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Thread: Is WOLFIES restaurant sill open?

  1. #21
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hi Cheryz! Welcome to the forums. Thanks for sharing ... I would love to hear more stories about Wolfie's!

  2. #22
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    Hi cheryz, welcome to Miami Beach 411.

    We're honored to have Wolfies family in the house.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheryz
    I was born in Miami and left there 21 years ago. But, as a child my mom worked at Wolfie's. So I spent alot of time there and the burgers we're great!!! Although my favorite there was the cheesecake. ;-P In all these years I have never found another that compares....It's a shame that it is closed now...
    If you ever get to Brooklyn New York (my old home town), go to JUNIORS located
    on the corners of Flatbush & Atlantic Avenues.
    Its on the same theme as Wolfies & I think it has been open since World War II.
    It is said that JUNIORS has the worlds best cheese cake. They ship world wide also.
    I have eaten there a million times and I have often thought of WOLFIES.
    :-)

  4. #24
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Survivor, AWESOME TIP! I will tell my BFF Shveckle about it. I hope to go to Brooklyn again soon ...

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    Thanks for the info. I have been wanting some cuban food for a long time. So I found a place to order from online..But, since you say there is some good cheese cake in New York Iwill have to order some....I went to New York years ago...I sure remember the pizza there...But, I was only about 10 so I don't remember the place.. :-S I am so glad I found this site..It's nice to talk to people who know about the things I miss there in Miami....

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    In response to Maria de los Angeles. I remember when my mom worked there. She would get alot of very famous people in there..Which was great but, one time when I was at work with her she introduced me to the guy that played Jay Jay on the show "Good Times" if you are familiar with that show? And he gave my mom a autograph so that was amazing to me...Wolfie's was the place to be!!

  7. #27
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    I'll jump in here to let you know that there also was a Wolfies up in St. Pete. Just off of 34th steet north(Hwy 19) and 5th ave north. I had many hot fudge sundaes as well as Chocolate Whipped cream cakes. I miss that place and I was hoping that there still was one in the Miami area.

  8. #28
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    Greetings and Salutations Suntech!!!!

    Welcome to MB411.

    Will you be coming to the greater Miami area any time soon?

    I think I'll call around for the best hot fudge sundaes and Whipped Cream cakes now that you've got me salivating at the sugary thought! :)

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzy
    Greetings and Salutations Suntech!!!!

    Welcome to MB411.

    Will you be coming to the greater Miami area any time soon?

    I think I'll call around for the best hot fudge sundaes and Whipped Cream cakes now that you've got me salivating at the sugary thought! :)
    I'm not sure when I'll be in the Miami area, Will be in the Tampa St. Pete area soon.

  10. #30
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    I just found this thread today and thought I'd log in and correct some discrepancies...

    Wolfie's 21 opened (as far as I can determine) in 1947. Wolfie Cohen, the same Wolfie Cohen who developed the Wolfie Cohen's Rascal House properties, sold it to my uncle, Ed Lassman, in the very early 1950s.

    He and my father (known to many as Mr. Eli) ran it until the mid 80s, when it was sold. I believe it finally was closed down in 2002, after a disastrous winter season during which (a) 911 kept a lot of people from vacationing on the beach, and (b) the City of Miami Beach tore up Collins Ave at the beginning of the winter season for rebuilding the street.

    I doubt that Mohammad Ali visited Wolfie's, but Cassius Clay certainly did (long before he changed his name). Why do I doubt it? Because my uncle Ed, then president of the World Boxing Association, was very instrumental in asking that Ali's title be taken away from him.

    On May 11, 1957, I had my Bar Mitzvah reception in Wolfie's 21 Celebrity Corner room which was added to the original restaurant after it was remodeled after a fire some time between 1953 and 1955 (sorry, I don't remember the date more exactly).

    During the time our family owned Wolfie's 21 it was open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except for the Jewish holy day of Yom Kipur, when observant Jews would fast from sunset to sunset.

