Murray’s Cheese Bar Celebrates Its First Birthday

The New York City restaurant kicked off summer with a cheese-filled party

Murray’s Cheese celebrated the beginning of July with a summer kickoff party at their Cheese Bar in New York City’s West Village neighborhood on July 1. In addition to celebrating summertime, they were feting the Cheese Bar’s first birthday.

In the spirit of the evening, colorful paper birthday hats spotted the restaurant’s tables, which were otherwise occupied by an assortment of wines, craft beers, and a truly incredible variety of cheeses. Attendants had the opportunity to chat with some of the cheesemakers who create the products sold at Murray’s and to snack on some of their wares. Long wooden tables stretched down the length of the restaurant and were laden with slate boards filled with Murray’s Cheese favorites: slices and wedges and rounds of cheese as well as various accompaniments like bowls of dried apricots, slices of crusty local breads, and glass jars of creamed honey and cherry jam.

Particularly memorable were the light but velvety wedges of Coupole, a goat cheese from the Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery; and Murray’s Summer Reserve Comté, which was served with a vanilla-infused syrup and a note warning that "when it’s gone, it’s gone."

Bed-Vyne Brew Celebrates First Year With Block Party

Inside Bed-Vyne Brew, at 70 Tompkins Ave. The craft beer bar celebrates its one-year anniversary with a block party on Saturday. View Full Caption

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT &mdash A local craft beer bar will celebrate its first year in Bed-Stuy on Saturday by shutting down part of Putnam Avenue for a block party, complete with food, drink and music from a legendary rapper.

For the bar's first birthday, the owners of Bed-Vyne Brew, at 370 Tompkins Ave., organized Block and Brew, a six-hour festival near Tompkins and Putnam avenues headlined by Sadat X of legendary rap group Brand Nubian.

The block party, part of the 2014 Make Music New York festival, also features music from singer-songwriters Mary Akpa and Erel Pio, indie rocker Omega Sirius Moon and Bed-Stuy's Black and Gold Marching Elite, a local afterschool marching band.

Festival-goers can enjoy the music with craft beer, food from East Village gastropub Jimmy's No. 43 and local vendors.

Bed-Vyne Brew is a spinoff of a local wine shop next door. It serves craft beer in bottles or in growlers and pints from 10 custom taps.

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"Schiller's Liquor Bar Cocktail Collection: Classic Cocktails, Artisanal Updates, Seasonal Drinks, Bartender's Guide"
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Cheers, you're in Siberia. honest!

A guide to the little corner of Ireland in Novosibirsk where you are always guaranteed a good beer and a warm welcome, whatever the weather.

'Surprisingly, Siberians love Ireland. We're similar in spirit. The Irish are just as cheerful as Siberians and love drinking just as much as we do.' Picture: Mr O'Neills

Siberia is known for its hospitality and where better than relaxing with a pint of beer in one of the growing number of Irish bars cropping up in Novosibirsk. Here, we have a look at the best themed drinking holes in the city - where east meets west &ndash in the words of those who know them best: the staff themselves.

5 Sovetskaya St, Kronos business centre (Tel: +7 906 195 6347)

'This was created as a place where any person can drop by, without a dress code and regardless of their social status and age.' Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

Opened three years ago, this bar attract a mix of clientele, including business people during the week and the younger generation at weekends. Traditional Irish fare, including Guinness and Kilkenny, are the most popular drinks at 310 roubles per pint, although it also serves its own speciality Clever beer for just 170 roubles.

Manager Tatyana Frank says: 'This was created as a place where any person can drop by, without a dress code and regardless of their social status and age. Our dishes are very delicious. We have cuisine worth trying, a huge range of beers and constant Irish-Siberian hospitality.'

Bar man Aleksandr Meshkov, 24, adds: 'I started working here very recently and it's a very cheerful and positive place. We're happy to see everyone. We have great music, fresh beer, brilliant homemade liquors, a few cocktails and a great atmosphere.'

