Miami Beach has dueling Tuesday Morning Breakfast Clubs

Miami Beach has dueling Tuesday Morning Breakfast Clubs
  • Sumo

Will the real Tuesday Morning Breakfast Club please stand up?

After a short hiatus, the morning powwows will resume just in time for the election season. But we miami-beach-sliderdon’t know if they start up again this week, with former Mayor Matti Bower hosting a breakfast at Puerto Sagua Restaurant and commission candidate Joshua Levy speaking — or they if they resume April 11th with developer Russell Galbut speaking at the Bakehouse Brasserie.

Which one is the real TMBC?

Started by “Save Miami Beach” leader Charles Schwabb in 1996, the “club” — which has no real formal structure, members or fees — began as an informal chat between activists who were concerned about overdevelopment. Mike Burke, a onetime candidate for mayor, was the first moderator. When he moved to Broward, David Kelsey, president of the South Beach Hotel and Restaurant Association, volunteered to moderate. Activist Frank Del Vecchio, who was involved from the second or third meeting, continued to send out email notices.

Read related story: Miami Beach Tuesday Morning Breakfast Club could be toast

Last January, the notice announced the club would have its last meeting because the venue, Manolo’s Restaurant, was closing. Kelsey got a little send-off.

But several regulars apparently didn’t want it to end and they started shopping for a new home and a new moderator. Del Vecchio, a longtime activist and original Tuesday morning breafaster, was one of them.

“Matti Bower responded positively and called me,” DelVecchio told Ladra on Sunday. “She found a location, the Puerto Sagua restaurant, and arranged for a speaker, city commission candidate Joshua Levy, for the Tuesday, March 28 meeting. I agreed to send out notices.”

And so he did, on March 22. Three days later, Ladra got a second notice about the resumption of the meetings — on April 11th at a different location with a different speaker.

Del Vecchio and others are suspicious of what they call the “shadow” Breakfast Club.

Russel Galbut
Russel Galbut

“Russell Galbut is using his Bakehouse Restaurant as a ploy in his suit against the city,” said Del Vecchio, referring to Bakehouse lawsuit against the city’s regulations on live entertainment south of Fifth Street. The Bakehouse Brasserie at 808 First Street, which is owned by a Galbut relative, was cited for having a sax player when all that is allowed in that area is non-amplified piano and strings.

“He is trying to negate the city’s zoning power to regulate where entertainment is allowed,” Del Vecchio said. “His latest gambit is enlisting David Kelsey to set up a breakfast club at the site that is the center of his suit against the city.”

Kelsey did serve as a board member of Galbut’s now defunct Miami Beach Taxpayers Association.

Ladra says the more the merrier. There is plenty going on in Miami Beach and South Florida to sustain both meetings. Except one may have to change its name — maybe the Wednesday Morning Breakfast Club?

After all, we can’t be in two places at once on Tuesday.

21 Responses to "Miami Beach has dueling Tuesday Morning Breakfast Clubs"

  1. Jo Manning   March 27, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Loyal followers of the Tuesday Morning Breakfast Club should, one would think, remain loyal to it. If Mr Galbut wants to start another group, that’s entirely up to him, but there’s only one real TMBC! And, yes, Frank Del Vecchio was one of the original founding members, to the best of my recollection, along with Mike Burke (who no longer lives in Miami Beach).

    In the meantime, a lot of residents who have long enjoyed the lively discussions at the TMBC on issues affecting our fair city are somewhat confused about what is going on.

  2. David Kelsy Founder   March 27, 2017 at 8:23 am

    David Kelsey was the original founder of the Tuesday Morning Breakfast Club along with Peter Ehrlich who eventually moved to Miami. Michael Burke showed up shortly 1-2 years after the founding. Frank Del Vecchio was always a loyal member and an extremely valuable contributor. The TMBC and its attendees always lambasted corruption in Miami Beach politics and its attendees always lambasted overdevelopment. Russell Galbut has frequently been a target of ridicule for his attempts to build out-of-scale high rises in small low rise neighborhoods. Plus, everyone remembers the cheap construction of his numerous condo conversions. The TMBC should always be lead by nonbiased moderators.

  3. Valerie Navarrete   March 27, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Jo Manning, Frank DelVeccio & David Kelsy: have you sat down and discussed about this? I think this is the best idea. We can’t divide now, we, the residents, must remain united.
    Two of the same kind of meeting either on the same day or different days in the same week, will not get the same full audience.
    This will only ‘hurt’ us (residents).
    My 2 cents?: I think the 3 of you + Harry Cherry should work together.
    Kisses to all 🙂

    • Jo Manning   March 28, 2017 at 6:58 am

      Valerie, I was never one of the TMBC intimates and have no interest in being a moderator nor part of the inner circle of this group. So many people seem to have so many different recollections of how this group began! The important thing is that it continues as an independent organization and does not become a mouthpiece for special interests.

  4. Mitch Novick   March 27, 2017 at 10:14 am

    I recall the first meeting of the TMBC was held at the infamous Coral Rock House at 900 Collins Avenue where Commissioner Marty Shapiro was the guest speaker.

    The house was built in 1916 by Miami Beach tourism pioneer Avery Smith who ran a ferry service from the mainland before any bridge connectors were built. The house was also the subject of an investigation where three former three city employees where convicted and incarcerated for taking over $100,000.00 in bribes from Developer Michael Stern in an effort to get the building demolished. Stern still remains in Jail.

