupuncture), salon and barber services (haircuts, manicures and pedicures) and a thermal suite.
The space also includes a sizable fitness center with for-fee classes and personal training, along with equipment that’s free to use. These include LifeFitness cardio machines, weight machines, free weights, yoga mats, kettlebells and exercise balls. One deck below, a jogging track wraps around the entirety of Deck 5 (2.4 laps equal 1 mile).
Keep the healthy choices going with a visit to the Vitality Spa Cafe, which has a menu full of lighter fare, such as salads, sandwiches and smoothies.
Adventure Ocean, Royal Caribbean’s stellar kids club, has a vast space on Allure of the Seas. It offers separate areas for Royal Babies and Tots (6 months to 2 years), Aquanauts (3 to 5 years), Explorers (6 to 8 years) and Voyagers (9 to 11 years) on Deck 14 forward. There are also dedicated spaces for arts and crafts, science experiments and parent-child playtime (for the youngest cruisers).
On Deck 15 aft, tweens and teens have their own areas, separate from the younger kids. The Living Room offers a chill lounge space for ages 12 to 17. It’s supervised but less structured with a “come and go as you please” policy, whereas younger children must be signed in and out of Adventure Ocean by a parent or guardian.
Fuel nightclub hosts dance parties and other supervised nighttime events for tweens and teens. The ship also has two pay-to-play arcades — one near The Living Room and one on the Boardwalk.
What I loved about Allure of the Seas
Sabor Taqueria, which Royal Caribbean introduced on select ships in 2015 as Sabor Modern Mexican, is one of my favorite restaurants at sea. It was so popular that it eventually was added to Oasis Class vessels. It served excellent Mexican fare for an added cost, but despite its popularity, Royal Caribbean phased it out.
I thought it was gone forever but was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled upon it while checking out the Boardwalk.
I was so ecstatic that I ate there twice during my voyage. I thoroughly enjoyed the tortilla soup, quesadillas, burritos and fish tempura tacos. The house-made guacamole, which every table automatically receives, is also a huge winner. There is a cover charge, but if you have a dining package, it’s free. Drinks cost extra if you don’t have a beverage package.
I was super sad to learn that, when the ship undergoes its refurbishment in 2025, the saloon will be replaced with Playmakers sports bar, complete with the venue’s standard pub grub menu. Personally, the last thing I want is more fried food. That means the only remaining ship with Sabor will be Harmony of the Seas.
Royal Caribbean, consider this my official plea for Playmakers to serve food from the Sabor menu on Allure.
Sure, complimentary Mexican fare is available at the former Wipe Out Cafe on Deck 15 (now called El Loco Fresh). However, the rubbery meat and counter service-style atmosphere there are severely subpar next to Sabor.
New Schooner Bar menu
As part of Royal Caribbean’s never-ending quest to improve its products, the line has launched a brand-new drinks menu at the nautically themed Schooner Bar. Although the menu will roll out fleetwide, it debuted during my Allure of the Seas sailing.
Fans of the wildly popular Lavender Daquiri will be thrilled to know it’s the only cocktail that made the cut from the bar’s former menu. However, they might just discover another favorite after trying some of the new concoctions. These include a Toasted Marshmallow Old Fashioned (my personal favorite), garnished with torched mini-marshmallows; a Peanut Butter Tropic, made with peanut butter whiskey, pineapple juice, bitters and lemon juice; and a Desert Pear Margarita, which includes tequila, desert pear syrup and lime juice.
A nearly constant celebration
I have never experienced more theme parties on a ship than I have on Allure of the Seas. If you enjoy dressing up and participating in quirky themes, be sure to pack attire appropriate for the ’70s. On my voyage, we also had Caribbean and country nights, as well as a White Night and Royal Caribbean’s staple nightclub experience, Red. (Oddly, Red fell on the same night as the country theme.)
In addition to theme parties, the schedule was packed with Royal Promenade celebrations, silent disco parties and other shenanigans that involved dancing and socializing until late. For a street festival vibe, check out the Fiesta Balloon Drop, which covers passengers in colorful balloons and confetti.
What I didn’t love about Allure of the Seas
It’s a good thing Allure of the Seas is slated for a dry dock. At times, the nostalgic feel held over from original iterations of the Oasis class crosses the line into outdated or confusing.
My cabin had no USB ports or standard outlets anywhere near the beds. An ancient combo alarm clock and iPod/iPhone dock (complete with obsolete FireWire charging ports) adorned the vanity; while I appreciated having a clock in the room, it was useless for charging more modern devices. Additionally, several of my room’s metal fixtures — wall panels and bedside reading lamps — showed signs of rust.
In other areas of the ship, ghosts of amenities past haunt the deck plans. Looking for Jazz on 4, which is still found on paper maps and directional ship models? You won’t find it because it was converted to a nonsmoking casino years ago.
And, if you’re wondering why you don’t see complimentary Mexican restaurant El Loco Fresh listed or why you can’t seem to locate anything called the Trellis Bar in Central Park, it’s because the former took over the Wipe Out Cafe, and the latter was replaced with Chandon, a spritzer bar.
And, finally, I couldn’t help but notice an empty storefront along the Boardwalk, windows covered with paper. It lacked a sign, but upon closer inspection, a nearly translucent braille sign near the door indicated it used to be Pets at Sea, a Build-A-Bear-style build-your-own-stuffed-animal store that dates back to when the ship began sailing. The venue was tentatively scheduled to be removed during the next refurbishment, but it looks like it has already been shut down. Oddly, it doesn’t appear on the outdated deck plans.
Trouble with bookings via the app
I have mixed feelings about cruise mobile apps in general, often finding them glitchy at best and nonfunctional at worst. Historically, I’ve had little trouble with Royal Caribbean’s app, but I found it frustrating to make reservations for shows on Allure of the Seas.
When I tried to secure spots for me and a friend traveling in the same group, it said there was availability and took me through the reservation process. When I got to the end and submitted the request, it told me there was no room left. I shut down the app and tried again with the same results.
In the end, I had to call guest services, and they added the booking manually. It was an issue more than once during the voyage — so much so that I resorted to calling guest services first rather than fussing with the app.
Rising Tide Bar fountain
The Rising Tide Bar levitates between decks 5 and 8. When it leaves its base on the Royal Promenade, a fountain rains down from underneath it, complete with colored lights and dancing water jets. The effect makes it seem like the spray is pushing up the bar. It’s a neat idea, but the fountain is absurdly loud and only adds to the already deafening cacophony in the space.
It’s so loud that it often makes it difficult to hear the entertainment staff members who lead trivia at the nearby Schooner Bar. On my sailing, a drink tasting there had to be postponed for 20 minutes until the fountain could be shut off because nobody could hear the bartender talking. I would love to see the fountain permanently disabled during the upcoming renovation.
Allure of the Seas cabins and suites
In addition to standard inside (140 to 260 square feet each), ocean-view (179-271 square feet each) and balcony cabins (182-271 square feet each with 50-80-square-foot balconies), Allure of the Seas’ accommodations include some specialty options that are worth mentioning.
First is the virtual balcony cabin, which is an inside cabin with a floor-to-ceiling LED wall that features a digital balcony view via a live feed to make you feel like you’re sailing in the real thing.
