photo sharing and upload picture albums photo forums search pictures popular photos photography help login
Don Boyd | all galleries >> Memories of Old Hialeah, Old Miami and Old South Florida Photo Galleries - largest non-Facebook collection on the internet >> Miami Area RESTAURANTS, Drive-Ins, Bars, Lounges, Liquor Stores, Clubs, Strip Joints, etc. Gallery - All Years - click to view >> Bottle Cap Inn Images Gallery - click on image to view the gallery > 1950's - the Bottle Cap Inn at 1293 NW 119th Street - totally destroyed by a fire started by kids with fireworks on July 4, 2012
previous | next
1950s? Courtesy of Daniel Worth

1950's - the Bottle Cap Inn at 1293 NW 119th Street - totally destroyed by a fire started by kids with fireworks on July 4, 2012

NW 119th Street and 13th Avenue, Dade County, Florida

From what I've read this was a popular bar with servicemen stationed at Naval Air Station, later Marine Corps Air Station Miami, west of Opa-locka. It may have been the closest bar to them at the time if they didn't want to go to bars in Opa-locka.

An image of bartender Tom Hehir's Bottle Cap Inn uniform t-shirt is on display later in this gallery in the late 1960's time frame. The direct link to the t-shirt image is .

other sizes: small medium original auto
previous | next
comment | share
Cynthia figueroa 12-Jul-2021 22:35
My grandfather was one of the chefs here thru the 80's.
Vann Helms 07-Jun-2020 13:53
The last time I drove past the place, it was a nightspot/liquor store with lots of neon outside. Same building, new identity. I wonder whatever happened to the thousands of bottle caps nailed to the walls...
gino f angella 09-Sep-2019 12:28
Directly across the street was Mickeys Gas Station and Garage. Mickey Maugeri and his mechanic Keith were in that location for more than 20 years. He was our family mechanic and then they moved to another gas station on NW 7 avenue when Mickey retired. Keith continued with the business for many more years.
Mike Schriefer 14-Nov-2018 15:58
My wife and I have been going through old pictures of her parents. One of the things we found was an old postcard dated 1948 of the interior of this restaurant. We have no idea how they got the postcard because it was not sent to them and they as far as we know never visited Miami.
Mike & Mary Schriefer
Donna Birdsall Stanley 07-Oct-2017 04:04
I remember the Bottle Cap Inn from the 50's and 60's. I still remember all the bottle caps covering everything. My dad had a TV repair business in the building just next door to it called Birdie's TV. We went to the Bottle Cap Inn for pizza. There was an italian restaurant across the street called Valeries and they had the best Meatball sandwiches. I also remember Mary's Italian Restaurant, we went there all the time.
Steve Hehir 07-Aug-2017 01:05
As I mentioned before, my Dad was the bartender at the Bottle Cap from 1958 to 1974. Some of the Miami Dolphin players would go to the Bottle Cap. I have a Bottle Cap post card with a few of the Dolphins signatures. Like Manny Fernandez, Doug Swift, Bob Matheson and others on the post card. Remember the undefeated Dolphins, They were on it. Very cool.
Don Wolfe 19-Jul-2017 21:07
I remember the Bottle Cap Inn very well. In late 1962 I had just graduated from Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island. A buddy of mine from boot camp and I took our mothers there for dinner. We had the best pizza we've ever had that night. Such a loss but the memories will live forever.
Don Wolfe
Melbourne, Fl.
Guest 18-Oct-2016 16:05
Today something triggered a memory and I searched for a website, and sure enough I found this one. A Marine friend stationed at Opa Locka took me to this place a few times - mid-fifties. I'm happy that it lived on for so many years (more than 60!), but saddened to learn of its demise in 2012 in this very unkind way. I remember being so impressed by those bottle caps on every surface! The food must have been good as well.
Don Boyd22-Mar-2016 02:54
Odvar, can you send them to me so I can scan them and add them to this website? I'll give you credit on the photos, under the photos and in the comments under the photos. I'll e-mail you with my address. Thanks!

