Jimbo's Family Feud: The Sordid Real Story Behind The Iconic Bar's End

Categories: News
jimboinbetterdays.jpg
Jimbo, in better days.
Miamians reacted with horror this week to news that the end is nigh for Jimbo's, the open-air beer-and-smoked-fish joint that's been Miami's weirdest, most beloved hangout for nearly six decades. But no one has yet told of the Old Testament-style sibling feud -- including accusations of drug use, insanity, and theft -- that's finally killing the legendary spot.

On a sunny Wednesay afternoon on Virginia Key, the ongoing war is easy to see. Like rival generals in a guerrilla camp, brothers Bobby and Bubba Luznar stew with their allies on opposite sides of Jimbo's Place.

"He just sits there and stares at us," Bobby, a gaunt, sprightly fellow in a baseball cap with a fishing fly attached to it, says of his younger brother. "He won't quit drinking. Every day there's two bottles of tequila in his trash."

Bobby's right-hand man, Mike Harvison, nods in agreement. He's a burly man in a camouflage bucket hat. "I smoke a little pot," Mike says, "but I've never taken a hit and started beating on somebody or started arguing with myself... and lost the argument!"

The object of their scorn is a placid bearded guy a few hundred feet away, sitting on an overstuffed couch plunked in the dirt. "I do like to drink," admits the supremely Zen Bubba, AKA Jimmy, AKA James Luznar Jr. On cue, he swigs from a bottle containing a cocktail of energy drink and tequila. "But he's got a whole lot more problems than I got."

Bubba's sidekick wants to sum up the situation. "Let me put my fucking teeth in," says the man known only as Jamaican Paul, a dude who looks like Willie Nelson in a beret and speaks in an island patois. In plop the dentures. "This is like in the biblical days," JP announces. "It's a feud for the land. Jimbo's was a promised land, a special land. But now it is just another material place."

There is, however, one thing both Bobby and Bubba have in common: a mutual resentment of their sister, Gail Araujo, who is exercising her power of attorney to close the venerable hangout founded 58 years ago by their ailing, 85-year-old father, Jimbo Luznar. "She's trying to pull the plug on it," Bobby snaps, "and it's none of her business."

The three-way family fight spells the end of a storied haute-hobo hideaway, which throughout its existence has successfully stared down municipal foes. Jimbo's Place -- along with its lumpy bocce court, collection of impressively lazy dogs, and revolving population of semihomeless squatters -- has been an unlikely backdrop for dozens of big-time beachfront productions, from Flipper to 2 Fast 2 Furious. It has won countless Best of Miami awards from this publication, including Best Smoked Fish (a food item that Bubba was arrested for selling without a license last year). And just last September, Esquire named Jimbo's one of the best bars in America.

Location Info

Map

Jimbo's - CLOSED

4201 SE Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne, FL

Category: General


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42 comments
Jimbobdoobiity
Jimbobdoobiity

From the comments, I see that a bunch of low class retards are involved. There are some great trailer parks that you could flee to in places like Lakeland and Brooksville. Pack up and move there and smoke your fish guts and sell it.

Chris
Chris

As a newcomer to Miami, Jimbo's was one of the places I was looking forward to seeing. I did see it, and am glad I did. I'm sorry it's closing, and I'm sorry I won't get to meet Jimbo. But I'll always know I was there before it ended. God bless you, Jimbo!

BJ Herndon
BJ Herndon

Really people ?? When it comes down to it..its no ones business but the families why they are closing it..can't you just take your memories and cherish them ?? Been going there for 30 yrs, am I sad its closing  ?? of course.. Is it the way it used to be years ago ?? No and hasn't been for a long time !! I'm not going into detail but those of you who knew Jimbo's in the day know exactly what I'm saying....have some respect and dignity...Let Jimbo retire in peace its not all about you..I can't believe the selfishness and disrespect of some people and I have to agree without Jimbo its not Jimbo's !!! I for one am keeping my wonderful cherished memories and wishing Jimbo well..HAPPY RETIREMENT JIMBO !! THANK YOU FOR SOME OF THE BEST TIMES OF MY LIFE !!!

Gail Araujo
Gail Araujo

I hope that this letter from my mother (posted below) will finally put an end to the hurtful comments on this webpage.