Then, there are neighborhood insides and balconies. They have no sea views, instead looking out over whichever neighborhood they’re in. The insides, found in Central Park and along the Royal Promenade, do have windows gazing out on the public spaces below, while the balconies in Central Park and on the Boardwalk have actual verandas.
The ship’s 174 suites fall into several categories. These include Junior Suites (287 square feet with 80-square-foot balconies), which are glorified balcony cabins; and AquaTheater Suites (323-823 square feet with 140-772-square-foot balconies), which offer wake vistas and a bird’s-eye view of the AquaTheater and its astounding high-dive performances.
There are also Grand Suites (371-914 square feet with 105-238 square-foot balconies) and Owner’s Suites (556-1,076 square feet with 161-243-square-foot balconies). Loft Suites offer spacious two-story accommodations and come in Crown (545 square feet with 114-square-foot balconies), Star (722 square feet with 410-square-foot balconies) and Royal (1,524 square feet with 843-square-foot balconies) varieties.
My cabin, a standard balcony, offered two twin beds that were converted into a single queen, two bedside lamps, two nightstands with absurdly small shelves instead of drawers (useless for pajama storage), a sofa and a coffee table. The desk/vanity was outfitted with a series of North American 110-volt outlets, a chair, hair dryer, an obsolete alarm clock with an iPhone/iPod charging station and a minifridge.
The TV offers ship channels that include information on shopping and shore excursions, the ship’s position and more. You can also view your onboard bill, live TV and for-fee movies. Be warned: If you pay for a movie, you have only 24 hours to watch it. After that, you’ll have to purchase it again. You also need to save your progress using the remote if you want to pause it, turn the TV off and come back later to watch the rest.
The closet offered a high bar for hanging clothes, including long items like dresses and gowns. Cube shelves offered additional storage space for things like undergarments, pajamas and swimsuits, as well as a code-operated safe for valuables.
The bathroom had a glass-enclosed shower that was painfully small but functional, with decent storage space. Royal Caribbean offered its own brand of bar soap for handwashing and hair and body wash in a wall-mounted dispenser in the shower. Passengers booked in more expensive cabins receive individual mini-bottles of the line’s branded shower gel, lotion, shampoo and conditioner.
One odd complaint is that I could never get cold water in my sink; it was always lukewarm at its chilliest.
My balcony was tiny, but it offered two metal and mesh chairs and a full-height table, which was a nice touch. If it weren’t so incredibly hot outside, I would have spent more time out there.
Royal Caribbean has cut its daily cabin service back to once per day; you can choose from either morning or night. Since the Cruise Compass daily schedule is now available in the mobile app, the line has also stopped printing it for everyone. Ask your room steward if you’d like one left in your cabin each day.
Accessible accommodations consist of eight inside cabins, two ocean-view rooms, 33 balconies and three suites. These cabins offer wider doorways, bathroom grab bars, lowered sinks and cabin vanities, roll-in showers with fold-down benches and handheld shower heads, raised toilets, lowered closet rods, accessible balconies and lowered safes.
Allure of the Seas restaurants and bars
With 18 bars and 22 places to grab food and snacks, Allure of the Seas has an astounding number of venues to eat and drink. Options include specialty wine and Champagne bars, pool bars, bars with nautical and Latin themes, and even a bar that levitates.
Complimentary dining options include a three-deck main dining room, a massive buffet and El Loco Fresh Mexican cuisine. Or you can dine for an extra cost at one of several eateries that include steak, Italian, Japanese and American diner venues.
Allure of the Seas restaurants
If you’re on a strict vacation budget or don’t want to pay extra for dining, you can have a decent free meal in the main dining room. The space is divided into three sections — American Icon Grill, The Grande Restaurant and Silk — spread across decks 3, 4 and 5. They’re all set up around a central atrium that radiates elegance.
The menu changes daily — often to feature a set cuisine, such as Italian, Mexican or Caribbean. It’s the same across all three eateries.
American Icon Grill is open daily for breakfast and lunch on sea days only. See the Cruise Compass for exact times. For dinner, all three dining rooms are open. American Icon Grill handles early seating at 5:30 p.m., as well as My Time Dining, which allows passengers to eat whenever they want between 6:45 and 9:15 p.m. (I was assigned to My Time Dining, and I learned quickly that reservations are a must if you don’t want to wait in line for 40 minutes during peak times.)
The Grande Restaurant and Silk are open for both early (5:30 p.m.) and late (8 p.m.) seating.
Traditionally, I’ve found Royal Caribbean’s main dining room food unremarkable. It’s edible, but it has never stood out to me in any way — until Allure of the Seas. I thoroughly enjoyed the crispy Parmesan arancini (fried rice, cheese and mushroom balls), polenta fries, pork bao tacos and several spectacular Indian dishes that give Carnival Cruise Line ships — which are known for their fabulous Indian cuisine — a run for their money.
Windjammer Marketplace, the ship’s giant Deck 16 buffet, is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It features several stations serving nearly everything you could possibly desire, including made-to-order omelets, cereal, fruit, salads, sandwiches, hot dogs and hamburgers, drinks and desserts. It’s likely to be crowded during peak times, so plan accordingly.
Sorrento’s pizzeria on Deck 5’s Royal Promenade is a place I frequented almost daily. Slices are free, and you can order as many as you’d like. They include standard varieties like cheese, pepperoni and veggie, as well as a rotating list of specialty pies, such as a Caribbean pizza with cheese, bacon, pineapple and barbecue sauce. There’s also a gluten-free crust option available.
Cafe Promenade, along the Royal Promenade on Deck 5, provides free snacks that are perfect if you’re feeling peckish between meals. Choose from items like finger sandwiches, cookies, mini-cakes and brownies. It’s also the place to go for specialty coffees if you have a beverage package and don’t want to pay extra for Starbucks. You can order nearly the same drinks for less money (or for free with a package). Be prepared for it to be crowded in the mornings.
Park Cafe, in Central Park on Deck 8, is the place to go for quick fare without the chaos of the Windjammer. It’s generally open from 7:30-11 a.m. for breakfast and from 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. for lunch and snacks, but hours can vary.
In the morning, expect a selection of pastries and doughnuts, fruit, bagels with a variety of cream cheeses, parfaits, breakfast burritos and fresh-squeezed orange juice. Later in the day, you’ll find sandwiches and wraps, salads, fruit and other light items.
In the mornings, Boardwalk Donuts (along the Boardwalk on Deck 6) is stocked with several varieties, including glazed, strawberry and chocolate frosted and cinnamon sugar. They’re free but don’t wait because it’s only open for a couple hours each day.
Mexican from El Loco Fresh (at the former Wipe Out Cafe) includes complimentary items like tacos, nachos and burritos. It’s just OK. You’d be better off shelling out extra to dine at Sabor if you’ve got a craving.
Other no-fee options include the Boardwalk Dog House, which has a menu of hot dog selections, such as a classic dog, chicken and pineapple sausage, smoked Bavarian bratwurst and Sicilian pork sausage. Top any of those with sauerkraut, onions and a slew of other toppings, and pair it with a side of coleslaw or potato salad.
For dessert or a snack, head to Sprinkles — soft-serve ice cream machines located on the pool deck.
Found on Deck 8 in Central Park, Giovanni’s Table is Allure of the Seas’ upscale Italian restaurant. Its menu consists of items like crispy calamari, minestrone soup, seafood linguine, branzino, garlic and herb shrimp and several desserts. You can choose one starter, one main and one dessert for a set fee. My favorites were the caprese salad and gnocchi gorgonzola.
