Jimbo's Family Feud: The Sordid Real Story Behind The Iconic Bar's End
|Jimbo, in better days.|
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.