Wellington The Magazine November 2010

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departments 10 12 14 16

Wellington Social Scene Celebrity Stylist Nick Arrojo Visits Visions Salon In Wellington Binks Forest Hosts Annual James Ryan Rivera Golf Tourney Wellington Chamber Of Commerce Hosts Medical Mixer At DCA Gift Gathering Supports Wellington Boys & Girls Club Dinner

48 Wellington At Home When Peter and Judy Wiesner bought their home 13 years ago, they knew they had a diamond in the rough. Situated on two and a half acres in Wellington’s equestrian area, the home had “good bones” but needed extensive work. Much improved, the home remains a work in progress. by Deborah Welky

56 Wellington Table Beef Wellington Steakhouse & Social Club offers the best in dining, drinks and dancing, all located right in the heart of Wellington. Its owners transformed the old Silver Screen Cinema location into a luxurious, relaxing environment for dinner, dancing or a night out. By Lauren miró

18 WELLINGTON WATCH 60 Wellington Dining Guide 62 Wellington Calendar 65 around wellington ON THE COVER Horses Healing Hearts founder Lizabeth Olszewski with one of her equine friends. Photo By Susan lerner


features 20 horses Helping children In Need When parents choose alcohol or drugs over the responsibility of raising their children, one thing is sure — the children are going to suffer. To help heal damage caused by years of living an uncertain, and often devastating, childhood, a lucky few are recommended as recipients of the Horses Healing Hearts (HHH) program founded by Wellington resident Lizabeth Olszewski. By deborah welky

28 horse sanctuary coming to wellington Horses living in the Wellington area will soon have the chance to receive world-class conditioning and rehabilitative care at the new Sanctuary Equine Sports Conditioning & Performance Center opening this year at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The facility will be a sister site to the well-known Sanctuary Equine location in Ocala. by Lauren miró

36 from venezuela to wellington In show jumping, winning takes real teamwork. Outside of the horse and rider in the ring, there’s an army of people who help make victory happen. For G&C Farm, this team viewpoint is what makes success attainable. Based in Wellington, G&C Farm is owned by Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal, who made the move from Venezuela earlier this year. Their string of top grand prix horses is piloted by Venezuelan rider Pablo Barrios. By jennifer wood

44 chatting with ‘The Voice Of Polo’ Tony Coppola’s business, the Tackeria on South Shore Blvd., has been serving the Wellington equestrian community for over three decades. Riders and horse-lovers all over the world are familiar with Coppola’s dedication to equestrian sports and his commitment to providing the highest-quality tack items, no matter how rare. For these reasons, Coppola is the 11th nominee for Wellington The Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award. By matthew auerbach WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE • november 2010


Wellington The Magazine


Looking Forward To Equestrian Season volume

While it’s great that Wellington is home to top events in equestrian sports from show jumping to polo to dressage, it is even more impressive the way horses have been weaved into the culture of the community. This month, we’re proud to spotlight a new nonprofit organization that aims to use horses to help children in need. Wellington resident Lizabeth Olszewski last year founded Horses Healing Hearts, using the power of horses to reach children whose lives have been turned upside down by being the child of an addict. The program uses the gentle support of equines to teach responsibility, self-esteem and life-coping skills to help these often fragile, vulnerable kids.

7, number 11 | november 2010

publisher/executive editor

Joshua I. Manning associate publisher

Dawn Rivera graphic designer

Suzanne Summa circulation coordinator

Betty Buglio bookkeeping

Carol Lieberman account managers

Evie Edwards Wanda Glockson Scott Hyber photography

Bill Barbosa Bea Bolton Gary Kane Susan Lerner Abner Pedraza Gregory Ratner contributors

Matthew Auerbach Jason Budjinski Ron Bukley Denise Fleischman Lauren Miró Carol Porter Deborah Welky Wellington The Magazine

12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 31 Wellington, FL 33414 Phone: (561) 793-7606 Fax: (561) 793-1470 www.WellingtonTheMagazine.com

Published by Wellington The Magazine, LLC Barry S. Manning chairman/chief executive officer Maureen Budjinski

With the winter season almost upon us, we check in with the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Plans are nearing completion for the 2011 Winter Equestrian Festival, and among the new additions will be a spa just for horses. Horses living in Wellington will have the ability to receive world-class conditioning and rehabilitative care at the new Sanctuary Equine Sports Conditioning & Performance Center opening at the PBIEC show grounds. It’s an offshoot of a sister facility in Ocala that will fill a vital void in the Wellington equestrian market. With the polo season coming up, we chat with longtime Wellington icon Tony “The Voice of Polo” Coppola about his Tackeria store. Coppola is the 11th nominee for Wellington The Magazine’s entrepreneur of the year award. We also visit G&C Farm, where owners Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal have moved to Wellington from Venezuela to further their own equestrian ambitions, and those of fellow Venezuelan rider Pablo Barrios — it’s a little piece of South America in South Florida! And where will you want to see and be seen in Wellington this season? Beef Wellington Steakhouse & Social Club! Owners of this upscale restaurant and club have completely transformed the old Silver Screen Cinema into a luxurious hotspot. Wellington Table visits Beef Wellington this month, and if you haven’t been there yet, be sure to give it a try. Also previewed this issue is the annual DRI Wellington Golf Classic set for Monday, Dec. 13 at the Wanderers Club, while Wellington at Home visits the two-and-a-half-acre estate of Peter and Judy Wiesner. As we cruise in to the year-ending holiday season, we wish a very Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers. Enjoy this month’s issue, and we’ll be back in December with another exciting magazine for you to enjoy.

vice president Wellington The Magazine is published monthly in Wellington, Florida. Copyright 2010, all rights reserved by Wellington The Magazine, LLC. Contents may not be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to refuse advertising. The publisher accepts no responsibility for advertisement errors beyond the cost of the portion of the advertisement occupied by the error within the advertisement itself. The publisher accepts no responsibility for submitted materials. All submitted materials subject to editing.


Joshua Manning Publisher/Executive Editor

Wellington Social Scene

Photos by Lauren Mirรณ

Celebrity Hairstylist Nick Arrojo Visits Visions Salon In Wellington Celebrity hairstylist Nick Arrojo visited Visions Salon on Oct. 11 to share his techniques with staff, greet fans and give one lucky winner a makeover. Alexis Sinram won a haircut by Arrojo himself, and other customers were able to come in for consultations and try out the Arrojo product line. For more info., call (561) 790-1696 or visit www.vhsalon.com. Visions owner Tom Monticello with makeover winner Alexis Sinram and celebrity stylist Nick Arrojo.

Nick Arrojo consults with Patty Cooke.

Nick Arrojo and Mary Mankamyer show off Arrojo hair products.

Annie Mizrahi shows off her Arrojo headband.

10 November 2010 โ ข WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE

Grisel Hines, Aimee Guillen and Nick Arrojo.

Visions owners Tom and Linda Monticello with Nick Arrojo in front of his new product line display.

Wellington Social Scene

Photos by Denise Fleischman

Binks Forest Hosts Annual James Ryan Rivera Golf Tourney

Amy Kent, Daisy Nelson and Dawn Dallin with James, Guillermo, Peter and Milagros Rivera.

Marlene Bruegman, Carole Browne and Iseult Broglio.

Tournament winners Alec Ardito and Drew Evelin.


James Ryan Rivera with a cake shaped like his favorite video game, Halo.

Longest drive winners Doug Roberson and Carole Browne.

The fourth annual James Ryan Rivera Muscular Dystrophy Golf Tournament took place Saturday, Oct. 16 at the Binks Forest Golf Club. Rivera was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in 2007. Money from the benefit will go toward his medical bills. For more info., visit www. jamesriverabenefit.com.

Florida Marlins community outreach rep Alex Morin with Michael Mestre of Alf’s Golf Shops.

Wellington Social Scene

Photos by Denise Fleischman

Wellington Chamber Of Commerce Hosts Medical Mixer At DCA

Dr. Dan Rudensky, DCA President and CEO Steven Shullman and Dr. John Baker.

Technicians Tammie Anderson, Elisa Stirling and Eddy Noel.

Med Express Urgent Care staff members Lisa Gonzalez, Kim Freedman and Tricia Backer.

Dr. Emilio Torres, Art Gasc and Pedro Salcedo.


The Wellington Chamber of Commerce held a networking mixer Thursday, Oct. 7 at Diagnostic Centers of America in Wellington. DCA performs testing such as CAT scans, MRIs, digital mammograms, ultrasounds and X-rays. Chamber members and guests enjoyed wine and hors d’oeurves, and were given tours of the facility and gift bags. DCA is located near the Mall at Wellington Green. For more info., call (561) 727-2300.

DCA staff members Michelle Sanchez, Kristen Carla Batchelder, Dr. Liebman, Katie Haner and Amanda Tumbeiro. Charles Huang and Karen Burrows.