If you’ve dined there in the past, you might notice that some fan favorites — including the delicious pizza, giant meatballs, pulled pork and pancetta — have disappeared from the menu. They are casualties of Royal Caribbean’s mission to come as close to zero waste as possible, which has seen the line tightening its menus.
Full disclosure: I wasn’t looking forward to eating at Chops Grille, Royal Caribbean’s steakhouse. I’ve eaten there multiple times on different ships with inconsistent results that ranged from mediocre to disappointing. But my experience on this cruise was much approved.
This upscale restaurant serves up items like shrimp cocktail, tuna tartare and jumbo lump crabcakes, plus soups, salads, lamb, roasted chicken and, of course, steak. I chose the 9-ounce filet mignon, and — success! — it was absolutely outstanding. It was cooked just right, the flavor was amazing, and it came with a selection of sauces: bearnaise, peppercorn and red wine. I added asparagus and gruyere tater tots as sides, and I was stuffed.
Chops has redeemed itself for me, but I’ll still warn you to stay away from the bacon appetizer. It sounds delicious in theory, but what I received was a seasoned slab of fat.
Combination sushi and teppanyaki restaurant Izumi offers dinner with a show for an extra fee. A trained chef will cook for your group while he cracks the same tired jokes you’ve heard before at teppanyaki locations on land or on other ships.
However, the food — I had the chicken breast — was fantastic, which more than made up for the cringe factor. Everyone receives a salad and vegetable fried rice, as well as edamame to share. Then they choose from several protein or vegetarian options, such as chicken breast, beef tenderloin, tiger shrimp and sea scallops with lobster. Dessert selections consist of crispy sesame balls, chocolate lava cake, mochi and green tea ice cream.
Royal Caribbean shook things up when it brought land-based American diner-style burger restaurant Johnny Rockets onto its ships at the dawn of added-fee dining. For a flat fee, passengers can choose from anything on the menu, except milkshakes and alcohol, which cost extra.
On Allure of the Seas, I opted for The Original burger (a quarter-pounder with lettuce, tomato, relish, pickles, mustard and mayonnaise) with onion rings and a cookies ‘n’ cream milkshake. It was absolutely delicious, and the crew even entertained us with a song-and-dance number while we ate.
You already know that Sabor is one of my absolute favorite restaurants on any cruise ship, and I was ecstatic to find that it still exists on a couple of Royal Caribbean’s ships, including Allure of the Seas. I ate there twice during my voyage and stuffed myself with some of the best guacamole I’ve ever tasted, along with chicken tinga burritos, tortilla soup, cheese quesadillas and fish tacos.
This is, hands down, my favorite restaurant on the ship. For a flat fee of $24.99 per person, you can choose one appetizer, one main, a side and one dessert. Each table also gets chips with salsa and guacamole to start.
Although other lines have Starbucks locations on some of their vessels, Royal Caribbean was the first to partner with the brand. Allure of the Seas has a standalone kiosk (like what you might find at a shopping mall) where you can purchase cold snacks (think cake pops, coffee cake and cookies), as well as the usual gamut of specialty coffee beverages.
A la carte prices are similar to Starbucks locations on land. (An automatic gratuity will be added.) The line’s drink packages don’t cover these drinks, but even the basic package will cover similar specialty coffees (made with Starbucks coffee) at nearby Cafe Promenade (see above).
The adults-only Solarium Bistro on Deck 15 forward has its own restaurant attached. On Allure of the Seas, it offers both solarium and air-conditioned dining.
For breakfast and lunch, it’s complimentary, but there’s a surcharge for dinner, when the venue turns into Samba Grill and offers a Brazilian steakhouse menu. On my voyage out of Galveston, it was temporarily converted to a posh barbecue restaurant in partnership with 4 Rivers Smokehouse. Not only was the food mouthwatering — the biggest surprise was the outstanding vegan burnt ends — but the atmosphere made me feel like I was dining in the Mediterranean.
Other restaurants at which you’ll shell out additional money include 150 Central Park, an upscale establishment focused heavily on seasonal menus that use locally sourced ingredients; Vitality Cafe, an eatery that’s located near the ship’s Vitality Spa and serves healthy fare and smoothies; Cups & Scoops, where you’ll find Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and delectable cupcakes in a dozen rotating flavors; and room service, which is available 24 hours a day but levies a per-delivery surcharge.
Allure of the Seas bars
Bow & Stern is Allure of the Seas’ English-style pub, found on Deck 5 in the Royal Promenade. Made to feel dark and wooden like a stereotypical local, it serves a decent selection of beers, cocktails (including ones made with beer), whiskey and scotch. Whether you’re there for a pint or a ground-level view of one of the promenade parties, you can’t go wrong with a table outside the pub.
Not too far from Bow & Stern is the ship’s Champagne Bar, which serves exactly what the name implies. Order by the glass or bottle in an intimate setting that feels decidedly French with plush carpeting, blue Chesterfield banquettes and an overhead glass installation that evokes bubbles.
Outside the Champagne Bar is the Rising Tide Bar, which slowly travels between decks 5 and 8 at regular intervals. As the bar rises upward, it appears to be pushed into the air by a giant waterfall cascading from underneath it. It’s a neat — albeit gimmicky — concept that debuted on Oasis of the Seas and carried through to other vessels in the class.
The Schooner Bar, a Royal Caribbean staple, is tucked into a sliver of space on Deck 6, overlooking the Royal Promenade. As is typical, it’s nautically themed, featuring dark woods, fishing nets and a sizable bar with a dedicated menu that was recently refreshed. It’s where trivia is often held, but be warned: Arrive early and sit near the host. Otherwise, you risk not finding a table or being able to hear the questions over the deafening white noise of the Rising Tide Bar’s fountain.
Other bars, which I didn’t try, include the Chandon Garden Spritz Bar, which serves light and refreshing Chandon cocktails in Central Park on Deck 8, and a Boardwalk bar that serves Sabor on Deck 6.
Allure of the Seas entertainment
Allure of the Seas’ entertainment is as varied as its neighborhoods and its passengers. The plethora of options is what makes the ship such a great fit for families and groups who are likely to have different interests. Whether you prefer a cocktail and some trivia, silly pool games, a jaw-dropping show or comedy act, or a spin class that will help you to burn off last night’s dessert, there’s no shortage of activities to keep you busy.
Allure of the Seas activities
Looking to shop or catch the latest street party or parade? Head to the Royal Promenade. For carousel rides, fortune telling and arcade games, the Boardwalk is your best bet. If you’re feeling like some physical fun or an adrenaline rush, make your way up to the Pool and Sports Zone, which houses surf simulators, a sports court, Ping-Pong tables, a zip line and miniature golf.
Or head down to Deck 4, where you’ll find the casino and an ice rink that offers open skating a few times per sailing. The ship also has free rock climbing and extra-fee cake decorating classes, a full salon and spa, and a fitness center.
For water babies, Allure of the Seas has four pools on Deck 15 midship, overlooking Central Park: the H2O Zone Pool on the starboard side near the kids splash area; Sports Pool, port side, used for events like water volleyball; Main Pool, port, a standard cruise ship pool; and Beach Pool, starboard, offering a wade-in gradual entry. There are also six hot tubs near the four pools.