Manager Tatyana Frank (top) and bar man Aleksandr Meshkov (bottom) in Clever pub. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

8 Lenina St. (www.stpat.ru tel: +7 383 222 4477)

Due to celebrate its 16th anniversary in August, this is one of the longest-running Irish bars in Novosibirsk. It was opened by people with a great passion for Ireland and its culture. Among the different sorts of beer you can finf here Guinness for 340 roubles a pint and creative snacks include 'pivcihki' wheat and cheese 'patricks'.

Due to celebrate its 16th anniversary in August, St Patrick's Corner is one of the longest-running Irish bars in Novosibirsk. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

Director Evgenia Vtorushina says: 'Our pub is in the book of Irish pubs of the world. There is such book in Ireland and out of all the pubs in Novosibirsk there is only us and one other in it. The Irish designed the pub, did the decoration, and brought in the furniture, with even the tiles on the floor coming from Ireland.

'We have a special method for pouring beer. It's cooled in a special cool room and is then served. It makes the taste very natural.'

Barman Vasilyi Galkin, 29, adds: 'Even if you come alone, you'll find someone to talk to because we have very different visitors. Come and feel Irish. Feel Irish today, and have a hangover tomorrow.'

Director Evgenia Vtorushina (top) and barman Vasilyi Galkin. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

23 Ordzhonikidze St (Tel: +7 (383) 213 4262)

This bar celebrates its 2nd birthday on July 17 and already it is a firm favourite in Novosibirsk with its founders great advocates of all things Irish. On weekdays it shows Irish movies and live sports matches, and snacks include marinated quail eggs, with Guinness at 345 roubles.

Mr O'Neills celebrates its 2nd birthday on July 17 and already it is a firm favourite in Novosibirsk with its founders great advocates of all things Irish. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

Barman Sergey Khvalin, 23, explains: 'Surprisingly, Siberians love Ireland. We're similar in spirit. The Irish are just as cheerful as Siberians and love drinking just as much as we do. The atmosphere in Irish pubs is similar to what we have here in Novosibirsk.

'It won't be an exaggeration to say that our pub is for our people. But we're always happy to see new faces. It's great when the newcomers become regulars. So, please, do come round.'

Barman Sergey Khvalin, 23: 'It's great when the newcomers become regulars. So, please, do come round.' Picture: Mr O'Neills

54 Maxim Gorkyi st. (www.restoclubnsk.ru/dublin Tel: +7 (383) 210 0118)

Opened six years ago, Dublin opens its doors early at 8am and even then you&rsquoll find a warm and hearty Irish-Siberian welcome. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

Opened six years ago, Dublin opens its doors early at 8am and even then you&rsquoll find a warm and hearty Irish-Siberian welcome. Food includes delicious BBQ meat and the chef promises 'the best snacks' in town.

Manager Oksana Matveeva says: 'We attract a somewhat more adult audience in their mid-30s and onwards. We love our guests and our staff and chef are always glad to communicate with them. If you want to have a chat with the chef, you are more than welcome. We don't mind even if you want to have a pint of beer with the chef too!'

Manager Oksana Matveeva 'We attract a somewhat more adult audience in their mid-30s and onwards. We love our guests and our staff and chef are always glad to communicate with them.' Picture: Vera Salnitskaya

18 Soviet st. & 14/1Chelyuskintsev st (www.harats.ru Tel: +7 (383) 292 3665)

Part of a chain of Irish pubs in Irkutsk, it has now become very popular in Novosibirsk with the first pub opening in 2012. You'll find dozens of whiskies here as well as a large selection of beers from the UK, Ireland and across Europe, as well as traditional Irish food including roast beef, lamb shank and stew. There&rsquos also a pub quiz on offer.

Part of a chain of Irish pubs in Irkutsk, Harat's has now become very popular in Novosibirsk with the first pub opening in 2012. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

Manager Olga Ramus explains: 'Our guests love our pub for the unique atmosphere, because you can easily come and sit at the bar and chat with the bartender as his best friend, sharing your problems, and troubles.

'We have more than 50 whiskies, ranging from the inexpensive and ending with the most expensive brands like 21 year old Macallan. We always have a full whisky stock so our guests can choose one depending on their mood and budget.'

