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  1. #1
    Full Member zippyjet's Avatar
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    Default Piccolos Restaurant

    Way back in the day before South Beach reinvented itself there was a cool Italian restaurant at the very end of South Beach called Piccolos. I remember eating there last in 1980. Sadly it closed. Anyone know the story of this eatery? And, when it actually closed? Several months ago I met a gentleman who works for the city of Miami Beach. He remembered Piccolos restaurant. He told me they are going to reopen in the near future but, are unsure of a location. Anyone have any information on this? Piccolos for those of you who don't remember it had excellent reasonably priced Italian food and served one of the best pizzas and little hot buttery garlic knots. My mom remembered Piccolos from her childhood in the 1940's and 1950's. They also had a really nice garden for outdoor eating when the weather wasn't so tropical.

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    Administrator Michelle's Avatar
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    Hi zippyjet,

    I found a Piccolo's Pizza & More in North Miami. The address is 2104 NE 123rd St, North Miami, FL 33181. I wonder if it is the same owner.

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    Full Member zippyjet's Avatar
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    Michelle, thank you for your reply. I don't think so. I'm not sure if I even spelled the restaurant's name correctly. A lot of older folks pronounced the name of this former restaurant Peachalos. But, I'm sure it was spelled like the carry out shop you mentioned in North Miami. The restaurant in question was open for business as late as May 1980. And, I forgot the street but it parallelled Ocean Drive/Collins Ave. at the southern tip of South Beach. :question:

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    Back in the 60's, there was a restaurant called the Piccolo - my dad worked there as a busboy. That's all I've got.

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    Full Member zippyjet's Avatar
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    Was the restaurant located at the southern tip of South Beach? Did it have a garden for outdoor dining and a newer section added on for large groups? Thanks :-)

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    I'm waiting to hear back from my dad and will let you know!

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    Full Member zippyjet's Avatar
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    Update my friends! My bad, I spelled the name of this restaurant incorrectly. I told you spelling and grammar were never my strong qualities. The correct spelling of this restaurant is Picciolos!That I after the double c makes all the difference! My thanks go out to Shelly of Chicago for linking to a great site with old pictures of old Miami area hotels and restaurants. Here are some images of the restaurant I was talking about at the end of South Beach. Now, does anyone out there know why and when Picciolos closed?Rumor has it they are going to try to resurrect this Italian eatery.


    Google Books
    Attached Images Attached Images    

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    So my dad and I finally talked about this, and yup, he worked here in 1964 after he was discharged from the Army. He mentioned some guy (can't remember the name) who was important in the Beach at that time (the mayor of chief of police), who was there all the time, piss drunk. And by "piss", I mean literally - he would urinate in the restaurant !!!

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    Way back in the day before South Beach reinvented itself there was a cool Italian restaurant at the very end of South Beach called Piccolos. I remember eating there last in 1980. Sadly it closed. Anyone know the story of this eatery? And, when it actually closed? Several months ago I met a gentleman who works for the city of Miami Beach. He remembered Piccolos restaurant. He told me they are going to reopen in the near future but, are unsure of a location. Anyone have any information on this? Piccolos for those of you who don't remember it had excellent reasonably priced Italian food and served one of the best pizzas and little hot buttery garlic knots. My mom remembered Piccolos from her childhood in the 1940's and 1950's. They also had a really nice garden for outdoor eating when the weather wasn't so tropical

    You brought a tear to my eye, Im now 62, when I was a child we would travel to Miami beach every February during my school vacation, I remember this place and the garlic knots you talk about, they were to die for. Im going back to the the middle 50's I was just a child but remember this place dearly, we would eat there at least two or three times while on vacation. Those were the days. I also remember another restaurant across the street from this one called the Red Devil, does anyone remember. Just a little funny story, Im sure you all remember parrot jungle back in those days, you can still almost see the small scar where a parrot bit me LOL.

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    Full Member zippyjet's Avatar
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    Tony:
    Isn't it amazing what we remember from our childhoods? Picciolos was alive and well at least through 1980 as I mentioned at the beginning of this thread. Their pizza was to die for too. Picciolos added a large addition around 1968. However the area to sit was the original dining room. Eating in the garden would have probably been cool but, we always were in Miami Beach during the late Spring or Summer months. My mom in her youth ate in the garden. As I also mentioned, I spelled the restaurant's name wrong omitting the I after the double C. I discovered this by accident. Go figure. As I also mentioned, this gentleman I met at work claims they wanted to reopen the restaurant but, were looking for the optimal location. However, this was before I discovered my spelling area. BTW, the address/location of the restaurant was 136 Collins Ave. When I make my annual visit in August, I'll try to drive by and take pictures of this location. If only Picciolos had survived today. Imagine how it would be thriving. Right in the heart of So Be. I could imagine many hottie rail thin models doing shoots and celebrities chomping on those garlic knots. If only!

