Two Miami-Dade landmarks close or evolve; another reopens

While the doors of Tobacco Road at 626 South Miami Ave. were being shuttered the Ball & Chain bar in the heart of Little Havana opened for business — a ray of hope for those of us seeking new adventures while never forgetting from whence we come.

The brainchild of Bill Fuller and his partners Zack and Ben Bush, the bar on Calle Ocho and Southwest 15th Avenue is an homage to our past.

It’s décor is pure Miami — a throwback to the original establishment, its namesake, which opened it’s doors in 1935.

While the Ball and Chain tips its hat to its colorful history, it is not a silly replica, a nostalgic relic that can only be seen and not enjoyed. The bar is a full functioning establishment that is beaming with excitement.

“The concept of the bar was to make the patrons seem like the place picked up where it left off in the 1950’s, all the while adapting to a modern clientele,” owner Bill Fuller told me.

Fuller, whose company, the Barlington Group, owns several other properties in Little Havana, understands the concept of conscientious development.

“I am a product of this place. My family is from here and this is where I’m raising my child,” Fuller said. “I am committed to Miami and Little Havana in particular. If you can build something that blends into and highlights the history of a place, why not do it?”

Miamians need to first learn about our history and then demand it be preserved or at least not paved over.