Wellington Social Scene

Photos by Lauren Miró

Gift Gathering Supports Wellington Boys & Girls Club Dinner Dance

Event chairs Bland and Erika Eng, and Amy and Dr. Lawrence Bergman.

Hosts Marty and Heidi Harland with Tim O’Connor and Boys & Girls Clubs of PBC CEO Mary O’Connor.


Amy Bergman and Erika Eng with some of the gift baskets.

Joyce Bashein, Heidi Harland, Jackie Hodge, Beth Bartz and Mona Barnes.

Ranjita Sharma and Grace Edwards.

The Boys & Girls Club of Wellington hosted a gift-gathering party Friday, Oct. 15 for its 23rd annual Wellington Dinner Dance set for Saturday, Dec. 4. The party was held at the home of Heidi and Marty Harland. For more info., contact Alonna Paugh at (561) 683-3287 or e-mail apaugh@bgcpbc.org.

Omar Calderin and Erica Ferreri with Marty Harland.



Wellington Watch

BY joshua manning, lauren miró & ron bukley

Wellington Scores County Approval For Medical Arts District The Palm Beach County Commission granted Wellington approval Oct. 25 to develop a medical arts district centered around Wellington Regional Medical Center, despite concerns that the plan may snarl traffic on several busy roads. Wellington Mayor Darell Bowen told commissioners that the village’s objective is to create jobs. “We need to replace jobs that have been lost in this recent recession,” he said. Wellington has estimated that the completed medical arts district would bring an additional 6,000 highpaying jobs. County planners agreed that jobs would be a benefit, but were not happy with the current version of the proposal. Wellington has been working with county staff and has agreed to several conditions. According to a memo dated Oct. 18 from County Engineer George Webb, county staff identified three remaining unresolved issues: Wellington’s refusal to mitigate road improvements that could

18 november 2010 • WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE

curtail a required special traffic exemption, the non-inclusion of an affordable housing provision and the village’s refusal to lower the intensity of its request for 2.3 million square feet of development. “We acknowledge that this is a much-improved request than previously, but due to these three unresolved issues, staff will still recommend denial,” Principal Planner Khurshid Mohyuddin said. Village Manager Paul Schofield said Wellington is working to resolve the remaining three issues. He said his staff has agreed to affordable housing and to improvements of State Road 7. “Where we are apart is the density/intensity issue,” he said, adding that there is still plenty of time to refine the plan. Commissioner Jess Santamaria pointed out that he had required a condition that 65 percent of the uses in the proposed district be medical-related. Schofield said the driving need for a medical arts district is the existing medical uses

and a housing vacancy rate approaching 20 percent in Wellington that will not be replenished by construction jobs. “What we looked for in our community that is a long-term, sustainable opportunity, and there are hospitals that anchor Forest Hill at either end,” he said. “The medical profession has a shortage today, and that shortage is going to grow.” The motion to approve carried 5-1, with Commissioner Karen Marcus opposed. Municipal Complex Nears Completion — Wellington’s new municipal complex is nearing completion, and plans are to move into the new building by the end of the year. If all goes well, municipal complex project manager Rick Greene said the village has tentatively scheduled the building’s opening with tours on New Year’s Eve. The 54,000-square-foot, $10.5 million building will be the new home of the village’s council chambers and ad-

ministrative offices. The complex will include a clock tower, employee courtyard, council chambers that will seat 150 people and a “quick stop” where residents can pick up permit applications or pay utility bills. By consolidating various village offices into one place, officials expect to save $500,000 a year. “Everything is right on schedule,” Greene said. “We fully anticipate being able to move in by the end of the year.” In October, the building received its electricity hookup and air conditioning, which allowed workers to put in tile and wooden accents throughout the building. Landscaping was set to begin in early November. Guests enter the building to an expansive, open reception area. The airy feeling and plentiful windows continue throughout the building, giving it plenty of natural light. “Remember that we will be silver LEED certified,” Greene said. “So we are required to have a balance of energy efficiency and natural lighting.” Across the entrance way to the right is the council chambers. And much like it does

now, the council will have a private room behind the chambers, along with personal offices for meetings and other business. Upstairs in the center of the building will be gallery space, Greene said, that could house artwork. The remainder of the building is a mix of offices and space for cubicles, with several conference rooms, restrooms and utility rooms mixed in. Greene attributed the swift progress to a great working relationship with Weitz Construction and STH Architects. Injunction Puts Aero Club Paving In Limbo — A 90-day injunction has halted the paving of the runway within Wellington’s Aero Club, giving the community time to resolve issues surrounding its leadership. The Aero Club is a western Wellington community of about 250 homes clustered around a 3,900-foot grass runway. After a decision in September by the Aero Club’s board of directors to pave the community’s iconic grass runway without a community vote, a group of residents call-

ing themselves the Wellington Fair Play Group filed for an injunction to hold off construction while the community sorts out the legitimacy of its board. In October, a petition to get several members of the board removed was cause for the resignation of four of five board members. The resigning board appointed like-minded members to lead the community. Because the old board did not certify the results of the petition before leaving office, members of the Fair Play Group contend that they are the rightful leaders of the community. That argument is likely headed to arbitration, and the future of the paving project will hang in the balance. A decision issued Oct. 21 by Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Barkdull granted the Fair Play Group a 90-day injunction on construction of the runway, giving the group time to challenge the board. “That will give us enough time to figure out who the real board is,” said Gary Kozan, leader of the Wellington Fair Play Group.



(Above) Horses Healing Hearts client Samantha Wills shares a moment with Fiesta. (Right) Doris Andryauskas, Julie Hickey, Alicia Windsor Wieloch, program founder Lizabeth Olszewski, Lennon Danowski, Samantha Wills and Luckiest By Far Stables owner Cynthia Sossei shown with horses Rex and Fiesta.


Horses Healing Hearts Wellington-Based Program Helps Children In Need Story by Deborah Welky photos by Susan Lerner

When parents choose alcohol or drugs over the responsibility of raising their children, one thing is sure — the children are going to suffer. To help heal damage caused by years of living an uncertain, and often devastating, childhood, a lucky few of these children are recommended as recipients of the Horses Healing Hearts (HHH) program founded by Wellington resident Lizabeth Olszewski just last year. Here, children ages 6 to 18 have an opportunity to work with horses for the purpose of healing emotionally and learning positive life-coping skills. “When a child grows up with an alcoholic or addict, they quickly learn to stuff their feelings down deep inside because the addict is too absorbed in their own life and addiction to be a part of their child’s emotional growth,” Olszewski said. “We use horses to teach self-esteem and build confidence.” Olszewski noted that three of the 13 children currently enrolled in the program have lost a parent to suicide or an overdose and are living with a grandparent. Some have been in the program for 10 months now, and a high percentage are also dealing with their parents’ divorce. “I have gotten most of my kids through the crisis intervention line. Someone calls 211 and says, ‘I’m recovered, but my husband is still using.’ So first we meet with the child and parent

outside of a barn facility,” Olszewski said. “The main thing I want to know — from the child’s perspective — is not if they have an interest in horses but are they willing to be honest with their emotions?” Olszewski explained that a horse can serve as a “feelings detector.” “They’re very intuitive animals because, in nature, they’re often the prey... They have to be able to sense danger, so the part of their brain that senses danger is very well-developed. If a child acts fine outside but is nervous inside, the horse will pick up on that, and then the horse will become nervous. I teach the kids self-confidence and communication skills,” Olszewski said.


21 21

Once Olszewski is convinced a child is going to be forthright, she takes three or four children at a time for a two-hour session at a barn where the horse owner often lends an instructor to work with the kids as they learn how to groom the horse and tack it up. (Below) Julie Hickey gets her turn riding Rex with help from Doris Andryauskas.

