It’s the “World Famous Parrot Lounge” , and it’s locally famous owner Tim Schiavone is fighting mad. He says that the area that includes his lounge “is a f-ing mess”. Schiavone is known for his civic participation, as well as his colorful style. He was honored in 2002 as the City’s “Citizen of the Year”.
Schiavone’s nationally known pub is located on the northern part of the Central Beach in Fort Lauderdale. The area is a unique couple of blocks that border on Sunrise Boulevard and the Ocean. It’s known by numerous names; Sunrise Lane, The Village, The North End, or according to Tim, “the orphan of Fort Lauderdale that is looking for it’s parents” !
Tim and his neighbors have been trying to get the City to cooperate in an ambitious improvement plan that would help the merchants enlarge the sidewalks, install better lighting, and excuse some onerous parking requirements. They say that would put the area back on the road to success, instead of it’s current backslide.
The plan, that has been finished for years, is a $800,000 improvement. They are $300,000 short. They have a City Business Improvement grant of $150,000, the merchants are matching that with $150,000, and the Blackstone Group, that owns the old Holiday Inn next door, has committed $200,000.
They have asked the City to agree to the $300,000 shortfall, and believe the investment would come back to the City in no time with increased taxes and improved businesses. Schaivone says they have two votes for the money. Their District Rep Charlotte Rodstrom and Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson are ready to help. He says Commissioner Teel says she can’t justify the expense to her rich constituents, and Moore has said he won’t vote for it because it doesn’t help his poor constituents. About Naugle, he says, “I can’t get a straight answer out of that guy”.
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The area has become grittier as of late. Some of the tourists’ restaurants and beach clothing shops have been replaced with tattoo parlors, T-Shirt shops, and sex shops. Schiavone says if the new improvements were to happen, “maybe we’d get a Tommy Bahama Store instead of T-Shirts shops with T-Shirts screaming Beat Me, Kick Me, #!%& Me”.
Schiavone came to Fort Lauderdale in 1973 from New Jersey for “sun and babes”, and has really made a positive difference in the City and the beach. Rumor has it that he hasn’t done too bad with the “sun and babes” either. He’s been a fixture at the Parrot for the last 35 years. Let’s hope for a good outcome, or Timmy may just hop on his World Famous Parrot Lounge Bus and cruise into the sunset!