The Solarium on Deck 15 forward also offers a pool for anyone 16 or older. It’s small and was so crowded on my sailing that you could hardly move. Two additional hot tubs are located just outside the Solarium.
Allure of the Seas has an accessible lift at its Main Pool, along with a lift at a nearby hot tub.
Five bars serve the general area: Mast Bar, Pool Bar, Sand Bar and Sky Bar. There’s also a Solarium Bar inside the Solarium. Additionally, the Wipeout Bar serves the Pool & Sports Zone neighborhood and sits all the way aft, between Allure of the Seas’ two FlowRiders.
If you’d rather stay inside and avoid the sun, several lounges offer fun activities and places to grab drinks. Blaze is the ship’s inferno-themed nightclub on Deck 4. It often hosts late-night dance parties and is a great spot to hit after a comedy show in nearby Comedy Live.
Feeling like some Latin tunes? Boleros on Deck 5 in the Royal Promenade is the place to be. Just across the way is the On Air Club, which hosts trivia throughout the day, though its intended purpose is karaoke. Choose a song, and belt it out as the lyrics scroll by on a digital screen, reminiscent of a stock ticker, outside the venue.
For jazz, drinks and trivia — or a quiet place to read a book or check emails when it’s not in use — Dazzles rises two stories on decks 8 and 9. It overlooks Central Park, making for pleasant views while you’re visiting.
Other daily activities include bingo, pickleball play, basketball shootout competitions, dance classes and themed parties.
Allure of the Seas shows
Nighttime is when Allure of the Seas’ entertainment truly shines — and I’m not talking about just one or two decent shows. Instead, several truly spectacular options appear once or twice throughout each sailing.
“OceanAria” is a combination of high diving and acrobatics that takes place at the Boardwalk’s aft-facing AquaTheater. Set to music and dancing fountains, the show features the ship’s wake as a backdrop. Although this particular show doesn’t include slacklining, tightrope walking or aerial acrobatics like the ones on some of the other Oasis Class ships, the feats performed will still make your breath catch in your throat. It’s free to attend, but reservations are a must; make them early.
It still astounds me that some of Royal Caribbean’s ships have ice skating rinks on board. Allure of the Seas is one of them with its Studio B. In addition to complimentary open skating for passengers, a team of resident professional skaters puts on “Blades” — an ice performance that includes solo, group and couples routines set to popular songs. Guest stars, such as a hula-hooping skater, add to the intrigue.
For years, Royal Caribbean has been known for its Broadway prowess, bringing titles like “Saturday Night Fever,” “Hairspray” and “Cats” to the high seas. In Allure’s main Amber Theater, you can watch a full 2.5-hour production of “Mamma Mia!” It’s just as great as the version I saw in New York several years ago, complete with a score of songs by universal favorite Abba.
Cruisers can also enjoy “Blue Planet” in the main theater. The storyline follows a young woman who travels to faraway places — including under the sea — searching for ways to protect the planet and its wonders. In this case, said wonders are dancers, singers and acrobats. They’re backed by fantastic scenery shrouded in a sheer curtain that serves as a projection screen.
Allure’s theater also hosts a rotating battery of limited-run talent. My favorite was MO5AIC, a Las Vegas-based five-man acapella group featuring some of the best vocal talent I’ve ever heard — including a beatboxer who serves as an entire percussion section using just his throat and mouth.
Comedy Club on Deck 4 also comes alive after dark, offering two shows almost nightly for adults only.
Allure of the Seas itineraries and pricing
At the end of October 2023, Allure of the Seas will reposition from Galveston to Orlando’s Port Canaveral. From there it will sail three- and four-night Bahamas voyages — including stops at the line’s private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay — from Orlando’s Port Canaveral through June 2024. At the time of publication, prices started from $322 per person ($81 per person, per night) for a four-night sailing in an inside cabin.
From early July 2024 to early February 2025, the ship will relocate to Miami to offer the same three- and four-night Bahamas sailings, including Perfect Day at CocoCay. At press time, prices started at $282 per person ($94 per person, per night) for an inside room on a three-night cruise.
What to know before you go
It’s a good idea to have a passport for all cruise travel, but if you’re a United States citizen sailing Allure of the Seas round-trip from a U.S. embarkation port, you can board with your original birth certificate and a government-issued photo ID instead. If you use a passport, it must be valid for at least six months after your voyage ends.
If you sail on Allure of the Seas, expect service charges of anywhere from $16 to $18.50 per person, per day charged to your onboard account, depending on your cabin type. Although we don’t encourage it, you can visit the guest services desk to have the amount adjusted down or removed. An additional 18% gratuity is attached to all bar, minibar, spa and salon purchases.
Allure of the Seas has some of the fastest Wi-Fi at sea, thanks to Royal Caribbean’s VOOM, which is powered by Starlink on all vessels in the fleet. On my sailing, I could text without a problem and stream Netflix shows. I also uploaded more than 200 photos to Dropbox in just a few minutes. Prices vary by sailing length and the number of devices you wish to connect.
Note that you don’t need to purchase Wi-Fi to use the line’s mobile app, which allows you to check in for your sailing, make reservations, monitor your onboard bill and stay in touch with travel companions via app messaging.
Carry-on drinks policy
If you’re sailing on Allure of the Seas, you can bring up to two bottles of wine or Champagne per cabin. The line will charge you $15 per bottle as a corkage fee if you consume it outside your stateroom. Passengers may also bring up to 12 cans, bottles or cartons of nonalcoholic beverages like juice or soda.
Smoking is not allowed in most public areas on Allure of the Seas. Passengers wishing to light up — including e-cigarettes — must head to designated outdoor areas or the casino. And don’t even think about smoking in your cabin or on your balcony. It’s not allowed, and you face a fine of $250 if you try it.
Self-service laundry isn’t available on Allure of the Seas. However, you can have clothing sent out for washing, pressing or dry-cleaning for fees that range from $1.99 to press a shirt to $14.99 to have a suit dry-cleaned and pressed.
All Royal Caribbean ships offer North American-style 110-volt outlets and European-style 220-volt outlets in rooms. In my cabin, a duo — one European-style and one North American-style — was hidden under the vanity. On top of the vanity, a multi-port set of three North American outlets was set into a round base. However, the cabin had neither a single USB port nor outlets near the beds.
The currency on Allure of the Seas is the U.S. dollar. The system on board is completely cashless, which means you’ll use your room key — called a SeaPass card — for charging purchases when you sail. You’ll have to tie either a credit card or a set amount of cash to it before your cruise.
Because the ship sails round-trip from a U.S. port, the drinking age on board is 21 years.
Royal Caribbean’s dress code is somewhat ambiguous. In general, casual clothing is fine during the day. Think jeans or shorts with T-shirts, athleisure wear or swimwear if you’re at the pool. (Please wear shoes and a coverup if you venture inside, especially for food.)
At night, resort casual is acceptable in most restaurants on most nights. That means Polo-style shirts with nice shorts, jeans or slacks for men and either a sundress or nice jeans or slacks with a blouse for women.
Weeklong voyages usually have one formal night, where passengers are encouraged to dress to the nines. Sailings of more than seven nights might have more than one of these. I also saw a “dress to impress” dress code listed one night during my cruise (unclear exactly what that meant).
For both types of dress-up nights, you’ll be fine with slacks and a blazer, a suit or a cocktail dress or ball gown if you want to be fancy. Note that, on most sailings, you’re likely to find as many people dressing down as you’ll see dressing up.
