Weekend Preview: Sun, surf, sand, soccer, sangria and Saigon Kick

The future site of the Flagler Garden,  destined to be a hub for all manner of earnest conviviality and creativity in downtown Fort Lauderdale, will have its first event on Sunday with Grow Downtown.

The afternoon of live music from the Bonfires (pictured) and Laura Creel, tree hugging and sangria (courtesy Whole Foods Market, which will donate proceeds to the Flagler Garden) runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at 441 NE Third Ave. Info: Facebook.com/FlaglerGarden.

Grow Downtown highlights a weekend of events in FAT Village, including Saturday night’s ever-festive Art Walk and the kickoff of the painted-piano caravan known as Play Your City the same night.

Debuting during Art Walk at 435 N. Andrews, as well as at Esplanade Park on the New River during the 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Riverwalk Sunday Arts event (GoRiverWalk.com), Play Your City features a brigade of pianos repurposed by local artists that will pop up around the city over the next three months. Artists include Brian Buzzella, Luzalma Gonzalez, Richard Vergez and two by MoAFL Art Academy students.

“Seeing these pianos move around downtown and seeing what transpires around them will be exciting to watch” says Genia Duncan-Ellis, Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale president and CEO, in a press statement.

The project is a team effort between the city, Riverwalk and Cadence, a downtown landscape architecture and urban design firm.

Play Your City is a "catalyst for activating space and engaging the community in the underutilized public landscapes," says Cadence co-founder Rebecca Bradley.  “We’re delighted to see the city working with local designers, artists and nonprofit organizations to improve the vibrancy of downtown for those that work and live here.”

Info: Facebook.com/FTLPlayYourCity.

S3: SO, SO, SO CLOSE
This is the weekend when the Restaurant People planned to open S3, a laidback dining and drinking spot on Fort Lauderdale beach. But you know how it is waiting for that final inspection: It's supposed to happen ... and then it doesn't. Assuming it goes through in the next couple of days, they are looking to officially swing open the doors at S3 next weekend.

What is S3? The answer to the question when out-of-town family wants to take you to a moderately priced place to eat, perhaps with the kids, while watching the ocean. Obviously, you don’t need to wait for family to visit.

“I love Steak 954, but you can’t do that very often,” says S3 owner Tim Petrillo, the father of two daughters, 14 and 12. Petrillo says the menu at S3 (which stands for “sun, surf, sand”) will be a range of steak, seafood and sushi, with “small plates” for $4 to $14 and entrees in the $19-$25 range.

“Our goal is to bring locals back to the beach to dine,” he says.

Whether this place will be a game-changer for diners and cocktailers on Fort Lauderdale beach is hard to say, but there's nothing wrong with having another option to consider when Casablanca is packed (always).

Petrillo and the Restaurant People are the folks who gave us YOLO, the Las Olas hot spot whose swinging late-night “scene” has obscured the fact that it’s a really fine place to eat. The fire pits that are a signature of YOLO and the adjacent Vibe nightclub will also be a feature on S3’s tiered, open-air terrace, a beautiful space that glides down onto the sidewalk at the base of the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel. But don’t let the fire pits fool you.

“This will be casual. We want people to feel they can come in right off the beach with a cover-up,” Petrillo says.

Petrillo learned the ropes in the restaurant business at Houston’s, and the chain’s hallmarks are in his blood.

“Coming onto the beach is a commitment. Coming over the bridge, over the causeway,  is a commitment,” he says. “We’ve got to give people quality, consistently.”

S3 is at the corner of A1A and Viramar St (505 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.). Valet parking will be available for $5. Info: 954-523-5215, Facebook.com/S3Restaurant.

DYLAN AND WILCO
Grateful Dead icon Bob Weir was just added as an opener for Bob Dylan, Wilco and My Morning Jacket on June 26 at the Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach. Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Saturday for $29.50-$79.50 at LiveNation.com. Some dates on the tour include revered guitarist Richard Thompson and singer-songwriter Ryan Bingham, but not the Cruzan show. More info: BobDylan.com.

BEER AND BEASTS
Wild animals (caged) and beers (uncaged) come together at the World of Beer-sponsored Brew at the Zoo event Saturday night at the Palm Beach Zoo (1301 Summit Blvd., West Palm Beach). Favorite Florida breweries (Due South, Monk in the Trunk, Cigar City, the Native) will offer product from 6 to 9 p.m. along with dozens of national brews. (We have heard good things about Back Forty from Alabama. Really.) Live music, food and “animal encounters” are part of the deal. Tickets: $35, $75 (special beers in the VIP). Info: 561-533-0887, PalmBeachZoo.org.