Manager Olga Ramus and bartender Vladislav Sheryakov. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

Bartender Vladislav Sheryakov, 24, adds: 'In Siberia, just like in Ireland, real tough guys work five days in a quiet atmosphere, and need a couple of days at the weekend to have some screaming, shouting, plate breaking, and bar hitting with fists and mugs, fun. We look forward to seeing you. I work from Thursday to Sunday!'

88 Airport, 2nd Floor (www.nordcastle.com Tel: +7 (383) 200 2530)

With oak furniture, wrought iron elements and stained glass windows and murals, it might be difficult to find a pub any more Irish than this. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

Opened five years ago, the whole bar was designed in Ireland and flown over. With oak furniture, wrought iron elements and stained glass windows and murals, it might be difficult to find a pub any more Irish than this.

Marketing director Sofya Kuznetsova explains: 'This is classic pub with a taste of the early druidic middle ages atmosphere. Our guests are a little different from the ones in the other pubs. They tend to be from a middle and upper-middle income, including businessmen and diplomats.

'We have our own smokehouse, where we make our own smoked snacks and meals. We have a huge grill menu, shishas and a wine list, and a wide selection of bourbon, scotch and single malt whiskies as well. We also show sports championships and, of course, football because football is very important for Ireland.'

Marketing director Sofya Kuznetsova and bartender Konstantin Aluxeenko. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

Bartender Konstantin Aluxeenko, 23, says: 'I really like the design of this pub and the most important thing is the bar. I have been working as a bartender for four years already and this is the best that I have worked in. It's gorgeous. Come, visit our little Irish corner in Siberia. We will always be happy to meet you at the bar and serve you the best food and drink.'



The historic Grand Central Oyster Bar, celebrating its 97 th birthday, will team with sports and broadcast celebrities for a fundraiser during Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Giants Super Bowl XXI MVP and CBS Sports lead NFL analyst Phil Simms, and his broadcast partner Jim Nantz will be joined by YES Network Yankees voice/1050 ESPN Radio host Michael Kay, New York Giants star wide receiver Steve Smith, and Q104.3 Radio’s Shelli Sonstein as the headliners at the third annual Remember When, Remember Now benefit for Alzheimer’s Research to be held on Tuesday night, November 16, at the iconic New York City seafood restaurant.

For tickets, priced at $250, and information call the Oyster Bar at  212.490-6650, or email [email protected] All proceeds will go toward Alzheimer’s Research.

The benefit will include cocktail hour beginning at 6:30 PM with a bountiful seafood bar and hors d’eovres. Dinner and awards ceremony will follow at 7:30 PM highlighted by a sumptuous seafood and steak extravaganza.

Simms will receive the Jim Nantz, Sr. Tribute Award which remembers Nantz’s father whose Alzheimer’s affliction is well-documented in the book Always By My Side.  "It’s such an honor to present this award to Phil,” says Nantz. “First, he’s a great friend and family man, two things my father always treasured. Secondly, he has seen the devastating effects that Alzheimer’s has had on former players and teammates. He realizes it’s time we all take a stand against this terrible disease."

The celebration of the historic Oyster Bar’s 97 th birthday will again serve as the backdrop to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research.  Michael’s “Kay’s Korner” will be the designated charity, and the net proceeds from the money raised at the gala will be dispersed to a variety of Alzheimer’s groups. Oyster Bar executive chef Sandy Ingber will serve as Committee Co-Chair with Nantz and Kay joined by Jim Houlihan, partner, Houlihan Parnes, LLC long time New York public relations executive John Cirillo, president, Cirillo World and veteran sports broadcast agent Steve Lefkowitz, CEO, Lefkowitz Entertainment. All of the chairmen and most of the honorees have had a family member afflicted with Alzheimer’s.

Joining Simms among the honorees are: Smith, the Giants standout receiver whose grandmother Lois Anne Smith died of Alzheimer’s disease Sonstein, the Q104 news director Sonstein, Dr. Lawrence Honig of Columbia University, and Samuel Lefkowitz.

Simms was the Giants quarterback to guide Big Blue to the Lombardi Trophy as Super Bowl champions in 1987. The 15-year NFL veteran joined CBS Sports in January 1998 as lead analyst for the CBS Television Network’s coverage of the NFL. This season, he and Nantz pair for their sixth season as the Network’s lead NFL announce team.

