Weekend Concierge

Feb 152014
trusted photographer logo

Thanks to Google Maps and their “Street View” technology, we can now take a walking tour down any street in the world and see what any building looks like from the outside without ever leaving our desk.  When you search for places using Google Maps, you will see an option for Street View that virtually transports you directly to the street you are looking at on the map. Here are some sample screen photo’s to give you an idea of how this looks:

Google Streetview

Now, wouldn’t it be cool, if you could virtually walk through the front door of any building and look around inside? That is exactly what the next phase of Street View technology allows you to do. Not every place of business has this up and running yet, as it is taking a team of photographers from around the world to get permission from local businesses, one at a time, to enter inside with special equipment before Google will allow a panoramic virtual tour to appear as a new option on their Google Maps and Google+ Local search results.

To give you a better idea of how this looks, here are some examples of virtual tours which you can take inside local bars and restaurants in the Fort Lauderdale area.

The Downtowner Saloon in Fort Lauderdale

Blue Jean Blues in Fort Lauderdale

As you can see, faces are purposely blurred out to maintain privacy, but you are still able to get a pretty good view of the bars, tables, stage and even zoom in to see details, in the same way that you could zoom in on the details of a house showing in Google’s street view.

Here are some more examples of local bars and restaurants in the Fort Lauderdale area who have opted into this program by hiring a Google Trusted Photographer, of which there are only three or four currently operating in Broward County.

Lulu’s Bait Shack at Beach Place Fort Lauderdale

Tavolina Dela Nono in Coral Springs

What’s also nice about these virtual tours inside businesses, is that Google will freely give out the code to insert the very same 360-degree interactive tour into any website.

trusted photographer logoSpecial thanks to Christopher Hooper, a Google Business Photos Trusted Photographer, for providing all of the samples found on this page.  Christopher also photographs virtual tours of hotels, yachts and jets among any other location that would benefit from this new technology.  To find out if your business qualifies for the “Look Inside” feature on Google Maps, click here.

Related Links:

Frequently Asked Questions about Google Maps Business Photos

See Inside with Google Business Photos

Contact Us for more information on this innovative selling tool from Google with a special rate for WeekendBroward sponsors.

Feb 062014
Crash Barb DJ

Over 125 bands have submitted entries to compete in the “Battle of the Bands” contest, otherwise known as Hard Rock Rising, taking place at various Hard Rock Cafe’s all over the world during the months of March and April.  The registration deadline has come and gone and now it’s time for the fans to vote for their favorite bands, with the top ten vote getters being scheduled to play each week in local contests.

In Fort Lauderdale, we are looking at the contest taking place at The Hard Rock Cafe located in the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood.    Bands have already begun a campaign of contacting their fans to vote for them online using the link located on the Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood Facebook page.

Voting is as easy as hitting the DOWNLOAD button after listening to any of the songs submitted by registered bands.  The opportunity to listen to so many local artists on one page benefits both the artists and potential fans as there are so many bands that are either new to the scene or just haven’t received the kind of publicity needed in order to spread the word about their music.

As you browse through the lists of registered bands, you may notice that some of them are DJ’s.  According to Hard Rock contest rules, DJ is considered a genre of music too!  Many other rules have been put into place to make this contest as fair as possible, so any entries found not to meet the requirements may be disqualified, even if they are currently showing up on the list.

In addition to votes garnered online, a select number of bands have arranged in-person “meet and greet” nights which will earn them 3 votes per fan attending – a chance to triple each of their fan’s votes!   In addition to coming out to meet the band (off-stage), friends and fans will be treated to happy hour beverage pricing and complimentary appetizers.

Here is the schedule for Meet & Greets at the Hard Rock Café in Hollywood, FL:

2/6  4pm-7pm – Peoplewatch

2/11 5:30pm-7:30pm – Future Prezidents

2/12 4pm-7pm – Stirling Road

2/13 4pm-7pm – Shatterglass

The first “battle” will begin on March 14th.  ‘hope to see you there!


Feb 062014
U2 by UV at Italian Festival

In case you have not already noticed, there’s so much to see and do around town this month.  The cooler weather makes spending the day outside so much more pleasant than our summertime sweltering heat, so many outdoor events are planned each year for the month of February.

Beginning February 8th, you can catch the Garlic Festival in Delray Beach, where your culinary senses will mix with the sounds of live music starting Friday night and going all the way through Sunday evening.  A complete schedule can be found on the WeekendBroward events page.  If Greek Food is more your passion and you enjoy Greek Culture, you will find plenty of both at the Greek Festival in Fort Lauderdale, taking place from Friday to Sunday as well.  I did not see any bands listed on their schedule, but you will be entertained non-stop by Dance troupes instead.