“About 70 percent of the time, they get to ride, too,” Olszewski said. “Our goal is not to make Olympic riders. Our goal is to have them ride with their chins up and eyes forward. We explain to them the similarity between good riding posture and how important it is, in life, to keep

your chin up and look where you’re going. They untack the horse, hose it down, brush it and put the tack away while we talk about the HHH principles.” Those core HHH principles are simple, things most parents have taught their children from birth: be brave; do a good job; always finish what you start; do chores even if they’re not fun; be strong and fair; keep your promises; be loyal; listen closely to what others are saying; do what your heart tells you; and follow your dreams... where there’s a will, there’s a way! “We try to use an example of something they did that week to show where they’ve used one of the Horses Healing Hearts principles,” Olszewski said. Olszewski also tries to acquire specialized clothing for the kids. There are HHH polo shirts and even some riding clothes sent from the Rider’s Closet, a program run by equestrian star Georgina Bloomberg. “When they get the clothes, they think, ‘I’m an equestrian now,’ and it affects how they ride, how they carry themselves,” Olszewski said. “In the barn, I hear my instruction coming out in these kids. One girl, she always shook hands really oddly. She used her left hand and put her pinky in the air. So I taught them how to shake hands, how to look the person in the eye and say their name. I told her to put her helmet in her left hand so she wouldn’t be tempted to use that hand. One day, I introduced her to someone, and when they extended their hand, she did everything perfectly. The woman even remarked, ‘Wow, what a handshake!’ Later, when I asked the kids what they had liked best about the day, this girl said, ‘I liked the handshake. I knew I did it well, and she knew I did it well.’ She was proud of herself!” Helping build that pride are the owners of what Olszewski refers to as the “spon-




sor barns,” facilities that include Marco Bernal Dressage, Luckiest By Far Stables, Hampton Meadows, Equus, Acorn Creek Farms, Johnson’s Folly Farm and Acts 2 Acres. “We’re so thankful for the sponsor barns,” Olszewski said. “Without them, we wouldn’t have a program. Eventually, we want our own place, because right now, wherever we go, we’re a guest. There’s no private place where we can talk for 20 minutes. The kids need time to talk about our mission statement and review things.” But for now, the sponsors are the lifeblood of the program. (Left) Learning the proper way to take care of a horse is a crucial part of the Horses Healing Hands program. Shown here, Samantha Wills and Julie Hickey brush Rex, while Lennon Danowski cleans Fiesta’s hooves. (Far right) Horses Healing Hearts founder and director Lizabeth Olszewski with Alicia Windsor Wieloch.

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“We’re being gifted a lesson week. Our sponsors provide the horse and an instructor for an hour, and we work by ourselves for another hour. In the near future, we’re trying to build our financial resources,” Olszewski said. “Getting the horses will be easy. Once a week, I get a call from someone trying to give me a horse. But raising enough to care for one — $550 to $750 per month just to feed it — adds up.” In an effort to raise money, Horses Healing Hearts will host “A Night of Entertainment and Comedy” at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 21, at a location to be announced. “Sarge,” a comedian who has performed at the Betty Ford Center, and musician Amber Leigh will provide the entertainment at the event. Tickets are $25 and will be available after Nov. 15 on the Horses Healing Hearts web site, www. horseshealingheartsusa.org.



Dec. 13 Golf Classic To

Benefit Diabetes Research Institute


he DRI Wellington Golf Classic is set for Monday, Dec. 13 at the Wanderers Club at Wellington. Presented by Ashley and Joe Maguire of the Rosen Group, the golf tournament will be highlighted by the appearance of LPGA golf pros Michelle McGann and Anna Grzebien, as well as other surprise celebrity participants. The 18-hole tournament will be held in support of An International Affair, the March 5 gala that is expected to be a highlight of the equestrian season. Proceeds from both events benefit the cure-focused work of the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Known for their uniquely themed galas, the Wellington-based committee responsible for the DRI Wellington Golf Classic and An International Affair also brought the community Vintages and Jungle Safari in recent years. Co-chairs Karen and Bob Cavanagh return to the helm this year, just as they were at the committee’s inception six years ago. Finding a cure for diabetes is a cause close to their hearts. “When I was diagnosed with diabetes 32 years ago, around the time I met my wife, I said that I developed diabetes because she is so sweet,” Bob Cavanagh recalled. “But seriously, after touring the Diabetes Research Institute, we feel the question is not if the DRI will find a cure, it is when.” Stacey Hogan, who is new to the committee, agreed. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1987 at the age of 11.

LPGA golf pro Michelle McGann serves as patient ambassador for the Diabetes Research Institute.


“It may not come as soon as I would like, but for those young children being diagnosed today, tomorrow and in the future, a cure shouldn’t have to be a dream,” Hogan said. “I only recently became involved with the Diabetes Research Institute, but I plan to be around a long time.”

Also affected by the cause is McGann, a Palm Beach County native who has nine professional wins on the LPGA tour and in international competition. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 13, she was introduced to the DRI early on and now serves as the DRI’s patient ambassador. “I grew up in West Palm, but this event could have been in Miami and I would have said yes. I can’t do enough to help keep funding research in order to try to repay the DRI doctors and scientists for the endless hours they put in,” McGann said. “Nobody likes to go to the doctor, but at the Diabetes Research Institute there is a warm family feeling. I’ve recommended it to people from all over the country” McGann, along with Grzebien and others, will be present at the DRI Wellington Golf Classic to play alongside participants. For a chance to play with these golf greats, purchase a player’s spot for $250 or a foursome for $800. Beginning at 11 a.m., the golf tournament will be followed by an awards reception featuring cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, raffles and more. Anyone wishing to attend the cocktail reception only can purchase a ticket for $50. Sponsorship opportunities are available. To learn more, visit www.diabetesresearch.org/driwelling tongolf2010. The mission of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation is to provide the Diabetes Research Institute with the funding necessary to cure diabetes. The institute, a center of excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is a recognized world leader in cure-focused research. Since its inception in the early 1970s, the DRI has made significant contributions to the field of diabetes research, pioneering many of the techniques used in islet transplantation. For millions of families already affected by diabetes, the Diabetes Research Institute is the best hope for a cure. Visit www.diabetesresearch.org or call (800) 321-3437 for more info. WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE • November 2010


Sanctuary equine Bringing Top horse Conditioning Center

To Show Grounds By Lauren Miró

Horses living in the Wellington area will have the chance to receive world-class conditioning and rehabilitative care at the new Sanctuary Equine Sports Conditioning & Performance Center opening this year at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Located on the show grounds property, the Sanctuary will be a full-time horse training, therapy and conditioning center featuring the latest in technology, state-of-the-art equipment, training techniques and care. The roughly 5,000-square-foot facility will be built near the FEI barn in the permanent stabling area, conveniently located for both competitors and community members, Equestrian Sport Productions CEO Mark Bellissimo said. “It will be open to anyone who needs access to the facility to take their training regimen to the next level, or whatever their needs may be,” he said. The new center is a sister site to the Sanctuary’s multi-million-dollar facility in Ocala, which has helped top equine athletes including Olympic medal winners, grand prix horses and nationally titled champions. After considering several care providers, the Sanctuary’s reputation, experience and devotion to equine conditioning made it a clear choice to bring to Wellington, Bellissimo said. “A number of people approached us once they heard we were looking to do this,” he said. “We decided that the Sanctuary was the best fit in terms of culture and expertise.” The facility will be managed and operated by a trained and knowledgeable Sanctuary staff that is dedicated to helping improve a horse’s performance. “Wellington has been a market for us for some time,” said Tom Grabe, managing partner of the Sanctuary. “We thought we had to have something closer because in Ocala, we’re four hours away.” 28 November 2010 • WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE

Equestrian Sport Productions CEO Mark Bellissimo stands where the Sanctuary facility will soon be located on the grounds of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. PHOTO BY SUSAN LERNER



Grabe noted that while horse owners from Wellington often bring their horses to Ocala, many people do not want to make the trip or leave their horses so far away. The new facility will provide the same level of expertise closer to Wellington clients.

(Above) The saltwater leg spa will be one of the services available to horses at the Sanctuary. (Below) A horse uses the AquaPacer at the Sanctuary in Ocala. A similar machine will be available in Wellington.

“The opportunity to partner with the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center was a dream come true,” Grabe said. “It was an opportunity for us to be closer to our clients and be in the midst of all the action at the show grounds, while still being in close proximity to surrounding farms.” Sanctuary General Manager Brenda McDuffee noted the importance of having such a facility in Wellington. “There is an exceptional level of high-performance horses that live and compete in Wellington, and opening a Sanctuary facility is on par with what owners, trainers and competitors need and expect for their horses,” McDuffee said. “It will be a meeting of a world-class therapy and performance conditioning center with a world-class show area. Our main facility is located in Ocala, but we are looking forward to expanding into Wellington.” The Wellington facility, which is anticipated to be open by the start of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival in January, will feature the latest in training and conditioning equipment.





