* Anything in RED
is a query and subject to rewrite. If you have any information, please
post it on the discussion board. It
WILL be reviewed.
Miami Tribes 1940-present
Lounge/Ken's Lounge/New Miami
The Old Miami - 2001
Roper ( Hopleaf@mindspring .com
) - former owner of the New Miami says,
"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 Budweiser
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 laid 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. Keith 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 crowbar 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
awhile but the neighborhood was changing and business was not always
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 working 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 before I ever set foot in the bar again, so
this is an era for others to describe."