    As former chairman of the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board, I instigated an investigation to the FDLE, FBI and the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust and am especially proud to have played an integral role in saving this important piece of Miami Beach history.

    Vote for me! Visit the Sludge Report on Facebook

    Mitch Novick
    Chairman: Miami-Dade County Historic Preservation Board

  5. Alejandro "EL CONDOR" Arce   March 27, 2017 at 10:32 am

    The TMBC serves a valuable purpose for our community. The need of some moderation in the behavior of the , so many and different visitors to our area creates a severe problem of miss behavior and we can and do help the authorities to , somehow control it.
    I sincerely hope that younger people could attend our meetings and also that the participants respect established norms such as. . Please don’t bring personal problems and take the time from others who bring issues regarding the whole community.
    It is great that we survive, because other similar organizations have dissapeared. We should continue and bring the young, if possible

  6. TMBC Fearless   March 27, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Perhaps Russell Galbut could create his own Wednesday Morning Breakfast Club? Let the fearless and independent Frank Del Vecchio and his followers keep the Tuesday Morning Breakfast Club?

  7. TMBC Founders   March 27, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    AC Weinstein was also an early advocate with David Kelsey for the TMBC. AC Weinstein loved political gossip and he hated corruption. During a stint as Chief of Staff to Mayor David Dermer he died too soon. Much respect to David Kelsey for keeping the TMBC alive for over 20 years.

    • Jo Manning   March 28, 2017 at 7:01 am

      I remember AC Weinstein well! Great guy 🙂 He was a journalist who worked first as chief of staff to Mayor Dermer, if I remember correctly, and then for Mayor Bower. He was working for Mayor Bower when he passed away. I don’t know what part he played in the TMBC but I think he would agree that it should remain independent of special interests.

  8. The Wanderer and the Breakfast skipper.   March 27, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Bakehouse Brasserie V Puerto Sagua Restaurant:

    with “no real formal structure, members or fees” it all boils down to who has the breakfast clubs mailing list and moderator.

    The club has been inconsistent with locations and meetings rendering it vulnerable.

    A sit-down of F@D will bear fresh fruits for breakfasts.

    • Jo Manning   March 28, 2017 at 7:03 am

      A consistent venue is key to the success of this group, but it should not be a venue that is beholden to special interests. Nor should it be one that is too noisy and burdens the speakers.

  9. Gayle Durham   March 27, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Who owns TMBC? In practicality, it is those in possession of the email list and the website domain name. Respecting or abusing the ownership is another issue.

  10. Jo Manning   March 28, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Excellent meeting this morning at Puerto Sagua with former mayor Matti Bower moderating! Full house. Josh Levy presented his views as a Miami Beach candidate for the Commission and there were interesting questions from the audience. Sound system needs to be worked on but the space is much less noisy than Manolo’s was…and the service was better.

    There is another meeting at this restaurant next week.

  11. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz   March 30, 2017 at 12:12 am

    AC Weinstein David Kelsey n Kent Harrison Robbins n I assume Randy Hilliard used the TMBC to get n help clients with or without regisyering. Mr Galbutt always did his proposals IN THE DAYLIGHT and has always been upfront unlije faux activists like Frank Delvecchio

    • The Wanderer and the Breakfast skipper.   March 30, 2017 at 3:53 pm

      Please shed some daylight on your facts. I don’t believe them. The only true fact I know is that Frank Delvecchio has been helping every resident of south Beach who ever approached him for help, and he did so pro bono! Now that’s as real as a real activist can be..

      • Jo Manning   March 31, 2017 at 6:47 am

        Frank Del Vecchio is a true, tireless, and important asset to our Miami Beach community and does nothing for personal gain. He is neither a developer nor a mouthpiece for any special interests. Period. Let us not have nonsensical false equivalencies/comparisons brought into this issue of the Tuesday Morning Breakfast Club.

        The TMBC began as a vehicle for community activists to bring important local/neighborhood issues to the forefront for discussion by the entire community as well as to introduce this community to those running for political office in an open forum where all kinds of questions can be asked openly. All are welcome to attend. It is grass roots democracy at its best and was never intended as a vehicle for special interests or developers…nor should it be.

  12. Pingback: Your Coradito Calendar says hello to April | Political Cortadito

  13. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz   April 3, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Check out payments and improvements to the Condo Delvecchio lives in and see if developers or lobbyists paid for them. How many free meals etc have lobbyists had to pay for for his support. A fake n a phony from day one.

    • The Wanderer and the Breakfast skipper.   April 6, 2017 at 1:05 pm

      whoever argues with an idiot is the bigger idiot…

  14. Jo Manning   April 6, 2017 at 7:48 am

    I think that people in this community know who the fakes and phonies and frontmen for lobbyists/developers are! Community activists are well used to the haters out there whose mission in life seems only to be to hate and have no regard for the facts.

    The meeting this week of the TMBC at Puerto Sagua was moderated beautifully by former mayor Matti Bower, who stated that David Kelsey was welcome to come back at any time. The speaker was another candidate (Group II) for Miami Beach Commission, Zachary M. Eisner, who is a lawyer. See:

  15. Jo Manning   April 12, 2017 at 7:28 am

    The Tuesday Morning Breakfast Club issues have been sorted out and the venue chosen. Now every Tuesday morning at Puerto Sagua Restaurant, 700 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, moderated by former Miami Beach mayor Matti Bower. Get on the mailing list!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.