Top

blog

Stories

 

Ball & Chain Club Brings Colorful History of Gangsters and Feuds Back to Little Havana

Categories: News

Ball_and_Chain_Historic_Photo.jpg
Courtesy of Ball and Chain
The year was 1935. The Great Depression was tailing off, Miami hosted the inaugural Orange Bowl, and Little Havana's Ball & Chain opened its doors. For the next two decades, the club became among the Magic City's most popular venues, a place where legends Billie Holiday and Chet Baker crooned the night away and jam sessions ran until 5 a.m.

With Ball & Chain set to reopen this fall, that glorious history is rightly being lauded. But there's another side to the golden-era club -- one populated with gangsters and highlighted by great feuds.

See also: Local Amateur Historians Discover Long-Lost Everglades Fort

Most colorful among the bar's many owners were Henry Schechtman and Ray Miller, who bought the bar in the early '50s. A businessman and "well-known burglar" -- as noted by the Crime Commission of Greater Miami in a 1957 Miami News piece -- Schechtman was also owner of the nearby Tower Hotel. The not-so-smooth criminal was arrested twice in two months, once for breaking and entering into a Lincoln Road bar and a second time for attempting to pry open the trunk of a jeweler's car.

Miller, Schechtman's business partner, was a Teamsters Local 320 union organizer who, according to the Crime Commission, "attempted to organize doormen and car parkers in Miami Beach" and was tied to several acts of vandalism, including slashing 70 car tires.


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
18 comments
samueljackson864
samueljackson864 topcommenter

I got stock of good medical strains for sale. So if you are in need of any strain feel free to contact us on cliffhoffman8@gmail.com or text us on (801) 382-9326 for USA and Canada. Also we do sell pain pills and research chemicals so feel free to contact me at any time.....

samueljackson864
samueljackson864 topcommenter

I got stock of good medical strains for sale. So if you are in need of any strain feel free to contact us on cliffhoffman8@gmail.com or text us on (801) 382-9326 for USA and Canada. Also we do sell pain pills and research chemicals so feel free to contact me at any time.

Mr_Black
Mr_Black

i used to get head behind this bldg from a $2 hooker. glad to see it'll be opening its doors again soon!

Teddy
Teddy

Their website says "Since 1937".  Extremely misleading.

Ahfagdaboutit.
Ahfagdaboutit.

The greater Miami area has always been ground zero for dumb gangsters...

Pedro Mexicano
Pedro Mexicano

This place was always a little bar/comedy club but with different names. I've been there a few times, it's right by the Domino park near 15 ave.

Valentina Gabriela Fernandez
Valentina Gabriela Fernandez

Was just talking about Ball and Chain with my dad Frank Fernandez! Check it out dad, Charlotte would be happy to see it standing after all those years. Think we will get treated like royalty if we let some Rum Runners hang out at the house too? ... #Charlottesway

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...