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  1. #21
    Member Scott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tere
    My friends L & K went on Sunday, their last day, for breakfast. Am waiting to hear their report!
    I've gotta believe that your friends L & K are the same L & K that I know. :) L wrote a great post describing their meal here.

    Also, here are a couple of photos I took while I was up at Rascal House about a month ago. Any place that serves butter like this has my seal of approval. :) But if you look at the backdrop of the Rascal House sign, it's not hard to see where things are heading up in Sunny Isles.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  2. #22
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    I was there last month for Jeff Pulver's Social Media Breakfast. Several of us, including K, ordered the famous Corned Beef Hash.

    I'm sorry to see Rascal House go, but the reality is this part of the beach isn't very old in terms of development. Miami Beach/Beaches have always been transient as far as moving things "forward" for economic purposes. If it hadn't been for the efforts of preservationists like Barbara Capitman, we wouldn't even have Art Deco row anymore. Can you imagine Ocean Drive without it?

  3. #23
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    Re:
    How do you feel about development vs. preservation?

    Ok, here we go...
    I think it is DISGUSTING what Trump & Co.have done to Sunny Isles.
    I think that the lack of caring about preservation by the politicians in Sunny Isles is shameful and that all these "people" are just money-hungry jerks!
    That said,
    I am 38 and from Chicago.I have visited Miami Beach at least twice a years ince I was 5 years old. My parents were "snowbirds" and I have memories of old Sunny Isles that will last forever. When visting the past 10 years or so, I have been becoming sadder and sadder while watching it's demise.

    I cried when Pumpernik's in Hallandale closed.
    I cried when my hotel, "The Colonial Inn" was torn down. ( I learned how to SWIM there as well as play pool and bingo as a kid)
    I was downright LIVID when I saw them wrecking Rascal House this past week. Seeing the awnnings being torn down just set in stone to me that nobody in power cares about the nostalgic and vital hitory of this town that has been all but forgotten.

    Whwn I visited last year, I went to talk to the city historian about the history behind a few of the hotels on the strip that were gone.
    He would not even take the time to help me.he gave me the phone number of the author of the book "From Sandbar To Sophistication" and had no knowlege whatsoever about anything to do with ownership of the hotels the years they were open, nor did he seem to CARE! Imagine the HISTORIAN NOT CARING!
    I was floored to say the least.
    Since then, I have basically let it go.
    On returning this year and seeing the last real part of Sunny Isles being destoyed because of lack of funds, lack of caring about years past, and lack of help from the town itself...( which seems to feel above everything now that they are incorporated ), I have decided not to go there anymore. there is nothing left.

    The 163rd street mall is a crack den.
    Collins Avenue is "yuppie city" mixed with the few remaining delapidated wrecks that are The Sahara and Castaways (I believe).
    The Sahara (now some form of condo and leasing company), is still open,and one of the condo owners let me see inside last year. it was as if time stopped. The lobby was as it was in the 80's. It is dark and empty and creepy. A bunch of elderly folks live there in the condo-converted motel rooms. How WEIRD!
    They do not want to seel the building to Trump & Co. and frankly, I don't blame them.
    But eventually, I am sure, they will be forced out and torn down. As will the Marco Polo, the Newport, and the few very run-down two story motels left in between that still rent the same rooms for triple the price.

    It is all so pathetic!

    The only place left from my childhood is Jaxons Ice Cream in Dania Beach on A1A and Sterling. if you want a great piece of history and to meet people who CARE about preservationofit, go there and ee this old-fashioned ice cream parlor and restaurant! it will be as near as I travel to Sunny Isles to eat anymore. That and Hollywood Beach.

    What I want to ask of this group is the following:

    Does anyone have any ownership history on the hotel "The Colonial Inn". ie: who owned it and when and who owned it when it was sold.
    Does anyone have any photos of the INTERIOR LOBBY or the BAR-STAGE-ENTERTAINMENT room from the 60's through the 80's as well.
    I have many postcards and outdoor photos but canno find any interiors.
    Please help!!

    Also, in relation to Miami and it's outskirts,I am looking for photos and info about the folowing defunct restaurants in the area that I used to go to: (again, any in depth history and personal photos would be appreciated):

    The Reef restaurant in Fort Lauderdale
    Pumpernik's in Hallandale (INTERIOR photos)
    The Seahorse restaurant (in Hollywood I believe)
    Kapok Tree Inn in Fort Lauderdale




    Anyhow, thanks to anyone who can help...
    Thanks for this list.
    I am very interested in conversing with anyone interested in the history of Sunny Isles and who may have a history of memories likeI do about it.

