Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tobacco Road

Tobacco Road Wikipedia
In the early 1980s, I lived in Coral Gables. My first job out of college was managing a nearby restaurant. I didn't much care for the job, but Miami was something else for a small-town North Palm Beach girl. It was the "big" city, even bigger than West Palm Beach. There was always something interesting going on and something fun to do.

One of my favorite places was Tobacco Road (626 South Miami Avenue). This is the oldest bar in the city and I was told it had the distinction of holding Liquor License No. 1. It opened for the first time in November 1912 and despite going through several different names and owners, it's still going strong. I went there one New Years' Eve in the 1980s for a party. The music roared from the second floor. It was fabulous - the band and the venue.

Of course, Tobacco Road wouldn't be as interesting to me without the history. Backing up to the Miami River, Tobacco Road was a speakeasy during Prohibition and illegal hootch flowed on the second floor. At least, until the law showed up and shut them down from time to time. Probably as much for appearance sake as anything else.

The Miami River along which Tobacco Road sits is loaded with interesting sights for someone who enjoys local history. From the Miami Circle, which is all that remains of a Tequesta Indian village, to the location of a tent city under I-95 where Cuban Marielitos lived temporarily, there's plenty to see and hear. I'm looking forward to taking the
Miami River tour offered by The Historical Museum of South Florida. Next one is on April 7 and another on May 12. I'm collecting my pennies.

Copyright 2012 Ruth Hartman Berge

No comments:

Post a Comment