Raw Bar: 4 Different Oysters, 2 East coast & 2 West Coast

Crab Claws & Shrimp Cocktail, cocktail sauce

Passed Hors’ D’eovres: : Mini Crab Cakes with Baltimore Red Sauce  Bloody Mary Oyster Shooter with Double Cross Vodka & Tequila Lime Oyster Shooter w/ 901 Tequila Japanese fried Bluepoint Oysters with Wasabi sesame aioli Pigs in Blanket, Dijon mustard Buffalo Calamari with Celery Sticks and Roquefort Dressing

1: Mini grilled Asian style Tuna Burger Sliders with 1000 island dressing

2: Mini grilled Seafood Sausage with honey mustard and sautéed onions

1: New England Clam chowder

2: Pumpkin Ravioli with Rock Shrimp Pink sauce

3: Mini Lobster Rolls, sweet potato chips and Cole slaw

4: Surf & Turf-served on separate platters-grilled Maine extra large ‘Diver’ Sea Scallops with tarragon and Grilled Petite Sirloin steak with Béarnaise Sauce

Steamed Green & Wax Beans with Carrots & Rosemary Roasted Red Bliss Potatoes

97 th anniversary of GCOB & 3 rd annual Alzheimer’s benefit Sheet Cake

Corridor bar celebrates its first birthday this weekend

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Corridor iBar & Eatery on Lord Street in Southport town centre is celebrating its first birthday party this Saturday (September 23).

The popular venue opened last autumn as part of a growing night-time scene in Southport’s Northern Quarter.

Owner Victoria Hughes said: “All customers new and old please come and celebrate with us.

“We have complimentary fizz and nibbles, tapas offers all day, and two for one cocktails.

“The fantastic Rag Tag Misfit duo will be performing From 8.30pm.

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“We will also have a prize draw for a meal for four and a bottle of wine.

“Looking forward to seeing you all, also thanking everyone for your custom over the past year.”

She added: “We are so happy with how the 1st year in business has gone, it’s been many hours hard work spent but all worth it with the great feed back from are happy customers.”

Corridor is a wine, craft ale and cocktail lovers haven. Guests are invited to indulge in a wide selection of quality meat and cheese platters and tapas.


Learn about a creative choral community for a cause, that melodically blends music, entertainment and fundraising.

Fluidity performs at events that benefit various social causes.

Fluidity, a Creative Choral Community for a Cause, combines beautiful music with philanthropy by performing at events benefitting various social causes. Fluidity is not just a choral group but “creative doers supporting the needs in our community” by holding event-concerts fundraisers to benefit partner non-profit organizations, says artistic director and founder Rhonda Juliano.

Fluidity is not Juliano’s first foray into using a chorus for social causes in 2002, she founded Diverse Harmony in Seattle, a choir for LGTBQ youth. Officially founded in October 2016, Fluidity was inspired by Juliano’s love of community and doing good for others. “I like to put tangible meaning behind what we sing,” Juliano explains. “Introducing non-profits that support our community is a win/win as we can help promote, support and introduce these organizations to members of a larger community by involving others in a social event.”

Fluidity starts its process by selecting a nonprofit, picking music that matches the nonprofit’s theme, then build an enlightening and supporting concert event that includes education about the nonprofit’s mission, drinks, and dinner. “What a great way to promote and support one another!” Juliano says. “Joining an event with a themed concert is a unique and meaningful way to pay it forward, while making a real difference.”

Although Fluidity has only been around less than a year, it’s already busy and well-staffed. “We currently have 34 singers, an accompanist, an event director, a social media director and myself,” Juliano says. Fluidity is “fluid in song, community and voice parts,” meaning that Fluidity avoids stereotypes in assigning voice parts. “We have females singing tenor and a female identified individual singing bass.”

Fluidity recently wrapped up an event at the Cincinnati Zoo, benefitting Groundworks Cincinnati-Mill Creek, a nonprofit that works to restore natural waterways and the environment for clean drinking water and wildlife. Their full season is already planned, and upcoming events include one supporting CircleTail, a nonprofit that trains guide dogs at no charge, and Upspring, a nonprofit that supports homeless kids with academic support in tutoring, camps, and more.