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    I didn't realize they were around through the 80's, wonder if the business just slowed down. With so much building going on I wonder if the land was worth more then the business. Im sure I would not recognize Miami anymore compared to what it was back in the 50's.

    I remember the NEW Fontainebleau, it was in it's day one hell of a Hotel. Then the TV show Surf Side Six, when I first saw it in person I said; This is it LOL.

    In those days Miami was a Very popular American destination, Im sure it's now much different. I remember walking the Avenue at night and it being wall to wall crowds. Wolfies was crowded even back then LOL. I also remember Lincoln road befor they closed it to traffic.

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    Default Re: Piccolos Restaurant

    My family were friends with Sam and Dorothy Piccolo. There were three or four brothers. I went to St. Patrick's school with the youngest Dennis. The brothers ran the restaurant for years after Sam and Dorothy were gone. I move from the area in 1980, so I don't know what happened after that. We enjoyed many a good meal there. Outside was the most fun for the kids. The garlic knots were good. But the fresh bread stick hot from the oven the best!!! After school all the kids used to go to the back door of the kitchen and they would give us the bread stick for a snack. Great marketing. We begged our parents to go to diner for diner as often as we could.

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    Default Re: Piccolos Restaurant

    I was raised on Miami Beach, graduating from Beach High Class of 1964. Miami Beach was a magical place to grow up. Safe, clean, no crime, no graffiti, everyone friendly. I remember Picciolo's as a very special place to eat. Our family would always sit outside in the garden dining area, and we all had to grab our plates, napkins and utensils and run inside often as it rained a lot in those days! Then you had to remember where your table was when you came back outside!

    The food at Picciolo's was outstanding! Sorry, I don't know when or why they closed but it usually is because the original founders (Sam and Dorothy in this case) want to retire and nobody else in the family wants to take over or keep the business running.

    I moved from the Beach in 1965 after graduating High School. I also remember very well Sonny's Pizza, Submarine Sam's, Wolfie's, Famous, and Hoffman's Cafeteria on the Beach, and Shorty's Barbeque in South Miami, Miss Lillian Lee's Shrimp Place near the old Miami Stadium, and George's Chicken house. Anybody else remember these?

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    Shorty's is still there, looking the same as it always has, except I think they changed some of the recipes because it used to taste better.

    But it's still good. I get the craving for that every once in a while and head down there.

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    Senior Member GandJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Piccolos Restaurant

    Quote Originally Posted by zippyjet View Post
    Way back in the day before South Beach reinvented itself there was a cool Italian restaurant at the very end of South Beach called Piccolos. I remember eating there last in 1980. Sadly it closed. Anyone know the story of this eatery? And, when it actually closed? Several months ago I met a gentleman who works for the city of Miami Beach. He remembered Piccolos restaurant. He told me they are going to reopen in the near future but, are unsure of a location. Anyone have any information on this? Piccolos for those of you who don't remember it had excellent reasonably priced Italian food and served one of the best pizzas and little hot buttery garlic knots. My mom remembered Piccolos from her childhood in the 1940's and 1950's. They also had a really nice garden for outdoor eating when the weather wasn't so tropical.


    Picciolo's eventually became the location of the Opium Garden and Prive night clubs. They are now closed, too, but those were some of the better night clubs compared to today's offerings. The Opium Garden even incorporated a nice outdoor garden section within its club. Perhaps this was Picciolo's nice outdoor garden area you referred to earlier.

    Glenn

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    Junior Member 2zippyjet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Piccolos Restaurant

    Glenn, I'd rather have Picciolos. There are plenty of clubs that are here today, gone tommorrow, Do you remember the year Picciolos actually closed? As I mentioned I last ate there in 1980.

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    rk
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    Interesting discussion. I never ate there, though it sounds like the type of place I would have liked. As usual, the county records provide a partial answer. They show various tax liens being placed by both the IRS and by Florida between 1981 and 1983. The property was finally sold to the present owners in Sep. 1986 for $350,000. I would guess the restaurant probably closed sometime in 1982 or 1983. It is no coicidence that this was the period right after the Mariel boatlift, when south beach in general and south pointe in particular went into a steep decline.