It will offer four regular treadmills, two above-ground water treadmills, two cold saltwater leg spas, two vibration plates with solarium, laser therapy, electromagnetic pulse therapy and a respiratory machine — all new technology designed to get the best performance out of a horse. “The focus will really be on training and conditioning versus rehabilitation,” Bellissimo said. “But it’s the same devices for either purpose.” Equestrian Sport Productions President Michael Stone agreed that the Sanctuary will be an exciting addition to the show grounds. “We are constantly trying to improve our facility and keep it at the best standards in the world,” Stone said. “A center like the Sanctuary is an incredible addition to our quest to have the PBIEC at the forefront of equestrian competition venues.” And while horses from all over the community can come to the facility, Sanctuary staffers can also bring some of the equipment to horses stabled on show ground property. “The laser therapy, electromagnetic pulse therapy and respiratory machines are all mobile therapy equipment, which means the Sanctuary staff will be able to take the equipment out on a golf cart and treat horses in their stalls if they are stabled on the show grounds,” McDuffee said. Grabe noted that off-season the facility will be able to use the show grounds’ permanent stalls to provide longer term care. “We’re really excited to be partnered with the people behind the Winter Equestrian Festival,” Grabe said. “The Sanctuary brings the brand name and a high level of expertise, but this would not have been possible without them.” Bellissimo anticipates that owners, riders WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE • November 2010


and trainers will take advantage of the facility to get a leg up in competition. “We believe that the equine athlete can experience great benefits by going through this conditioning algorithm that takes into consideration strength and conditioning activities,” he said. “We think that this will position the horse to be much more resilient, less prone to injury and potentially give the horse a greater competitive advantage.” For Bellissimo, the hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in the facility is proof of his company’s continued dedication to improving equestrian sports, competition and the equine athlete. “We want this facility to be known as the most state-of-the-art training and conditioning facility in the world,” he said. Having the facility in Wellington, Bellissimo said, will be a benefit to the com-


munity as a whole. “It’s going to be another great resource that we can use to distinguish ourselves as being one of the premier equestrian destinations in the world,” he said. There will be promotional opportunities for horses that arrive early to Wellington

and want to take advantage of the services offered at the Sanctuary. For more information, visit www.sanctuaryequinerehab. com. For more information about the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, visit www.equestrian sport.com.

The 5,000-square-foot Sanctuary Equine Sports Conditioning & Performance Center will be near the FEI barn in the permanent stabling area at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. PHOTO BY SUSAN LERNER




Venezuela To Wellington

G&C Farm Makes Its Mark On The Horse Show Scene Story by Jennifer Wood Photos courtesy Jennifer Wood Media Inc.

In the sport of show jumping, winning takes real teamwork. Outside of the horse and rider in the ring, there’s an army of people who help make victory happen. For G&C Farm, this team viewpoint is what makes success attainable. G&C Farm, based in Wellington, is owned by Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal, who made the move from Venezuela earlier this year. Their string of top grand prix horses is piloted by Venezuelan rider Pablo Barrios. The Mirabals live at their farm near the Winter Equestrian Festival show grounds, where Gustavo, Carolina and their 13-year-old daughter Maria Emilia compete every year. Their younger daughters, 3-year-old Victoria and 21-month-old Andrea, are already in love with horses. “When we moved here, one of the most important things for us was to have a life with horses and own a farm,” Gustavo said. “We really enjoy living in Wellington, and we feel that it is the perfect place to raise our daughters.” Once the Mirabals moved to the United States, they quickly set up a farm that would house their grand prix horses and give them the resources to make their dreams come true. “Our goal was to do all the great shows in the world, like the shows in Wellington and Canada and Europe,” Gustavo noted. With Barrios in the irons, the Mirabals quickly amassed six grand prix wins during last year’s Winter Equestrian Festival, and their horses led victory gallops at Spruce Meadows and the European circuit. Venezuela fielded a team for the first time this summer at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Ky. The young team had a strong showing, and Barrios competed in the individual finals on G&C LaGran, finishing in the top 30 riders in the world. The G&C team is no stranger to the winner’s circle. As children in Venezuela, Gustavo and Pablo started riding horses together around the age of 10. They took lessons at the same country club, competed together at shows and attended the same school. Their families spent time together as well.

Pablo Barrios rides G&C LaGran at last month’s World Equestrian Games in Kentucky. Photo by Randi Muster/Mustphoto Inc.


Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal built their farm in Wellington to be a stateof-the-art facility for top show jumpers.

Gustavo Mirabal compares his show jumping team to those of a Formula One “escuderia” — a full team of people working together for success.


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Maria Emilia Mirabal holds her little sister Andrea Carolina, sitting next to Carolina and Gustavo, with Victoria Elena.

“We were good friends as kids,” Gustavo recalled. “We kind of went our separate ways as we got older. He studied architecture in school, and I studied law and became a lawyer.” Over the years, they each continued to ride and show. Mirabal attended shows in Arizona and elsewhere in the western United States in the 1980s. Barrios completed his junior years in Venezuela and represented his country in the Pan American Games at the age of 18. Barrios elected to give up architecture 14 years ago to start his own training facility in Venezuela for high-performance riders, and he started traveling to the U.S. with a few horses every year. “I came with four horses for sale,” he said. “I sold one and then another, and then I got some clients. Everything was happening with a lot of work, but it was flowing in the right direction. Then I moved here permanently in 2001 to get to a better level with my riding. That’s the way it all started.” The Mirabals decided to become more involved in show jumping on an interna38 November 2010 • WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE

tional level last year. When Gustavo contacted Barrios, he knew that they could have a successful partnership. “I always knew that we were going to win,” Gustavo said. “But it has been better than I expected. The 12 weeks here in Wellington were amazing. I remember Pablo told me, ‘Be careful. It’s a tough, tough circuit. We might not win one class.’ And G&C Farm won more than 20 classes during the show and six grand prix classes!” Their winning program also contributed to G&C Farm’s international success on the grand prix circuit overseas, and the G&C horses continue to rise to each new and challenging occasion. Barrios and the G&C horses made their mark on European soil for the first time this summer, earning consistent ribbons at the Global Champions Tour in Chantilly, France, and Valkenswaard, Holland, and the Jumping International de Royan CSI3* in Royan, France. Barrios took home wins at the Dublin International Horse Show in Ireland as well. He then picked up three gold medals at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico. On U.S. terrain, Barrios re-

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ceived the 2010 $50,000 Hagyard Challenge Series Leading Rider Award for his top placings in grand prix events at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. Goals for 2011 include a successful circuit at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival this winter and qualifying for the FEI World Cup Finals in Leipzig, Germany, in April. Both Barrios and Mirabal hope their passion for high-performance show jumping will encourage other riders in Venezuela to dream big and elevate the country’s equestrian scene to a new level. Since show jumping is not part of the Venezuelan tradition, the sport is limited, and riders find it difficult to improve after a certain point in their careers. “Our principal goal is to promote the sport in Latin America,” Gustavo said. “We hope to bring more people to the States to show here. We want them to see that it’s possible to do this. Everybody

Maria Emilia Mirabal practices jumping a new G&C Farm horse.



thinks it’s impossible. I think if you have this goal in mind and you work for it, you can do it.” Barrios points out how significant it would be to have an international show jumping team to represent Venezuela regularly: “I think, in the near future, we’re going to have a good team to represent us for international events,” he said. “Everybody is trying to get to a better level. I think we will have a competitive team, not for the 2012 Olympics, but for the next one.”

combination of support network and overall organization. For G&C Farm, this includes everything from the top horses to excellent riders, veterinarians, grooms and working students. Additionally, the farm’s family atmosphere adds to the camaraderie and excitement. Both families look forward to weekly Sunday barbecues together during the winter with all of their kids, and they enjoy riding, training and traveling to shows together.

Mirabal feels that G&C Farm’s accomplishments in 2010 were vital for Venezuela. “To hear the Venezuelan national anthem and see the flag raised is a great feeling. It is indicative that we are on the right track,” Gustavo said.

Through G&C Farm’s team effort, Barrios has become one of the top grand prix riders in the United States and a true contender in international events. G&C Farm is now one of the leading farms in the nation with respect to ownership and sponsorship. Barrios and Mirabal have come a long way since their days of riding at their families’ country club.

He believes the key to G&C Farm’s success is having a strong “escudería,” a term used by Formula One racing teams that explains what it means to have the best

“All of these things add up,” Barrios said. “G&C is a team that I’m proud to be a part of. It’s the perfect match and the right moment.”


Gustavo Mirabal and Andrea Carolina, 2, visit a horse at their barn in Wellington.




‘Voice Of Polo’ Has Run The Tackeria For More Than 30 Years Story by Matthew Auerbach  Photos by Susan Lerner


t should come as no surprise that hidden in Tony Coppola’s last name are the four letters that make up the word “polo.” He has been involved with the sport in one form or another since he was nine years old.

Coppola’s business, the Tackeria on South Shore Blvd., has been serving the Wellington equestrian community for over three decades. Riders and horse-lovers all over the world are familiar with Coppola’s dedication to equestrian sports and his commitment to providing the highest-quality tack items, no matter how rare. For these reasons, Coppola is the 11th nominee for Wellington The Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award. After growing up on Long Island, Coppola’s lifelong love of polo led him to South Florida in 1969. In the early 1970s, he began spending winters in South Florida and played professionally. In 1975, after realizing that the shelf life of a polo player isn’t all that long, he opened the original Tackeria out of a bus in Lake Worth at the Gulfstream Polo Club. “I was living in Loxahatchee at the time,” Coppola recalled. “I wanted to move my business closer to where I lived. Palm Beach Polo began to grow around this time, so I found a space in one of the barns, parked the bus there and off I went.” Those were the days, he said, “when Wellington was just a bunch of dirt roads.” But there was something in the air. “You could tell that horse-related activities in general and polo in particular were picking up momentum in the area,” said Coppola, who also made a name for himself as a polo announcer, earning the nickname “the voice of polo.” Like any successful long-term business, Coppola’s venture had to endure some tough times at the start. “The early days of the Tackeria weren’t the easiest,” he said. “Days would sometimes go by without a single customer coming in. Now the shop operates year-round and we do business worldwide.”