    I now live in Southern California, on the edge of the desert, but I still make Wolfie's style food from time to time.

    Jeff

  11. #31
    Gus
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    Hi, nobaloney, welcome to Miami Beach 411 from a former SoCal resident.

    Sounds like you have some deep roots in Miami Beach.

    Thank you very much for sharing with us!

  12. #32
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Nobaloney, thank you so much for sharing your history. It's priceless. I'd love to hear more stories about Miami Beach if you wanted to start new threads.

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    Thanks for your replies, Gus and Maria of the Angels ;) .

    I'd hoped at least a few folk would enjoy my recollections; that's why I went ahead and posted to a thread so many months old.

    Another thing I remember is that Wolfie's 21 was on land rented (with a long term lease; I remember my father saying a "99 year lease") from the steak house around the corner. Was that Fan and Bills? Perhaps. And that's the reason we couldn't have steaks on the menu; our agreement was that we could sell anything but steaks, since they specialized in steaks.

    And yet more: On Collins Ave between the 5 o'Clock Club on 20th and Wolfies on 21st, among other stores, there was a mens' clothier: "Abbe Lane's". It was owned by another uncle, Abbey, who changed his last name to Lane after his daughter did. (Abbe, the daughter, my cousin, was married to Xavier Cugat before he married Charo.

    I graduated from Miami Norland HS in '62; I'm a member of the second graduating class.

    Jeff

  14. #34
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    Sorry, Wolfies went the way of Los Violines and other famous landmarks. I remember them for the baskets of fresh sweet rolls they served at breakfast.

    I would recommend however that you go for breakfast at Van Dykes Cafe on Lincoln Road - it is a local rather hip place but very friendly and the omelettes and waffles are really good.

  15. #35
    Full Member zippyjet's Avatar
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    Dear Shelly:
    Thank You and its hearfelt. That link to the old Miami area restaurants. I posted a thread about Picciolos but, I never got much info because I couldn't remember the correct spelling! One of my all time favorites. My mom and her friends ate at Picciolos back in the 40s and 50s when she went to the old Miami Beach High. (the open air school before the advent of air conditioning!) Anyway, Picciolos had the best garlic rolls. New York folk call them garlic knots and their pizza was to die for. I last ate at Picciolos back in 1980. I understand it bit the dust sometime in the late 80s or early 90s. Sadly it couldn't hold on for the South Beach Renaissance. Had it survived it would be thriving today even in the recessionary George W. Bush economy. A source who works for the Miami Beach Police department told me they want to reopen but do not have a location. Anyone out there know more and when it officially closed?

    Regarding the Colonial Inn; this is what I know. I'll share more detail with you soon.
    1. Hotel opened around 1956 or 1957.
    2. A family with the last name of Jackal (not sure of spelling) leased the property from the original owners. I do not know their names.
    3. They opened a near identical twin in St. Pete Beach, Fl. around the same time. The property is alive and well and is the Travelodge St. Pete Beach.
    4. Sometime during the 1960s, the Colonial Inn bought and absorbed the old Bon Air Motel next door to the North. This annex featured cheaper rooms and did not have interior hallways. This old motel used to have a kidney shaped pool which was much less crowded than the main Colonial Inn Pool. BTW, I took swimming lessons with my first cousin in August of 1966. My little sister took swimming lessons at the Colonial Inn in July 1969. My teacher was an old Marine named Joe who drove a 1956 or 1957 Chevy Nomad or Bel Air Wagon. My sister's instructer was an Asian/Fillipino young dude named Ken.
    5. The main dining room was called the Medallian Room
    6. There was a massive upper lobby. Back in the day hotels and motels in Miami Beach had them!
    7. I stayed at the Colonial Inn in 1966, 1969 and 1976. My cousin stayed there in 1962, 1964 and experienced Hurricane Cleo and 1966 when my family vacationed there.
    8. The kidney (peanut) pool at the Bon Air annex was torn up and made into a tennis court in 1975 or 1976. The writing was on the wall and the Colonial Inn like most of Motel row had peaked and was on its decline. Tennis become popular in the 70s so that extra pool was sacrificed.
    9. Across from the upper lobby were small hotel rooms with alphabet designations. I never got inside them. They faced the pool and ocean. Anyone know the 411 on those rooms. I don't remember them having their own bathroom. Maybe I'm wrong on that.
    10. The Colonial Inn NEVER redid their rooms. We always stayed in the main building in the two story side facing South over the parking lot Ocean view. I stayed in rooms 234, 242 and in 1976 204. The first two rooms had kitchenettes and were a cool aqua. The last room was one of the rooms without a kitchen and was pink. At least on that side of the building, the rooms alternated aqua (kitchens) pink (basic). The TV sets were always Admiral. The Colonial Inn through 1976 had three generations of Admiral TVs. The third generation were color (probably added 1972 to 1974 era) For the rest of you hope this was not "TMI."



