Pompano Eagles look to soar in AYFL

Posted on 15 August 2018 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

The Pompano Beach Eagles are looking to make a big splash in their first year in the American Youth Football League (AYFL).

Dean Grant, head coach of the 11-Under Pompano Eagles team, is in his first season with the program after moving cross town from the Tamarac Cougars AYFL program.

This season is a special season because we have the right players, and the right coaches,” Grant said. “They are fired up and I think they can make it to the big game – the Super Bowl.”

I understand the type of talent in the AYFL,” Grant said. “We plan to not just take part in it, but take over it.”

Players can be a year older than the age group they are playing in as long as their birthday comes after May 1 of the season.

Pompano Beach’s Gabby Almonord, 12, scored on a 63-yard scoring run against the host Delray Rocks in an 11-Under scrimmage game at Hilltopper Stadium in Delray Beach. The teams played to a 6-6 tie.

It is a lot of fun,” said Almonord, a Deerfield Middle seventh-grader. “I like to play with Devin (Voltaire) and everybody else on the team. I like the coaches and I played with a lot of people before. The coaches help me a lot.”

Voltaire, 12, also of Pompano Beach, is a Margate Middle sixth grader.

This is really big for me,” Voltaire said. “I like the coaches and the kids. They listen to me because I am a leader. We got to keep our heads up so other players can follow us. If we keep our heads up we can win a lot of games.”

Grant said he doesn’t believe there is any pressure on his team, quite the contrary.

Pressure makes diamonds,” Grant said.

We started off real, real slow,” Grant said. “We barely had enough kids to make our roster, but we had a good coaching staff that showed up every day to practice on time, waiting on kids. We got with the parents and we were able to put it together. The parents had to buy into what we were doing and they are buying in, so the sky is the limit. With a little tuning and touching up here and there between the coaches and the players, we will make the big game.”

Grant sees similarities with the National Football League’s version of the Eagles. Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl in February.

It is the year of the Eagles,” Grant proclaimed. “I believe it with everything I love. I just hope that what we started off here will humble these kids to push themselves even harder at practice and we come out in the first game of the season and put a beating on Cooper City (Colts).”

The Pompano Eagles have a storied history in the city of Pompano Beach having produced All Pro NFL stars like Corey Simon (Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans), Jabari Price (Minnesota Vikings), Patrick Peterson (Arizona Cardinals) and also have helped groom many other successful players.

The Pompano Eagles produced the Super Bowl Champions Junior Mighty Mites and Senior Mighty Mites Teams in 2017 in the Pop Warner League and plan on sending more teams to the AYFL Super Bowl in 2018.

Other teams in the Broward County-based league include the Colts (Cooper City/Davie), Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Hollywood PAL, Lauderhill, Miramar, Plantation, Pompano, Pembroke Pines Optimist, Sunrise, Tamarac, and West Pines.

The Eagles begin play on Aug. 11 when they travel to Cooper City and will play a 10-game season followed by playoffs. The Top-8 teams in each division will advance to the playoffs, which will begin on Oct. 27. The second round will be played on Nov. 3 and the Super Bowl will be played on Nov. 10.

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BUSINESS BEAT: Revitalizing Pompano Beach

Posted on 09 August 2018 by LeslieM

By Karen Lustgarten

Horacio Danovich sits in a conference room at the Pompano Beach City Hall surrounded by maps, master plans and diagrams pinned to the walls. The illustrations reveal the farsighted future of Pompano Beach. As manager of the city’s capital improvement programs, he holds the revitalization development vision of the city/CRA partnership putting Pompano Beach on the desirable destination map with innovations from “Smart City” concepts. In fact, revitalization of the 260-acre downtown area will feature one 70-acre section called the Innovation District. Here, most of the city/CRA-owned land parcels are ripe and poised for development right now.

Think designed navigable waterway systems and drainage between I-95 and Dixie Highway and MLK Jr. and W. Atlantic Boulevards. Inspired by Amsterdam’s canals, residents and visitors will be able to kayak, canoe and paddleboard along the waterways. These will be bordered by landscaped biking lanes and pedestrian walkways inspired by San Antonio’s The Riverwalk.

Picture a surrounding hub of mixed-use commercial office/retail buildings, restaurants, residential dwellings and cultural attractions. The goal of this urban design vision is to develop an enjoyable, livable urban area that’s functional and attractive to businesses and residents, and promote connections between people and places with surrounding communities.