Some specialty restaurants claim to have a dress code, but it’s not enforced. For example, Chops, the onboard steakhouse, is supposed to be formal. However, I dined next to a table full of sports jersey-clad passengers who didn’t seem the least bit out of place.
If you like to participate in theme nights, prepare by packing items appropriately colored for the Red Party and white night. Other themes on my voyage included cowboy/country and ’70s.
Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas isn’t a new ship, but it has stood the test of time. Because it’s still waiting for a second major overhaul, it looks worn around the edges. However, its throwback offerings — such as Sabor, which only appears on one other ship in the fleet — make the minor wear and tear easy to overlook.
The lineup of scheduled daytime activities is staggering, and it offers something for passengers of all ages, interests and activity levels, whether they prefer trivia, surfing or something in between. At night, instead of one or two standout performances, just about every single show will make your jaw drop.
Food is generally fantastic, and the fact that the line has found a way to get its fleet to a nearly zero-waste status makes me feel even better about having sailed.
Despite minor evidence of wear and tear, overall you can’t go wrong with a sailing on Allure of the Seas.
When it comes to food, South Florida is a great place to be. So many new restaurants open up every day. Here’s what’s coming soon to a city near you.
Cake Daddy’s, Wilton Manors
Cuban-born baker Victor Calderon is the culinary muscle behind this new Wilton Drive bake shop — emphasis on the muscle. A banner facing the Drive depicts the tattooed and shirtless Calderon sporting an apron, triumphantly hoisting a 9-inch cake. The bakery expects to debut sometime in October or November. Calderon, who immigrated to the states in 2012, says in a GoFundMe post that he originally baked and sold cakes to support himself and his mother while funding his way out of Cuba. No menu is yet available, but the website is filled with images of cupcakes and custom cakes. 2047 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors; 954-361-1239; CakeDaddys.com
Cafe Americano Supper Club, Boca Raton
Classic meets contemporary Italian at this posh sit-down, which is registered to Christopher Gallo and Joseph Esposito and is expected to debut in October next to Doris Italian Market, within the Yamato Village strip mall. The old-meets-new dynamic even extends to the decor, with a large chandelier in the dining area and octagonal light fixtures over the bar. That mashup also is reflected in the in-progress menu, which includes seared ahi tuna and pasta al pomodoro, along with salads, cheese appetizers, and vanilla cheesecake and apple pie for dessert. 9101 Lakeridge Blvd., Suite 1, Boca Raton; 561-576-3000; CafeAmericanoSupperClub.com
Ana’s Killer Empanadas, West Palm Beach
After opening their flagship in Delray Beach in March, John and Ana Brice’s second location is expected to debut this fall on South Dixie Highway. Here, Ana Brice will stuff her Argentine-style empanadas with bold, arguably trendy flavors, such as chicken and oregano, Cuban sandwich (slow-roasted pork, smoked ham, Swiss, dill pickle, yellow mustard), coconut curry chicken, meatball parmesan, Philly cheesesteak, and Southern barbecue beef brisket. There are also sides of black beans and cilantro rice. For dessert: apple pie empanadas. 3244 S. Dixie Highway; 561-331-0897; AnasKillerEmpanadas.com
Revelry Plates & Potions, Pompano Beach
Pompano Beach’s newest bar is a nostalgic craft beer and wine lounge that resembles “your crazy aunt’s living room,” co-owners Zena Tarantino and Brando Garcia tell the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The 2,500-square-foot hangout is a revival of the duo’s original Revery bar on Lake Avenue in Lake Worth Beach, which shut down in 2021 during the pandemic. Tarantino and Garcia’s new location, scheduled to open in October, will be three times larger, and include a menu of burgers, salads and flatbreads under new chef Paul Pincus as well as an emphasis on live local bands and burlesque shows on weekends. (Tarantino is a burlesque dancer and will join in.) Revelry will also screen 1980s movies and TV shows and host nerdy tabletop games in its dining area, which is adorned in eclectic, mismatched furniture. 227 Federal Highway, Pompano Beach; RevelryFla.com
Sicilian Oven, Cooper City
The ninth location of this landmark local chain, where pies are wood-fired at 700 degrees, is heading to the Countryside Shops plaza, replacing the storefront once occupied by the late, great Beverly Hills Cafe, which closed in 2021. The 125-seat pizzeria, from owner Ralph Di Salvo, expects to open in October. It offers a menu of 17 specialty pies from the square, Grandma-style Nonna to the cheeseless Marie to the New York-style Brooklyn to the Margherita-style Boss. There are also oven-roasted panetta sandwiches and soups (escarole and beans), cervellata (a cheese-and-parsley sausage) and pastas. 5544 S. Flamingo Road, Cooper City; SicilianOven.com
Pixie on Dixie, West Palm Beach
The short-lived SoSo Cafe lasted a year in the city’s trendy SoSo (South of Southern) nabe before shuttering in April, but that casual healthy-eats spot will live on in spirit with its replacement: Pixie on Dixie. The new eatery — also health-focused — expects to open in October. Not only has former SoSo chef Cesar Brea been rehired at Pixie, but the new restaurant will carry a few of its predecessors’ dishes, including chicken empanadas and a Mediterranean salad bowl. There will also be herb-marinated chicken sandwiches, acai bowls and chorizo tostadas for brunch. Pixie is co-owned by Hess Musallet, operator of the Field of Greens mini-chain in Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Wellington and North Palm Beach. 4802 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; no phone number or website yet available
Mia Rosebud, Boca Raton
The 10th location of this Illinois-born restaurant chain, known for dishing huge portions of Italian classics, is set to arrive in downtown Boca Raton “this coming fall,” according to a message posted on its website. At 7,700 square feet, the 164-seat restaurant with an exterior bar and patio seating on Palmetto Park Road, comes from restaurateur Alex Dana, whose restaurant group in Chicago’s Little Italy is expanding into Florida for the first time. A Boca menu isn’t yet available, but Chicagoland locations serve pastas including cavatelli cacio e pepe and rigatoni alla vodka, along with NY strip steaks, brick chicken and veal cutlets for entrees, and tiramisu and ricotta cheesecake for dessert. 150 E. Palmetto Park Road, Boca Raton; 561-462-3000; RosebudRestaurants.com and Instagram.com/rosebudbocaraton
H&H Bagels, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach
As Cosmo Kramer once said, “Toss me an apron: Let’s bagel.” The New York bagel chain once featured on TV’s “Seinfeld” is making an aggressive countrywide expansion for the first time outside the Big Apple, with the first of 25 new stores set to open in Boca Raton by this fall. A second franchise is expected to debut inside West Palm Beach’s tony NORA commercial district in 2024. “We’re working with like-minded entrepreneurs who are eager to bring an iconic brand and an authentic New York City bagel to cities all across the country,” Jay Rushin, CEO of the 51-year-old bagelry, says in a news release. Five stores will also open in Tampa. The shop serves tuna and chicken salad sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches and housemade bagel spreads, from lox to flavored cream cheese. Try to get there before Kramer sabotages the bagel machine again. 2200 Glades Road, Boca Raton, and 890 N. Railroad Ave., West Palm Beach; HHBagels.com