    Travelodge St. Pete Beach formerly Colonial Inn

  16. #36
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    I worked at Wolfies 21 in the late 60's for Mr. Lassman and Eli. I remember fondly, Billy, the head waitress, Rosie, (keeper of the honey buns) Jonesy and Willie Brown, Smoke, and Charlie Brown.
    Wish I could get hold of the recipes, the danish and rolls were the best as well as the cheesecake, corned beef, pastromi, stuffed cabbage.
    Whoever is the keeper of those recipes should write a cookbook.
    There is nothing in comparison to Wolfies 21.

    Teresa

  17. #37
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    Hi, Teresa,

    I'm happy to see this thread brought back to life again.

    Did you read my two posts directly above, yours, #29, and #32?

    Ed was my Uncle; he had a beautiful waterfront home on North Bay Road. Eli was my father. We lived in an area called Norwood, near where Miami Norland High School was built (though we moved there in 1955, before it was even planned), We (yeah, right; I was eleven) bought it as a tract home, but heavily remodeled it; we added real brick walls in the living room, a large "Florida Room" with real Cuban tile and a natural wood cathedral ceiling, and even a corner fireplace.

    The last time I drove by (Oct 2001) it was still there, and still well-kept, though the tile roof we had paid so much for had been replaced by what looked like asphalt shingles.

    The world moves on :) .

    Jeff

  18. #38
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Greetings all,

    A Flickr pal pointed me to the Wolfson Florida archives on youtube. There's lots of vintage footage from Miami Beach.

    Here is a silent video of Miami Beach from the 1970s.

    And here is another video, a promo (not related to the Wolfson archive).

    Enjoy!

    Oh and don't forget to visit my Vintage Miami Beach group on Flickr.

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    If anyone recalls Robert Gray, and knows his whereabouts, tell him to look Van up in Vegas. He was a Manager at Wolfie's back through most of the 90's. I left "The Beach" about 9 or 10 years ago----and I still think of it every day---I miss it bad. I lived for a good many years up around 75th street and Byron. Is that area picked up any since I've left? It was on a downward slid at that point. The Uptown Deli, Latin Market,The Jewish Bakery, Hi-Lo Bar, On The Rocks,---still there, or gone?
    HEY JACKIE----YOU OUT THERE?

  20. #40
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    I went to Wolfies back in 1994, I was staying at the Townhouse Hotel on 20th.
    Wolfies was just over the road, so I was in there twice a day.
    On the sunday I went over to get lunch but there was a massive queue of all these short and elderly jewish people, I went to the end of the line to wait my turn. The manager saw me and called me forward, telling the other people in the line that I was Wolfies best customer. During my time there one of the waitreses died, her name was Rose and they told me she had worked there from the day Wolfies had opened,
    I went back to Miami in 2002, only to find Wolfies closed.
    That was a big let down.

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