    Email me at qtpi1969@comcast.net or visit my blog.

    Shelly K. in Chicago

  4. #24
    Full Member zippyjet's Avatar
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    I cried when Pumpernik's in Hallandale closed.
    We have a lot to talk about! You must be a long lost relative. So much, so similar! Believe it or not, Pumperniks had a several locations back in the 60s. One was on Collins Ave. mid beach!

    I cried when my hotel, “The Colonial Inn” was torn down. ( I learned how to SWIM there as well as play pool and bingo as a kid)
    Between my family and my first cousin's family we've graced the venerable Colonial Inn at least three times!!

    I was downright LIVID when I saw them wrecking Rascal House this past week. Seeing the awnings being torn down just set in stone to me that nobody in power cares about the nostalgic and vital history of this town that has been all but forgotten.
    I literally had kittens when I first heard talk about the Rascal House closing. Originally talk was the deli from heaven known for it's appiteasers was not supposed to close until 2009 at the earliest. Sad to say it's now a done deal.

    When I visited last year, I went to talk to the city historian about the history behind a few of the hotels on the strip that were gone.
    He would not even take the time to help me.he gave me the phone number of the author of the book “From Sandbar To Sophistication” and had no knowledge whatsoever about anything to do with ownership of the hotels the years they were open, nor did he seem to CARE! Imagine the HISTORIAN NOT CARING!
    Welcome to the 21st. Century. Your best sources for history about our favorite resort town can be found in the forums here at Miami Beach 411. Follow Maria's posts. I get the impression she is one of the good guys/gals. A lot of others on this site deserve honorable mention and thanks. You may want to Google writers Edna Buchanan (not sure of spelling) and Arthur Harris. Artie is an old friend from my youth. I grew up and still live in Baltimore, Md. I've heard the Miami Beach public library has some good stuff. Have not had a chance to check it out.
    Some other things:
    1. Jaxons in Dania: you made my day. I'm pleasantly surprised it's alive and well for now!
    2. Castaways has been long gone. The Castaways was wiped off A1A at least during the early 90's, probably earlier. I, my sister and cousin visited the Wrek Bar back in June of 1980 and the writing was on the wall. The Castaways looked like a dump inside. The owners were letting it fall apart. The old dorms at the University of Maryland at College Park were in better shape and that's scary!.
    3. I saw the camel at the Sahara but I thought it was closed. Me and two friends two years ago were almost wasted enough to take a picture of me humping that camel but, area was too crowded. Interesting side note: My cousins on my dad's side said back in the late 50's they were looking for a motel in Sunny Isles and checked out the Sahara. Let's just say that at least back then minorities were persona non Grata. (Jews not welcome at the Sahara!)
    4. Newport and Marco Polo hang on they are time share condo/hotels. I believe the Newport Pub restaurant bit the dust back in the 90's not sure though.

    5. The Monaco is the loss leader in Sunny Isles. Owned and operated by the Dezer empire along with my current go to hotel the Thunderbird and the awful dilapidated Dezerland Hotel; are the last vestiges of Sunny Isles the way we remember it. Dezerland of course borders Bal Harbor.
    6. The only silver lining to what is now Sunny Isles is the public access south of the Marco Polo. This beautiful park space used to house the Bates Motel looking Chateau and Waikiki. No loss over those two.

    I'll e-mail with more specific Colonial Inn information! Keep submitting threads and posts. All of us who remember the past should share it with the Miami Beach of today. And there are a lot of things POSITIVE ABOUT MIAMI BEACH NOW!

  5. #25
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    QTP:

    I understand your nostalgia and heartbreak over good things gone. It's a tough call in a town where a tourism and seasonal resident economy reigns supreme. Luckily, South Beach had the visionary efforts of preservationists; Sunny Isles, not so much (or not at all!) ... the same cannot be said of Biscayne Boulevard. There is a preservation group there trying to keep MiMo architecture alive as the area develops (positively so) from a crackwhore/crime hood to a revitalized community.

    When Rascal House closed, I read three different articles about why the owners decided to close. The reality is that the older generations are dying out and tastes have changed. I never got the impression that the Epicure family wanted to close the restaurant.

    It's too bad that Sunny Isles doesn't have preservationists like the ones on the Biscayne Corridor. Those old motels could be updated into classy, chic places, while keeping the old facades ... they could be funky, cool and a bonus attraction because of their uniqueness.