This is a unique type of urban design that does not exist in the State of Florida today,” said Danovich. “As a result, agencies like the Army Corps of Engineers and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection will have a difficult time evaluating and permitting it for its intended mixed-use.”

He estimates two years for the design and permitting process before construction can begin in the Innovation District, then another two years to build it for a grand total of approximately $750 million (for the entire Innovation District.)

Thus we caught Danovich up to his elbows in federal grant applications to the U.S. Economic Development Administration: $2.5 million toward the first $5 million for the designs of the waterway systems, roadways, bridges, sidewalks, landscaping, lighting, underground utilities and permitting.

If he builds it, will they come? Indeed, the Innovation District Project could generate an estimated 4,000 jobs, he estimates.

The city is moving very fast in the right direction, ripe for redevelopment,” says Mr. Danovich.

Among the construction companies revitalizing the pier and the Atlantic Boulevard bridge are Burkhardt, West, Murray Logan and Whiting-Turner. Brandon Rhodes, Burkhardt Construction’s project manager, described the scope of work for the bridge and some challenges with the project. The bridge renovation will feature cantilever walkways underneath, a renovated tender house, decorative fish murals, decorative Wyoming rails, new lighting fixtures and the stunning showpiece — four 50-ft. high tensile sails at each corner of the bridge.

An initial challenge is creating the tensile structure sails on large posts and the construction of a foundation for each post,” he said.

The construction requires potholing existing utilities — hand digging along with machinery down to existing utilities in-ground, then evaluating if the existing utilities are in conflict with location changes needed.

West Construction has begun a yearlong project demolishing and rebuilding the outdated Fire Station 24 that borders Pompano Beach Airpark on NE 10th street. The new two-story fire station will service both the airport and surrounding community with updated equipment and alert systems.

This project has its site challenges, such as working in a fairly tight space with FAA regulations imposing height restrictions for cranes. Nonetheless, notes Michael Lilly, project manager, “It is in a key location that will help toward the revitalization of Pompano Beach. The community really needs it.”

Pompano Beach is positioned like Ft. Lauderdale and Delray Beach were 20 to 30 years ago,” says Danovich, “except we learned from their mistakes.”

For more information about the Pompano Beach revitalization projects visit www.pompanobeachfl.gov/pages/files.

Karen Lustgarten is President of Multi-Media Works, a multiple award-winning media company specializing in video, PR, print and social media with offices in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. She won awards for writing/producing videos and for website content. Karen founded a newspaper in Washington, DC and was a syndicated columnist and best-selling author. www.multi-mediaworks.com.

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Deerfield Juniors finish state runner-up

Posted on 01 August 2018 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

The Deerfield Little League Junior Division Mets squad finished runner-up in the state tournament in Tallahassee.

The local squad opened with a 7-0 loss against the South Beaches and needed to win both games of a doubleheader to reach the title game.

My pre-game pep talk was focused, not on the failures of our last game, but on reminding the team how we got here, how well we played all season, how we crushed most of our opponents, and how much fun we had along the way,” said Deerfield Beach manager Jason Siracusa, who is also the president of the Deerfield Beach Little League. “Once I started seeing the smiles slowly appearing on their faces, I knew we were going to have a good day.”

Deerfield Beach responded following a five-hour rain delay with a 2-0 win over the defending state champion South Fort Myers team behind RBIs from Sanders Chartier and Keanu Siracusa and a 12-8 victory over South Lakes to advance to the title game.

We opened up a lead against South Lakes and although our pitchers began to struggle and gave up the lead we didn’t panic because we knew we had the momentum,” Siracusa said. “We were hitting really well so my confidence in our team was high. We took the lead back for good and after 13 hours of warm up, play, rain delays and more play this group of kids left the field tired, wet and muddy with a pair of wins and a trip to the championship game.”

Chartier had 2 hits and 3 RBIs, and Thomas had 2 hits and 2 RBIs, while Brock Buerosse had 2 RBIs. Lorenzo Feliciano, Keanu Siracusa, Dawson Lallance, Maxwell Thomson and Janelle Calvet each had an RBI as well. Gio Caffro, Lallance, Thomson, Calvet, and Kyle Adams each were outstanding on the mound for the Mets during the tournament.

Deerfield Beach then ran into juggernaut Inverness, who took apart the local team in an 18-0 win. It was the fourth straight double-digit win by Inverness in the tournament. In fact, Inverness won all three games in their pool and the championship without giving up a single run.