Juliano hopes that Fluidity will “grow and become well known in our community as an excellent choral group that does good for our community. We want to be recognized by name and have people think of us as an awesome organization that loves to pay it forward!” she says, “It’s about the music making and giving back that’s important to us as an organization.”

Absinthe by Spiegelworld is Coming to Australia!

Brisbane welcomes ABSINTHE with cunning concoctions city-wide

Absinthe Green most certainly in the new black in Brisbane as cocktail creators across the city unveil their tributes to the internationally applauded and breathtaking Spiegeltent show opening on June 2 in King George Square.

ABSINTHE Tour Le Monde is a bona-fide entertainment phenomenon. Launched by Australians in Manhattan’s gritty South Street Seaport, it became New York’s must-see event before moving to Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas where it has been smashing box office records and continues selling out after four amazing years. Now it is Brisbane turn, with the city’s leading bars creating tribute drinks that celebrate the show’s adult-themed cocktail of circus, burlesque and vaudeville…..

Public Restaurant and Bar: At the legal eagle end of town and right in the Speigeltent’s ‘hood, Brisbane’s Public Restaurant and Bar is welcoming Absinthe, with a signature dish the ‘Charcoaled Roast Pork & Absinthe Bouquet’ starring Glendale Farm Pork Belly, edible leaves, atomised Absinthe, fennel and leek puree and Absinthe sourced cream, only available during the show’s Brisbane run. The dish is ably supported by Spiegel-inspired wine label Vinaceous, exclusive wine partner for the show nationally! Lovers of libations are in luck too. “Some cocktails slide up next to you and whisper in your ear. Others stand square in front of you and address you in clear, forthright tones. Still others tend to bluster and throw their weight around a bit. Then there are the ones that are hauled in in chains, raving and ranting and foaming at the mouth, threatening all who pause to gape with contagious madness, such is The Brain Duster!!” said owner Tom Sanceau. This tempestuous concoction stars 20ml Absinthe, 20 ml Wild Turkey Rye, 20ml Martini Rosso, 2 dishes Angostura Bitters mixed and stirred over ice and fine strained into a glass!

Emporium Hotel Cocktail Bar: The city’s most elegant cocktail bar celebrates its European leaning with two tribute cocktails, created by bar manager Zac Hay:

· The Absinthe Frappe Absinthe, E-Honey (from the bee colony atop the hotel roof) and crushed ice, stirred down and topped with a drizzle of Creme de Myrtille and garnished with a Mint Sprig and a line of three blueberries served in a pewter mug.

· Gazillionaire’s Swizzle Absinthe, Rye Bourbon, White Port, Demerara Gomme, Lemon Juice, Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters, Peychauds Bitters swizzled down with crushed ice and topped with an ice basket filled with Absinthe – which is then set on fire!

Pony Dining at Eagle Street Pier: The Black Tonic is a luscious libation from the Pony team for before or after seeing ABSINTHE in Brisbane, starring 30 ml Bulleit, 15 ml Absinthe, 15 ml Dark Chocolate Bitter and 25 ml Cinnamon syrup with burnt rosemary garnish, served smoking!

Bar Pacino: This super cool bar with arguably the best river views in town has the Pacino Green Handshake – it stars the 90 proof “sacred herb” Herbsaint and a Melon liquor with fresh apple juice and a pinch of salt.

“If you only see one show in your entire life, make it ABSINTHE”Huffington Post

Brisbane loved EMPIRE when it rocked King George Square! Now the creators are back with a show that takes things to a whole new level – the city is about to be shocked, probably outraged, definitely wowed and absolutely entertained when the politically incorrect yet athletically gifted and talented cast from ABSINTHE Tour Le Monde, presented by Stan, arrives for a strictly limited season from June 2 under the spiegeltent at King George Square.

