Two iconic Miami eating and drinking spots are closing in 2014, within months of each other.
Tobacco Road, the oldest bar in Miami, is leaving its location on South Miami Avenue after 101 years. Locally known for its live music (rhythm, blues and rock-n-roll), burgers and late night hours, this quintessential dive bar will have its last call on October 25th, 2014.
Miami’s Best Pizza on US-1, the first Little Caesar’s franchise in Florida and a high school and UM student hangout since 1970, is leaving its location sometime in November, 2014.
Both establishments are moving for financial reasons. The land where Tobacco Road is located was sold for 12.5 million. Miami’s Best Pizza’s rent was raised and other tenants were found to occupy the space.
While Tobacco Road employees, particularly operating manager Joell Rivera, have vowed to re-open at a different location, Miami’s Best Pizza’s future in Miami is undecided.
The family owned pizza joint, passed down from former UM football player “Big” Al Papich to his son Ray and business partner Charles Butler, may re-open at a different location, although that remains to be seen. Tobacco Road’s Rivera announced his intention to establish a Kickstarter campaign to raise $50,000 to relocate and reopen Tobacco Road, complete with it’s neon sign.
The Miami Dining Examiner has fond memories of eating pies and garlic rolls at Miami’s Best (then Little Caesars) after Christopher Columbus football games. In more recent years, it had become a gathering spot for celebrating family birthdays and ordering take-out.
While she had heard of Tobacco Road for a long time (and it is co-owned by a Christopher Columbus graduate), the Miami Dining Examiner was introduced to it in later years as a late night spot to grab a drink and listen to music. Bar food, such as fish dip, wings and BBQ, are available.
At Miami’s Best Pizza, the Miami Dining Examiner has detoured from the plain cheese and sausage pizza of her youth to their gourmet California Dreaming, with artichoke hearts, goat cheese and spinach. Whole wheat crust is also available.
The moral of this story? No good things last forever- even the iconic and beloved establishment patrons take for granted will always be around. So, if diners are craving pizza and salad or a $2 beer and award-winning burger, with a side of blues, Miami’s Best and Tobacco Road are open for one last call.