Most-Read Gazette Stories From Our First Year

Screenshot of the airport meltdown, via TikTok.

Check out our most-read Gazette stories from our first year, from a local couple having a meltdown in an airport to Hamburger Mary's leaving the Island City.

Wilton Manors Couple Airport Meltdown

A certain video would have been a top story even if it didn’t feature a South Florida couple. The two men were at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, trying to get home, and one was very upset about delays. His partner tried to calm him down, intoning the names of their dogs, Shelby and Dolly. It didn’t work.

While lots of people had a laugh, the couple did not. The publicity around the event wrecked their lives, costing one of them his job. He would get agitated whenever someone mentioned it. He moved back to North Carolina when the couple split up after a years-long relationship. The other partner remains in South Florida with Shelby and Dolly.

TERF Martina Navratilova and Wife Uninvited From Holiday Event

The ex-athlete’s wife, Julia Lemigova, was booked for the annual Holiday Spectacular in Wilton Manors and Martina Navratilova asked for VIP tickets. Once her anti-trans rhetoric was highlighted, Lemigova was canceled and Navratilova did not get her VIP table.

Many, including Jonathan Hawkins, the promoter who booked her, didn’t agree and decried the decision. There are rumors that the event will be discussed on Lemigova’s show, “Real Housewives of Miami.”

Hamburger Mary’s Leaves Wilton Manors ... Again

Less than three years after Hamburger Mary’s returned to Wilton Manors, it was gone. It got off to a rough start and seemed to go through staff faster than they could train them. Slow service and an uninspiring menu plagued the restaurant. The entertainment was good, but if no one was on stage, no one was at the tables.

In January, longtime Canadian snowbird John Ribson turned it into The Well. He created the franchise and owns several in Ontario, Canada. The menu is revamped and features poutine, a Canadian specialty. The crowds remain elusive. Many nights, including weekends, it’s not hard to find a space in their small parking lot. Ribson isn’t worried, and says he’s here for the long haul.

New Organization Protects Wilton Manors’ LGBTQ Culture

With a major development on the precipice of getting city approval and breaking ground, Wilton Drive Voice (WDV) formed as a group of Wilton Drive business owners concerned about the “soul” of the city changing. Jude Bellinger formed the group and is pushing an LGBTQ heritage preservation plan.

WDV is holding a series of town halls and inviting elected leaders, business owners, and other stakeholders.

Pub Owner Michael Connell Dies

MIchaelConnell

Michael Connell. Photo via Pub on the Drive, Facebook.

The Wilton Manors community was shocked and saddened when news broke of Michael Connell’s passing. While he had recently suffered a stroke, Connell appeared to be recovering well and was making plans and focusing on the opening of Pub On the Drive’s new back patio.

His presence is still missed. He helped make The Pub more than a bar, it is a community gathering place for drag entertainment, trivia, fundraiser, and more. Connell believed community was the most important thing.

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2520 N. Dixie Highway,
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