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Thread: Is WOLFIES restaurant sill open?

  1. #41
    Editor Carlos Miller's Avatar
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    Back in the day, there was also a similar deli called Pumpernick's or something like that located around Biscayne Blvd and 79th Street.

    Anyone remember that one?

  2. #42
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    I worked at Wolfies in about 1983/84. I was a waiter and serious money fell into my hands every day of the world.The first day I went to work there, I met a waitress, at seven in the mornin' while she was showing me where everything was in the side stations, and the kitchens.(There were two) SORTA! At TWO-THIRTY, I moved into OUR apartment, about a hundred yards behind the store. Between the two of us we were making about 250/300 a day, and were at the Beach across Collins Ave. by 2:30 E.T..We worked on our tan and about fiveish...took our siesta. Life was good. The customers were great...They tipped well, and they taught me things about the world I remember to this day. I had a call party, on Mondays....The Hadassah Ladies...Beautiful people. It was one of the most inspiring jobs of my life....and I've had a batch...and lived EVERYWHERE!

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobaloney
    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
    I worked for Ed. Tough boss, but fair....and if you listened to him, you would make money like a bandit. He used to tell me my station, was MY business...He just contracted it out! Good Man, he was!

  4. #44
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    Jerry's is a joke (and much more expensive) than Wolfie's or Rascal ever were- even if you factor inflation. I refuse to frequent the place as the owners, the Starkman Family, are responsible for closing down The Rascal House. Screw them, screw Epicure and screw their faux-vintage deli/tourist trap. Typical California douchebags that have no appreciation for anything of historical value.

  5. #45
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    Reading the posts about Wolffie's and the Rascal House brings back so many memories. Our family spent many a summer in Miami Beach and I wish I could remember the names of some of the other "prominent" restaurants in that era...but we are talking over 55 years ago!! One name I do remember was the Embers and some great fried chicken place that was on the ocean (fried chicken like our moms made!!). We loved going to Wolffie's since our last name is just about the same. Dad would joke with the folks who ran the place that he was a distant relative!! Rascal House, now there is a place that was like walking into my Mom's kitchen at home. Any 'new' restaurant who proports to being authentic like Wolffie's and the Rascal House are only fooling themselves and the tourists who don't know better. Those oldies but goodies will never be duplicated!! One of my last trips to the area before Dad died in 2005 - he and I made a special trip to the Rascal House long before it closed. Not only was the atmosphere and the food comforting, but while we waited in line to get a table, I found that the man in front of us had lived in the same town in North Carolina years back.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobaloney
    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.
    When did Wolfie's move from the Collins and Lincoln Road location to the Collins and 21st Street location? What was the reason for the move?

    I'm heading down to Miami tomorrow--I want to check out the sites of the old Wolfie's and the Rascal House.

  7. #47
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    RIP Arnie and Richie's Deli, by the way, everybody. It's now a Roasters and Toasters.

  8. #48
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    Default Chicken Place

    I think that was "Pickin Chicken" and was located where the Decoplage is now and where one of fisher's mansions was located.

    For fried chicken that is the same as it ever was, go to Joes!

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    Default Re: Is WOLFIES restaurant sill open?

    When I lived in Nassau (1963 - 1987) no trip to Miami was complete without a meal at Wolfies. Sorry to hear it has gone (like so many good things in the world). I now live in Isle of Man, but have just returned from Toronto, where we went looking for a good reuben sandwich (without too much success). Which is how I got to thinking about Wolfies, and found my way to this siter and this thread.

  10. #50
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing, Colin!

    Even Arnie and Richie's Deli is now gone.

    The corner of Lincoln and Collins these days features two kitschy beach supply stores with big flashing neon signs. They remind me of Wolfie's sign, but obviously not the same.

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    Default Wolfies 1980

    I first visited Miami Beach in 1964, a couple days after coming out of the Canadian Arctic near the North Pole. Quite a change in climate! I stayed in a hotel on Collins avenue which I cant recall the name of at the moment. It was a relatively small 2-3 story hotel, on the beach but about 1/2 a block of green space before the beach area. It was white in color and the art deco style. If I remember it I will re post.
    I also recall a small bar called the Bingo Bar nearby. I remember the waitress telling me that she knew Jerry Lewis very well and as a matter of fact taught him how to ____! I was afraid to dispute her!

    There was a couple of sayings on the wall. One was "Helen Waite is our Credit Manager. If you want credit, go to Helen Waite"! The other was a verse something like this--
    "Say Abe, what you know, tousan busses in a row, Dem ain't Busses, Dems trucks, sum wit cows and sum with ducks".

    My wife and I went back in 1980 and happened upon a crowd of people a half block long. Joining the line we eventually got to the doorman who was letting people enter depending on how many in the group. If you were lucky and there were two of you, he would shout out 'two' and you would be in.

