Super Deals in West Boca for the Super Bowl

We’re trying out a new series of articles, with great deals available in or near West Boca.
For starters our friends at Stella’s Pizzeria are doing a “Super Bowl” special:

Buy 5 large cheese pizzas get one free.

It’s a Super Bowl deal, but it’s available all week including Sunday.

The hilarious Comedian Louis Ramey will be back at the Boca Black Box Theater this Thursday night! Louis is one of the top comics today. You might remember him as a finalist on The Last Comic Standing. He is getting ready to film a pilot for a new TV Show to air later in the year.
Tickets for our Facebook friends are free, with a 2 item minimum. Please leave your name in the comment box for your tickets. Show is at 8 pm.

Editor’s note: This is a better deal than the one on Groupon!

On Sunday, Boca’s Best BBQ is doing “all you can eat ribs with 2 sides for $24.99 starting at 6pm for the Super Bowl.”

We are hoping to add more deals in the future from others like Angie’s List and Living Social. For now we are including some great offers from Groupon:

Groupon is doing a special through Thursday February 4th. Enter code CUPID20 and get a further 20% off any local deal.

30 class yoga package for $203 West Boca locations
$12 for $18 of food at Original Pancake House
$9 haircut in Boca Greens
$24 package at Monkey Joe’s in Logger’s Run
$50 for $100 of art classes for kids in Logger’s Run
$20 oil change at Jiffy Lube in Sandalfoot
$11 deal on crepes in Royal Palm Place (Federal Highway south of Palmetto)

Toys R Us Closing in Mission Bay; Dick's Sporting Goods Coming

Update: See response from Toys R Us at bottom

 Toys R Us in Mission Bay Plaza; image by Google
Toys R Us in Mission Bay Plaza; image by Google

We’ve heard persistent rumors that Toys ‘R Us in Mission Bay would be closing and we can now confirm that. We called and talked to store employee, who identified himself as Tony Sandals. However we received a phone call from a man named Tony Sandals who says it wasn’t him, and he had quit before Christmas.
They started a store closing event yesterday. Everything in the store is up to 40% off and there are no returns allowed. The store employee expects that the store will be completely closed by the end of January. He was not able to tell us if the store will open in another nearby location.
The store employee also confirmed another rumor, that the spot will be filled by a new Dick’s Sporting Goods store. We would guess it will take at least a couple months for Dick’s to get going, and maybe not until the summer.
We had previously attempted to confirm these rumors with the firm that manages Mission Bay Plaza. The leasing agent did not respond and the property manager hung up on us.

Toys R Us responds:
I wanted to reach out as we had seen your story on our Boca Raton, FL Toys“R”Us store closing and wanted to correct/verify some of this information.
The Toys“R”Us store located at 20429 State Road 7 in Boca Raton will be closing at the end of the company’s lease term for this property, which is at the end of January.
Items purchased during the liquidation sale cannot be returned. As indicated on receipts, all sales during this time period are final. Items purchased prior to the liquidation sale on Saturday, December 26 can be returned under our normal return policy guidelines (including to the Mission Bay store). For more information and to view our full return policy, please click here.
Gift cards can be redeemed at the store until it closes. After that, customers can use their gift cards at any other Toys“R”Us or Babies“R”Us location nationwide, or online at or
At this time, we do not have any plans for a new store in the Boca Raton area. We’ve enjoyed serving the Boca Raton community for many years. We continue to operate a number of stores throughout the state of Florida, including a Toys“R”Us/Babies“R”Us store at 6001 West Sample Road in Coral Springs and a Toys“R”Us store at 601 N. Congress Avenue in Boynton Beach. Customers can also shop 24 hours a day on and
–There is also a Babies“R”Us store in West Boca Square (aka the Target plaza).–

Shooting at Shadowood – Scene: Videos

This morning we were alerted to a shooting with one person dead in Shadowood Square, at the European Auto Service Center at 9787 Glades Road.

9787 Glades Rd
PBCFR & PBSO onscene of a subject that was shot in the head at a business, unknown circumstances or suspect information, Advising confirmed “Signal-7” dead at scene, Crime Scene units enroute

It is on the east end of the plaza by the traffic light and close to Einstein Bagel.

As you can see in the video below (on the right side in the background), paramedics attempted to enter the premises but were turned away. The victim had already passed away.

It appears this was a suicide rather than a violent crime. Police secured only the area inside the building, even allowing a pedestrian to walk through the parking lot. An anonymous source also confirmed this was a suicide.
Police and others were talking to one young man, wearing a Batman t-shirt, who may have witnessed the shooting or found the body.

A gentleman (in the grey shirt and red shorts) approached us and identified himself as the owner. He did not offer any comment.

He then went to the witness and, along with first responders, offered comfort.

First responders from PBSO and Palm Beach County Fire Rescue remained on scene for a substantial amount of time.

Before we left the scene we shot one final video:

The Western Beef Mystery: Why Is It Closed?

Second Update: We have heard from multiple sources that the reason Western Beef closed was a listeria problem was found during an inspection. We have NOT been able to verify this with government agencies despite a significant effort including calls to the FDA and the county. We did learn that listeria contamination is a potentially significant problem at deli counters and one of our sources did say that the problem was at the store’s deli. We do not think the store’s explanation (see below) is credible but we don’t have any solid proof that it’s false.