Wrap City Sandwich Co., Lake Worth Beach
The northeastern migration of restaurants into South Florida continues with the first local offshoot of this New Hampshire chain, which is plotting an October opening on North Dixie Highway inside a former Dunkin’. The handheld shop — which comes from business partners Bernie Lebs, Jana Croft, Gregg Ryan and Peter Ackerman — touts 18 sandwiches and 21 wraps. Creations range from the Thanksgiving-esque Plymouth County (turkey breast, stuffing, gravy and cranberry) to the Bangkok Nights (Thai chicken, spicy peanut sauce, carrot sticks, lettuce, tomato), along with salads and housemade potato chips. 2200 N. Dixie Highway, Lake Worth Beach; WrapCitySandwiches.com
Oriano’s Chicago Ave, Coral Springs
If Hulu’s breakout comedy-drama “The Bear” had you craving a hoagie stuffed to the brim with giardiniera and tender Italian beef chuck, this sandwich-and-pizza takeout spot aims to bring the Windy City to the suburbs this fall. Oriano’s is registered to Eugene Fontanini, who sold his foodservice business, Fontanini Italian Meats and Sausages, to Hormel Foods Corp. for $425 million back in 2017. The eatery, which replaces the short-lived Just Pizza & Wings Co. (it closed after six months), also offers meatballs, Chicago-style pizza by the slice, Maxwell street polish sausage and charcoal-grilled Italian sausage. According to records, future locations are also heading to Lauderdale Lakes (4101 N. State Road 7), Oakland Park (2901 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Suite A23-A24) and Pompano Beach (1 E. McNab Road). 2359 N. University Drive, Coral Springs; no website or phone number yet available
Burtons Grill & Bar, Plantation
Born on Massachusetts’ South Shore, this upscale American chain will debut its newest outpost — and second in South Florida — in the Market on University strip mall this fall. The 248-seat eatery (188 indoor, 60 patio) will replace a former Carrabba’s Italian Grill that was destroyed in a gas-leak explosion that rocked the plaza in 2019. Burtons, which operates 19 locations in eight states, including one in Boca Raton, is registered to John Haggai and Mitchell Kahn. It will serve familiar staples including lobster shrimp pasta, Mediterranean chicken risotto, salads and protein bowls, Angus beef burgers, short-rib grilled cheese and 28-day aged ribeye with bone marrow butter and garlic mashed potatoes. 1003 S. University Drive; BurtonsGrill.com
YOLO Korean BBQ, Tamarac
At 10,000 square feet, this massive all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue house will offer 60 tables with built-in burners and two karaoke rooms when it debuts this fall in the University Commons plaza. It will join an already bustling Korean restaurant row on University Drive, packed with groceries and barbecue joints such as Gabose, ROK and Manna Korean. YOLO, registered to owner Ray Park, will feature barbecued proteins like bulgogi and samgyeopsal, as well as kimchi jjigae (stew) and banchan (basically tiny side dishes) such as gyeranjjim (steamed eggs) and japchae (stir-fried glass noodles). 6800 N. University Drive, Tamarac; no website or phone number yet available
Big Whiskey’s American Restaurant & Bar, Davie
This Missouri sports-bar franchise devoted to wings, steaks and banks of flat-screen TVs is plotting its first Florida location with a 5,500-square-foot space on South University Drive, replacing the former Crab-Holic. The eatery expects a Nov. 1 debut. The 250-seat spot, where University Drive meets Griffin Road, is a “perfect place” to draw families and traffic from nearby Nova Southeastern University, franchisee Steve Swanson said. “You could say it’s another sports bar, but I think of it as more of a fun, energetic hangout, and that’s what sets it apart from sports bars like Duffy’s or Chili’s,” he says. Swanson, who operates Walt’s American Grille & Bar in Boca Raton and once ran six South Florida IHOP franchises, says Big Whiskey’s will serve 120 types of whiskey and bone-in wings with 14 sauces, along with salads, soups, New York strips, baby back ribs and seven handhelds from turkey gouda to Philly cheesesteak. Swanson is eyeing southern Palm Beach County for Big Whiskey’s second location. 4599 S. University Drive, Davie; BigWhiskeys.com
Campi at The Ray Hotel, Delray Beach
This new concept from restaurateur Curt Huegel is expected to open in The Ray Hotel sometime this fall, taking the space that formerly housed Ember Grill. Known for Manhattan’s Campagnola, Bill’s Townhouse, American Cut and Scarpetta, Huegel also has Avalon Steak & Seafood as well as Lulu’s Café & Cocktails in Delray Beach’s dining and entertainment enclave. “We’ve found a new culinary home here in Delray Beach, with this being our third restaurant we will open in the downtown area,” Huegel says. “Coming to The Ray Hotel was something of a no-brainer for us, as the property itself exudes that vibrant, beachy-yet-modern feel, a perfect fit for what Campi is.” In other news at the hotel: Chef Akira Back will, in addition to helming his eponymous eatery, also take over Rosewater Rooftop. “I could not be more excited to be expanding in Delray Beach with Rosewater Rooftop,” Back says. “Delray Beach is a special culinary and hospitality destination that I’m happy to be able to add my vision and concepts.” 233 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach; 561-739-1700; therayhotel.com
Saiko-i Sushi Lounge and Hibachi, Plantation
Before year’s end, this Japanese restaurant and lounge plans to debut inside the city’s Shoppes at Broward plaza on Broward Boulevard. The hibachi comes from husband-and-wife hospitality vets Jason Zheng and Tina Wang (Koi Japanese Cuisine & Sushi Lounge, Coco Sushi Lounge & Bar, Yakitori Sake House), who also operate a Saiko-i in Boca Raton. The restaurant will also offer entrees such as lobster pad thai and salmon kha pow, pan-seared Chilean sea bass and Thai red curry organic chicken, as well as fried rice, ramen bowls, stir-frys, sushi boats and 30 signature rolls. 8100-8160 W. Broward Blvd., Plantation; saikoiboca.com
Hurts Donut Co., Plantation
This Missouri-born treat shop founded by Timothy and Kas Clegg is expected to open its first Florida location sometime this year at Plantation Walk, a spokesperson for the mega-shopping playground has told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The bake-shop chain serves goodies themed around Cookie Monster (yes, with googly eyes), Homer Simpson (pink, multicolored sprinkles) and cotton candy (topped with a hunk of cotton candy), along with custard-filled Long John and cake doughnuts studded with Reese’s Pieces and Fruity Pebbles. Though a lease was reportedly signed in early June, no exact address is yet available. WannaHurts.com
The Wagyu House, Hallandale Beach
Sometime this fall, the premium meatheads behind online butcher shop Meat N’ Bone and The Wagyu Bar on Miami’s Coral Way will join the fray of trendy restaurants filling the third phase of buzzy Atlantic Village on North Federal Highway. The restaurant, billed as a “casual steakhouse” by owners Luis Mata and Gabriel Llaurado, will offer dozens of rare, dry-aged and high-end steaks. While a full menu is still in the works, the cuts will be sourced from Mata and Llaurado’s Meat N’ Bone online shop, started in 2018. That store offers 300 cuts of meat, poultry and seafood, and has since expanded into brick-and-mortar butcher shops in Coral Springs and Pinecrest. 601 N. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach; TheWagyuBar.com
Mission BBQ, Royal Palm Beach
