Here's a good question: What is a funky biscuit? It's an intriguing name for certain. Up at Boca's live music and dinner venue with that same title, you can marinate in sounds by jazz, jam, and funk bands while munching on food created by Chef Derek Leinonen. His menu is inspired by the cities where the music originated that the Biscuit crowd craves.
Owner Al Poliak's favorite thing to eat while watching his favorite acts at his spot is cochon de lait, a New Orleans style slow roasted pork served with a spicy coleslaw. He says it's a "jazz favorite."
He says of his club's familial atmosphere, "People come in here and they know the owner, general manger, my
partners. We're here 24/7, we greet people. There can be 350 people in
here, and we know most of them on a first name basis." He believes that in a shitty economy, as such we are experiencing, when you're asking folks to spend on a luxury item like entertainment, "a personal touch" offers that little extra necessary to make the music sound better and the food taste more delicious.
background as a musician, he makes sure his brethren, the sound-makers,
also "get treated like first class citizens."
Raised in the D.C. area,
he's been in the biz since he was a youn'un, performing, touring, writing, and producing. The
restauranteur and club owner first moved to South Florida in 1984, but
was lured away to the sounds of the world, finally settling back here in
1994. Poliak's got an unusual job for a party animal. He's an investment
banker. "I've been in the music and bar business off an on since I was
young," he says this wasn't his initial dream, "but it just kind of
Some acts the owner was particularly excited to showcase at his venue were Papa Grows Funk, George Porter, Jimmy Thackery, and FB regulars the Heavy Pets. What follows are a few upcoming shows Poliak is psyched about and which, naturally, he thinks we should check out.
October 25: Rubblebucket and the Resolvers
an up and coming band," he says of Rubblebucket who recently appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live. "Not sure the last time they were
here in South Florida, I'm sure they'll be playing bigger venues soon," Poliak notes, suggesting we see them before they blow up worldwide.
October 31: The Heavy Pets and Sol Driven Train
It's a Halloween party! Of the South Carolina openers Sol Driven Train, he says, they've "been
here once before, great group of guys, getting ready to get signed." Poliak adds that the Heavy Pets are a local favorite.
November 9: Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers with JP Soars and the Red Hots
This promises to be "a
unique night for me." Poliak says. "JP is a local guy, Jimmy Thackery has been around
since the '80s with a band called the Nighthawks." They're from Bethesda, the city where Al hails. They were, he adds, "the band that I saw when I first got my driver's
license in Georgetown."
Of one of the opening acts, "JP besides being a fantastic musician, he's a fantastic guy." Together, with Thackery, JP Soars made an album perfect for blues lovers.
November 10: Bonerama
had a long love affair and relationship with the city of New Orleans." Poliak's
performed there, eaten there, "passed out there. I've done everything
threre is to do in New Orleans." This makes him drive New Orleans acts like Bonerama to the
November 17: The Lee Boys Album Release Party
Terri Catlin, who he describes as a "phenomenal artist" will open the night for the Lee Boys. Roosevelt Collier, a local, is a member of the headlining act. He "has created quite a name for himself," Poliak notes, pointing out that he's played with well
known national bands including the Allman Brothers.
Bonus! The Second Annual Biscuit Fest takes place over four days and includes national and local acts from April 4 through 7.
The Funky Biscuit, 303 Southeast Mizner Boulevard. Boca Raton. Call 561-395-2929, or visit funkybiscuit.com.