The lone bright spot for the Mets in the title game was a single by Thomas in the second inning.

Unfortunately, it seems that, for the championship game, these kids were simply worn out,” Siracusa added. “We struggled in the field and at the plate and just couldn’t catch up to Inverness who had a very impressive team.”

Siracusa also cited the performance of Feliciano, who was taken to the emergency room Friday morning due to complications from his diabetes and placed in intensive care before being released Saturday.

Although we could see he was struggling, he played both games of the doubleheader, had a great night at the plate and in the outfield and even pitched in the championship game Sunday,” Siracusa said. “All heart, he looked tired and worn out, but there was no way he was sitting this out. He’s a warrior.”

Former Ely great— Moss passes away

The Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled that former star Blanche Ely running back Tyrone Moss died from heart failure last week.

Moss, who also starred at the University of Miami, died at the age of 33. The report from the medical examiner said Moss had hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity, and was admitted July 23 to Memorial Hospital West for a procedure for his heart.

Moss also had congestive heart failure and while he was at the Pembroke Pines Hospital, a cardiac catheter was inserted on July 25. He was given a LifeVest, an external defibrillator that can detect irregular heartbeats and provide a shock to the patient.

The report said as Moss was leaving the hospital and waiting for his ride the night of July 26, he passed out. He was brought into the emergency room where he had a “cardiac event” and hospital staff was unable to revive him.

The 2003 Blanche Ely graduate rushed for a Broward County record 7,105 yards during his high school career and led the Tigers to a state title in his junior year.

Moss went on to star for the Hurricanes in college from 2003-2006, where he had seven 100-yard games, putting him 10th on the team’s all-time list.

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Back to School Sales Tax Holiday 2018

Posted on 01 August 2018 by LeslieM

Please click here if you can’t see the document below

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Taylor, Dolphins surprise Tornadoes with gear

Posted on 26 July 2018 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

The Miami Dolphins recently surprised the Pompano Beach High School football team with new equipment for its program. Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Vincent Taylor was on-hand for the surprise. They donated equipment, including Dolphins branded shirts, Gatorade coolers, blocking shields, medicine balls and cleats.

It was an honor to give the kids equipment they didn’t have, even if it was a pair of cleats,” Taylor said. “I remember being in their same shoes and getting a pair of cleats from somebody just made me want to play harder.”

The team also had the opportunity to hear from Dolphins alum and Youth Programs Ambassador Twan Russell about perseverance and the importance of teamwork.

It was a great message,” Taylor said of Russell’s speech to the team. “He said some important stuff and one of the things that caught my attention like attitude … things may not always be right, so you have to have a positive attitude.”

It was amazing to have the Miami Dolphins organization come out and donate and talk to the team,” Pompano Beach High School Head Football Coach Melvin Jones said. “It scratches things off our list that we need to get so we can fundraise for some other things to look good. We’re thankful and truly blessed and everything is going to go a long way.”

This is the second Junior Dolphins Equipment Donation this year. The Dolphins also made a similar donation to Miramar High School in May.

The Junior Dolphins program encourages youth players and coaches to learn, teach and play football in a fun and safe environment. The program is designed to give kids access to learn the fundamentals of football using the NFL’s top resources. To grow the game, the program will work to educate coaches, parents and youth on the health and safety of football with a strong emphasis on character development.

Simply soccer camps wrapping up

Area residents are encouraged to attend the Simply Soccer camp, which has two weeks remaining in its 30th year of soccer camps for children 5-15 in nearby Coral Springs.

There are three sessions each day ranging from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; extended hours camp is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a Tiny Tot program for kids ages 5 and 6 is from 9 a.m. to noon. Full day campers must bring a soccer ball, swimsuit, shin guards, water bottle and lunch. You do not have to be a city resident to attend. The remaining dates are July 30-Aug. 3, Aug. 6-10. You can register daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Coral Springs Gymnasium, 2501 Coral Springs Dr,. Coral Springs. For information on the camp call 954-345-2200.

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Boil Water Notice–certain residents of Hillsboro Mile –today

Posted on 23 July 2018 by JLusk

(From city website):

Residents of 900 to 1015 Hillsboro Mile Only

Boil Water Notice

Water Outage – July 23, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Residents Should Boil Water for 48 Hours

In moving forward with the water main renovation project, a defective water valve has been discovered which must be replaced. Consequently, water service for residences between 900 and 1015 Hillsboro Mile must be shut off on July 23rd between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to replace this valve. This will drop water pressure below 20 psi and require a precautionary boil water notice to be in effect until at least Wednesday, July 25th.