Ruby Luznar
Ruby Luznar

Please consider this as our family's response to this offensive article that is full of inaccuracies. This reporter is obviously interested in tabloid-style reporting. First and most importantly, my husband and I have chosen to close Jimbo's for financial reasons as well as recent medical concerns for ourselves.  Jimbo does have chronic neck pain that we are trying to control with pain relievers.  This has caused him to reduce his involvement in the business in recent years.  However, he is very much aware that in recent months we have lost a tremendous amount of money and agrees that the time has come for Jimbo's to close.  When we allowed our son Bobby to begin helping his brother Jimmy in the operations of Jimbo's last September, we could have never imagined what would happen next.  The consequences of this decision has caused me much stress and resulted in me being hospitalized recently. Bobby's persistent claims of concern for his older brother persuaded us to give him a chance at management even though he had no past experience.  However, we never intended to be left out of the decision making process and made that perfectly clear to him.  It was our hope that he and his brother would work as partners to clean up the property and increase business.  The shocking theft and fraudulent use of Jimmy's credit card, allegedly by a friend of Bobby and his wife, caused my daughters to get involved.  In addition, when Gail discovered questionable activities occurring  at Jimbo's without our knowledge or consent, we became very concerned.  My husband and I didn't want to be liable for any activities of others done without proper licensing.  Our requests to stop these activities were repeatedly ignored.  Then, we received an outrageous and  threatening letter from our daughter-in- law Jennie demanding  full control for Bobby, ordering Jimmy to leave and that all other family members stop interfering.  Jimbo and I immediately gave power of attorney to our daughters so that they could properly handle this situation. It is regrettable that Jimbo's is closing like this.  In Bobby's attempt to save his father's legacy, he has lost sight of what is most important to us . . . our family.  Our decision to give the business six more months to improve profits has proven to be  a terrible mistake and disappointment.  So the real truth is that Jimbo's is closing primarily for financial reasons, and hopefully the family issues will eventually work themselves out.

Gail Araujo
Gail Araujo

This reporter did a terrible job of reporting the truth.  Not only are there many factual errors, but those that are correct have been skillfully twisted for sensationalism.  He obviously is a big fan of the National Enquirer and Jerry Springer Show. The truth is that I only got involved in this mess to protect the financial interests of my parents and brother Jimmy.  The claim that Jimmy resents me is ridiculous since we have spent more positive time together recently than we have in years.  We have been working hard to have the theft of his credit card properly investigated.  This quality time together is about the only positive thing that has happened. It is true that both of my brothers have worked through the years with my father to build the bait business which evolved into a bar business that has come to be known as Jimbo's.  However, the Jimbo's legacy that everyone is talking so much about was created by my father, not by the amount of shrimp, smoked fish, and beer that has been sold there.  It is his wonderful personality, colorful stories and jokes, and love for people of all ethnic and financial backgrounds that has generated the tremendous following of friends of Jimbo's.  Without my father's involvement, there is no Jimbo's.  It is a shame that Bobby doesn't realize this and won't allow the wonderful reputation of our father to be remembered this way.

About2BHitched
About2BHitched

I'm going to make Jimbo Best man @ my wedding. 

Drugs and booze
Drugs and booze

Where is Code Enforcement? DERM? Of ever a dump needs to be closed down and cleaned up the cesspool Jimbo's is it.

FreddGSanford
FreddGSanford

Jimbo's is my hangout. I like the fish when I'm smoked.

Cuban takeover
Cuban takeover

The Cuban Mayor of Miami will see that some Cuban friend of his builds a big concrete Hooters on the site.

But first the taxpayers will be forced to bring in earth movers and dumpsters to clean out Jimbo's garbage.

gene Lefthand
gene Lefthand

It is not Jimbo's land. It is the City's land. He had a gentleman's agreement to stay there for 20 or 30 years. Don't fault the city of Miami on this one. They did Jimbo a solid.

