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New Miami 1977-80

Photo compliments of Frank Smitka

Taken sometime in 1979? - Some of the folks in t his picture:

Front row: Bobby McDonald, George Rupert, John Thompson Ruth Goldfaden, Jim Carney.
Second row: Bernice Wade, Robin Summers, Dave Opatik, unknown, Michael Roper, Carole Sobocinski, and between and in front of Michael and Carole is Rev. Redmond's (from Cass Methodist) daughter Margaret, George's daughter Terry, Penny, Debbie (then George's girlfriend).
Back row: Reginald Dodson, Carlos Grady, Maria Miller, Bill Hodgson and 2 unknowns.
Can anyone name the unknowns?

Picture courtesy of Michael Roper


Mike Roper, 1977

Picture courtesy of Michael Roper

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.

Shadowfax standing outside the New Miami
Bill Hodgson, David Chambers, David Opatik, George Korinek

Picture compliments to Mike Roper

Picture compliments to Mike Roper

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 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 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.

Tom Hagerty ( tjhagerty@aol.com) remembers:

"I probably shouldn't admit it but I played on the first--and quite possibly last--men's softball team, generously sponsored by New Miami owner Mike Roper.

If memory serves 'twas the summer of 1977 and we had a perfect record: zero wins.

Teammates included my cousins (Jim, Dan and Paul Diehl), a guy named Lurch (who drove a Cadillac with cow horns on the front hood), and guys named Russ, LaDon, Monkey and Little Joe. I forget their last names if I ever knew 'em.

I'm sure Roper learned his lesson and never spent the bar's money on softball again."

Mike Roper visits the old Miami, 2001

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Here is a selection of pictures taken at the New Miami by Dennis Pruss



Here are some of the New Miami Tribe members (1977- 80):



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