During the boil water notice period, water will be tested for 48 hours to ensure it is safe.  During this period, any water that is to be drunk or used in food preparation should be brought to a rolling boil for at least ONE MINUTE prior to use, or use bottled water.  It is not advisable to rely on water filtration systems. Once the water has been confirmed to have continued to be safe, additional notification will be provided rescinding the boil water notice.For a more complete list of precautions in regard to boil water requirements, please visit www.chenmoore.com/hillsboro/FAQ

While the system is shut down, avoid turning on faucets to prevent air entering the system. Once service is restored, a “knocking” may be heard from air having entered the pipes. This can be eliminated by opening a faucet until the knocking subsides.

Buildings having a pump for domestic water pressure should shut down the pumps prior to and during all water service interruptionsRefer to the manufacturer’s instructions for shutting down and restarting pumps.

We apologize for this interruption, but this unanticipated incident is the result of the decision to invest in the Town’s water system to ensure reliable and effective water service to meet the community’s needs for decades into the future.

For additional information please call:

Project Representative (Chen Moore & Associates)

Phone: (954) 954-947-1765 or Email: hillsboro@chenmoore.com

The phone number will have a live attendant from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. please call the Town Police Dept – 954-427-6600


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Luigi Di Roma Tuscan Wine Dinner

Posted on 20 July 2018 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

On July 9, Luigi Di Roma Ristorante & Lounge, located at 718 S. Federal Hwy., in Deerfield, had its very first wine dinner. Luciano Castiello, an official wine ambassador and educator for Banfi Wines, came all the way from Italy to talk about the wines. Alan Siegel, Key Account Manager for Republic National Distributing Company, also was in attendance.

As people tried course after course, each was paired with a different Banfi wine and, with wit and charm, Castiello talked a bit about the different types and about the company history. Among the courses were Zucchini Blossoms and fried calamari, paired with Maschio Rosé Prosecco. Next was the delicious charred octopus salad, atop arugula and cannellini beans [the best octopus this reporter has ever had]. It was paired with a crisp and refreshing San Angelo Pinot Grigio. It was followed by the primo piatto (first course), which was Fungi Misti Pappardelle, a combination of rich wild mushrooms with a delicious sauce served over Pappardelle pasta, paired with a Rosso di Montalcino. Then came the secondo piatto (second course, usually a meat course). Guests were served a gigantic braised lamb shank, which had been slow-cooked over roasted potatoes, carrots and fennel. [This reporter tried a delicious chicken marsala. It was a huge portion!]. The night was finished off with a flaky pear tart with the last wine, a Cum Laude.

Luigi Di Roma’s owner’s Al and Kristine Bova were actually visiting Italy and elsewhere in Europe when the event took place. Managing Partner Johnny Vicari pulled off a wonderful night. Bravo to the whole staff, including Executive Chef Josh Welch!

Luigi Di Roma has a full menu, large wine list and a full bar. They often have live entertainment. See their website for entertainment calendar. They are open Monday to Thursday, 4 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 4 to 11 p.m. and Sunday from11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

They plan on having another wine dinner on Dec. 10. For more information, call 954-531-6151 or visit www.luigidiroma.com.

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7th Annual Boca Burger Battle

Posted on 20 July 2018 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

Sanborn Square Park was packed for this year’s Boca Burger Battle on July 14. More people than ever found their way to vendor after vendor and stuffed themselves with taste after taste of delicious burgers, as well as craft beer, wine and other spirits. The night was made complete with well-placed mood lighting strung up high on the tall palm trees by Jan Van Der Baan (also of Birthday Comp.) and the musical stylings of the Gypsy Lights. They even had cornhole to play.

This is my first time attending,” said Peter Wein (of WEI Network.) “I am amazed at how many incredible burgers we have to choose from. Unfortunately, only one is going to get an award.”

Each of the chefs was battling it out to win, judged by a long line of judges. In the end, the Best Grill Master was Funky Buddha Brewery. 2nd place was Tucker Duke’s and 3rd, Cheffrey Eats. People’s Choice for Best Battle Burger went to ROK: BRGR for the 2nd year in a row.

Burton’s Grill & Bar served up a Mediterranean stuffed burger slider, with feta and herb alouette, grilled zucchini, tzadeki and charred tomato ketchup.