Even back in the late 1970s, because of the number of international players who began coming to Wellington to compete, Coppola began meeting the top athletes in the sport from all over the globe and assisting them in their search for hard-to-find equipment. “This was word-of-mouth at a very high level,” Coppola said. “It created opportunities I don’t think would have come my way normally.” The growing popularity of polo and all things equestrian in the rapidly developing Wellington area was another boost to the business. “Back in the day, polo season lasted two, maybe three months,” Coppola said. “These days, it runs 40 to 50 weeks a year. More and more people are building barns and mini horse farms. The equestrians are coming here earlier and staying longer.” The increased interest in tack-related items allowed Coppola to move the Tackeria to a larger location in the early 1980s. This meant expanding the scope of his merchandise as well. “Around this time, we became less of a specialty shop,” Coppola said. “Local families and neighbors began coming in, so it made sense to begin selling clothing and other general equestrian merchandise.” Aside from traditional tack and gear, the store now stocks apparel, handbags, belts and other accessories. Coppola’s commitment to growth was a prescient decision. By the 1990s, only a little over a third of his business was polo-related. In more recent years, the ever-expanding inventory of general equestrian items eventually forced yet another move, to the Tackeria’s

Wellington Entrepreneur Tackeria owner Tony Coppola at his Wellington store on South Shore Blvd.

Ben Boynton of the Boynton Financial Group at his office in Wellington. WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE • November 2010


(Above and far right) Tony Coppola started out selling polo products, but has since branched into all types of equestrian-themed items.


current location on South Shore Blvd. in the heart of Wellington’s equestrian community. Of course, much of his business nowadays is Internet based through an online store at www.tackeria.com. Coppola currently employs approximately 30 staff members, and they all have the same high level of horse sense. “All my employees have proper knowledge of horses and understand the different disciplines of riding,” he said. “I believe we can credit our long-term success to one simple fact: we’re customer-oriented. Their satisfaction is the top priority. We’re continuously keeping up with current trends in order to meet every one of their needs.” One of those employees is Coppola’s 16-year-old son Matthew. He helps out in the shop whenever he can — whenever he’s not out playing polo. There’s a physical factor in the Tackeria’s formula for success: location, location, location. “To have the Tackeria located right in the middle of the equestrian community can’t be downplayed,” Coppola said. “The proximity helps professionals take care of their immediate needs and allows the casual fans to check us out as part of their day in horse country.” Like most businesses, the Tackeria was not immune to the effects of recent economic troubles. “It had a big effect on a lot of people,” Coppola said. “Even the customers who shop at a luxury business like mine tightened their belts.” Coppola’s involvement with the games he’s loved since childhood continues on the field as well. “I try to play some polo for the Tackeria team,” he said. “I also head up to Saratoga, N.Y., where I help run the Saratoga Polo Club in the summer.”

He remains proud of the village he calls home. “The growth in the Wellington area is tremendous,” Coppola said. “So many people come here to experience polo or jumping or dressage — and hopefully stop in to the store.” Coppola has also continued his other connection to the sport. “I still announce matches at the International Polo Club and at different places in New York State,” he said. “I never get tired of that role.” Potential Wellington business owners would be wise to heed Coppola’s advice; after all, 30 years of success is something to be admired. “You must know your products,” he said. “It’s very important to be able to supply the goods and services customers expect. One of our biggest strengths at the Tackeria is in the depth of our inventory.” Another key is expediency. “I will say this: fulfilling same-day orders has been essential to our on-going success,” Coppola said. “When people know they can get what they want when they want it without delay, they’ll keep coming back.” The Tackeria is located at 13501 South Shore Blvd., Suite 7, in Wellington. For more info., call (561) 793-2012 or visit www.tackeria. com.

Wellington The Magazine will feature one entrepreneur each month during 2010 and, with the help of our readers, award the first “Wellington’s Entrepreneur of the Year” award to one of the featured business owners at the end of 2010. To nominate a Wellington business owner who you find inspiring, visit www. wellingtonthemagazine.com. WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE • •November 2010 WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE October 2010 WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE • september

47 47

e ou lik y d l Wou home your ed? r featu ERE! KH CLIC To what was a fairly bland main entrance, the Wiesners added the Honduran mahogany doors, the tricolor marble Vietnamese vases, the footbridge, the koi pond, the landscaping and the pavers. (Right) Peter, Cassandra and Judy Wiesner on the back patio.




Peter & Judy Wiesner’s Home Has Evolved Slowly, Project By Project Story by Deborah Welky  Photos by Susan Lerner

When Peter and Judy Wiesner bought their home 13 years ago, they knew they had a diamond in the rough. Situated on two and a half acres in Wellington’s equestrian area, the home had “good bones” but needed extensive work on the interior. “It was very white, with cheap tile, cheap doors, very little landscaping. It was a plain house, but a great value at the time,” Peter recalled. “Today people ask, ‘Who was your designer?’ but it was always Judy. Every month, she had a project. We just changed it a little bit at a time.” The Wiesners have two children — 20-year-old Brian, currently a student at Florida State University, and 13-year-old Cassandra, who attends the Ideal school in Royal Palm Beach. Cassandra was just five days old when the family moved in. One of the first improvements they made to the

house was adding a wood-burning fireplace in the living room, one of Judy’s “must-haves.” The unit is two-sided, so the fireplace warms the master bedroom as well. The low-quality tile was also removed, a loud and dirty process that left dust everywhere. But it was worth it. The home now sports beautiful tile and wood flooring, with the only evidence of the previous covering hiding under a water heater. Just off the living room, the spacious kitchen sees a lot of action. “I usually try to cook Monday through Thursday, and on the weekends, we try to go out,” Judy said.



Judy gets a lot of her recipe ideas from the “Aprons” food seminars held at Publix. She likes them because she can sample the food, then purchase all the ingredients right there. She keeps a record of the date she served each recipe and how well the family liked it. Most meals are taken in the kitchen. Eating in the formal dining room is a rarity. Now that Judy has replaced stock white cabinetry with solid cherry and boring countertops with calico marble, upgraded the bi-fold pantry doors to smoked glass and brought in new appliances, the kitchen is “the heart of our home,” Peter said. It’s a busy place, too. In addition to the Wiesners, Peter’s mother is in and out, and Judy’s parents recently moved to town from their native Hungary. Add Rusti and Abby (two Hungarian Vizslas) and three cats (Tiger, Spooner and Kit Kat), and you’ve got a houseful. Often, the brood gathers in the family room, which features comfortable leather seating, a collection of Szentendre pottery from the village near Budapest where Judy grew up, and a media center tricked-out with 14-watt LED lights, installed by Peter. The master bedroom and Cassandra’s girly pink room offer refuge, but several additional bedrooms, including Brian’s, are often pressed into service as guest bedrooms or office space, as the need arises. A walk-in closet on the way to the master bath used to serve as Judy’s office. Her current office features a world map with locator flags marking all the places where she and Peter have traveled together. In the hallway, framed travel photos feature the wonders of the world and, of course, the children. (Top) The kitchen was all white when the Wiesners bought the home. Now, cherry cabinetry, under-cabinet lighting and marble countertops add warmth. (Bottom) Speaking of warmth, adding a fireplace to the living room was the first upgrade the Wiesners completed on the home. (Inset) The Wiesners own three cats. Here, Kit Kat cools off in a favorite pose.




“This is our ‘travel wall.’ We usually go somewhere every December, during the holidays,” Judy said. “By the time he was 18, our son Brian had been to all seven continents, and Cassandra is only missing Africa.” In the master bedroom, Judy took up all the carpeting and replaced it with wood, while Peter added crown molding. A faux finish was applied to the walls. To select window treatments, the Wiesners used Home Depot’s now defunct Expo Design Center. The store was also used as inspiration when choosing furniture, lighting and accent décor. “I bought things piece by piece,” Judy said. “Sometimes I found them cheaper somewhere else. Sometimes I would buy from catalogs.” Peter still marvels at how beautifully all these individual choices came together. In the master bath, glass sinks, copper fixtures and a rough-edged marble countertop provide a natural look. Peter recalled pointing out an awkward protuberance along the marble’s edge, and the installer simply took out a hammer and knocked it off. “I had thought it was more difficult than that,” he laughed. Warm woods and soft beiges provide flow, although Peter admits to liking a splash of color now and then. The finished garage features poured epoxy floors, a shiny black refrigerator and toolbox, and closets and drawers with the look of built-ins, along with the family’s vehicles and golf cart. The room also houses some of the paperwork from their print business, Paw Prints Co., although Peter has branched out into property management as well. (Top) New crown molding and flooring were added to the master bedroom. Like the pieces shown here, Judy orders much of her artwork from catalogues. (Center) Glass countertop sink basins and copper fixtures kept to the natural look Peter wanted for the master bathroom. (Bottom) Peter’s office is home to an extensive collection of international souvenirs.




