Monday, June 17, 2013

Adazzle: Miami area restaurants and hotels of the 1940s, 50s and 60s

South Beach

For more Florida history visit my other blog, 

By Jane Feehan

Newspaper ads of past decades reveal a host of restaurants and hotel dining and entertainment venues  that placed Miami and Miami Beach on the map during the 1940s, 50s and 60s.  An ordinance was in effect during the 1940s that prohibited hotel entertainment in order to pump up night club business. That changed when Sam Cohen, president of the company that owned the Sherry Frontenac Hotel (opened in 1948), booked an entertainer at its Pompadour Room. Cohen was fined $100 but the law was changed in 1950. Hotels then became the draw for big name entertainment and many nightclubs faded away.

Here’s a list by decade of some of the most popular spots (Joe's Stone Crab spans most of Miami Beach's history, remains open):

Copa Cobanna – Dade Boulevard, Miami Beach
Latin Quarter (Lou Walters) – Palm Island
Lou Walters’ Terrace
Paddock – 7th and Washington, Miami Beach
Beachcomber Hotel – Dade Boulevard, east of Venetian Causeway
Robin Hood Restaurant
Old Forge Patio Restaurant-Miami Beach
Hickory House - Miami Beach
Versailles – Collins and 34th, Miami Beach
Dubrow’s Lincoln Cafeteria - Miami Beach
Ciro’s – Dade Boulevard, Miami Beach
Colonial Inn – Hallandale (See more on this, search labels)
Joe’s Stone Crab - still there on South Beach
Wolfie’s (1943) – Collins and 21st Miami Beach
Embers – Miami Beach (40s. 50s, 60s)
Parham’s – 73rd and Collins
Pickin’ Chicken – 22nd and Co
Blackamor Room – 20th and Collins
Hotel President Madison – Plantation Room
Joe’s Broadway Delicatessen – Washington Avenue, Miami Beach
Fountainebleau and Eden Roc
Seven Seas Restaurant
Wolfie’s – Lincoln Road, Miami Beach
Chandler’s - Miami Beach
Park Avenue – Miami Beach
Rocky Graziani’s
Gray’s Inn – Dade Boulevard, Miami Beach
Americana Hotel – Carioca Lounge, Gaucho Steak House, Bal Masque Room
Carillon Hotel – Café Le Can Can
Eden Roc Hotel – Harry’s American Bar, Mona Lisa Room
Fountainebleau Hotel – La Ronde Room
Red Coach Grill
Riccio's - mob hangout
Wolfie's at Lincoln Road

Diplomat – Tack Room
South Pacific (near Hollywood Dog Track), also there in the 60s
Cap’t Nicks – 160th and Biscayne, Miami
Gallagher’s – 126th and Biscayne, Miami
Kenilworth Hotel – Emerald Room, Miami Beach
Tony’s Fish Market – 79th Street Causeway
Chinarama – 163rd Street
Seville Hotel - Downstairs Room, 29th and Collins
Nick &Arthur's
Luau Polynesian Restaurant – 79th Street
Raimondo's - Miami Beach
Rascal House - 173rd Street
Roney Plaza – Café Jardin Suisse – 23rd and Collins
Remo’s - 173rd Street
Famous – 671 Washington Avenue
Fu Manchu – 71st Street
Bahama Steak House – NW 36, near Jai Lai
Playboy Club - Miami (see lables for more history on this)
Nick & Arthur's
Mike Gordon’s Seafood – 79th Street Causeway
Castaways Motel – Wreck Bar
Capra's - 69th Street
Franklin’s – 71st Street

Any favs not mentioned?  Post a comment!

From Sandra Lansky, Meyer Lansky's daughter, with lots of familiar names from Miami Beach's past:

A history of Miami Beach hotels:

TAGS: Famous hotels and restaurants in Miami Beach, Miami Beach restaurants in the 1960s


  1. Does anyone out there remember a restaurant in Coral Gables called the El Bolero?

    1. Yes, my sister in law's dad owned the restaurant. She talks about it frequently

  2. Nice post. My grandfather (arrived in Miami Beach around 1944) remembers a restaurant on the beach that closed shortly after opening sometime in the 1950s (though he is not so certain of the date). Apparently the place was reservations *only*, upscale, and catered to a wealthy clientele with possibly a very small number of tables and/or a chef who had creative control and a small (if any) menu. His recollection is that it was located somewhere on or near 41st Street on Miami Beach, but cannot remember the name, only that it didn't last particularly long due to the unusual reservations policy/style of cooking. Any leads as to what this place was?

    1. I'll keep on the lookout and perhaps ask around ...

    2. I am in Miami Beach since 1957 and miss the way it was. I am not sure
      but I believe the restaurant the gentleman Adam is talking about was called 'Jimmy's Just A Hobby'. The chef was a character.

    3. I have written many more history posts at and have migrated some of it here.

  3. Looking through a box of my grandparents pictures and memorabilia today, and I found a menu from Gallaghar's. It was signed by the manager, Dennis Williams. It must have been one of my grandparent's favorite places when they frequented Miami back in the day. Filet Mignon with all the fixins for $4.95!

  4. Le Parisien, on the corner of 41st and Royal Palm, was an authentic French restaurant in the 1950s and 60s. It was the introduction to haute cuisine to many of us.

  5. My mom stayed at the Sherry Frontenac Hotel in 1952. We found a bunch of photos. I searched the hotel and it's still open.

  6. You have my grandfather's restaurant, Joe's Broadway, listed in the 1950s. However, Joe's opened in the mid-30s! By the 50's, business was down, and I think they were out of business by 1953 at the latest....

    1. Thanks for your comment. I found a Joe's ad in a newspaper from the 1950s, its waning days.

  7. Back in the 1950's, I remember walking by downtown restaurant with a big glass showcase with a 300 to 500 lb tuna. It was visible from the sidewalk as you walked by. I believe the name was the Seven Seas... does anyone remember seeing that mounted tuna fish in downtown Miami ?