This pit joint —- the second in Palm Beach County — is coming this year to the Boulevard Shoppes at Cypress Key plaza, adding to the flurry of new restaurants heading to the once-sleepy Southern Boulevard drag. The Maryland-born chain is a hub of pork and patriotism where, at lunchtime each day, TV screens burst to life with the American flag and customers rise to sing The Star-Spangled Banner. Its menu is built around entrees of Texas-style brisket, pulled pork, sausage, turkey, salmon, pulled chicken “bay-b-back” ribs and spare ribs, along with sides such as coleslaw, green beans, baked beans and mac-n-cheese. 11929 Southern Blvd., Royal Palm Beach; Mission-BBQ.com
Vote for Pedro, Boca Raton
This Mexican-American cantina from restaurateur Anthony Monticello is the answer to the never-asked question: What happens if I mash up “Napoleon Dynamite” and tacos? Expected to open this fall in The Shoppes at Village Pointe, it will replace the former The D in Delicious chocolate shop. If the name sounds familiar, Monticello’s Where Hospitality originally brought his taco stand from Manhattan to Delray Beach Market in 2021 but left a year later amid rising rents and a rebranding of the food hall. The new shop will serve tacos de birria, along with Mexican street foods in a sports bar-style setting. 6018 SW 18th St., Suite C9, Boca Raton; VoteforPedroNYC.com
Livia Bar & Grill, Fort Lauderdale
This Southern Italian restaurant expects to open in Fort Lauderdale’s exploding Flagler Village nabe this fall, in time for the NFL’s season kickoff. The 150-seat Livia, which is registered to Daniel Mendoza, will serve Neapolitan-style pies, linguine and clams, chicken parmesan, beer and craft cocktails, and feature plenty of flat-screen TVs for sports games. 500 N. Andrews Ave., Unit 106, Fort Lauderdale
Ya Mas! Taverna, West Palm Beach
More than a year after hospitality honcho and “Big Brother” star Memphis Garrett (No Man’s Land, Point Break) brought his first Greek restaurant to tony Las Olas Boulevard, Ya Mas! will expand into its first sister taverna on West Palm Beach’s bustling Clematis Street restaurant row. Expected to open in late 2023, the new Ya Mas! will dish an identical menu of modern and classic fare, such as dolmades and muhammara, bechamel short rib, and loukaniko with melted leek and pepperoncini. 216 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; YaMasTaverna.com
Topgolf, Pompano Beach
This three-level golfing attraction touting a restaurant-bar, rooftop terrace, patio and 102 climate-controlled hitting bays will anchor a new 223-acre project being built near the former Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park. Topgolf, slated to open in late 2023, hasn’t unveiled its Pompano Beach menu yet, but its Miami Gardens location serves American pub fare: burgers and buttermilk fried-chicken sandwiches, chicken wings and nachos, meat lover’s flatbreads and injectable, cinnamon-dusted doughnut holes for dessert. Intersection of Powerline Boulevard and Race Track Road; TopGolf.com
Gregory’s, West Palm Beach
Miami-chic Greek eats, south of downtown West Palm Beach? That would be Gregory’s, co-owner Max Ricci and entrepreneur Michael Katzenberg’s restaurant opening sometime this fall in the city’s so-called SoSo (south of Southern) neighborhood on South Dixie Highway. An offshoot of Ricci’s acclaimed Mandolin Aegean Bistro in Miami’s Design District, Gregory’s will serve coastal Greek and Mediterranean, although a full menu is not yet available. 5700 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach
Maggie McFly’s Local Craft Eatery & Bar, Boca Raton
Touchdown probably won’t be until October for this concept flying into SoFlo out of Connecticut. Celebrating its 30th anniversary with this first foray into Florida, Maggie MacFly’s is doing a total down-to-the-studs makeover of a space inside Town Center at Boca Raton mall (where Rex Baron once stood). The Maggie McFly’s menu has more than 180 items including burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, street foods (tacos, gyros, sliders), pastas, chicken dishes, salads, seafood, steaks and ribs, house specialties (such as Shepherd’s Pie, Pot Roast, Cajun Jambalaya), appetizers, snacks and desserts. “We will do seasonal specials that will be much more focused on Florida and Boca, more fresh fish,” says founder and owner Ray Harper, a snowbird in Palm Beach Gardens. The company also touts the use of locally sourced products, both in the kitchen and the bar. 6000 Glades Road, Boca Raton; maggiemcflys.com.
Fiolina Pasta House, Boca Raton
Michelin-starred and James Beard Award-winning chef Fabio Trabocchi is coming to Boca Raton. Not only is he opening Fiolina at the highly anticipated Restaurant Row this fall, but Trabocchi is also moving his family to Boca Raton, where he and his wife first met. Fiolina will occupy the venue’s largest space at 7,000 square feet and, in addition to the main dining room, will feature a lounge, pasta room, show kitchen (with counter dining), private dining room, outdoor terrace and an open Mozzarella Bar Kitchen (with charcuterie station and wine room). “While memorable food and exceptional service will be the core draw, Fiolina Pasta House will be much, much more,” Trabocchi says. “It will be the place where you will always find a sense of community, and everyday life celebrations happen.” Trabocchi already has Fiola in Coral Gables, and his Washington, D.C.,-based restaurant group includes Del Mar and Sfoglina Pasta House. 5355 Town Center Road, Boca Raton; fabiotrabocchi.com.
The Baked Bear, Dania Beach
The Baked Bear plans to open its second South Florida location sometime this winter at Dania Pointe, the sprawling al fresco mall and entertainment enclave in Dania Beach. As with the other location in Sawgrass Mills, this new novelty dessert shop will feature 13 baked-from-scratch-daily cookies and 13 premium craft ice cream flavors. You will also be able to mix and match two cookie flavors and choose an ice cream flavor for the filling, thus creating your own customized ice cream sandwich. Additionally, The Baked Bear will serve pints, sundaes and Bear Bowls (a warm cookie and brownie served with a scoop of ice cream). There are two more shops planned for Miami-Dade County. 139 S. Compass Way, Dania Beach;thebakedbear.com and daniapointe.com
Chip City, Pompano Beach and beyond
The latest New York-born restaurant to bet its chips on South Florida is this growing cookie monster, which is scheduled to open five new storefronts in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties by fall 2023. The sweet shack founded by childhood friends Peter Phillips and Teddy Gailas in 2017 has 17 spots in New York and New Jersey, but a $10 million investment by Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer spurred the South Florida move. Their chunky five-and-a-half-ounce cookie menu includes dairy-free chocolate chip made with oat milk and coconut oil, chocolate peanut butter, blueberry cheesecake, and seasonal outliers such as hot honey cornbread and cannoli (stuffed with toasted pistachios, cannoli shells and cream). A Miami Beach outpost is expected to debut this spring, followed by spots in Pompano Beach, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami’s MIMO District. 2083 N. Powerline Road, Pompano Beach, and 302A E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach; ChipCityCookies.com
MONTVILLE, NEW JERSEY: ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ star Joe Gorga recently took to his Instagram to promote his law firm 10xlaw.com and was instantly slammed as a phony and a “scamster.”
In the photo, Gorga is seen happily posing in front of a billboard advertising his brand.