Outside, the landscaping has gone from nonexistent to lush. Judy’s father Frank had a landscaping business back in Hungary and was able to offer his expertise. Now, there are palms, hedges, plants, fountains, bridges and even a pair of large marble vases that the couple purchased in Vietnam. “The shipping cost more than they did,” Judy said. Judy also built a dock for Peter once the utilitarian retention pond was converted to a well-shaded and fully stocked fishing hole. “It’s not even ‘fishing,’” Peter said. “You put in your hook and pull out a tilapia. It’s like that carnival game with the magnets.” Out back, the pool area has been landscaped as well, and the couple added a granite-topped bar with a built-in barbecue and cooker. Like many patios in Wellington, it was completely screened in before Hurricane Wilma. But the colors are so much more brilliant now that the screening is gone, Peter said. Instead, protective hurricane doors guard the house, and hurricane-rated windows have been installed.


On the back of the property, a new building stands — Peter’s office/guesthouse. Filled with everything he needs to conduct business, it also shows a quirky side. A large, motorized talking butler stands sentinel, the remnant of a Halloween party long past. Trolls from Norway, carvings from Peru and a leather camel from Dubai all made separate trips across the ocean to be here. Dozens of medals that Peter has won for running are casually looped over a hat rack. But what makes him happiest are the room’s sliding glass pocket doors, allowing him to open up one entire corner of the room to the outside. “If you’re tied to a desk all day, it’s great to be able to feel like you’re outdoors,” he says. “The dogs run in and out…” It’s obvious that his thoughts are elsewhere, but then the phone starts ringing, and it’s back to work.

(Above) Peter Wiesner with Abby, a one-year-old Hungarian Vizsla. (Below) A pleasant diversion for those awaiting entry, the koi pond is located just to the right of the front door. (Inset) Trolls from Norway and Peru, a man carved from a root and a porcelain figure acquired in Bangkok sit atop Peter’s desk.



Wellington Table

like ou ant y ur uld Wo r resta d? you ature re! fe e kH c i l C

(Above) The dining area at Beef Wellington. (Below left) The restaurant’s signature dish, Beef Wellington, features a mustard-crusted filet mignon with wild mushroom duxelles, housemade duck pate and a puff pastry, served with chive mashed potato, market vegetable and a roast shallot jus. (Below right) The 22 oz. Porterhouse is served with porcini mushroom dusted, baked potato, market vegetable and BW steak sauce.


Story by Lauren Miró Photos by Abner Pedraza

Upscale Steakhouse And Club Opens In Landmark Wellington Building Beef Wellington Steakhouse & Social Club offers the best in dining, drinks and dancing, all located right in the heart of Wellington. Partners Ken Aussiker, Dr. Ted Kutzin, Tommy Shallcross and Lars Kjellerup came together to transform the old Silver Screen Cinema location into a luxurious, relaxing environment for dinner, dancing or a night out. Aussiker, along with General Manager Al Salopek and friend Margie Giliberti, conceptualized the unique space and brought the other partners together to make Beef Wellington a reality. All longtime residents of Wellington, the partners wanted to bring something new to Wellington that it didn’t have: a highend steakhouse and a social club geared toward the entire community. “It’s everything that Wellington is missing,” Aussiker said. “We wanted to provide a great atmosphere, great food, a great location, and we want to serve the entire community year-round.” Kjellerup agreed, noting that families can come enjoy the social club just as much as adults. “Not only was Wellington missing a great steakhouse,” he said, “it was missing a social club where all ages could go to dance and have fun.” In April, the group began demolition on the former theater. The location was chosen not only because it fit the bill, but also because of the history behind it. For many years, the Silver Screen was an iconic staple of the Wellington community. “The locals know the history of the building,” Shallcross said. “We believe it is a prime spot. Many people have come here with their kids. So because of the history of the place, people come in here and say, ‘I can’t believe what you’ve done to the place.’” And Shallcross said that he hopes the restaurant will continue that trend and become an icon all its own. “We know what the building means to the community,” he said. “We thought it would be an asset to use the building, where those memories are already there, and now create new ones.”

Beef Wellington offers a little something for everyone. Using the existing two theaters, the owners created an intimate, luxurious atmosphere. “We adapted to what was here without recreating it,” Aussiker said. “And we kept the individuality it had when it was a theater.” On one side is the social club, which is open to the public, no membership required. Here, customers can enjoy one of hundreds of varieties of selected, high-quality wines, as well as a full menu. At night, tables are moved and the dancing begins, and plans call for different types of dancing on different nights of the week. On Thursday nights, the women of Wellington can enjoy Ladies Night, and there will be a DJ Thursday through Sunday. The other side of the soundproof wall hosts the steakhouse for a quiet, intimate dinner. Customers can enjoy great food in a relaxing atmosphere, undisturbed by the social club next door. The restaurant offers dinner specials every night and a happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. Above it all is the Topshelf lounge, which overlooks the entire space. The space is filled with unique, eclectic furniture and has its own bar — perfect for those looking for an exclusive place to enjoy the night, or host a private party. Outside, beside a roaring fire pit, guests can drink, dine and dance beneath the stars. Tables dot the patio, which is lined with tiki torches and gives the entire area a cozy, laid-back feel. WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE • November 2010


(L-R) Partner Tommy Shallcross, General Manager Al Salopek, Partner Ken Aussiker, Executive Chef Leslie Rosetto and Partner Lars Kjellerup.

The diverse areas make Beef Wellington the perfect spot for a night out. “You can come out to a nice dinner, turn right back around and go next door and have a night of drinking and dancing, and you can do it all in one spot,” Shallcross said. Beef Wellington is decorated with a fabulous, Old World feel. From the luxurious, high-backed booths, to the bar lined in cowhide, the space is sophisticated. The social club boasts a large, wooden bar and large cream-colored booths. “We tried to create an Old World look with a warm, comfortable feeling,” Aussiker said, noting that all the work was done inhouse and much of it by hand. Perhaps the most eye-catching design element is the tree inside the steakhouse. In keeping the historic Wellington theme, the partners took a tree that for generations lined Forest Hill Blvd. and brought it indoors. It provides a spectacular centerpiece to the space, complete with fake leaves and an array of twinkling lights that adds to the romantic, antique feel. And if the décor draws you in, the food will keep you coming back again and

again. Executive Chef Leslie Rosetto cooks up mouth-watering, high-end meals that are both satisfying and sophisticated. The restaurant offers both lunch and dinner and has something for everyone. For an appetizer, try the Camembert Wellington ($14), dried cherry compote inside a fresh pastry with a balsamic vinegar reduction and fresh fruit. The pastry is light and flaky, providing good contrast to the compote, and the balsamic vinegar adds a little zing to the dish. Or try the Hummus and Boursin ($9), served with fresh garden vegetables and grilled pita. The dish is the perfect appetizer — light and satisfying with dynamic flavors. An interesting spin on the traditional salad is Beef Wellington’s Iceberg Wedge ($10), a wedge of iceberg lettuce with tomato concassé, purple onion, lardoons and blue cheese buttermilk dressing. The dish is light and satisfying, and the dressing is smooth and creamy, adding to a medley of flavors. For meat lovers, the 22 oz. Porterhouse ($45) is more than satisfying. Served with porcini mushroom dusted, baked potato, market vegetable and a great BW steak

sauce, it is more than a meal. The robustly flavored steak is impeccably cooked and melts in your mouth. Perhaps the most iconic dish on the menu is the Beef Wellington ($29). As the restaurant’s namesake, the dish does not disappoint. A mustard-crusted filet mignon with wild mushroom duxelles, housemade duck pate and a puff pastry, served with chive mashed potato, market vegetable and a roast shallot jus, the Beef Wellington is both delicious and satisfying. It, too, melts in your mouth and finishes with a bit of a kick from the spices. No matter what you choose at Beef Wellington, you’re bound to be satisfied. “It’s a place locals can have a casual, upscale dining experience, or they can come hang out with other locals, or do business or both,” Shallcross said. “We want to become a permanent fixture of Wellington.” Beef Wellington Steakhouse & Social Club is located in the Wellington Plaza at 12795 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 11A. For more info., visit www.beefwellingtonsteakhouse.com.

(Left) The Iceberg Wedge featuring tomato, purple onion, lardoons and blue cheese dressing; (center) Camembert Wellington featuring cherry compote inside a fresh pastry with a balsamic vinegar reduction and fresh fruit and (right) Hummus and Boursin, served with fresh vegetables and grilled pita.




