The best thing about Independence Day is our desire to celebrate not independently, but together, united for a day under the stars and bars that represent liberty and justice for all.
This weekend the American flag will go up in places it is not typically seen. This will include my house, where I plan to fly the flag through July 30. That would have been the birthday of Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.
MOVIE STARS IN A BAR
Adam Fine is an independent thinker. He pretty much created the original craft-beer scene in South Florida with his distribution company called Fresh Beer (according to Fort Lauderdale beer godfather Julian Siegel, who knows these things).
He’s now the owner of Native Brewing Co. and operates Craft Beer Cartel, where he offers home-brew equipment and beer-making classes when he’s not brewing small batches of experimental beers. He recently was offering free samples of a watermelon-wheat at the Cartel.
A South Florida native (as the name of his company suggests), a movie lover and husband to a woman who just started a company that makes gourmet popcorn, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who could throw a more flavorful movie night.
On Sunday, Fine will debut the Native Summer Movie Series, four weekly community movie nights in the comfy confines of Siegel’s Riverside Market. The films, all set or filmed in South Florida, are paired with signature beers from Native Brewing.
“Local beer, local movies. That’s the theme,” says Fine.
Picking the first movie in the series had to be tough, and Fine didn’t go with something hip and obvious, instead opening with the time-honored Connie Francis Spring Break saga “Where the Boys Are.” It will be paired with Native’s Glades Pale Ale.
The film, shot in 1959-60 on still-recognizable sections of Fort Lauderdale beach, is also something of a history lesson for newcomers, provided they aren’t distracted by too many Glades Pale Ales
“I wanted to start with something classic, something really relevant to Fort Lauderdale,” he says. “I like the nostalgia of it.”
The following Sundays will be more predictably entertaining: the sexy “Wild Things” paired with Thunderhead Red on July 12; “Something About Mary” and Native Lager on July 19; and “Porky’s” with Eleven Brown Ale on July 26.
The latter film edged out “Caddyshack,” even though the golf-club comedy includes scenes that show Fine’s high school, University School in Davie. It may have come down to a match with the beer.
“I had to do ‘Porky’s’, and Eleven Brown is my first beer. [The film] had a dark, brown swampy feel to it. The beer and the movie were a perfect fit with the whole theme,” Fine says.
Riverside Market has plenty to munch on, but during the Native Summer Movie Series, you’ll also find $5 bags of Jill Fine’s gourmet Brown Bag Popcorn, with flavors ranging from sriracha-lime cheddar to sea-salt caramel white chocolate. You can find it elsewhere, as well. For instance, during July the Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park will donate 100 percent of the proceeds from every sale of Brown Bag’s sea-salt caramel lemon blueberry popcorn to Make-A-Wish. Info: Facebook.com/BBPCo.
DEMOCRACY IN ACTION
Not sure being there at 6:30 a.m. is any way to celebrate freedom from tyranny, but on Saturday the Delray Beach Running Co. is hosting the July 4 Independence Run, a morning group run with a democratic ethos: It’s open to runners of “any pace” (walkers welcome) in a distance of your choosing on two-, four- and six-mile routes. The dress code is red, white and/or blue. Along with raffles, food and drinks (mimosas), there will be a grand prize for most creative outfit. As the invitation says, “Weirdness … and uniqueness encouraged!” Participation is free. Info: Facebook.com/DelrayBeachRunningCompany.
BUBBLES WITH THE BOOMS
Now here’s a Fourth of July tradition that must be encouraged: On the scenic fourth-floor terrace lounge called BalQony at Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, along with the ocean view, samplings of barbecue, themed drinks and a DJ throwing down patriotic beats, you’ll get a complimentary champagne toast as the fireworks go off. The BalQony Independence Day party runs from 6 to 11 p.m. Admission free. Info: FortLauderdaleBeachResort.Hilton.com.
GIVE ME LITERATURE OR GIVE ME DEATH
Nothing says “rebellion” like reading a book. To make that easier, the independently owned Books and Books will offer 20 percent off every book in the shop on July 4-5 at the Coral Gables location and the store at the Arsht Center. Info: BooksAndBooks.com.
