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Category Archives: News

Palm Beach Post Highlights Armenian Restaurant in Boca Raton

Husband and wife, Nick and Ana Sarkisyan run and own Boca Skewers in Boca Raton, Florida since 2007. They have been planning to expand to other cities per customers’ request. (Photo Courtesy Boca Skewers)

In a recent article entitled, ‘This Boca Raton restaurant is a must-try neighborhood gem,’ Palm Beach Post entertainment reporter Julio Poletti highlights one of only a handful of Armenian-owned restaurants in the State of Florida.

“The Sarkisyans wanted a small, European-style restaurant in a great location. When they found Boca Skewers, with less than 1,000 square feet in the popular Mizner plaza, they thought it was perfect,” Poletti writes.

He goes on to share the menu of various Armenian-style Mediterranean dishes served at Boca Skewers, such as chicken kebab, lamb soltani, tabouli, falafel, and hummus, to name a few.

The article also highlights the founders of Boca Skewers, Nick and Anna Sarkisyan. Originally from Armenia, they lived in New York before settling in Boca Raton a little over a decade ago.

Nick Sarkisyan, owner, said that even when he has left his exact recipes for other family members to do the cooking, the customers will say it doesn’t taste the same. This is why Sarkisyan no longer takes days off. (Photo Courtesy Boca Skewers)

Like most Armenians chefs, Nick Sarkisyan prides himself on doing the majority of the cooking himself, Poletti found. “I can’t trust my grilling with anybody,” Sarkisyan told the Post.

You can read the entire article in the Palm Beach Post here.

 

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‘Return to Asbury’ Kef Weekend to Take Place Aug. 25-27

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The sixth annual ‘Return to Asbury’ kef weekend returns to its historic roots, as Armenian music legend Onnik Dinkjian headlines the popular summer event, scheduled for Aug. 25-27.

By Taleen Babayan
FLArmenians Guest Contributor

ASBURY PARK, NJ — The sixth annual “Return to Asbury” kef weekend returns to its historic roots, as Armenian music legend Onnik Dinkjian headlines the popular summer event, scheduled for Aug. 25-27.

The kef music of Onnik and his son, internationally renowned multi-instrumentalist Ara Dinkjian, will evoke the 1950s and 1960s, when Armenians originally gathered in Asbury Park and socialized on the beach, danced to kef music, played tavlou (backgammon), and spent their summer weekends filled with Armenian spirit and camaraderie.

The event, which was revitalized six years ago, brings back that same sentiment highlighted by the musical talents of the Dinkjians as well as the new generation of musicians, including Steve Vosbikian Jr., who grew up listening to both Onnik and Ara, and says he considers it an honor to share the stage with them.

“It means everything to share the stage with these men, both of whom are not only fine musicians but fine family men who have taught us about much more than music,” said Vosbikian, the event’s music development director and a descendant of members of the Vosbikian Band, who played kef music in Asbury Park decades ago. “Onnik and Ara are our kings and our fathers. They are an important part of our Armenian musical culture and identity.”

The weekend will kick off with a happy hour at the beachfront Watermark on Friday evening, followed by a day of fun and games on the 7th Avenue Beach. The joyous kef concert will take place Saturday evening at the famous hotel The Berkeley.

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“Armenian music is a commonality in Armenian communities and the tie that binds us,” said committee member Arsine Kaloustian. “This event is a vital part of maintaining our cultural continuity, and also forging friendships, networks (and sometimes marriages!) that cross not only state lines but sometimes international lines as well.”

“Return to Asbury, which is an independent event led by a small committee, focuses on music, dancing, and a good cause,” noted committee member David Norian. All proceeds for the event will benefit Armenian music education, specifically to donate musical instruments for Armenian school children and keep the kef going well into the future.

“Return to Asbury is about people and place, and if we can bring the legendary voice of Onnik back to Asbury Park, for it to be heard again in the halls and in the air that once was filled with these same sounds, then we have achieved the goal we started out with five years ago,” Norian said.

“Return to Asbury” will take place Aug 25-27, 2017, with the big kef dance on Saturday, Aug. 26 at 8 p.m. For tickets and more information, please visit: returntoasbury2017.eventbrite.com.

Have questions, or a story or photo to share from the past? Please submit them to info@returntoasbury.org.

Danny Tarkanian Announces U.S. Senate Bid in Nevada

Danny Tarkanian Senate logo

By Taniel Koushakjian
Florida Armenians Editor

Today, Danny Tarkanian appeared on the Fox & Friends show to announce his campaign for the U.S. Senate. Tarkanian’s candidacy sets up a primary challenge for incumbent Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) who was first elected in 2012, and whom Tarkanian states “turned his back on us.”

In an email letter to Nevada voters, Tarkanian wrote, “Over the past several weeks, I had many people – literally hundreds – contact me and ask me to please run against Dean Heller. They expressed their frustration with Senator Heller, and all the other politicians, who promise one thing when they are running for office and then do the exact opposite in Washington DC.

[WATCH: Danny Tarkanian Announce His Campaign for U.S. Senate in Nevada]

Tarkanian credits “Senators Paul Laxalt and Richard Bryan, one a Republican, the other a Democrat,” as his inspiration for public service. “They were true statesmen. Public servants with rock solid convictions who kept their word,” he said.

“I am running for United States Senate because Dean Heller turned his back on Nevada since he became a US Senator. He campaigned across our state on the basis of repealing Obamacare, being pro-life, and generally conservative on the issues.

“Unfortunately, he simply changed in Washington DC. Conservatives now refer to him as DC’s Dean Heller rather than Nevada’s Dean Heller.”

In his letter, Tarkanian also acknowledged his previous campaigns for office, particularly his nail-bitting 2016 race for Congress where he lost by 1%.

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The son of legendary University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, Danny has been a small business owner, philanthropist, and community leader in the Silver State throughout his life.

A recent poll of Republican voters in Nevada by Strategic National finds Heller with a 31% approval rating, and a 43% disapproval rating. The poll further reveals Heller’s vulnerability, which showed that only 39% of respondents hold a favorable opinion of Heller, while 43% of respondents hold an unfavorable opinion of Heller.

In a head-to-head match-up, Heller received 38% to Tarkanian’s 34%, which is within the margin of error.

The Strategic National poll surveyed 500 registered Nevada Republicans on August 1 and 2, and has a margin of error of 4.4%.

Below is Danny Tarkanian’s official statement on running for the United States Senate:

“Over the past several weeks, I have been inundated with text, emails, and phone calls from people of all walks of life across the state of Nevada who are upset with Dean Heller for campaigning one way in Nevada and voting the exact opposite in Washington DC. The refrain is the same: he turned his back on us.

Today, after much thought and discussion with my family and friends, I have decided to run for the United States Senate. I am running for United States Senate because Nevada deserves a Senator who will keep his word and vote in Washington DC the same way he campaigns here in Nevada.

I am a conservative Republican who supports the policies of President Trump to repeal Obamacare and end illegal immigration. I will continue to support President Trump’s policies that have led to a 20% increase in the stock market in just six months. I will join Senator Lee, Senator Cruz, and Senator Paul fighting for real reforms against the liberals in our party.

I look forward to campaigning across the state of Nevada and earning your support. It is time to take a stand. Together, we will make our state, and our country, proud.”