Wellington Dining Guide Agliolio Fresh Pasta & Wine Bar is Wellington’s newest gathering place for a fine dining experience at casual dining prices. Create your own “Pasta-Bility” with Agliolio’s 100-percent fresh pastas and homemade sauces full of bold and fresh flavors. Ask about the “Perfect Pair” entrees. Agliolio offers an extensive wine list by the glass and the bottle. For more info., call (561) 798-7770 or visit Agliolio in the Wellington Plaza at 12793 W. Forest Hill Blvd. at the corner of Wellington Trace. Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant is located on Forest Hill Blvd. near the Mall at Wellington Green. Specializing in family-style Italian cuisine, Buca di Beppo is known for its large portions designed to serve several people. If you’ve got a large party, reserve the Pope’s Room; for a unique experience, reserve the table in the kitchen. For more info., call (561) 790-3287 or visit www.bucadibeppo.com. Enjoy a delicious drink, a beautiful water view, fantastic music and authentic Mexican food all without packing your suitcase at El Toro Mexican Family Restaurant adjacent to the Royal Inn at the corner of Southern and Royal Palm Beach boulevards. Dine in or enjoy the patio bar. For more info., call (561) 2967102. Gabriel’s Cafe & Grille is Wellington’s oldest restaurant. Serving breakfast and lunch, Gabriel’s is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily in the Wellington Plaza at the intersection of Forest Hill Blvd. and Wellington Trace. For more info., call (561) 793-0675. Grand Buffet is located in the Royal Plaza at the corner of Southern and Royal Palm Beach boulevards featuring an all-you-can-eat Chinese and Japanese buffet. Enjoy a 40-foot-long sushi bar, barbecue bar, teriyaki bar, salad bar, dessert bar and hibachi station. Meeting and party rooms are available. For more info., call (561) 784-9902. Drop by the Gypsy’s Horse Irish Pub & Restaurant and relax in a warm, traditional Irish setting complete with oak-barrel tables and a full bar with many types of beer flowing from the taps. Regular live entertainment is offered. The Gypsy’s Horse is located in the original Wellington Mall at 12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd. Call (561) 333-3700 for more info. Hilary’s Restaurant, an authentic kosher-style diner in Royal Palm Beach, serves breakfast and lunch any day of the week and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Good food, generous portions and great service make Hilary’s a hometown favorite. It is located in the Royal Plaza at the corner of Southern and Royal Palm Beach boulevards. For more info., call (561) 790-7301. I’m Greek Today features a menu with a strong emphasis on one of the world’s healthiest diets — food that is simple and elegant, fresh, timeless and Mediterranean. Enjoy authentic Greek cuisine as well as wines from around the world. I’m Greek Today is located in Southern Palm Crossing at 11051 Southern Blvd. in Royal Palm Beach. For more information, call (561) 333-4233 or visit www.imgreektoday.com. Jason’s Deli is where all the food is free of artificial trans fats, MSG and high-fructose corn syrup. Enjoy wonderful sandwiches, wraps, soups, salads and fruit. You can even build your own sandwich! Jason’s Deli is located at 2605 State Road 7 near Whole Foods Market in Wellington. For more info., call (561) 3331263 or visit www.jasonsdeli.com. Joe’s American Bar & Grill, a neighborhood staple for traditional American cuisine, is now open in the


Mall at Wellington Green near the food court. Lunch, dinner and weekend brunch are served featuring a menu full of items prepared using the freshest quality ingredients. Joe’s is a favorite for a casual lunch, a family dinner or a gathering of friends. Visit Joe’s at 10300 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington. For more info., visit www.joesamerican.com or call (561) 7987433. Lock Stock and Barrel Restaurant, located at 3208 Forest Hill Blvd. in West Palm Beach, is your neighborhood grill for steaks, chops and seafood. Enjoy a full bar with wines and cocktails that complement wonderful appetizers, salads and sandwiches for lunch, as well as a selection of the finest steaks, chops and featured seafood entrees. A children’s menu is available. For info., call (561) 649-4545 or visit www.lock stockandbarrelrestaurant.com. Mamma Mia’s Trattoria has served South Florida since 1983. Huge portions; open for lunch and dinner; featuring New York-style brick oven pizza; specializing in fresh seafood, oakwood-grilled lambchops, slowroasted ossobuco and frutti di mare. Mamma Mia’s is located at 8855 Hypoluxo Road at Lyons Road. Call (561) 963-9565 for more info. Mitch’s Westside Bagels Too is a little slice of Brooklyn right here in Wellington, located at 2465 State Road 7. Enjoy the delicious fresh breakfast or lunch. The bagels are baked fresh daily right in the store. All deli meats are prepared fresh on site. Enjoy legendary salads like tuna, whitefish and chicken. Catering is available. For more info., call (561) 422-6114 or visit www.mitchswestsidebagels.com. Other locations are in Boynton Beach, Boca Raton and Coral Springs. The Players Club Restaurant & Bar (13410 South Shore Blvd., Wellington) features gourmet cuisine along with a popular piano bar, outside dining, two outside smoking bars, live entertainment and catered events. Call (561) 795-0080 for more info. Enjoy authentic Italian cuisine at Ristorante Vino, located at 12041 Southern Blvd. at the corner of Crestwood Blvd. in Royal Palm Beach. The restaurant opens for dinner at 5 p.m. seven nights a week. For reservations, call (561) 790-3232. Stonewood Grill & Tavern in the Pointe at Wellington Green serves up exciting flavors in a casually sophisticated setting. The gourmet American fare features delicious entrees with the perfect wines to accompany. Call (561) 784-9796 or visit www.stonewoodgrill. com for more info. Sushi Yama Siam is located at 12785 W. Forest Hill Blvd. in the Wellington Plaza at the corner of Wellington Trace and Forest Hill Blvd. Specializing in sushi, Sushi Yama Siam also offers exciting appetizers, sushi rolls, temaki, tempura, katsu, stir-fry, curry and signature rolls. For more info., call (561) 747-6875. Drop by the award-winning TooJay’s Original Gourmet Deli in the Mall at Wellington Green for breakfast, lunch or dinner. TooJay’s is reminiscent of your favorite New York delicatessen. Specialties include signature overstuffed sandwiches, chicken noodle soup and traditional deli classics. For more info., call (561) 784-9055 or visit www.toojays.com. Tree’s Wings & Ribs is located at 603 Royal Palm Beach Blvd. in the Royal Plaza. Eat in or pick up your order of signature wings, ribs, chicken and more. Tree’s also delivers mouthwatering menu items, and caters events and parties. Visit www.treeswingsand ribs.com or call (561) 791-1535 for more info.



Wellington Calendar Monday, Nov. 1 • Bob Lappin and the Palm Beach Pops will present “Let It Be... The Beatles” Nov. 1-7 at various Palm Beach County venues. Call (561) 8327677 or visit www.palmbeachpops.org/beatles for info. Friday, Nov. 5 • Binks Forest Elementary School will host its Hometown Harvest Carnival on Friday, Nov. 5 from 3 to 7 p.m. There will be attractions, games, great food, entertainment and wonderful shopping from local vendors. For more info., call Shauna Hostetler at (561) 685-5600. Saturday, Nov. 6 • The Palms West Community Foundation will host the 2010 Wellington Community Fitness 5K Run & Walk on Saturday, Nov. 6. Registration begins at 6 a.m. with the race starting at 7:30 a.m. To register, or for sponsorship information, visit www.communityfitnessrun.com or contact Maureen Gross at (561) 790-6200 or maureen@palms west.com. • St. Michael Lutheran Church (1925 Birkdale Drive, Wellington) will host a Family Fun Fair on Saturday, Nov. 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more info., call (561) 793-4999 or visit www.stmichaelelc. com. • Flip Flop Farm and Ravine Ranch Sport Horses will host a Sport Horse Foal Sale on Saturday, Nov. 6 from noon to 5 p.m. at the farm (15130 Southern Palm Way). Doug and Deb King will showcase their top foals of the year to equestrians looking to add to their own program. Call (561) 254-4640 or e-mail flipflopfarm@hotmail. com for info. • “Jump for a Cause” will take place Saturday, Nov. 6 at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center (7500 Forest Hill Blvd.). It is a horse-jumping relay race in which prize money will be awarded to the teams with the fastest times. All proceeds raised will be donated to the American Parkinson Disease Association. The event will start at 4 p.m. For sponsorship and exhibitor information, call (561) 436-1165. For more info., visit www.equessolutions.com. Monday, Nov. 8 • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will present “Meet the Author: Patricia Engel” for adults on Monday, Nov. 8 at 6:30 p.m. Meet the author of Vida, her debut collection of short stories focusing on separate events in the lifespan of Sabina, a Colombian immigrant. A book signing will follow. Call (561) 790-6070 to pre-register. Tuesday, Nov. 9 • The Wellington Village Council will meet Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Wellington Community Center (12165 W. Forest Hill Blvd.). For more information, call (561) 791-4000 or visit www.wellingtonfl.gov. • The Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center at Palm Beach State College (1977 College Drive, Belle Glade) will present “Simply Sinatra” on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. featuring Steve Lippia, who has quickly become one of the country’s most prominent interpreters of classic pop music. Call (561) 993-1160 or visit www.dollyhand.org for info.