    Here's a picture of what's there now (actually picture is from last year). You can get a better picture by using birdseye view at Bing maps (http://www.bing.com/maps/)

    Name:  Collins-136.jpg
Views: 1667
Size:  74.9 KB

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    Senior Member GandJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Piccolos Restaurant

    Quote Originally Posted by 2zippyjet View Post
    Glenn, I'd rather have Picciolos. There are plenty of clubs that are here today, gone tommorrow, Do you remember the year Picciolos actually closed? As I mentioned I last ate there in 1980.


    2zippyjet -

    I fully agree. It would be better to have Picciolos. I was just letting people know the location Piccciolos was located. Many here knew Opium Garden, but few would have known Picciolos location.

    Glenn

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    Travel Advisor fredgarvin's Avatar
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    Unhappy gotta take issue with you on this one rk.....

    Quote Originally Posted by rk View Post
    ....... (actually picture is from last year)..... Bing maps (Bing Maps - driving and transit directions, routes, traffic conditions)

    Name:  Collins-136.jpg
Views: 1667
Size:  74.9 KB
    As you know from your perch on the top of the Apogee, or your weekend digs at the Continuum, the South Pointe Park renovation was 'finished' before 2010 (last year). The 'birdseye' picture shows the park half finished. Heck, even your exclusive Apogee residence looks as if it were added. So FOR SURE the picture is before January 2010 (last year).

    Sorry

  20. #20
    Junior Member 2zippyjet's Avatar
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    I would guess the restaurant probably closed sometime in 1982 or 1983. It is no coicidence that this was the period right after the Mariel boatlift, when south beach in general and south pointe in particular went into a steep decline.




    And lets not forget the Spring 1980 riots. In reality, South Beach and for that matter Miami Beach hit a rapid decline from approx. 1971 till the middle 80's (Miami Vice Area). I remember my two last trips to M.B. during that era 1976 and 1980. Me and my 2 friends during spring break (1976) walked around Lincoln Mall and for old time sake I dragged them into the Shelborne. What an experience. I remember the lobby virtually the same as it was back in 1963 when we stayed there on a family trip. The in the wall aquariums were gone and, the bellmen carts were done in a tacky worn blue shag carpet. We had a drink in what was then called "The Shellbar." And, on the jukebox Glenn Campbell bleated out "I'm a Rhinestone Cowboy." What are now the classic boutique hotels on the even numbered side of Collins still were the original layouts with the last of the geriatric generation sitting on their porches waiting for the grim reaper.

    In 1980, Lincoln Mall was a ghost town. My aunt and uncle told me it was even worse in 1985 when most of the businesses in the outdoor mall were down and out video game arcades. The trams were gone.
    The beach overall was eroded to the point of no beach in many places. We stayed at the Marco Polo where the ocean pounded against the seawall and you had to enter the sliver of beach by a rickety stairway at the neighbor the dumpy Chateau which is now the public access for Sunny Isles and much prettier. The only saving grace was the fact, that all the great food places Picciolos, Wolfies, Rascal House, Corky's (Inland near the Golden Glades Interchange) and the Newport Pub were in their twilight days. Motel row still was there (Sunny Isles) but, the writing was on the wall. Regarding Picciolos, if only they could have held on for another two to five years, they would probably be thriving today and be a popular attraction and get rave reviews here on our forums. I guess that old addage time waits for no one really was true.
    As with old Atlantic City if I could go back in Mr. Peabodies or the Back to the Future time machine, I'd"
    1. spend a night in each old hotel and motel
    2. eat at each of those old classics and get wasted and make a full of myself all in good fun at the kitschy Luau.
    3. If only the Luau could have survived into the period when Ultralounge was the thing of the day!

    4. And, I would have begged, borrowed and stole to get my ham hands on old South Beach property.



    And, while we are on funky classic restaurants: Check out Les Violins Supper Club
    When we were kids, my parents took us there for my birthday and we saw a kitschy show where a Kirstie Alli/"Precious" sized woman with a turban of fruit ran off the stage to interact with the diners/audience and she embraced me with her Jamon Manos which make me laugh and scared the shit out of my little sister. My mom was ROTFL as my sister was freaking out. My dad had the honors of calming my sister down.

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