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Shorty’s Barbecue Has Been Sold!

Shorty’s Barbecue remains in the same location where it was founded in 1951. Shorty’s Barbecue ever-busier U.S. 1 stands for 70 years, but it appears time has finally caught up with the South Miami favorite.

Shorty’s longtime owners have sold the property to apartment management company Atlantic Pacific Companies and Florida Value Partners real estate developers for $14.5 million. The deal, which includes a neighborhood body shop, assures Shorty’s a five-year lease and offers to include the Barbecue joint in future when the site is developed.

“We’re not going anywhere; the business will stay. We’re not closing,” Shorty’s marketing director Bayley Ramos said.

The late Shorty Allen (who lived to 104) founded the restaurant in 1957, at 9200 S. Dixie Hwy. around a simple idea and a simpler menu: chicken and spareribs that both take exactly 2 and a half hours to cook, a meal for the masses. Communal checkered picnic tables, an American flag, and black & white photos of “Shorty” Allen on the wall told the story of an unpretentious business.

That’s why after it burned down in 1972, locals who loved the inexpensive meals and low-key setting returned, eventually with their children and grandchildren in tow. Even after Allen sold it in 1980, it remained a Miami staple for nostalgia and Shorty’s sauce.

New owners expanded opening locations in Davie, West Miami and Doral, the last one sold in October 2021 for $6.1 million.

Shorty’s fate isn’t sealed. Ramos said the new owners are Shorty’s fans and hope to keep a restaurant even after development. 

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