62 november 2010 • WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE

Wednesday, Nov. 10 • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will present “Families Reading Together: I Love Our Earth” for ages 2 to 5 on Wednesday, Nov 10 at 11:15 a.m. Featured will be Bill Martin’s book I Love Our Earth. Call (561) 790-6070 to preregister. • The Wellington Art Society will meet Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the Wellington Community Center (12165 W. Forest Hill Blvd.). For more information, e-mail Adrianne Hetherington at tilemaker@aol.com or visit www.wellingtonart society.org. Thursday, Nov. 11 • The Village of Wellington and the American Legion will honor all veterans at the Veterans Day Ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 11. The Veterans Day Parade will begin at the Wellington Community Center (12165 W. Forest Hill Blvd.) at 8:45 a.m. and end at the Wellington Veterans Memorial at the corner of Forest Hill and South Shore boulevards. The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. For information about the American Legion Chris Reyka Wellington Post 390, e-mail wellingtonlegion390@gmail. com or call (561) 793-3342. Friday, Nov. 12 • Temple Beth Torah’s Leonie Arguetty Preschool (900 Big Blue Trace, Wellington) will host a Holiday Boutique on Friday, Nov. 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Get a head start on your holiday shopping in a convenient location. Find unique gifts such as jewelry, stationery, purses, belts and tie dye. For more info., call (561) 793-2649. • The inaugural Wellington Chamber of Commerce Golf Classic will take place Friday, Nov. 12 at the Binks Forest Golf Club (400 Binks Forest Drive). Registration will start at 11:45 a.m. For sponsorship, foursome and dinner information, call (561) 792-6525. • Innovative Resorts International will present its inaugural South Florida PCA Rodeo on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 12 and 13 from 7 to 10 p.m. both evenings at the South Florida Fairgrounds (9067 Southern Blvd.). For more info., e-mail equestriansfirstplace@gmail.com. • The Wellington Women’s Club will host the “Diamonds and Denim” Square Dance on Friday, Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Binks Forest Golf Club. The evening will include great food, a cash bar, line dancing, raffles and many fun surprises. The cost is $20 per person. For more info., all Cindy Yurecka at (561) 514-1497. Saturday, Nov. 13 • The Wellington Art Society will host the “Fall Fling Fine Art Exhibition” Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 13 and 14 at the Wellington Amphitheater on Forest Hill Blvd. More than 30 artists will showcase their paintings, sculptures, ceramics, photography, jewelry and other fine crafts. There will also be food vendors and a student art show. Admission is free. Call (561) 791-2194 or visit www. wellingtonartsociety.org for more info. • The Episcopal Church Women of St. David’sin-the-Pines in Wellington will hold its Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, Nov. 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE • november 2010


Wellington Calendar and Sunday, Nov. 14 following the 10 a.m. service until 1 p.m. For more info., call the church at (561) 793-1976. Monday, Nov. 15 • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will present “Gobble It Up!” for ages 2 to 5 on Monday, Nov. 15 at 11:15 a.m. Gobble and strut for funny stories about turkeys. Call (561) 790-6070 to pre-register. Tuesday, Nov. 16 • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host a “Zombie Party” for ages 12 to 17 on Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m. Feeling a little undead? Rest your rotting limbs and take a break before finals for a party. Snacks will be provided. Call (561) 790-6070 to pre-register. • The Moscow State Symphony Orchestra will perform Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. and Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts (701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach). Call (561) 832-SHOW or visit www. kravis.org for more info. Wednesday, Nov. 17 • The Wellington Chamber of Commerce will host its “Kickoff to the Equestrian and Polo Season” luncheon on Wednesday, Nov. 17 at the Wanderers Club at Wellington. The luncheon begins at noon. Call (561) 792-6525 to RSVP. • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive)

64 november 2010 • WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE

will present “Thanksgiving Origami” for ages 9 to 12 on Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 4 p.m. Brighten your holiday with origami ornaments. Call (561) 7906070 to pre-register. Thursday, Nov. 18 • The Wellington Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals Organization will host a mixer at Beef Wellington Steakhouse & Social Club on Thursday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. Call Chris Zeller at (561) 281-3727 for more info. • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will present “Master the Art of Reading: Book Discussion Series” for adults Thursday, Nov. 18 at 6:30 p.m. Sara Harris will lead a discussion of The Hours by Michael Cunningham. Call (561) 790-6070 for more info. Friday, Nov. 19 • The Palms West Chamber of Commerce will present SalsaFest at Greenacres Community Park from Friday, Nov. 19 through Sunday, Nov. 21. Call (561) 790-6200 or visit www.salsafest.net. Saturday, Nov. 20 • The Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats will perform Saturday, Nov. 20 at noon and 2 p.m. at Palm Beach State College’s Duncan Theatre (4200 South Congress Ave., Lake Worth). This multi-faceted and multi-cultural production features acrobatic displays, feats of daring and balance, explosive energy and brilliant costumes with a touch of

Chinese comedy. Call (561) 868-3309 or visit www. duncantheatre.org for more info. Monday, Nov. 22 • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host “Meet the Author: David Holmberg” for adults on Monday, Nov. 22 at 6:30 p.m. Meet the author of The Hurricane Murders. As a former reporter in New York and Miami, Holmberg drew on his experience to produce this thriller. A book signing will follow. Call (561) 790-6070 to pre-register. Tuesday, Nov. 23 • The Wellington Village Council will meet Tuesday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. at the Wellington Community Center (12165 W. Forest Hill Blvd.). Call (561) 791-4000 or visit www.wellingtonfl.gov for more info. Monday, Nov. 29 • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will present “Legos” for age 8 and up on Monday, Nov. 29 at 4 p.m. Builders, inspire yourself to create your own vehicle or building out of Lego pieces. Call (561) 790-6070 to pre-register. Tuesday, Nov. 30 • The Royal Palm Beach library (500 Civic Center Way) will present “Yiddish Folk Tales” for ages 4 to 6 on Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 3:30 p.m. Listen to fun Yiddish folk tales and make a craft. Call (561) 790-6030 to pre-register.

Around Wellington

Wellington Students Donate To Scripps — Members of Wellington High School’s “thinkPINKkids” presented a $10,000 check to Dr. John Cleveland of the Scripps Research Institute on Tuesday, Oct. 12. The money will be used for research into existing and new drugs to prevent and treat breast cancer. Some drugs have been used successfully on other cancers so they want to test them on breast cancer to give women a choice of treatments. For more info., visit www.thinkpinkkids.com. Photo by Denise Fleischman

WHS Chorus Raising Money For Trip — Wellington High School’s concert chorus has earned something many musicians strive for but few achieve — an invitation to sing at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Next May, the chorus will join several other groups from across the country to form one mass choir. For a group of more than 60 singers, the trip will cost about $70,000 or $1,250 per student. Fundraising efforts so far have included a successful garage sale and several car washes, but the biggest event planned is a community benefit concert on Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. According to choral director Bradford Chase, November’s show will feature a broad array of talent, including performances by the concert and chamber choruses, classical solos, student singer-songwriters on piano and guitar, and bands. For more information on November’s benefit concert, advertising opportunities, or to make donations to the silent auction, contact Chase at bradford.chase@palmbeach.k12.fl.us or visit the WHS chorus web site at www.wellingtonhigh chorus.com. (Below) Chase leads a practice session. Photo by Candace Marchsteiner

(Above) Eight-month-old Gabriella Raines in the pumpkin patch. (Right) Sherry Irwin with her daughter Summer.

Harvest Fest At Church — St. Peter’s United Methodist Church in Wellington held its fourth annual Harvest Fest on Saturday, Oct. 16 featuring craft vendors, a barbecue dinner, a bake sale, entertainment and kids games. Photos by Carol Porter

Paws For A Blessing — St. Michael Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wellington held its second annual “Paws for a Blessing” on Sunday, Oct. 3. After the hymn “All Things Bright and Beautiful” was sung at the end of the service, Pastor Marjorie Weiss greeted the animals and blessed each one individually. They included a rat and rabbit as well as birds, turtles, cats and plenty of dogs. Donna Tagg, organizer of pet food donations, took free photos of owners and their pets for a memento. Photos by Denise Fleischman

(Above Right) Suzie Van Pelt with Welsh corgis Camilla and Spencer. (Below) Pastor Marjorie Weiss blesses three cats.



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