YOUR WEEKEND LAUGH
Before going on to become a stand-up comic and actor (seen in “Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show,” Showtime’s “Weeds” and Artie Lange’s cult unclassic film “Beer League”) Bret Ernst played football at Plantation High School as a tight end. That’s got to be good for a few jokes. Catch him Thursday-Sunday at the Palm Beach Improv at City Place in West Palm Beach. Tickets: $17. Info: PalmBeach.Improv.com.
NEW WAVE FIREWORKS
OK, how much do you really love the ‘80s? The City of Sunrise’s July 4 festivities in the BB&T Center parking lot are notable for a couple of things. Beginning at 5 p.m. event sponsor Chester’s Fort Lauderdale Harley-Davidson will auction a load of rock memorabilia, with the proceeds going to Wounded Warriors. At 6 p.m. you’ll get live sets by two of the most popular bands of the most awesome decade in rock history: A Flock of Seagulls (“I Ran,” “Space Age Love Song,” “Telecommunication”) and the Fixx (“Red Skies,” “One Thing Leads to Another,” “Stand or Fall,” “Saved by Zero”). Admission and parking are free. Info: SunriseFL.Gov/July4.
RED, WHITE AND BLUES
Independence Day Weekend in downtown West Palm Beach is all about the Fourth on Flagler (made extra bright this year by “The Pool,” an artful display of illuminated circles at Centennial Square and Glow Fore It mini golf course. Info: WPB.org/4th-on-flagler. But the weekend gets moving nicely on Friday with BBQ, Brews & Blues, a gathering that offers free samples of soul food, local craft beer and live blues music in the historic Northwest Neighborhood, three blocks north of Clematis on Rosemary. Admission free, with trolley service from Clematis. Info: WestPalmBeach.com.
You know it’s a 5K sponsored by a brewery when it starts at 6:30 at night. We have no problem with that. Saltwater Brewery in Delray Beach (1701 W. Atlantic Ave.) will inaugurate the Salty Sunday Fun Run Series on July 12, a 5K that begins and ends at the brewhouse. The monthly, second-Sunday events are co-sponsored by Delray Beach Running Co. In case you missed the most important piece of information there: The run ends at the brewery. Info: Facebook.com/SaltWaterBrewery.
YOUR WEEKEND BURGER
One of the best things about being involved in youth sports is the blissful rush-hour drive to a park of uncertain location. This, and rain delays, forces you to explore. During a lull in watching Fort Lauderdale's Coral Ridge Little League All-Stars inch toward a district championship (alas, falling short with an 11-10 loss in the semifinals to worthy adversaries from Deerfield Beach), I happened upon Charm City Burger Co., a spot already dripping in word-of-mouth acclaim. If there is a better burger around than Charm City’s Emperor (8 ounces of Kobe beef, mushrooms, Swiss cheese and truffled aioli on two large toasted planks of bread), well, I haven’t had it. This week at least. By my accounting I ate this massive sandwich in three songs on the sound system: "Tumbling Dice" by the Rolling Stones, the Kinks' "Dead End Street" and "Everyday" by Buddy Holly. That's 9 minutes and 13 seconds. The Emperor is $10.95, but most of the burgers are under $7. Accompanied by something on draft from Due South Brewing and it’s enough to make you pray for rain. Charm City Burger Co. is at 1136 E. Hillsboro Blvd., Deerfield Beach. Info: CharmCityBurgers.com.
Worth noting that Movie Night at C&I Studios on July 7 offers a screening of the Judd Apatow-produced high-school confusical “Superbad,” starring Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Bill Hader, Seth Rogen and Emma Stone, with Christopher Mintz-Plasse as McLovin. No doubt there will be entertaining parlor games. Do not take part if someone suggests taking a swig off your drink every time the f-word is heard in the movie. That would be 186 swigs. (Thanks, Shortlist.com.) Movie Night starts at 6 p.m. Admission is free. Info: Facebook.com/CIStudios.