October will be our one year anniversary. This is our first time here,” said Stephanie Hammer, who marveled at how they had not slowed down the entire event. “Our Boca restaurant is the first in Florida… We are from New England.”

I love it. This is our first year. We are having an amazing time,” said Ting Shen, director of training of Batch Gastropub, which is located in the Delray Marketplace.

Barrel of Monks Brewery owner Kevin Abbott said, “This event just makes sense for us. It is a Boca event and we are a Boca brewery,” saying he works with most of the restaurants in attendance. “We have been here [in Boca] for 3 ½ years. We have Belgian style ales, tours, food and beer pairings … We like to educate people that beer is just as complex as wine.”

The Voss,’ who seem to be at every event, participated here for the first time, bringing their coconut tool and fresh honey, along with their bees.

It has been pretty good. The people are really friendly…” they said.

Flair for Fudge, which also seems to always be here yearly, created a fudge just for the event — Pecan BBQ Bourbon. But they have so many other flavors, including salted black truffle and Tropical Temptaton, made with coconut, pineapple, banana, and mango in dark chocolate. [This reporter really liked the chocolate peanut butter]. They also had samples of key lime pie and others…

We ship all over the US. We customize products for corporate, gifts for holidays, realtors, financial advisors, etc.,” said Hilary Saporta, who runs the company with Bernie Diaz. You can find out more and order at www.aflairforfudge.com.

We come every year. It has gotten bigger. Every year, there are more vendors. There are a lot more breweries,” said Natalie Batmasian, who attended with her husband, Jimmy.

This event may be over, but Russell Spadaccini, who runs the event, will have no time to rest. He is already gearing up for his next soiree, the Boca Wine & Food Festival, which will take place Nov. 10. Find out all the info., at www.bocaratonwineandfoodfestival.com.

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Costume World to move

Posted on 20 July 2018 by LeslieM

Sprouts coming in

By Rachel Galvin

You may have noticed a big sign on Costume World announcing a liquidation sale. They are closing their location on 950 S. Federal Hwy. in Deerfield Beach after 27 years due to what they said was a dramatic increase in rent. But, they will be moving to a new location, a newly renovated production facility in Pompano Beach. After July 22, Costume World will be located at 2313 NW 30 Pl., in Pompano Beach. But they are opting out of the retail end of the business to a more specialized costuming experience. Sprouts Farmers Market will be taking over their Deerfield Beach location. [No word on when the actual opening of Sprouts will be yet. See more about Sprouts below].

My headquarters has been in Deerfield Beach for such a long time, and while I’m disappointed that the new landlord has doubled the rent at our current home, forcing this move, I am extremely excited about creating a dynamic new home in an expansive state-of-the-art facility that will better serve our clients,” said Costume World Founder and CEO Marilynn Wick.

Did you know that behind the retail portion of Costume World, there is a huge inventory of costumes and accessories? This is where they pull from when theaters from all over the country look to them for wardrobe. They even have seamstresses on-hand to get the costumes ready for use. They have been in the business for 40 years and they house the biggest collection of Broadway costumes in the world. This aspect of the business will be moving to the new expanded location in Pompano. There, they will be providing a VIP costume experience for locals who want to create a “dazzling impression during the social season.”

We are thrilled to centralize our costume business,” said Wick, “It is going to be an amazing experience, including 30,000 sq. ft. of hanging costumes, a costume production area, a wig production area and VIP rooms, in addition to a rehearsal hall for The Wick Theatre productions.” [The Wick Theatre & Costume Museum is located 7901 N. Federal Hwy. in Boca Raton].

Our inventory will always be available to customers and event planners in our community. Our new home will have an impressive showroom where customers can consult with our expert costumers by appointment. The ‘packaged’ costume industry has been essentially taken over by Amazon, so we are adapting to highlight our unique strengths, including dramatic and unusual costumes and accessories,” said Wick.

The moving sale at Costume World’s current home on Federal Highway is in full swing, offering clearance prices on costumes, headpieces and accessories, including wigs, masks and costume lingerie.

This is a great chance for local designers and event professionals to get some fabulous costume pieces at incredible prices,” continued Wick, adding that the sale will end when the doors officially close on July 22. Find out more about Costume World at www.costumeworld.com.

