Old Miami Restaurant Buildings

Over the years, I’ve accumulated more knowledge of old Miami restaurants than I probably care to admit. I also like to investigate a building’s history and determine if there are any more like it left around town.

Unfortunately, Miami isn’t known for preserving its history, so sometimes, you will need to dig deeper for information. It also helps to have friends like Abel Sanchez, Mike Hiscano, Phillip Pessar, and Gretchen Schmidt, who have answers when I’ve got a question.

Sometimes, only a one-off building is still standing. But if you’re paying attention, it will open up a new world for you while driving around town.

I’m hoping to make this a recurring series, hence the Part 1 in the title. So, if you enjoyed this little slice of Miami restaurant education, I’d appreciate it if you could share this post with your friends.


P.S.: You might want to try your hand at the Miami Burger Quiz.

Also, check out Old Miami Restaurant Buildings Part 2!

Old Miami Restaurant Buildings Part 1
Old Miami Restaurant Buildings

Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips

A stand-alone Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips has not been in South Florida for decades. The original Arthur Treacher’s expansion into Miami during the early 1970s included five restaurants.

Three of these locations are still standing, albeit with slight structural changes. If Arthur Treacher’s sounds familiar to you, it might be that you’ve seen their fish & chips on the Miami Subs Grill menu.

Arthur Treacher's ad in the Miami Herald November 26, 1971
Arthur Treacher’s ad in the Miami Herald – November 26th, 1971

Leo’s Pizza

Leo's Pizza, picture courtesy of Google Maps
Arthur Treacher’sLeo’s Pizza

Leo’s Pizza
6720 Coral Way
Miami, FL
(305) 661-4281

Pierre’s Caribbean Restaurant

Arthur Treacher's - Pierre's Caribbean Restaurant, picture courtesy of Google Maps
Arthur Treacher’sPierre’s Caribbean Restaurant

Pierre’s Caribbean Restaurant
11105 NW 7th Avenue
Miami, FL
(305) 418-0982

Steve’s Pizza

Steve's Pizza in North Miami, Florida
Arthur Treacher’sSteve’s Pizza

Steve’s Pizza
12101 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, FL
(305) 891-0202

Burger King

Burger King was founded as Insta Burger King way back in 1953. In 1954, it was franchised to a couple of fellas from Miami franchised the brand in Miami.

James McLamore and David Edgerton would eventually take over the company and shorten the name to Burger King. The second BK location in Miami was open from 1955 to the early 1970s.

The space would become Polaris (aka Aqui Me Quedo) in 1979, then La Palma, and now Las Viñas BBQ.

Burger King #2 in Miami, now La Palma restaurant
Burger King #2 in the 1950s

Las Viñas BBQ

Las Viñas BBQ is replacing La Palma in West Miami, Florida
Burger KingLas Viñas BBQ transitioning from La Palma

Las Viñas BBQ
6091 SW 8th Street
West Miami, FL
(305) 694-2040

Dairy Queen

In early 1964, Dairy Queen switched traditional buildings to three-story high tee types. However, their location on US1, which was the one that still operated out of these, recently closed.

But there is a former teepee structure on Bird Road, and it’s not an old IHOP like some people think.

Dairy Queen on US1
Dairy Queen at 8545 S Dixie Highway (Now Closed)

Bird Road Car Accessories

Bird Road Car Accessories, picture courtesy of Rodrigo Moreno
Dairy QueenBird Road Car Accessories, picture courtesy of Rodrigo Moreno

Bird Road Car Accessories
9000 SW 40th Street
Miami, FL
(305) 960-7457

Cool Property Fact

Many folks don’t realize that one of Miami’s landmark restaurants, Arbetter Hot Dogs, ran a drive-in with carhops at this location in 1963 before permanently moving to their current digs down the street in 1971.

Dinner Maid

Dinner Maid was a well-known chicken & seafood chain in Miami during the 1960s. There was even pizza on the menu at some point.

All restaurant locations were in a farmhouse-type property building. You can easily spot these around Miami since they do stand out.

In the early 1970s, after Dinner Maid shut down operations, many became Lelly’s Drive-In Photos. Lelly’s was last seen open in 1982.