Pipiloco
Pipiloco

Ive seen the crack peddling with my own eyes, some toothless lady that lives there LOVES that shit and begs the redneck dealers for it. One of the dealers, or friend of dealers also has a fetish for making homemade explosives that he likes to annoy people with. I just wish that jimbo would give his land to jamaican, or someone who has the right idea or sovereignty and responsibility.  Not the city. FUCK THE CITY, it sucks more dick than the dick suckers that ruined jimbos. Oh and the daughter sounds like a money hungry beeee-atch.

Pondiann
Pondiann

The lies people will tell when desperate!! Bobby (my uncle, just removed) felt it necessary to lie and disgrace my grandfathers legacy for what? Money!! Our family didn't come out and tell the whole story of how him and his wife Jenny were really destroying things...because WE care about Jimbo and the people that loved him and wanted Jimbos to go out with the dignity he deserved. It's really sad how greed will turn a person into someone you don't even know. Our whole family is in agreement that it was time to close Jimbos for Jimbo and his wife, to allow them to retire.

HopeItsParklandNow
HopeItsParklandNow

I thought it was a heroin probably going on there with the brothers and those nasty RVs they had onsite.   Mainly those two idiots to blame for the downfall of Jimbos.

Rob
Rob

Dirty laundry sells newspapers. This story is accurate. No one has really heard from Jimbo on these matters -- yet, but he defers business decisions to his wife. She says if the boys can't get along, it's not worth the hassle. In any case, there certainly is going to be a last hurrah at Jimbo's 85th birthday and retirement ceremony on Sunday, April 15 -- tax day -- so all Jimbo's old friends can say goodbye.

UncleAsh
UncleAsh

Remember, April 6th, Jimbo’s (real) Birthday - Send a Birthday Card to Jimbo! Jimbo’s / Attn: Jimbo Luznar, Duck Lake Road, Virginia Key, Florida 33149 

http://www.ashandburn.com/main...

Hellz no
Hellz no

BTW FUCK THE CITY OF MIAMI they don't deserve shit, they are a bunch of crooks and D bags.They will probly spend a couple million in taxpayer money and deem it "Community Redevlopment" and turn it into another poorly constructed park with a fucking britto sculpture in front of it. I say KEEP IT SACRED, KEEP IT AMERICAN!

Hellz no
Hellz no

Wish he could stick around just long enough for one more B day! We need closure!!!!

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

I'm inclined to believe the daughter on this. All these other characters and the background on their interaction with each other is immaterial. It's losing money because it's a dump, the city shut off the electricity and they didn't have the money or expertise to get that done. RIP Jimbo's Place.

Blomingdns
Blomingdns

Like you BJ, I remember the old days (30 years ago and since) and how it was.  Happy Retirement to Jimbo!  Thanks for the memories - and thanks for including me in your family..

Conchtiki
Conchtiki

good on you mate it will never be what it was years ago but fondly remembered as a place to  remember as it was in the time you remember it and the story and memeroies are truly                                                      [  Pricless  ]

Dailyobserver
Dailyobserver

Dear Ms. Araujo,  I am the Dailyobserver and I am a twenty two year "verteran" weekly visitor to Jimbo's Place.  Ms Araujo your are entitled to represent yourself and your parents but do not make assumptions about a writer using this "bully pulpit" to report my personal observations about Jimbo and the special physical spot in the "shadow of downtown Miami" that happens to be nearly sacred to many thousands of Miami, United States and International visitors to the throw back to "Old Miami, the Rebozo's, Dick Nixon (President Nixon) and hundred's of fans of both Jimbo, your father, and the sacred land that bears the name, Jimbo's.  Jimbo's Place is bigger than any of us...yes it has been run down, it has been abused at times and recently since September your younger brother, Bobby, has nearly killed himself physically working to clean out and clean up the site for people to again fully enjoy "Old Miami and Old Florida" and the legacy of Jack Nickelson, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez and so many other public Icons have embraced over nearly 60 years.  As an observer of your brother, Bubba, over the past ten years and more -- if you care for him then you should see he receives professional therapudic treatment.  If this site has a future Ms. Araujo why don't your assist your parents with their well deserved retirement and allow the public and your brother, Bobby, the peaceful continuance of the sacred land we will now address as Jimbo's Place.  This is no longer about you, Jimbo, your family or your brothers.  Now it is about the right of Miami's and the world's citizens who want to see a piece of history continue.  Sincerely yours, Dailyobserver, Miami and Hollywood California.