A new and not as well known event that was recently put together by one of our local bands is a concert to benefit the Abandoned Dogs of the Everglades in Southwest Ranches, near Weston on February 9th.   We know that there are many dog lovers out there who would like to help out any organization that rescues abused and neglected animals from the wilds of the everglades – so please make time to come to this free outdoor concert on Sunday, February 9, featuring Mr. Nice Guy, The Livesays, Rosco Martinez band and Sucker Punch. You’ll hear Rock, Country and Blues from some of the best bands in town – all for free! They are doing it all to raise awareness and much needed funds for a worthwhile cause.

The weekend of Valentine’s Day is the start of the infamous Riverwalk Blues Festival in downtown Fort Lauderdale.  Read the event page for all the details including parties before and after the main event.  The Blues Fest is a must-see for music and blues lovers and has become an annual tradition for many.

Another favorite festival is on the weekend beginning February 21st and that is St. Coleman’s Italian Festival. The Italian Fest will feature authentic Italian foods, pastries, games of chance, carnival rides and LOCAL BANDS!  If you like the Eagles, don’t miss the band that tours the world playing tribute to them at The 12th Annual Coconut Creek Butterfly Festival on February 22nd.

The month of outdoor festivals will end with the St. Ambrose Carnival & Music Festival in Deerfield Beach.  This one starts on the night of Thursday, February 27th and ends on Sunday night and features a total of 16 local bands.  You can preview many video’s of these bands posted on their Facebook event page which shows how proud these bands are to play at this annual festival.

As you can see, there is no lack of outdoor entertainment this month!  If you have anything to add, just use the comment link and we’ll try to share your comments with others.

‘see you somewhere real soon!

Rob aka The Weekend Concierge

Feb 022014
business lunch food trucks

Are you tired of getting the same old sandwiches or platters for your company sponsored business lunches?  Depending on where your business is located, you may be lucky enough to be able to call upon one or more Food Trucks to stop by and make fresh meals on-site for the whole staff!  The more people you have to feed, the more trucks can show up just before lunch outside your front door and stay until the last person is fed!

Imagine the possibilities where you can select from a variety of hot dishes, made fresh only a few feet away from your conference room in a custom kitchen built on wheels that will roll in just in time for lunch and leave without a mess!  No more carrying heavy trays and setting up buffet tables with a variety of foods that may get tossed away at the end of a meeting or employee luncheon! Food Trucks can be a really convenient alternative to the way things have always been done around the office.

It used to be that you would have to call one truck at a time but now, thanks to Food Truck Coordinators such as Jochen Esser of Gourmet Truck Catering, you will have access to a database of over 100 local trucks to “cater” to every possible taste.   Jochen works with each mobile food truck operator to offer customized menu’s to fit every event planner’s budget and objectives.

food truck catering

Photo credit: gourmettruckcatering.com

The number of trucks is usually determined by the size of the crowd expected.  Tables and chairs can be set up in close proximity to the trucks outside or indoors where participants can eat in the convenience of air conditioning.   Either way, getting their lunch from a variety of trucks on stand-by can be a unique way to serve crowds of any size and age in a formal or informal environment.

If you have an event that might benefit from the diversity and unique food selection available from Food Trucks,  leave a message for Jochen by using this contact form or visiting his website, gourmettruckcatering.com and let him know you heard about it from WeekendBroward!


Jan 142014
Hard Rock Cafe

The Weekend Concierge strives to find great venues that support live music in the North, Central and South ends of Broward County.  This list is not a tell-all but rather a handy chart, presented in alphabetical order by city so no preference is given over the first versus last venue listed.  In addition to the names of the venues, cities, and bands playing Friday and Saturday night, the list also gives you a quick look at which places allow smoking indoors versus those that are smoke-free.

