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New Owner of The Well Shares Plans for Restaurant

By John Hayden

Local community spirit meets international flavor. That’s the goal of the owner of The Well, the new restaurant/bar taking over the space that was, until Jan. 18, Hamburger Mary’s.

John Ribson bought the space and Jason Basilico has left Scandals Saloon to be the general manager. Ribson has four The Well bars in Ontario and 45 Wendy’s franchises. The day after closing on the deal, Ribson sat down with OutSFL to talk about the new motif, menu, and keeping a local vibe.

“I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to have international branding?”

He started in the bar business because he wanted to create LGBTQ safe spaces in smaller towns. His vision grew, and is opening two more Canadian locations this year.

Ribson didn’t just stumble across the location. He’s been a snowbird for six years and plans to retire here.

“I’ve been here for six years. Three years ago, I upgraded from a condo to a house. I will be here.”

He’s very familiar with the local entertainment scene and plans to continue with theme nights, local drag entertainers, and DJs. Exactly how the schedule will look is still being determined. Ribson is also keeping the staff.


Walk for the Animals Takes Place Feb. 3

The VCA Walk for the Animals is happening on Saturday, Feb. 3 at the beautiful Las Olas Intracoastal Promenade Park. This highly anticipated event is celebrating 34 years of animal lovers coming together to support the Humane Society of Broward County.

Fla. Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Restrict Rabbit Sales

“They were moving away and just released the ones that she had,” Wilton Manors resident Gary Burton said. “Six months later, they are multiplying like crazy.”


Parking Garage and New Complex Coming to Alibi Plaza

More than the skyline is changing in Wilton Manors. The city has approved a plan to build a parking garage and mixed use complex in the Shoppes of Wilton Manors (aka Alibi Plaza).

Weekly Events

TODAY: Stuff Yo Face Ramen Eating Contest

LauderAle is challenging the public to eat one XL ramen specialty by Kaminari Ramen and a sake bomb with LauderAle beer -- in just 12 minutes!

WED: Gender-Expansive Support Group

A drop-in support group for those who do not conform to gender stereotypes; meets every Wednesday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the SunServe Wilton Manors campus.

THURS: Black Art Awakening

Ujima Men's Collective and The Pride Center at Equality Park host an evening of culture, cuisine and cocktails in honor of Black History Month and National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

FRI: "Which Way to the Stage"

Broadway superfans Jeff and Judy eagerly await their idol, Idina Menzel, after her performance every night. But when a sexy stranger enters the scene and upends their decades-long friendship, the musical theater aficionados have to go off book to rewrite their own finale.   

SAT: Fort Lauderdale Book Fair

Meet local authors and browse independent book sellers at the second annual fair at Esplanade Park.

SUN: Rainbow 5K

Join the Pride Center for the annual Rainbow 5K at Holiday Park, wearing your favorite color of the rainbow while raising funds for the center's programming.

Job Opportunities

Customer Service Coordinator -- Wilton Manors

Allied Kitchen and Bath is hiring a customer service coordinator to be responsible for providing support to the sales team, process warranties/damage claims, and keep a detailed report of the outcome/progress/resolution all while providing spectacular customer service.

Sales Associate -- Wilton Manors

BODY20 is hiring a sales associate to provide best-in-class customer experiences while building relationships with members and the community. Paid training, certifications, and support included.

Meet Your Neighbor

Chuck Williams serves as the president of ArtsUnited, a nonprofit organization that supports LGBTQ artists by producing events featuring these artists. 

“Our mission as a nonprofit is to give all artists opportunities, regardless of their sexual orientation. And we're now 25 years old, so you picture 1999 and the discrimination,” Williams said. “Artists hid their sexuality because otherwise they might not get into a gallery or be in a show, so we've come a long way.”

Williams also sells office furniture; he provided the furniture for the Wilton Manors City Hall and police station. 

Williams is originally from Pennsylvania, then moved to Maryland after completing his degree in mathematics and accounting from Lycoming College before settling in South Florida.

In his free time, he loves attending one of ArtsUnited’s many events. 

“I really like the arts and I think we're really fortunate in Wilton Manors to have so much for a population of 12,000 people," Williams said. “The fact we've got these very functioning theater and art galleries and art organizations is really amazing.”

Visit to join, donate, or buy tickets to their events. -- Mary Rasura

Mike's Deal

You're going to want to hang onto this deal! Violet's & Zen's has a special offer of 20% off for OutSFL readers. 

The next time you visit the new restaurant (OutSFL's food editor called it a "gem") show this ad to save on your meal.


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