ABSINTHEis an adult-themed cocktail of circus, burlesque and vaudeville for a 21st century audience. The show is hosted by the filthy rich and just plain filthy Gazillionaire and his whacky assistant Abby Bobbins who have become two of the most acclaimed and subversive comedy forces in Las Vegas in recent years by parodying political correctness with their dark wit. Tickets are on sale NOW for the limited Brisbane season of ABSINTHE at www.ticketek.com.au

It’s a bona-fide international phenomenon. Launched by Australians in Manhattan’s gritty South Street Seaport, it became New York’s must-see event before moving to Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas where it has been smashing box office records and continues selling out after four amazing years. The Australian said, ‘Absinthe is an extraordinarily polished, dynamic, bullet-train of a show. And let’s not forget racy…. extraordinary bodies doing most extraordinary things…. They defy expectations of gravity, torsion and momentum.’ It’s not only the artists who create the magic of ABSINTHE. The show will be presented in Brisbane in a 700-seat antique spiegeltent, furnished with beveled mirrors, plush velvet seating booths and a well-stocked bar in King George Square. It’s the most intimate stage in town, with the artists dedicated to performing their jaw-dropping, breath-taking acts up close and very personal!

ABSINTHE by Spiegelworld – Brisbane season : www.absintheaustralia.com Tickets at www.ticketek.com.au

Brisbane: Performances start June 2 2015 , under the spiegeltent at King George Square

Performance Schedule: Tuesday/Wednesday – 8pm Thursday/Friday/Saturday – 7:30pm & 9:30pm

Sunday – 5pm & 7pm Show duration 90 minutes with no interval recommended for ages 15 & above the performance features some nudity and strong language. *Performance schedule is subject to change. Check website for details.

Tickets: Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday: $54.00 – $134.00** Friday/Saturday/Sunday: $64.00 – $154.00**

*VIP Ringside Tickets are available & include a seat in the front 2 rows, priority entry and a complimentary beverage. **transaction fees and charges may apply

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One Year at Minibar. The Miami Beach bar and lounge inside the Urbanica Hotel will celebrate its first anniversary Friday evening. Beginning at 8:30, enjoy mezcal- and Peroni-based cocktails, along with complimentary Spanish paella. 8:30 p.m. Friday, June 21, at Minibar, 419 Meridian Ave., Miami Beach 305-763-8934 minibarmiami.com.

Free Cheeseburgers at Sunny Isles Beach BurgerFi. To commemorate the first weekend of summer and its grand opening, the Sunny Isles Beach BurgerFi will offer $5 cheeseburgers all day and free cheeseburgers from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The sandwich features two all-natural beef patties topped with double American cheese, crisp lettuce, tomato slices, and BurgerFi sauce. Saturday, June 22, and Sunday, June 23, at BurgerFi, 18108 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach burgerfi.com.

Redland Summer Fruit Festival at Fruit & Spice Park. Fruit season is officially here, and the Redland Summer Fruit Festival will celebrate this weekend. In addition to eating raw fruits, you can enjoy local wines and freshly made smoothies and even purchase plants to take home. This fest has plenty for kids too, including a petting farm, pony rides, and a watermelon-eating contest. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 22, and Sunday, June 23, at Fruit & Spice Park, 24801 SW 187th Ave., Homestead redlandfruitandspice.com. Admission costs $10.
Caribbean 305 at Mana Wynwood. This weekend will see the return of Caribbean 305, offering food cooked by top chefs from across the Caribbean. The one-night festival will present foods from more than a dozen countries, whose chefs will prepare savory and sweet dishes, along with cocktails to represent the flavors of home. Expect chefs from Anguilla, the Bahamas, Barbados, Curaçao, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and others. Plus, expect live Caribbean music and performances as well as presentations by the tourism board. A select number of chefs will complete in the 2019 Contemporary Caribbean Individual Street Pork Competition and will debut their creations during Caribbean 305. Tickets include unlimited food, drinks, and entertainment. 8 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd St., Miami. Tickets cost $75 to $125 via caribbean305.com.

Four Years at Lulu's Ice Cream. Beloved local parlor Lulu's Ice Cream is turning 4 years old and is ready to throw down big-time. In addition to enjoying the shop's yummy treats, the first 50 people in line Sunday will get a free limited-edition tote from the Upper Hand Art. Other fun stuff includes personalized poems from the Biscayne Poet, free beer pours from Veza Sur Brewing, and puppy-friendly ice-cream treats for dogs. 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 23, at Lulu's Ice Cream, 2001 Biscayne Blvd., #CU-8, Miami lulus-icecream.com. Admission is free. RSVP via Facebook.