CITYVENUEFriday June 22Saturday June 23SMOKING?
Coconut CreekJohnny O'BriansFurious GeorgeThe CrushNO *
Coconut CreekNectar LoungeThe RegsThe KinnectedYES
Coral SpringsAmerican Craft KitchenSteeltownChemradery
Coral SpringsTavolino Della NotteHangin with BrodyTony Nicolosi BandNO
Coral SpringsPremier Billiards[DJ Stefan]BounceYES
DavieCagney's SaloonSoulicideOvrholYES
Fort LauderdaleThe BalconyAmy Ione BandManny & the Rumors
Fort LauderdaleThe Dive BarCrazy FingersSweatpants in PublicYES
Fort LauderdaleMarina-84Smokin J'sBango Bango'sNO *
Fort LauderdaleFishtales on 33rdProject-XDerek MackNO *
Fort LauderdaleCheersSippin' FirePowerhouseYES
Fort LauderdaleLulu's Bait ShackThe ShinDigsGreen Means GoNO
HollywoodMargaritavilleDeep Fried FunkHyryzeNO
HollywoodWhiskey TangoAdam's AnguishAxcentsNO *
HollywoodHard Rock CafeThe LoopThe LoopYES
Lighthouse PointPacky's PubShane DuncanBombshellNO *
Pompano BeachBriny PubTailgate ShakedownHigh ToleranceYES
Pompano BeachBrendan's Sports Pub *Nancy's BoysMischiefNO
Pompano BeachGaluppi'sWildfire BandRoll the StonesNO *
SunriseCheers SunriseMighty QuinnWhite NoiseYES

* Smoking permitted at outdoor patio

  • June Tributes at Galuppi's in Pompano Beach
  • Live Music Friday and Saturday at Marina-84
  • The Mighty Quinn and White Noise this weekend at Cheers Sunrise
  • Live Music on the Intracoastal at Shooters Waterfront
  • Live Music and Late Nite Happy Hours every Friday & Saturday
  • Live Music every Saturday and Sunday in June at Two Georges Deerfield Beach
  • Martin and Humperdinck Tribute Monday Night at Fishtales


At the start of every week, The Weekend Concierge checks out the live music calendar to see who is playing where on Friday and Saturday nights and prepares a list of ten recommended spots to catch live music around town.  The lists consists of some of the favorite local spots for watching cover bands in and around Fort Lauderdale.  Preference is given to venues which offer live music on both Friday AND Saturday nights.  Consistency is extremely important when booking quality entertainment. People should feel confident that the managers who book the bands for these bars and restaurants know how to seek out artists that will entertain their customers.

While this list is a great place to start your weekend planning, be sure to follow it up by checking out the complete hour by hour listing of live bands in and around town on the  LIVE MUSIC EVENTS CALENDAR.

Jan 082014
Hard Rock Rising Phase1

2014  will mark the 6th year that the Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood Florida participates in the Hard Rock Rising battle of the bands.  The staff and management of the Cafe want to see a local band win this global competition that will send one band all the way to Rome this year.  Do you know of a band that can make it all the way to the top of this competition?  Getting them there will be a group effort involving both band-members and fans of the band.

The first step for any band interested in competing will be to register on ReverbNation.  Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood will host 12 bands this year, and like last year, ten will be voted in by fans and two will be wild cards chosen by the cafe and judges.  The Café will work with a panel of three judges who are music oriented to assist with the judging on various criteria such as Musicianship, Marketability, Voice Talent and Originality.

The competition is split up into 3 Phases as follows:

Phase 1 – Registration January 6-January 27

This is the beginning phase where the bands get the chance to register as they must be a member of ReverbNation to be part of this event as well as become a fan of the Hard Rock Café, Hollywood Facebook page in order to participate in this.

ReverbNation will be inviting all bands that are registered with them in the Ft. Lauderdale/Palm Beach/Miami area to become part of this “activation” for contest registration.

Some Rules:

– bands must be within a 100 mile radius to play in the Cafe

-As there is no limit to the size of the band, however, the prize only includes airfare/hotel for up to 6 members

-all band members MUST be 18 years old at time of sign up, not at time of performance

-bands can only register in 1 market


Phase 2 – Online Voting January 27-February 17

Using Facebook apps found on the Cafe’s Facebook Page, fans will be asked to vote for their favorite bands who have registered in this contest.  Bands will be given online links to make it easy for them to direct fans to their voting pages. Once voting is complete, the Café will receive a list of the bands in the order of the votes, 10 picked by fans and another two will be wild cards.  This year, apps for the iPhone and Android mobile screens will also be available to get as many votes from as many different sources as possible.  Fans will also be given the opportunity to “triple” their votes by visiting the cafe in person by February 17.

Phase 3 – Live Performances March 14-April 11

Every Friday night,  three bands will be asked to perform at the Cafe with the first one starting at 9pm.  Each band will perform a set of 3 original songs and one song covered by a previous Hard Rock Calling band.  Here is a breakdown of rounds for the Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood:

Hollywood Round One – March 14

Hollywood Round Two – March 21

Hollywood Round Three – March 28

Hollywood Round Four – April 4

Final Round – April 11

The winner of the final round will move on to the next phase in the global competition.

‘best of luck to everyone!