About Sprouts Farmers Market

You may not have heard of Sprouts Farmers Market. They are headquartered in Arizona but operate more than 200 stores in 16 states. They already operate five stores in Florida. They are adding stores in Naples, Clearwater, Oviedo, Winter Park and Wellington, in addition to this Deerfield location.

Their market specializes in fresh, natural and organic products at reasonable prices. They not only have fresh produce, but also a deli with prepared entrees and side dishes, a butcher shop and fish market, as well as vitamins and supplements, and more. Visit www.about.sprouts.com for more information.

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Marlee’s Diner to close

Posted on 20 July 2018 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

After 17 years, Marlee’s Diner & Bakery (located at 699 S. Federal Hwy. in Deerfield Beach) is set to close. The last day will be July 29.

The family-owned restaurant was originally opened by Matthew Mavromatis, who named it after his daughter, in 2001. In 2008, he sold the restaurant, but the family ended up retaking the locale in 2011. His mom, Helen, does the books and dad, Steve, helps on the register and does PR. His sister Emmy Louvaris, who worked as a teacher in Broward County, took a leave of absence six years ago to help out and she has been here ever since.

Louvaris said closing is bittersweet for the family. Although her parents are looking forward to retirement, and she is looking forward to a much-needed break, she understands the hole being closed will leave in the community.

“ ‘Devastated’ is the word I keep hearing from customers,” she said. “I posted it on Facebook and have 1100 views. People are calling each other, calling us. I am keeping the Facebook up through next year because we have a lot of snowbirds who will be coming back. I have gotten e-mails from Canada.”

She said she is going to be doing a documentary with video and pictures of customers through the years, which she will post on YouTube probably.

I am looking forward to being a family and not business partners,” she said.

Emmy hopes to focus more now on her passion — art. She has her paintings displayed all around the restaurant — pastels and chalk drawings mostly.

When the restaurant started closing at 3 p.m., she started doing art shows there and she also created and sold a calendar.

The waitresses are unsure where to go. They are currently putting out resumes, but they know they will never find a job like this.

Waitress Pamela Little said, “I have 32 years of memories, very good ones. I can’t imagine it being sold. I can’t digest it. I wake up in the middle of the night, [hoping to be] waking up out of this nightmare. You don’t find a crew and place to work like this.”

Deborah Carpenter, also a waitress, said, “I have been here around 34 years. I was here when it was Sambos, then Mike’s, then George’s, then Marlee’s. I am sick to my stomach. I could be a world traveler for all the people I have met. How nice the customers have been to me. I have met so many friends.”

She added, “I am scared. I have given my life here. I get up at 3 and am here by 4 in the morning. I have never missed work, even if I was sick.”

She said, “If customers don’t come in, I call them. There is a 91-year-old — her daughter called and said where is my mom going to go now? I have customers who come in who are in their 80s and 90s and I open crackers for them. I used to have a customer outside waiting for me at 4 a.m. He thought it was his job to put all the creamers out. He overslept and apologized for being late. He had a picture of me and him on his wall.”

She added, “[My daughter] used to sleep in the office. Guys used to put money for my daughter in the pay phone. She’d check the phone every day. They would leave a dollar. [She later worked here]. She is a teacher now at Boca Hammock. Everyone knows me and they ask about her”

She continued, “All of us have been here 15-20 years. I’ve been here the longest. It is too bad we couldn’t find someone to take over.”

The diner has been sold to an undisclosed property developer.

This place means a lot to me,” said a tearful Liz Weyhknecht. “All my friends are here. They’re my family. I lost my son to Cancer. He was only 8 years old. This was one of the 1st jobs I had after that. All of these people know him through me. All grieving parents just want someone to remember. This was one of the places I healed. They know when his birthday is and I get extra special hugs that day.”

She added, “Besides being a waitress, I also do baking here. I hope to find somewhere to do that. I am putting feelers out.”

Carol Collins recalled times when she called hospitals or 911 to track down an elderly customer if they didn’t come into the restaurant for a while, saying one customer had put her name down as a contact on the board at the hospital.

Servers don’t do that,” she said. “I have been here 18 years. I have customers that had babies who are now adults. The time the restaurant sold, everyone stayed. The customers stayed here for us.”

Louvaris said that when she knows where the waitresses are going next, she will post their new job location on Facebook so customers will know. She will be staying locally for awhile doing her art and her parents will be traveling to Greece, where they also have a home, and to Colorado, where her brother Matthew lives with his family.

Find Marlee’s on Facebook or visit www.marleesdiner.com.

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