Miami’s Tobacco Road Marks 100th Anniversary
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Tobacco Road has marked a milestone.
On Saturday, it celebrated its 100th year making it the oldest bar in Miami.
In this day and age, most bars only have a lifespan of a few years but Tobacco Road has managed to defy the odds.
“We have been here for a long time. It’s hard to say you can have an establishment for a hundred years that’s been sitting up here doing the same thing,” said manager Angel Lindquist.
Established in 1912, the bar and restaurant are primarily known as a blues cabaret. Over the years, however, it has been a gambling den, a strip joint, a blues bar and gay club.
The two-story structure remains virtually unchanged since its inception.
According to their website during it’s early years, the establishment was a bakery that presumably served as a front for a speakeasy during Prohibition. A secret room hidden behind a bookshelf on the second floor was used to store liquor.
In the early 1940s, according to the website, it was purchased by an infamous racketeer and bookie from New York who named it Tobacco Road. During this decade, the Road became a nationally known gay bar and the focus of local outrage. It was shut down by the city’s Morals Squad for “lewd, wanton and lascivious behavior” a charge that referred to its female impersonators and male strippers.
in 1981, Governor Bob Graham ordered a drug raid on Tobacco Road and the bar was again temporarily shut down. In 1982, the bar was sold to its present owners Michael Latterner and Patrick Gleber.