Beach Buzz: Lotus House opens Chic Boutique thrift store

06/18/2014 6:52 PM

06/19/2014 1:44 PM

Lotus House celebrated the May 24 grand opening of its relocated designer boutique and job-training center with a day of shopping, sweets, donation drop-offs (in exchange for 10 percent discounts on purchases) and a tour of its new facility at 2040 NW Seventh Ave., Miami. Gone are the hot pink exterior walls; in their place: a larger Chic Boutique specializing in designer, vintage, new and gently used clothing, furnishings and collectables (with hot pink interior accents).

The event also marked the inauguration of the expanded Professional and Life Skills Center, which provides basic life skills and job-readiness training for women and youths at the Lotus House Women’s Shelter.

Building on the success of an earlier retail job-training program, the Life Skills Center will use the Lotus House Thrift Shop as a working classroom, offering two new hands-on opportunities for vocational education: a Barista Job Training Program and an E-Commerce Job Training Program.

With assistance from local community partners Panther Coffee and Hearts of Palm Catering, the barista program is slated to begin in August along with the opening of the thrift shop’s new Barista Bar. The program will offer week-long training sessions once per quarter in conjunction with one- to three-month work internships designed to prepare women and youths for barista positions in the coffee, restaurant and hospitality trades.

The e-commerce program will allow women and youths to apply career and life skills to the e-commerce field through an online retail platform operating from the new boutique.

Both programs will be staffed entirely by Lotus House guests and alumni.

Operated by the Sundari Foundation, Lotus House Women’s Shelter provides shelter and support services to homeless women, youths and children in Miami-Dade County. More than just a temporary shelter, the nonprofit, nondenominational organization strives to nurture the minds, bodies and spirits of women and youths as they transition to permanent homes off the streets.

“Our thrift shop and Professional and Life Skills Center offer us a creative way to build grassroots support and raise public awareness while empowering women and youth to build the foundation for a better way of life,” explains Lotus House Director Constance Collins. “The incredible support we continue to see through donations and purchases helps fund the shelter’s job training programs and operations; provide basic clothing, work attire and furnishings for women and children at Lotus House; and provide innovative work-development opportunities for women and youth.”

The Lotus House Thrift Shop is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday for shopping and/or donation drop-offs. Additionally, arrangements can be made for pick-up of larger donation items. To learn more about the organization, making a donation or becoming a volunteer, visit www.lotushouse.org or call the thrift shop at 305-576-4112.

CEVICHE AT METROPOLITAN

In case you didn’t already know, National Ceviche Day is Saturday. In celebration, the Traymore Restaurant and Bar at the new Metropolitan by COMO (2445 Collins Ave., Miami Beach) has created “Ceviche Weekend” from 5 to 8 p.m. daily this Thursday through Saturday.

Traymore’s Peruvian ceviche chef, Miguel Puelles, will showcase his talent with a variety of tasting menus featuring his freshly made ceviche (single portions $5; platter of three $12). In addition, half-price Pisco Sour and half-price Nolet Silver gin & tonic will be available, along with discounted valet service.

Metropolitan by COMO opened in March after a year-long renovation of the 1930s hotel, formerly known as The Traymore. The 74-room hotel is the first in the United States for Singapore-based COMO hotels and Resorts, which owns and operates multiple high-end properties around the world (including one T Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos).

The Miami Beach hotel features restaurants indoors and out, a gin bar offering 40 artisanal, hand-crafted gins paired with house tonics and the COMO Shambhala Urban Escape spa (part of a program that includes a gym, treatment rooms, rooftop hydrotherapy pool as well as an alternative menu that includes a mix of raw and cooked ingredients and wellness juices).

Hotel interiors, understated yet elegant, by Italian designer Paola Navone preserve the hotel’s Art Deco heritage — contemporary shades of peppermint green and dusky gray with surfaces of cool white marble, shining chrome and beautifully restored terrazzo floors.

Florida residents can take advantage of a grand opening package of $299 per city room, if booked by the end of June.

For hotel information or reservations visit www.comohotels.com/metropolitanmiamibeach. Reservations for the Traymore Restaurant and Bar can be made via Open Table by calling 305-695-3600 or emailing dining.met.mia@comohotels.com.

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