YOUR WEEKEND PATIO
I tried to do Louie Bossi’s eponymous new buzz-generating Fort Lauderdale restaurant on Las Olas last weekend, but could not brave the one-hour wait for a table on Saturday night. It was legit, too: I didn’t get the text from the hostess for 80 minutes, by which time I was reminding myself how sublime the grilled octopus appetizer is at Tuscan Grill down the street. But even without having tried the food (looked delicious) I do now understand the enthusiastic chatter about the outdoor space out back. A casual collection of tables and conversation spaces, with warm dark woods set off by a blanket of green “grass,” a more beautiful, relaxing spot on Las Olas I can’t imagine. Caveat: As we were cutting back through the masses at around 10 p.m., a DJ was setting up in the dining room. Saturday night, sure, but can’t see how that would improve things. Louie Bossi is at 1032 E. Las Olas Blvd. Info: LouieBossi.com. Reservation: 954-356-6699.
HAPPY HOUR OF THE WEEK
Trilogy, the new restaurant at the Silverspot Cinema in Coconut Creek (operated by the David Burke Group, founded by the “Top Chef” regular), this week debuted a happy hour menu served 5-7 p.m. Sunday-Thursday. The menu includes a casual array of salads, pizzas and sandwiches, along with main events such as steak frites, crab cakes and an intriguing BLT lobster roll. The wine and cocktail lists are efficiently eclectic and they’ve got Goose Island IPA among the draft beers ($7) and Funky Buddha Floridian in a bottle ($6). You can take your drinks into the theater, and Trilogy also offers a packed dinner that can be taken to your seat called Trilogy in a Box. Silverspot Cinema is at 4441 Lyons Road. Info: TrilogyRestaurant.com.
FREE TO VTB
There are few guarantees in life, but the Valerie Tyson Band’s ability to get the party started is undeniable. The VTB will bring soulful covers (Aretha’s “Natural Woman,” Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”) and danceable pop (Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You”) to the free Starlight Musicals series in Holiday Park (1300 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) on Friday from 7 to 10 p.m. Info: FortLauderdale.gov/Starlight.
Fresh off her first European tour to promote a new album of funky pop, “Again,” Irish-born Miami resident Sarah Packiam will throw a proper release party for the album on July 11 at Will Call. Info: SarahPackiam.com.
$20 KID ROCK
You can still get $20 tickets to Kid Rock’s July 16 stop on his Cheap Date Tour (with opening act Foreigner) at Coral Sky Amphitheater in West Palm Beach. According to tour promoter Live Nation, tickets from the second row to the lawn will be $20, with reduced parking and service fees holding the total price to about $30 at LiveNation.com. Tickets for $20 all-in (including parking) are being offered at the Coral Sky box office (601-7 Sansburys Way) and participating Walmart locations, where you’ll also get a coupon for $2 off the purchase of Kid Rock’s new album, “First Kiss.”
MORE LOCAL MOVIES
Looking ahead, and back to local movies, the seats can’t match a Riverside sofa and the beer won’t be quite as eclectic, but Bill Murray and his gopher do get their due during the Filmed in Broward series, part of the Broward 100 celebration, that will screen two dozen films for free at Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale. The movies, gathered via the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives, screen July 9-16. Opening with the coming-of-age comedy “Bart Got a Room” and Martin Scorsese’s “Cape Fear,” the series ranges from the silent D.W. Griffith classic “Idol Dancer” to the loud Tom Cruise classic “Rock of Ages.” “Striptease,” “Wrestling Ernest Hemingway,” “Marley and Me” and “Donnie Brasco” are here, too, with the series concluding July 16 with “Caddyshack” and a closing party. Admission to all films is free. Info: FLIFF.com/Filmed-in-Broward.
DAWG EAT DOG
Because you need time to prepare, be aware that the fourth annual hot dog-eating contest at Mardi Gras Casino (831 N. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach) is noon-4 p.m. July 11. The top prize for the contest, hosted by Luke from Big 105.9’s “Paul & Young Ron Morning Show” is $1,000. Entry: $10. Hey, it’s lunch. Info: MardiGrasCasinoFL.com.