    All those hotels were part of a major tourism boom after WW2 when these beach side communities wanted to attract low to middle income families to the area. This of course has changed over time. Beach side communities have by necessity to constantly evolve to keep a thriving economy. The Historical Museum of South Florida did a wonderful exhibit about this. I wrote about it here.

    The book you referred to is by Seth Bramson. I have interviewed him but unfortunately my notes are not with me right now. I strongly suggest you pick up the book From Sandbar to Sophistication: The Story of Sunny Isles Beach. Mr. Bramson has superb knowledge of local history. It's one of his great passions.

    Zippyjet

    You are too kind! Thanks for the vote of confidence. :) Everyone's participation here is extremely valuable. I'd love it if you'd share your information about The Colonial Inn here as well. Thank you!

  6. #26
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    Thank you Zippy and Maria for the wonderful welcome.
    I actually wrote that long diatribe in my hotel on the way home driving from Florida to Chicago.
    These days I stay in Pompano beach when i go down there...a lovely hotel called Ronny Dee on Ocean Dr. a few blocks south of Atlantic.
    Although I do not KNOW it as well as I knew Sunny isles, having practically grown up during summer and fall there, it is a nice, relatively quiet area to stay, with a height limit on buildings...thank GOD!
    LOL!
    I am going to start a thread about Colonial Inn and perhaps people will pop in a share.

    I am going to post a bunch of photos from my various trips to Sunny isles through the years. Let me know what you think.

    Also, Maria, I have read (and own) "From Sandbar to Sophistication". However, it did not include ownership and background info on the motels I wanted to know about.
    I have the Seth's phone number and was going to call him about more info, but then i figured that he would have included more if he had it.
    if you speak more with him, ask him where I could find out more about ownership history of the Colonial, The Heathwood and others like that...the more unknown motels.

    Ok, I am going off to post a thread about the Colonial Inn and share my photos.

    Zippy, PLEASE email me offlist...you may also be the sibling I never had!!!
    qtpi1969@comcast.net

    Shelly

  7. #27
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hi Shelly!

    Did Seth publish ownership info on some hotels and not others? Just curious. You'd think a city would keep ownership records of businesses over the years ... I look forward to your new post!

    A friend of mine lived in Pompano Beach for a few years. I really loved the beach up there; we'd always go by the lighthouse. It was so peaceful and pretty. It felt like "old" Florida (old in a good way). Those were great days for me ... I'd go ice skating in the morning and to the beach in the afternoon!

  8. #28
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    I lived in Aventura for 15 years and miss it dearly. I relocated to Georgia for a job. Last year, I was on vacation in Miami and was terribly depressed by the demise of Sunnyisles. It was also the last time I ate at the Rascal House. We stayed at the Thunderbird and it's very run down. I remember how beautiful that place looked back in the 60s.

    Way back then, Miami Beach was designed for the middle class. In 1980 I was working as a secretary in New York and earning $16,000 a year. That summer I stayed at the Fontainbleau and had no trouble affording it. What in the world has happened?

    Last summer (2007), formerly dilapidated places in South Beach which I would never have considered staying at in 1980 were running over $150 a night. One of my favorite hotels, the DiLido, had been turned into the Ritz Carleton. Is Miami Beach exclusively for the rich now?

    It seems that nobody wants to say anything on the news about the runaway inflation, except maybe about gas and food prices. If unemployment were higher, I'd say we were in a depression.

  9. #29
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    Hey Shelly K in Chicago: I'm a Colonial Inn girl too!! Also learned how to swim there, entered the swimming contests and received my littel trophies (I still have some of them), visited the tiny gift shop near the elevator, played pinball, also took the elevator to the spooky 4th floor. It was a wonderful place and my family went there in July/August from 1959-1967, 1969 and 1971.

  10. #30
    Full Member zippyjet's Avatar
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    author="AmyLou" date="1239584047"]Hey Shelly K in Chicago: I'm a Colonial Inn girl too!! Also learned how to swim there, entered the swimming contests and received my littel trophies (I still have some of them), visited the tiny gift shop near the elevator, played pinball, also took the elevator to the spooky 4th floor. It was a wonderful place and my family went there in July/August from 1959-1967, 1969 and 1971.
    I believe on the "spooky Th. floor" was some kind of health club for men I believe with Turkish baths and same sex rubdowns (massage). This was closed during the summer months and I guess only was open for men to schvits and get rubdowns during the winter and spring seasons.

  11. #31
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Arnie and Richie's deli also closed! It's now a Roasters and Toasters.

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