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Michael Roperr
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2001 - 2:29 am:   

There are certainly 4 very separate identities to 3130 Cass Avenue.

1. The Miami Lounge- In the 40's and 50's this was a very classy joint. There used to be a few new car dealerships along the corridor and from what I heard The Miami is where a lot of the salesmen hung out. I have a photo taken in front in 1949 with the Budwieser Clydesdales. It was a nice looking place.

2. Ken's Lounge- Sometime in the 60's The Miami became Kens Lounge,not a classy or a nice place.
The back room that later became the music area was originally a house. When Cass became commercial,a
storefront was built onto the front. Many other
corridor buildings were like this, including HoHo's on 2nd. Anyway, the house part burned down.
The ruble was dumped into the basement and a flat roof was put on top of the surviving exterior walls. This was a separate space and at one time a machine shop operated there. Most likely from the 50s on it was vacant.
Ken was a very sleezy guy and his bar attracted a bad crowd. Many of the people who hung out at The West Detroiter on Woodward and The Golden Ducat on 3rd were also regulars there. There were several violent murders in Ken's. When I went in to check it out in 1976 to see what I might be in for the barmaids were turning tricks on mattresses
layed out on the old machine shop floor in back. While I was there a pimp came in and dragged one of the girls out from behind the bar and beat her up,much to the delight of the crowd.
We bought it anyway.

3. The New Miami- As I mentioned in an earlier posting, I learned that Ken's was called The Miami in better days and thought The New Miami would be a cool name. We closed for three months and gutted the place. Tom Ford, Keith Schiller and others did a lot of the work. Kieth had used some barn like wood to cover a section of the wall at Alvin's and I thought it would work in front part of the bar. Not knowing of a lot of barns near by, I went down near the Detroit Harbor Terminals and laying around in vacant lots down there were hundreds of huge shipping crates for shipping steel in from Europe. That January, with crobar in hand I filled a couple truckloads of Swedish Steel Crate wall covering for the bar.
We opened with Shadowfax In February of 77. We had a great time for awhilebut the neighborhood was changing and business was not always great.
Many of the apartment buildings around us including some nice ones like the Coronado on Selden and Cass burned down. However there was always the music. Cindy Laverty, John Kearny ,Bill Landlis, Dave Chambers and Willy Vreeland had a great band, The Vibes. The bluegrass band Harlin County, The Lords, The Rockabilly Cats, Bobby McDonald, Mitch Ryder,Steve Nardella with the great Mr. B on piano and George Bedard on guitar, Sonic's Rendevue,Wayne Kramer, Destroy All Monsters,of coarse all the variations of Shadowfax,and many many others. Like Cobb's we had a tight group of regulars. Toward the end I was largely absent while woking nights at Chevrolet Detroit Gear and Axel.In February of 80 a group of losers who we had trouble with over the years poured gas into the exhaust fan opening and lit it on fire. Underinsured and lacking any sort of cash reserve,that was the end of The New Miami. Ken exercised his option and took the bar back.

4. The Old Miami- After remaining vacant for some time, Dan Overstreet fixed up and reopened the bar
It was over 10 years befor I ever set foot in the bar again,so this is an era for others to decribe.

PS. I do have a few photos. They will come in the future.

Mike Roper
Bob Lueck
Posted on Saturday, March 30, 2002 - 1:51 am:   


One interesting night at the New Miami,with Mitch Ryder playing, Rob Tyner, Patti Smith, Mark (the bird) Fydrich, and Dwayne X Riley were sitting at the same table. Where else would THAT happen?

Posted on Monday, November 18, 2002 - 5:18 pm:   

I see there's a pic of Steve Morris featured on the page of the Old Miami Tribe. It should probably be noted that he passed away this year, 2002, especially since it was premature and he was a popular figure there. Also, someone should ask Julie for a photo of Baretta (sp). There can't be a discussion about the Old Miami that doesn't involve that lovable curmudgeon. Hell, he even dropped dead in there!
Stephen Goodfellow
Posted on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 12:39 am:   

Hi Suzanne,

I'm shocked! I only met him the one time when I took the photograph, but he seemed so young. Really personable fellow. What was the cause of death?
I've placed him in the corridortribe obit file:
...but would really love to have some more info if you could send it to me.
Also, do you want to use your full name?
Mary Harrison
Posted on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 2:25 pm:   

Jim kennedy says "Hi." And I await your response.
Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 2:42 pm:   

I've uploaded several New Miami posters to my web space. The URL to my "pictures" page is:
Tiaja Lowrey
Posted on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 1:19 pm:   

If anyone has a picture of Baretta I would really love to see it. I don't get to pop in here often so if it could be e-mailed to me it'd be great,
Roberto Warren
Posted on Monday, October 08, 2007 - 9:45 am:   

I didn't get back to detroit from the Atlanta Ballet until April '77. After that, the Miami became one of my favorite hangouts. Used to come in and dance like crazy to Sonic Rendezvous. I was there the night Reggie Jackson hit the multiple home runs in the World Series. Every time I hear about that, I think of the Miami. Once when the Twyla Tharp Dance Company was in town, I took one of the company members there for a drink after class. She loved the place.
Stephen Goodfellow (Admin)
Username: Admin

Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Sunday, October 28, 2007 - 10:31 pm:   

Hi Roberto,
Sorry it took me so long! Never was there a more stalwart tribe member. I'm sure there are lots of other tribes you'd be associated with, but for now I've placed your name in the New Miami tribe.
Jeff R. Kelledes
Posted on Saturday, March 28, 2009 - 1:10 pm:   

My Pop's OL' MIAMI trivia. A few years back I was telling my Dad (Jazz club junkie in the 40's & 50's) about the great time we had @ the Miami, his comment was "That's a tough joint" (?). I told him "not really, just young punkers & Nam Vets". He said "Back in the day that was a big gangster hang-out" Trust me, he would know. Any comments gang? peace, Amazing Alice & me
Frank Callis
Posted on Friday, April 03, 2009 - 7:50 pm:   

Same here. Back when I used to hang out at the "New Miami", my Dad told me that he used to go there when it was just "The Miami". Maybe one of my kids will go to the "Old Miami".

"Everything old is new again", er, um,..."Everything new is old again",... or maybe it's just "Everything is everything"!
Posted on Saturday, October 01, 2011 - 11:50 am:   

Loved playing the Miami! The crowd was a ice mix of regulars (vets) and crazy punk rockers.

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