Jimbo's Family Feud: The Sordid Real Story Behind The Iconic Bar's End
|Photo by Michael McElroy|
Using Florida's Baker Act, Bobby -- who claims his brother is a diagnosed schizophrenic -- had Bubba evaluated and committed to a psychiatric institution for 72 hours. Then a couple of weeks later, he had Bubba committed again. "Unfortunately, I hate Mr. Baker," remarks Bubba, who denies he has any mental illness, "although I've never met him."
Bobby says that after wresting control of the bar, he was able to clean up the place. He tore down ramshackle buildings and replaced them with shipping containers.
On February 20, Bobby's wife, Jennie Luznar, wrote a letter to the family, demanding that Bubba leave the property by March 30. She claimed that Bubba -- whom she calls Jimmy -- was making money through associates "selling 'crack cocaine' out of the front door of Jimbo's Shrimp shack" and using the drug himself.
"I refuse to allow anyone in my family," Jennie wrote, "to be sacrificed to 'hide' Jimmy's disorder that Jimmy can control IF he chose not to drink, not take drugs, not sniff starting fluid and REALLY take his medication."
Bubba denies any crack trafficking or use or, for good measure, "whoring out" members of the female semihomeless population, of which he says he's also been accused. (Bubba's never been charged with such crimes. Over the years, he has been accused in court of battery and marijuana possession, as well as a litany of aquatic infractions such as game and fish violations.)
In turn, Bubba claims Bobby racked up thousands of dollars of charges on a Jimbo's corporate credit card by buying tires and dental work for his son. Bobby blames an associate, who he says used the card without his knowledge.
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. The hope was that the brothers were going to be able to make it work. It's just not proving financially beneficial to my parents."
Bobby believes that his sister is worried only about her inheritance, not her father's historic bar: "To me, it's sickening."
But on Wednesday, Jimbo himself signed a letter to Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado. "The time has come for me to retire from operating Jimbo's, as I am no longer able to be on the site on a day to day basis," the letter read. "I would like to give the site back to the City of Miami to become a City park for public use." He added that the family "would like some remembrance left at the site for future generations to keep the memory of Jimbo's alive."
According to his family, he is on a cocktail of pain medication and unable to be interviewed. But his wife, 84-year-old Ruby, says of the forfeiture: "It had to be. We've lost money since last August. He's 85 years old. It's time for us to move on."
Despite the letter, Bobby maintains that Jimbo was coerced into giving up his bar and that the old man learned of his daughter's decision on Monday. "He was shocked," Bobby says. "But then I dropped some shrimp on him, and he just started peeling. He still loves to peel shrimp."