Staple Miami Barbeque Restaurant ‘Shorty’s’ Land Sold For $14.5 Million


Isabella Hewitt

Shorty’s Bar-B-Q remains open next to U.S-1 after celebrating 70th anniversary.

Sara Paredes, Copy Editor

Shorty’s Bar-B-Q has been a South Miami favorite for over 70 years; however, time may have caught up to the classic barbeque destination. 

On Jan. 4, the restaurant’s owners and the South Florida Business Journal confirmed Shorty’s sale to apartment management company Atlantic Pacific Companies and Florida Value Partners real estate developers for $14.5 million. The sale includes the neighboring body shop Auto Perfection, which provides Shorty’s with a five-year lease and an offer to include the barbeque restaurant in plans for the future when the site is redeveloped; so, for the foreseeable future, Shorty’s Bar-B-Q stays. 

In 1951, the late Edward Louis “Shorty” Allen, who passed away in 2013 at the age of 104, founded Shorty’s around a simple idea and menu: chicken and spare ribs. Swiftly gaining popularity among the South Miami community of the time, the business made its mark as the quick, inexpensive barbeque location for locals and generations of Miamians to come. The restaurant’s location, on the ever-busy US-1, makes Shorty’s the ideal stop for a quick bite to eat.

When the restaurant’s original structure was replaced in 1972 after a fire, it was then sold to Clifford MacBroom, Paul Skoric, Rick Wallace and the late Stewart Greenstein in 1980, who expanded the restaurant to locations in Davie, West Miami and Doral. Even so, locals continued flocking to the Miami staple for the relaxed atmosphere, nostalgia and Shorty’s Sauce. 

Decorated with a rustic, wooden interior, American flags, communal checkered picnic tables and classic black and white photos of Allen on the walls, Shorty’s is the epitome of the typical American food experience.

Shorty’s turned 70 in 2020, but owners put off any celebration due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The business plans to celebrate the milestone in 2022. Despite the new deal, Shorty’s fate is not quite decided.

The new owners are Shorty’s fans and hope to keep the restaurant open even after redevelopment. They recognize the restaurant’s historical significance to the Miami community and hope to include Shorty’s in any plans for expansion.