The mission of HUGS is to prevent child abuse and neglect by providing Help, Understanding, Guidance and Support to strengthen families and protect children. Through a combination of individually tailored, weekly in-home parenting education and support se
Jane McLaughlin kindly took time out of her hectic schedule as Executive Director of Hugs for Kids, Lighthouse Point City Commissioner and now co-owner of Bonefish Mac's Sports Grille, to discuss this most recent endeavor.
We sat at an outside table, euphemistically known as the smoking section, where I learned that her family has been in the restaurant business for 50 years, owning and running such restaurants as The Golden Spike in Ft. Lauderdale.
Jane and her husband, Chuck, recently retired from a food brokerage business that supplied restaurants for over 20 years.
They decided to combine what they've learned with their fondness for Lighthouse Point and launch Bonefish Mac's.
The restaurant's name comes from merging their family's love of fishing and their last name.
Jane explains, "Mac is short for McLaughlin and everyone calls Chuck 'Mac'.
My husband and son grew up fishing and bonded by going bonefishing.
Jane believes that "Bonefish Mac's is filling a need in the community.
Plus, we want to live and work in our community.
We are having a blast because every night is like a big party at our house.
It is this local camaraderie that sets Bonefish Mac's apart from other area restaurants.
"We wanted a place where neighbors and friends could meet up.
We wanted a sports bar but also a place where families felt comfortable," states Jane.
To this end, Jane and Chuck's restaurant, located in the new Gateway Centre, was set up to provide something for everyone.
Jane and Chuck plan on doing the same for some Dolphin games, some more Marlin games as well as some Heat and college football games.
Chuck, Jane's husband, is a sports fanatic and avid fishing enthusiast.
And, since the community of Lighthouse Point has so many boaters, fishermen and sports fans, they decided to meld these themes together.
The result is an eclectic blend of local sports memorabilia and nautical décor.
Pictures of old Lighthouse Point sports teams and locals showing off their prize catches line the walls.
Jane encourages patrons to bring in sports and fishing pictures of their own to display.
Hurricane, Seminole, and Gator jerseys belonging to local athletes hang side-by-side with mounted trophy fish and a board showing all the local fishing records.
The furnishings also include custom-made swinging booths; each one is different and represents a different place in the Keys.
The combination of these details and local flavor are sure to create a loyal customer base.
As Jane puts it, "It's the Cheers of Lighthouse Point; you'll always see somebody you know."
As Jane gave me a tour of Bonefish Mac's, she greeted friends and patrons alike with smiles and handshakes.
She pointed out the small plaques with names above the bar, which anyone can purchase.
As we walked past the bar, a couple of local gentlemen were staking claim to the spots where their plaques would go.
I could tell that it wasn't their first time here and it wouldn't be their last.
This was confirmed as one said to the other, "we spill more beer here than most people drink.
Bonefish Mac's Sports Grille has character and charm.
It was created by Lighthouse Point residents for Lighthouse Point residents.
Jane points out that "some locals come in 3 or 4 times a week.
Jane McLaughlin, the executive director of HUGS for Kids child abuse prevention center, and her deputy director Gloria Goldfaden, were our special guests for lunch.
We are and should be very proud of the outstanding work done in our name by Jane and Gloria, previous director Gail Bamman, and the entire staff, volunteers and Board of Directors of HUGS for Kids.
Jane had special thanks for the members of the Pompano Beach Exchange Club who make the operation of special projects like the new Infant Reading Project possible.Of the 3.2 Million Dollar budget, 90% is financed by government grants and the remaining $320,000.00 must be raised elsewhere.
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