Also Read: ‘RHONJ’ fans demand new crew over ‘divided group’ as Teresa Giudice hosts cast party without Melissa Gorga and Margaret Josephs
According to a post by @allabouttrh, Gorga wrote, “Check out the Billboard guys. Yup I am a Non-Attorney partner at 10xlaw.com so if you were injured in a car accident email me Joe@10xlaw.com, Joe@10xlaw.com forgetaboutit and I’ll connect you with one of my attorneys for a free consultation and you get the money you deserve.”
Several social media users were quick to slam Gorga, calling out his new enterprise as the latest addition to his already scandalous ways of making a quick buck dishonestly.
One user wrote, “Is this for real? Scammers gunna scam” while another user commented, “Pay back money I owe?” – FUHGET ABOUTIT”
Also Read: ‘RHONJ’ fans call Joe Gorga an ‘insult to real comics’ as he promotes stand-up comedy show
One user referred to the people who are still waiting to be paid by Gorga, “Imagine all the contractors that have done their house and they see this on IG ”
Another user asked, “Why would anyone do business with this man. He owes money to everyone.”
Also Read: ‘Don’t be like your dad’: Internet doesn’t want Joe Gorga to ‘mould’ his son Gino after himself
One user questioned the entire enterprise, “Does he just go to new business plans to hid dumpster fires of his last venture?”
Another user quipped, “Isn’t he being sued by a bunch of contractors for not paying his bills? Not exactly the kind of spokesman you’d think a law firm would want…”
One user declared, “Sounds like a scam.”
Another user remarked, “Mark my words: jail is coming for him and karma is coming for her!!”
Joe Gorga and Melissa Gorga owe $2.5 million in mortgages
Joe and Melissa Gorga have time and again made headlines owing to their extravagant lifestyle and their habit of living well beyond their means.
According to records, they took out a $2,250,000 mortgage plus interest from Sterling Bank back in 2007 to purchase their summer home.
Despite this, the couple placed the property on sale for just half a million dollars in order to ease their debt to a certain extent.
Joe Gorga sued for $110K over construction costs for new mansion
Gorga has been sued by contractors from the County Concrete Corporation for $110,972.58 in construction costs and has been accused of not paying his contractors following the establishment of his New Jersey mansion.
Gorga hasn’t been reported to formally respond to the complaints and the plaintiffs are now demanding a jury trial to bring him to justice.
Teresa Giudice blames Joe Gorga for $250K business deal gone wrong
Earlier this year, Giudice claimed on ‘RHNOJ’ that Gorga was responsible for her husband Luis Ruela losing over $250K after a deal they were interested in went downhill.
She disclosed that Gorga had pitched them the idea of investing in a pizza oven. However, as the finer details were being etched out, Gorga allegedly wanted a larger share of the pie.
The percentage he demanded was not acceptable by Ruela’s standards and therefore the deal didn’t transpire.
This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.
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Since being crowned Ms. Senior D.C. this past summer, Cerise Turner has maintained great fidelity to her responsibility as an ambassador to more than 110,000 senior District residents.
In her role, she has appeared at numerous events throughout the city and established ties with AARP, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, United Healthcare, and the D.C. Office of the Attorney General, among other entities.
As she prepares to compete nationally at the Ms. Senior America Pageant, Turner continues to advance a cause that’s near and dear to her heart: narrowing the digital divide that has placed many of her fellow seniors on the margins of society and made them prime targets for fraud and scams.
“Different government agencies and entities are using artificial intelligence to determine what society needs and seniors are being left out of that picture because they have less access to technology or they’re not using it as much as other groups,” Turner, 66, told The Informer.
A recent National Institute of Health report that highlighted a similar situation in another U.S. city found that elderly people lacking computer literacy will be left behind as telemedicine increasingly becomes normalized. According to the report, this will exacerbate disparities due to elders’ inability to access tablets and other digital conduits of up-to-date health information.
That’s why Turner said she wants to help District seniors become more knowledgeable and adaptive to modern-day technology. She expressed a desire to keep them involved in their communities and aware of the scams, fraud, financial exploitation and artificial intelligence schemes that have caused seniors across the U.S. to lose billions of dollars.
“I promote more tech training so seniors can be included and considered,” Turner continued.
“I’m also thinking about promoting assistive technology devices. There are so many ways to use it, whether it’s hands on or voice activated. Seniors need to be informed. This helps them age in place longer,” Turner added, acknowledging the Bowser administration’s ongoing efforts to help District seniors.
In June, Turner clinched the first-place spot at the 2023 Ms. Senior D.C. Pageant at the University of the District of Columbia in Northwest. Valerie Robinson, Kadija Ash, and Annette Bush took the first runner-up, second runner-up, and third runner-up title, respectively.
For the talent portion, Turner performed her stand-up comedy routine, titled “Funding Humor in the Dating Game: A Senior’s Story.”
Her road to the crown and sash, however, has been anything but funny.
In 2022, Turner first entered the Ms. Senior D.C. Pageant at the behest of pageant director Stacie Mack, who she befriended while leaving an exercise class at Model Cities Senior Wellness Center in Northeast. At that time, Turner had been frequently visiting that facility, and Hattie Holmes Senior Wellness Center in Northwest, as a means of escape from boredom and isolation that retirement brought on during the pandemic.
After months of preparation and mentorship from civil rights activist Shirley Rivins Smith, Turner rose to first runner-up that year.
Over the course of the next year, Turner started preparing for the national pageant as a member of the Queen’s Court. She appeared alongside Vene’ Le Gon, Ms. Senior D.C. 2022. As Turner explained to The Informer, that experience allowed her to accompany Le Gon to different events, and even stand in Le Gon’s place when she couldn’t attend speaking engagements.
In the weeks leading up to her first-place victory in June, Turner consistently met with her coach, Ms. Senior D.C. 2010 Sheila Poole and relied on much of what she learned as a member of the queen’s court.
She said that level of immersion in the pageant world prepared her for the rigor of the competition at the local level.
On Oct. 16-19, Turner will showcase her talents, poise, grace and elegance once again at Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey when she stands among more than 40 contestants at the Ms. Senior America Pageant.
In addition to the talent portion, the competition includes an interview with the judges, an evening gown portion and a segment during which each contestant presents a “Philosophy of Life” statement. Turner expressed excitement about not only going to the national level on the second go-around, but entering a new chapter in her life.
“I needed something meaningful and purposeful to do,” Turner said. “It has been a transformational experience and I was able to reinvent myself. I discovered things about me I never knew existed. I met contestants from all walks of life and experiences. I developed relationships with so many fabulous, ambitious, intelligent women.”
Turner, a fourth-generation Washingtonian and mother of twin millennial IT professionals who are District homeowners, retired after 32 years in the legal field.
At the end of her career, Turner served as an executive legal assistant at Sullivan and Cromwell LLP, a firm dealing with finance, international investment and trade, along with matters relevant to D.C.’s legal, business, government and civic communities.
Turner, an alumna of UDC and what’s now known as Jackson-Reed High School, has also worked at Washington Hospital Center and the American Bankers Association.
In years past, Turner encouraged her daughters to pursue careers in the information technology field. She told The Informer that embraces the opportunity to walk a similar path in her advocacy for seniors who don’t know their way around the latest technology.
Turner said she owes that chance to the Ms. Senior D.C. Pageant.
“This is your opportunity to be the person God meant for you to be,” Turner said in her message to seniors thinking about entering the pageant “There’s a wonderful comradery among the other contestants because we support and uplift each other. It’s a healthy and supportive environment. Their families will be proud of them and they will be proud of themselves.”