J.J. Colagrande
J.J. Colagrande

I think Mr. Garcia did a great job on this article.

I'm not sure why you are bashing the reporter.

When he mentioned you it was to say:

"Last week, Jimbo's daughter Gail -- who works in yacht sales -- officially stepped into the fray. She announced her intent to close Jimbo's. "We're looking at the financial end of it," the even-toned Gail says. "It's losing money for us." 

You just said in your comment:

"The truth is that I only got involved in this mess to protect the financial interests of my parents and brother Jimmy." Is this a skillfully twisted portrait? Seems pretty clearly reported.

In fact, your response trying to clear the air actually illustrates the sordid family feud that is so unfortunately publicly unraveling.

Whatever, there is definitely a story here....

 

Pipiloco
Pipiloco

see, this is why im mad, not uneducated. You are a cunt, and dont have a clue as to whats going on. 

Dailyobserver
Dailyobserver

bobby is coming to rescue the place he and others have worked 20 hour days since september ninth 2011. Bobby has done all that he has since september to show his love for his father and to create a continuing legacy 4 all the people who loves jimbo's place from miami and around the world. Has anyone mentioned that bobby has put off cancer surgery risking his life to prove that jimbo's place is a worth saving for the future. As no 1 has mentioned that on wednesday of this week esquire magazine rated jimbo's place as 1 of the top 100 bars in the united states. as a bystander watching what is happened since september all bobby asked his family was to be given the same opportunity in time that his schizophrenic brother bubba had to ruin jimbo's since the turn of the century. those of us who go to jimbo's have watched bubba use his illness as a wedge to get whatever bubba wants from the family. up until now this has always been a very close family. when the family realized that bobby could not work with an active schizophrenic in episode the family attitude protecting bubba changed over night. the truth is what the family is doing is all about bubba. the family has already broken bobby's heart and now they're trying to break your spirit. but those of us who are jimbo'ites won't let this happen to to the friendliest place in miami. be prepared the jimbo supporters will rise and win again, jimbo's place will survive! and god willing the family will eventually understand jimbo's is bigger than they are. those who watched since september know that bobby is not the villain but the hero in this story.. most of us understand bobby's desire to show his love for his father and to support his father's dream into the future.

Gail Araujo
Gail Araujo

Most of our family agrees with you.  We appreciate the City for honoring this agreement and are very grateful for the many years of wonderful memories.

Hellz no
Hellz no

Fuck u and FUCK THE CITY

PAS
PAS

And you sound like an uneducated ignorant person that really doesn't know what's going on

Pondiann
Pondiann

The story is not accurate at all...our family just has more class then to tell the world all the awful things bobby and Jenny were doing...too bad that class wasn't passed on to them!

Abmin9
Abmin9

LMAO @ Britto sculpture!!!

Guestguest
Guestguest

I agree with you, last time I was there, the place looked like shit! I can't understand who likes to drink and eat in a place so nasty! 

Pipiloco
Pipiloco

James, sometimes life is not all about money. RIP your face.

Maraujo579
Maraujo579

Dear "Dailyobserver", Isn't that knid of selfish to not take into consideration the family's wishes (primarily those of James Luznar and his wife) to close down the business that THEY created?  They own the business, NOT the people of Miami.  Coming from someone, who supposedly has so much respect for Jimbo, that dosn't sound like a very respectful remark.

Sincerely yours,Intelligent Daily Observer

BJ
BJ

Maybe people are inclined to think your uneducated because your command of the English language leaves alot to be desired !! You'd probably get your point across way better without the filthly language that spews out of your mouth.

Pipiloco
Pipiloco

those are my cuban friends. keep your enemies closer baby.

Gail Araujo
Gail Araujo

This was obviously written by my sister-in-law Jennie.  It is a shame that she and my brother Bobby are demonstrating through the media their lack of love for my father.  In regard to the legacy, as I have already stated, the appeal of Jimbo's was created by my father, not his sons.  Without his involvement in the business, there is no more Jimbo's.  

Jack
Jack

Hi Jennie

Momo
Momo

I second the comment re the britto sculpture lol

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