Keep Miami New Times Free. Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

DIY Value: Taco Bell Calls Out Competitors and Puts Fans Over Fame in Newest Campaign

Irvine, CA ( Restaurant News Release ) Take a boring burger bundle, add a celebrity in the mix, put it online and you’ve got the perfect recipe for, well, eating someone else’s favorites. Taco Bell wonders, why not just Eat Like You? Your favorites. All together. For just $5*. Rewarding their most passionate fans first, the new Build Your Own Cravings Box will be available exclusively to Taco Bell Rewards Beta** members on the Taco Bell app starting February 2, and to other Taco Bell digital customers members on February 11.

Stretching customers’ dollars further than ever before, the Build Your Own Cravings Box is the ultimate Taco Bell eating experience. Packaged in a convenient, recyclable*** paperboard box, fans can create their meal exactly as they please from a selection of well-loved favorites. With the click of a button, 18 different variations come to life on Taco Bell’s mobile and website, showcased in the following categories:

  • Specialties – a signature item like the Chalupa Supreme, Cheesy Gordita Crunch or Crunchwrap®
  • Starters – a Crunchy Taco, Soft Taco, Beefy 5-Layer Burrito or Bean and Cheese Burrito
  • Sides – Of course, the meal wouldn’t be complete without either Chips & Nacho Cheese Sauce or Cinnamon Twists
  • Drinks – A choice of Medium fountain drink rounds out the exclusive offer

The Build Your Own Cravings allows fans to create their meal exactly as they please, whether they’re craving vegetarian**** options, swapping out a protein for beans, or just sticking with the classics. How you build your box is up to you, no matter your protein preference.

“As we see it, there aren’t a lot of choices out there when it comes to value, forcing customers to play by others’ rules. But when your fans have different favorites on the menu, why not celebrate that?” said Nikki Lawson, Taco Bell’s Chief Global Brand Officer. “The Taco Bell I’m proud to lead does it differently – we put fans in the driver’s seat and allow them to eat how they want to eat, not how someone, irrespective of how famous they may be, tells them to.”

Taco Bell is going all in on the launch with marketing that empowers fans to take pride in their unique crunchy, cheesy or spicy taste. The digital and social campaign includes some of Taco Bell’s most influential fans including actor Noah Centineo, TikTok influencer Nava Rose, K-Pop star CL, iconic Drag Queen Onyx Black, and BMXer Brad Simms, among others. However, the celebrities won’t be sharing their own orders, but rather reminding consumers to never settle for someone else’s taste buds. With no predetermined celebrity meal in sight, fans will be encouraged to share their own unique Cravings Box orders on social platforms, such as TikTok, with a never-before-seen filter and hashtag challenge, and will even be able to take on the role of a lifetime as they act alongside Noah Centineo in a passionate TikTok duet. Fans should keep their eye on Taco Bell’s social channels and even their own For You Page for information and even more surprises.

To join Taco Bell Rewards, all customers need to do is download the app and register for an account. Once a Reward member, individuals will begin earning points for every qualifying dollar spent and also unlock rewards like birthday gifts, bonus point challenges and exclusive offers that unlock special deals. The Taco Bell app is the easiest way to order fan favorites, and it’s also the best way to get contactless***** service through the drive-thru by skipping payment at the window completely.

*Contact local restaurant for prices, hours and participation, which vary. Tax extra. For a limited time, through web or app. pay ahead orders only. Not available with delivery orders. Ingredient substitutions upgrades or add-ons at additional cost. Freezes excluded. Individual items at regular price.

**Taco Bell Rewards (Beta) program is available for a limited time only and is subject to termination at Taco Bell’s discretion and terms and conditions.

***Recycling programs vary from community to community. Always check with your local recycling facility to see what is accepted in your area.

**** American Vegetarian Association-certified vegetarian food items are lacto-ovo, allowing consumption of dairy and eggs but not animal byproducts. Vegetarian and meat ingredients are handled in common, and cross contact may occur, which may not be acceptable to certain types of vegetarian diets. Neither Taco Bell, our employees, franchisees nor the AVA assume any responsibility for such cross contact.

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