Do You Remember Any of These Miami Burger Joints?

In my constant search to uncover South Florida burger and restaurant history, I found that these locations are barely mentioned. These five forgotten Miami burger joints have disappeared without a trace. I’ll hear about Royal Castle during its golden age or Burger King in its early days, but never about any of these spots.

I need to thank my friend and fellow food historian Phillip Pessar for his help in tracking down addresses and years for some of these. When I would reach a dead-end in my investigation, Phillip jumped in with a helping hand.

Do You Remember Any Of These Miami Burger Joints?

Broadway Joe’s

Broadway Joes pic by Lynn Pelham of Life Magazine
Broadway Joe’s pic by Lynn Pelham of Life Magazine

Broadway Joe’s is the namesake restaurant for football hero Joe Namath. The restaurant featured hamburger and roast beef sandwiches, as you can see in the picture below.

Broadway Joes pic by Lynn Pelham of Life Magazine
Broadway Joe’s count pic by Lynn Pelham of Life Magazine

Broadway Joe’s opened in January of 1969 at 2415 Ponce de Leon Boulevard in Coral Gables. By May 1970, there were 11 locations in Florida, New York, and Texas, with three of them being franchises.

Miami News - Sept. 30, 1970
Miami News – September 30th, 1970

Joe Namath left the company in December 1970, and not long after that, Broadway Joe’s was gone.


Champburger in Coconut Grove, Florida
ChampBurger picture courtesy of KrinklGlas

Muhammad Ali had a burger joint? You better believe it.

ChampBurger was a chain of black-owned-and-operated Champburger Palaces in black neighborhoods. The two ChampBurger locations were at 3268 Grand Avenue in Coconut Grove and 6155 NW 17th Avenue.

Muhammad Ali outside ChampBurger
Muhammad Ali outside ChampBurger picture courtesy of KrinklGlas

Travel Culinary had done a great job of explaining what happened:

To support his family, he, among other activities, signed a restaurant franchise deal that netted him $900,000 from the Champburger Company for the use of his name and image and a 1% royalties on the company’s annual profits.

In 1968, Champburger stock sold for $5 a share. The licensing contract he signed with Champburger stipulated that all franchise menus sell Muslim friendly food without pork or shellfish.

Thus, in addition to the all-beef Champburger, franchises would sell all beef hot dogs, fried chicken, fried fish, boiled fish, other food products and soft drinks including his own endorsed Mr. Champ soda.

The franchise never made out of Miami as the company never gained enough investors and got bogged down in a lengthy and expensive court case with stockholders.
Muhammad Ali's Mr. Champ's Soda
Muhammad Ali Mr. Champ’s Sodas

Hot Shoppes

Hot Shoppes Restaurant Ad
Hot Shoppes Ad

Most folks nowadays know Marriott for its hotel chain, but in 1927, J. Willard Marriott opened a nine-stool root beer stand that became the Hot Shoppes restaurant chain. I tracked down the addresses for these three Miami locations via an ad: 950 N Miami Beach Boulevard, 7900 SW 104th Street, and 3500 S. Dixie Highway.

Hot Shoppes South Florida Ad
Hot Shoppes Ad

Hot Shoppes had arrived in Miami a year and a half before the April 1973 Miami News article above. While I’m unsure how long they lasted, on December 2nd, Marriott closed down the last of the Hot Shoppes restaurants.

Hot Shoppes from The Miami News - April 7th, 1963
The Miami News – April 7th, 1963

If you’re still longing for the days of Hot Shoppes and their popular dishes like the Mighty Mo Burger and Sauce, you might want to pick up the Marriott Hot Shoppes Cookbook. The book is selling at a reasonable price on Amazon or eBay, considering it was released in 1987.

Hot Shoppes Cookbook
Hot Shoppes Cookbook

Jahn’s Ice Cream Parlour & Restaurant

Jahn’s Ice Cream Parlour was an old-fashioned ice cream parlor chain that began in New York. Their signature dessert was the huge Kitchen Sink Sundae. Jahn’s had two South Florida locations249 Miracle Mile in Coral Gables and 17262 Collins Avenue in North Miami Beach.

At least one Jahn’s Ice Cream Parlour still operates in New York at Jackson Heights, Queens, if you still need that fix. A few years back, when I was in New York, I stumbled across the last Jahn’s restaurant and enjoyed a cheeseburger there.

BBQ Cheeseburger from Jahn's Ice Cream Parlour in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York
Jahn’s BBQ Cheeseburger

I’m not sure exactly when the first Jahn’s Ice Cream Parlour location opened in South Florida, but it was in the Bronx in 1897. By the 1950s, it had spread to other parts of New York, New Jersey, and the two South Florida locations.


TropiBurger picture courtesy of Pete Rodriguez
TropiBurger in Little Havana picture courtesy of Pete Rodriguez

I don’t know much about TropiBurger, which had one drive-in location in Little Havana at 1340 SW 8th Street. My best guess is they were around only about six months, from August 1965 to January 1966.

TropiBurger Ad in the Miami Herald 8-8-65
TropiBurger mention in the Miami Herald 8-8-65

I do know it didn’t work out for them in Miami. So they opened in Venezuela, where they had a great run with multiple locations.

picture courtesy of Pete Rodriguez
TropiBurger restaurant picture courtesy of Pete Rodriguez

In February 1997, all of the 32 TropiBurger locations in Venezuela became Wendy’s restaurants. Then, like Keyser Söze, they were gone.

Coupon picture courtesy of Pete Rodriguez
TropiBurger Coupon picture courtesy of Pete Rodriguez

Or are they? TropiBurger.

So there you have it, old-school Miami burger fans. Do you remember any of these? Will you help keep their memories alive?

10 thoughts on “Do You Remember Any of These Miami Burger Joints?”

  1. Hello from Sweden here.

    I am also a big fan of old long gone burger chains and burger places.

    Here in Sweden one such was Clock burgers. They co-existed with McDonalds. But Clock disappeared sometime around 1990s. I googled and there is one single burger place in Sweden named Clock, that opened some years ago. It’s far away from my location, but I will sure try them if I ever go there 🙂

    Anyway cool and interesting facts about five of US hamburger joints history.

  2. My grandfather, Joaquin Rodriguez, was business partners with John French who owned the chain Tropiburger. They had the original restaurant in Habana, Cuba before the revolution. My father used to work at the one in Habana as a kid. My grandfather and his business partner who owned the chain used to also drink at the bar frequented by Hemingway. How quickly time flies.

  3. There was one Champ Burger in Ft Lauderdale on Sistrunk Blvd. The building still exists but it’s currently vacant.


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