Update: We received a call from the main office in New York (Ben Petrofsky – general counsel). He said that the fire in late August required a lot of work to be done and that it should be open again this weekend (roughly October 25th). He did not have an explanation for the lack of public notice, and he denied that there was any emergency closing on October 15th.

Western Beef in Sandalfoot Square, West Boca Raton, Florida; Image by Google
Western Beef in Sandalfoot Square, West Boca Raton, Florida; Image by Google

Several days ago readers notified us that the Western Beef store in Sandalfoot Square was closed. We have made substantial efforts to find out what is going on and have not come up with anything solid as of yet. We don’t know if the closure is temporary or permanent, and we don’t know why.
One reader's photos of the Western Beef "closed" signs.
One reader’s photos of the Western Beef “closed” signs.

We have tried calling the store several times and there is no answer on the phone, not even a machine. Today we spoke with the Pembroke Pines store manager. He said he knows nothing about it. We also tried the Lake Worth store but could not get the manager on the phone. We called the main office in New York, a few days ago and again today. We could not get a live person on the phone and left a few messages.
Our first notice of this was October 15th, from a reader:

Shopping at western beef tonight & we had to leave before we were finished. They said they had to close because of an emergency. It was only 8:00 & they close normally at 10:00.

Readers have advanced a wide variety of theories to explain the closure. One reader said it was due to health inspectors. We don’t think that’s it, but we did see that they failed a health inspection in late September.
We searched that inspection database and this was the only failure we could find for any store in West Boca in the records. But that was late September so it doesn’t seem like an explanation for the store closing over two weeks later.
Another theory relates to a fire that happened in the store, and perhaps that they’re remodeling. But that was even longer ago, in late August.
One of the more popular ideas is that the closure is somehow mafia related. That one is mildly amusing, but doesn’t make a lot of sense to us because other stores in the chain remain open. Organized crime allegations about Western Beef have been made before.
One regular reader advanced a “gas leak” theory:

There was a gas leak. They have to replace all the pipes. No mafia stuff.

Responding to another reader’s questioning, the reader asserted it was “it was in the paper. Try reading it.” But we have searched and searched and haven’t found anything like that. And as was pointed out in response, gas leaks typically cause an evacuation of entire plazas. There was no such incident. With that said, the gas leak idea does fit with the original reader telling us it was an emergency.
Readers also offered another theory – that the closure is related to the Loxahatchee animal cruelty bust. The timing for that one is close. The scandal involves selling horse meat for human consumption in South Florida. But considering that the Pembroke Pines store remains open, this doesn’t quite fit.
For now the Western Beef closure remains a mystery. Why is it closed? Is it temporary or permanent?
Why would a chain supermarket close suddenly with no public notice other than a handwritten sign taped to the door? Why isn’t the store’s main office responding to inquiries?
Hopefully we will get answers soon.

ALDI Grand Opening in West Boca Square

ALDI had its grand opening yesterday. We stopped by, bought a few items, took a few pictures, and talked to company management. The store is located next to Hobby Lobby in West Boca Square, near Chili’s and the corner of 441 and Palmetto Park Road. Aldi is one of many international superstores that have stores in the US, UK, and Europe, if you like to see if there is an Aldi local to you, you may want to visit Aldi openings to find out more.

It’s not big inside, much smaller than a typical grocery store. We’ve had a lot of comments from readers, including positive, negative, and confused. So we’ll do our best to explain ALDI’s model and why it works for some consumers.
The first things most people notice relates to service and convenience. At ALDI no one bags your groceries for you. There’s a bagging shelf right after the cash register where you bag your own stuff. And they don’t give free bags. You bring your own reusable bags or buy bags from the store.
Another example of this is the cart system. Unlike other stores you have to pay a quarter in order to get a cart, and you get the quarter back when you return the cart.
The idea behind this is to lower labor costs. If the store spends less money having workers bag your groceries and chase down the carts, that allows them to lower prices.
Another big thing along with this – they don’t take credit cards. They mainly take debit cards and cash.

We accept cash, PIN-based debit cards, the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) and Link cards. At this time, we do not accept checks, credit cards or the Women, Infants and Children program (WIC).

The last big cost saving measure – the products are mostly store brand. Looking around the store you see an occasional branded item, like the Honey Nut Cheerios above. But right next to them they’re selling their store brand version of the same product for a dollar less per box. We also saw Coca Cola and a shelf with regular brand wines. As part of this strategy, they do not take manufacturer coupons.
We noticed a lot of gluten-free items. They also have a significant sections with fresh produce, meats, and refrigerated items.
The VP seemed very proud of the produce section and encouraged us to take photos, so we did.
So, is it a good deal? We bought a few items and thought the prices of what we bought were less than other stores.
We saw several neighbors and friends, and talked with one couple in particular who are very budget-conscious shoppers. They felt that some prices were better but not all and they were not sure how often they’ll go to ALDI.
One other thing is an issue for a lot of shoppers. Because they have so many store brand items, people are worried about the quality. The chain is confident that their store brands are high quality and ALDI offers what they call their “double guarantee”:

If, for any reason, you are not 100 percent satisfied with any product, we will offer a Double Guarantee where we will gladly replace the product AND refund your money. To receive the Double Guarantee, the product packaging and any unused product must be returned to your local ALDI Store Manager.
The Double Guarantee does not apply to non-food Special Buy items, alcohol, national brands and non-quality related issues.

We had stopped by a day earlier and shot a short video of their soft opening. The grand opening was much busier.