Dinner Maid - The Miami News January 17, 1967
Dinner Maid in The Miami News – January 17th, 1967
Dinner Maid ad in the Miami News April 12, 1964
Dinner Maid ad in the Miami News – April 12th, 1964

Botanica El Viejo Lazaro

Dinner Maid-Botanica, picture courtesy of Phillip Pessar
Dinner MaidBotanica, picture courtesy of Phillip Pessar

Botanica El Viejo Lazaro
5800 W Flagler Street
Miami, FL
(305) 269-0045

Ping House

Dinner Maid-Ping House, picture courtesy of Google Maps
Dinner MaidPing House

Dinner Maid
5315 NW 36th Street
Miami Springs, FL
(305) 871-6144

CFA Design Group

CFA Design Group in Miami, Florida
Dinner MaidCFA Design Group in Miami, Florida
Dinner Maid-Subway, picture courtesy of Phillip Pessar
This location was a Subway for many years, picture courtesy of Phillip Pessar

CFA Design Group
7379 SW 40th St
Miami, FL
(305) 492-2845

Dobbs House, then Steak ‘N Egg Kitchen

It can get a little confusing when discussing Dobbs House, Steak ‘N Egg Kitchen, and Toddle House. So we’ll stick to Dobbs House locations that became Steak ‘N Egg Kitchen.

Dobbs House was probably best known for being the restaurant found in the Miami International Airport for years and years. On December 6th, 1974, the Miami News announced that Toddle House had become Steak ‘N Egg Kitchen.

Dobbs Houses ad - September 16th, 1963
Dobbs Houses ad – September 16th, 1963


Dobbs House-Sakura, picture courtesy of Phillip Pessar
Dobbs HouseSakura Sushi Bar, picture courtesy of Phillip Pessar

Sakura Sushi Bar
1180 SW 57th Avenue
West Miami, FL
(786) 254-7931

Tinta y Cafe

Dobbs House-Tinta y Cafe, picture courtesy of Phillip Pessar
Dobbs House – Tinta y Cafe under construction, picture courtesy of Phillip Pessar

Tinta y Cafe
1315 Ponce de Leon
Coral Gables, FL
(305) 285-0101


DOBBS House - Chez Madame Johns
Dobbs HouseChez Madame Johns (Now Closed), picture courtesy of Phillip Pessar

975 NE 125th Street
North Miami, FL 33161


Former DOBBS House - Empty
Dobbs House – Vacant Property

521 NW 103rd Street
Miami, FL

My dad worked for Wise Potato Chips in the early 1980s, and Dobbs House was part of his route. It was long after the Steak ‘N Egg and Todd House years.

9 thoughts on “Old Miami Restaurant Buildings”

  1. Congrats, as always, Burger Beast, for your great work! Many thanks for sharing all this wonderful history, photographs, and knowledge.

    I have been searching for a while any photographs, location and information related to a restaurant that my father used to go to when he arrived from Cuba in 1962. He was making ends meet and recalls, while walking towards the Freedom Tower, having lunch in a restaurant called “Restaurante Camagüey”, which was owned by Alipio Garcia… who in Havana had owned (in 1956) the iconic cabaret “Ali Bar”, where Benny More often sang (once doing a duet with Mexican actress Maria Felix) — and where Ernest Hemingway would go to enjoy live Cuban music.

    The list is long of other 1950s singers who performed at the Ali Bar (Orlando Vallejo, Roberto Faz, Orlando Contreras, Ñico Membiela, Blanca Rosa Gil, Reinaldo Hierrezuelo, and Celeste Mendoza).

    Once exiled in Miami, Alipio opened this “Camagüey” restaurant. From my dad’s recollection (he’s almost 88 y/o but with great memory), he mentioned it was located on SW 8th Street and perhaps 6,7, 8 Avenue. Again, we are talking almost 62 years ago, but perhaps this might ring a bell and you might have something in your marvelous archives, or that of your collaborators?

    Many thanks and keep up the amazing work!

  2. what was the history of les violins a super club my dad frequently took us there ,I celebrated my 15 th birthday there.Wonder about it’s history .

  3. I remember Polaris well. They were open late night and we’d go eat platillos voladores after an open house or Quinces (with the obligatory chaperona)!

  4. I love this article and can’t wait for Part Two.
    I lived next door to Arthur Treacher’s on Coral Way when they built it. At closing time, they would give my girlfriend & I all the cooked fish not sold. Pretty cool for two 20 year old MDCC-S students.
    La Palma was a great late-nite spot to hit after a late night at Tobacco Road, but I was going there when they opened it. Before they built a screened-in patio (AC came later), you could eat in the sweltering heat at a table on the west side.
    The DQ on Dixie is south of a car lot, but before that, there was an under-the-ground bar called Jason’s. The band I was managing, Off The Wall (or the Fat Chance Blues Band) was the house band. The owner of Jason’s wanted to put a big sign on the DQ roof, but the owner declined. So the owner of Jason’s (who also owned the Organ Grinder further south) bought the DQ. And put up his sign.


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