Sunday, July 22, 2007

Jimbo's Place- A Genuine, Original Florida Establishment

Jimbo's Place is one of the few old fish shacks left in Miami. It is located on Virginia Key at the entrance to Key Biscayne. James "Jimbo" Luznar opened his bait shop there in 1954 and is still going strong. Jimbo started selling beer and delicious smoked fish shortly thereafter and has been a preferred stop for boaters and beachgoers alike. As a kid, we would go to the beach on the little stretch of beach on the west side of the bridge and then cross over to the Virginia Key side to enjoy Jimbo's smoked fish for lunch. The Virginia Key side was the only beach set aside for the black community in the era of segregation. There were many old fish shacks like Jimbo's in those days, usually located near a popular beach location catering to hungry boaters and beachgoers, but today they are all gone and a distant memory to most old Miamians. Jimbo's is unique in that he offers a great old bocce ball court where visitors can engage in a game while sippin beer and munching on awesome smoked fish fillets! I always worry that sites like Virginia Key will eventually be "gentrified" out of existence. Fortunately, the black community is actively involved in preserving the area's history through the Virginia Key Beach Park Trust to oversee the development of the historic Park property. The Trust has been working diligently to restore and preserve this historical treasure. In August 2002, the site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and given a Florida Historical Marker. You can visit the Jimbo's PLace website at Better yet, get in your car an take a trip there. There is nothing better on a hot sultry weekend day than a visit to Jimbo's!

1 comment:

Spidey said...

I have been to Virginia Key a few times but have not seen Jimbo's Place. I will look for it next time, thanks!