The Sylvester family had bartending in its blood. Whether it was Uncle Mickey holding court with 40 years' worth of regulars or Tony Sr. mixing one of his signature Skip and Go Nakeds, they exemplified the easy grace and no-nonsense craftsmanship found in a true barman's barman. That dedication to well-poured drinks carried over to Tony Jr., who has spent the last 35 years training mixologists nationwide through the curriculum of his ABC Bartending Schools. Taught behind fully functional bars, his courses educate students in topics ranging from drink recipes and equipment setup to flair moves and alcohol awareness. His schools also emphasize employment; after graduation, students can take advantage of a nationwide job placement service to land gigs in Miami nightclubs, Las Vegas casinos, or the bar cars of Chicago's El trains.
Brandishing the latest in dry-cleaning technologies, Dry Clean Xpress's fleet of delivery vans are at the beck and call of dirty-garment owners. Hand over sullied items, such as pants ($5.99), sweaters ($6.99), two-piece suits ($13.99), and dresses ($11.99+), to the hamper-on-wheels, or drop them off at one of their convenient locations. After whisking away your duds, the washing wizards run them through a gauntlet of cleanliness, using gentle solvents to dissolve anything from wine stains to smudges endured during smear campaigns. Committed to environmental friendliness, Dry Clean Xpress soaks clothes in biodegradable detergent and tumbles them through energy efficient washing equipment, replacing splatters of brownie batter with eco brownie points.
They might be far from the mountains, but the performers at Catskills Comedy Club keep their audiences' spirits high. From 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. every Friday and Saturday, a lineup of professional comedians and variety acts delivers a set featuring
After amassing 12 years of combined pet-care experience, animal lovers George Meneses and Alan Aghazadian opened a 3,000 square-foot, cage-free utopia for canines. Inside, dogs are split up by size to frolic around a 900 square-foot playground carpeted with joint-friendly, antimicrobial K9Grass. Cool-water misters and shade-providing awnings keep pooches comfortable in a 1,200 square-foot outdoor playground where dogs stretch their legs or practice cannonballs into the pool. Passionate about humane, dog-friendly conditions, the staff grooms pups in a cage-free room with deluxe John Paul Pet products, crafted by a cofounder of Paul Mitchell. Overnight guests stay in private, oversized pods equipped with windows, so they can look out onto fellow hotel guests or watch for room-service deliveries. The facility boasts modern décor—inside, a loft-like atmosphere has human-friendly seating areas outfitted with Saarinen tables and, outdoors, park benches let humans take a seat while pups burn off energy. In a petite gift shop, boutique products include The Kenyan Collection hand-beaded leather collars, as well as deluxe toys and food bowls.
Freshly back from vacation, a customer walks expectantly into the room. A golden retriever bounds clumsily up, its tongue flapping a rosy greeting and mouth stretched far back into a smile. When the dog’s owner takes up the leash, thanks the staff for caring for her energetic pup, and turns to leave, she feels a tug on the leash. Her dog has planted his feet firmly, trying to back into a sitting position—clearly, he wants them both to stay put.
According to proprietor Lisa Schettino, this is an everyday occurrence at Camp Canine. After a difficult experience finding pet care for her own dog, Lisa set out to create an environment that would not only keep critters safe, but make them want to stay. Now, each Camp Canine location has a resort-style atmosphere sprawled over 9,000–15,000 square feet.
Stressed four-legged friends wiggle with glee during massages, shedding stress from squeaky toys giving them the silent treatment. Against a bass rumble of purring, punctuated by canine yips, green-tea and chamomile facials drive dirt from wrinkled faces and soften wiry fur. As they wait for their next spa appointment, dogs can roam freely in a fenced-in play lot. After tearing through a maze of tunnels and obstacles, they splash into the pool and emerge to toss their cool, wet fur, bejeweling the air with spray. An air-conditioned indoor play area shelters pets from extreme heat and teenagers listening to vacuums at high volume..
Owners too can rest at ease during their pets’ vacation, knowing their animals lounge in private rooms with plush bedding and staff watching 24 hours a day. They check up on their furry friends via scheduled Skype sessions and various webcams set up throughout the Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale facilities. Those locations also pick up and drop off pets that haven’t yet learned how to operate a manual transmission.
After nearly 20 years under the command of Top Chef star Chef Carlos Fernandez, Hi-Life Café has recently ascended into a new realm under the rule of Chef Virgil Woodard, a master of new-wave American cuisine. According to a feature in the Sun Sentinel Woodard's training in architecture and keen eye for art and symmetry become apparent upon first glimpse of his dishes, each embellished with his signature hand-carved vegetable garnishes. Yet the ornate frills are only the start of the meal’s elegance. Fresh jalapeños packed with shrimp and wrapped in bacon—Cajun Kisses—prelude a full menu of classic American fare with an upscale twist. He transforms pastas with unique sauces, such as a southwestern spin on bolognese and a classic mushroom and madeira wine sauce infused with brie, and he pairs high-end strip steak, pork loin, and seafood with fresh, internationally inspired accoutrements.
The interior of Hi-Life Café mirrors the chic style of the entrees. Candlelight flickers across tasteful urban art photography from John Fifield and Streetmurals.net, creating the ideal ambiance for a dinner date or impromptu murder-mystery game. A granite-topped wine bar hosts a selection of sips, as well as fresh flower arrangements rivaled only by the elegant roses adorning each and every table.