    Besides the excellent food, we recall one of the fellows that cleaned tables. People near us told us he was apparently an ex boxer who maybe had too many fights and was now doing this job. It was a real show the way he would clean a table with SUPER SPEED and customers were all amazed at just how fast he would do it--all eyes were on him!. Not sure if anyone recalls this man?

    Wolfies and Miami Beach were a great experience remembered to this day.

    (I believe the name of the hotel I mentioned was Olsens Hotel on Collins Avenue).
    Last edited by miamibeach64; 11-15-2010 at 10:17 AM.

  12. #52
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for sharing, MiamiBeach64!

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    Default Re: Is WOLFIES restaurant sill open?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maria de los Angeles View Post
    Thank you so much for sharing, MiamiBeach64!
    You're very welcome. Is it possible to edit a post or is there a time frame for editing. I wanted to make my original post a bit more clear. Thanks from Snowy Canada!

  14. #54
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is WOLFIES restaurant sill open?

    Quote Originally Posted by miamibeach64 View Post
    You're very welcome. Is it possible to edit a post or is there a time frame for editing. I wanted to make my original post a bit more clear. Thanks from Snowy Canada!
    Hi Miamibeach64! Unfortunately, there is a limited time frame for editing unless you are an admin or moderator. You can always keep adding on to the thread, though. I encourage you to do so, if you like.

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    Default Wolfies Menu From 1958

    When I was a kid living in Va Beach, VA in 1958, I won a trip to Miami Beach selling newspapers. We stayed at the old Promade Hotel and two meals a day were supplied by Wolfies at Collins and 21st Street.
    As it turned out I took a menu home with me and still have to this day (hope the statue of limitation has run).
    Often wanted to return it but by the time I could make it down there, I learned hit it had closed. So sad.
    Surprisingly the prices were pretty reasonable even by today's standards.
    Once thought of selling it on ebay.







    Quote Originally Posted by Maria de los Angeles View Post
    Hi citycat! No, you're not stupid!

    It's simply a case of two Wolfie's.

    The Wolfie's that closed was on 21st street and Collins, just north of the neighborhood demarcated today as South Beach, but still part of the City of Miami Beach proper, specifically within zip code 33139. (There was also another Wolfie's on Lincoln Road years prior. I don't know exactly when that closed.)

    The Wolfie's mentioned in the forum you link to is actually Rascal House, aka Wolfie Cohen's Rascal House, which is located at 17190 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles Beach -- many zip codes north of 33139.

    Rascal House does indeed have a second location in Boca Raton and as far as I know, both restaurants are alive and kicking. They're owned by JFD, parent corporation to other South Beach establishments like Epicure Market and Jerry's Famous Deli.

    When I spoke to a manager at Epicure, she told me that JDF never owned the Wolfie's on 21st street. So what was the deal with two different guys named Wolfie's owning delis? Now I'm very curious. Give me a few days and I'll put in a call to JFD and try to dig up some facts from the historical museum.

  16. #56
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hi nomad, welcome and thanks for sharing your memories. I've seen other Wolfie's memorabilia on sale at Ebay too.

    That location is a new spiffy condo now, by the way.

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    One of the earlier replies was asking about other Miami Beach classic Delis.
    1. Corkies Not sure of spelling. Originally near the Golden Glades Clover Leav on 163rd. St. Eventually moved to Pembroke Pines and joined Anna Nicole Smith in the netherworld several years ago.

    2. Pumperniks: Several locations died eventually in the 80's or 90's.

    Though not a Deli these 2 deserve honorable mention for their outstanding food.
    A. The Pub at the Newport, fancier than the delis.
    and an old style South Beach classic which had great pizza and those melt in your mouth garlic knots/rolls. Picciolos in the first block of Collins Avenue. Picciolos died sometime during the early Regan era.

  18. #58
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    By coincidence I just came across this 1964 article about Miami Beach restaurants -

    The Montreal Gazette - Google News Archive Search

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    Default Re: Is WOLFIES restaurant sill open?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maria de los Angeles View Post
    By coincidence I just came across this 1964 article about Miami Beach restaurants -

    The Montreal Gazette - Google News Archive Search
    Maria: Thanks for sharing. An excellent article. I remember a lot of those places and Picciolos was actually mentioned. My dad may he RIP used to mention the Famous restaurant for kosher dining. My parents were married in a place called "The Lincoln Manner" on the corner of Collins and Lincoln Sept.11, 1955! When I get hold of scanning epuipment I'll scan some pictures. My dad's ex brother in law also deceased chowed down like Homer Simpson and imbided in the schnaaps and subsequently blew chunks over the seawall onto the beach. My folks took an overnight boat to Havanna! The cabin looked like something out of a Captain Bligh movie. Then they stayed at the Castaways and I have a pic of their "honeymoon" accomodations (room). Beautiful Black and White and it looked straight out of I Love Lucy.

  20. #60
    Editor Carlos Miller's Avatar
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    Cool article, Maria. Just goes to show you that Miami Beach really hasn't changed that much. Only the names.

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