Odvar 22-Mar-2016 01:39
I have some post cards of the BOttle Cap Inn that I want to give away.
mary martin 02-Feb-2016 22:33
I was there when i was 15. that was in 1970. My uncle took me and my parents there to eat. I remember the bottle caps on the wall and the piano was also cover in bottle.
Guest 27-Aug-2015 05:22
my father was the mr brogren mentioned by bill lyons. he did run the package store for many years. he took off only 3 days in countless years when he broke his ankle and had to allow his cast to harden. i washed the floors there when i was a kid during the summer. vacuumed the pool and added the chemicals as well. those were the days. they had a slew of fish tanks then.
Linda 26-Apr-2015 18:53
We lived on 137th St by I-95. Used to get pizza from there all the time until we moved to Hollywood in maybe 68.
A. Potts 01-Jul-2014 15:16
I lived in an apt building on 125 st or ter. and would go to the Bottle Cap Inn for dinner alot, in 1971-2. I remember the chateaubriand for two, I think it was 19.95 or something like that, wonderful food, and a one of a kind place. Too bad these places can't be saved as part of local history, it would have been taken better care of.
Steve Bates 21-Jun-2014 10:38
My family moved from the southside of Syracuse to North Miami in 1964.
Stephanie 24-Jun-2013 00:38
In the 60's my mother used to bring me here many times...we were from Syracuse New York, moved to Miami...lived on 144 N.E. Street...
Guest 08-May-2013 20:05
They just tore down the remnants of this building a couple of months ago.
Guest 13-Mar-2013 11:36
I used to live on 113terrace and 14th ave we used to walk by there when we were kids and ate there a few times.
Don Boyd26-Oct-2012 05:09
The fire was on July 4th and there are several comments below yours in the July 5th and 6th time frame that describe the fire.

Guest 25-Oct-2012 20:58
sadly this building, which became a chuch,burned down to the ground a few months might have been july or august 2012?.....maybe. nothing lasts forever.
Tim 06-Aug-2012 15:55
My memories of the Bottle Cap Inn were of the 60's and 70's. I loved their thick, chewy, bubbly-cheezed pizza. I still live in the neighborhood and remember reading about a fire in a Haitian church, but didn't know it was the Bottle Cap until I drove by and saw the rubble. Little chance it can be rebuilt. The entire western part of the restaurant collapsed. I managed to pick up a few bottle caps as a memento and plan to go back to take some pictures. Last summer they demo'd the old Westview Country Club by Miami-Dade College. Its a shame all the history is disappearing from 119th street.
Guest 29-Jul-2012 23:39
Loved their Pizza, I seem to remember bubbles in the cheese. Each one looked a little different and were delicious. And of course all those caps. Also remembered Bennets drugstore others have mentioned. Still have an old dog book my grandfather bought me from there.
Guest 06-Jul-2012 20:05
I am sadden of this distruction of the The Bottle Cap Inn. My mother Cathy worked at the Inn for almost 20 years. My father helped out in the Kitchen. I knew Millie Viscount as a grandmother. My mother told stories of the Miami Dolphins coming in late for pizza. It had the best italian food. When my Mom moved to Central Florida in the 80's, people would walk up to her and say, "Didn't you work at the Bottle Cap Inn in Miami?" When a friend came to visit her during her final days of life in March. Her friend also told stories of "The Bottle Cap Inn" . How sad.
Guest 06-Jul-2012 14:44
My father was a CPA and did the books there when I was a kid. This was mid-60's before he moved to Chicago. I recall being amazed by the bottle caps on every part of the place and the greatest pizza ever. I travel past there often and still smile each time. What a shame to see it gone. I also recall him book keeping at Tony 's lounge on 27 ave. at about 116 street. He had a way of doing books as a barter.
Don Boyd06-Jul-2012 05:33
Chief Bill, thank you for taking the time to write and for posting those great memories of the Bottle Cap.

Like Roland says, today's local media doesn't have a clue about South Florida's history and that's one of the reasons I got involved to get a ton of photos up on this site to help people remember what we had going for us way back when. There's another ton in the backlog of photos yet to add in the future.

Roland 06-Jul-2012 04:13
Yes! the local media has no clue about the history of this once proud building. Growing up in Broward county, I never had the privilege of going inside, but my parents would drive by there many times on the way to see my relatives. Hate to say, but I'm glad it went down in flames.
Ray 05-Jul-2012 22:19
Thanks for that perspective and history Chief. It must have been really difficult to work a fire on a building you had such an emotional connection with. When I saw the code 1 page go out I thought I recognized the address. I used to pass it twice a day on my commute. So sad to lose this history. The local media keeps calling it a church with no mention of its true history.
Bill Lyons 05-Jul-2012 16:19
I was one of five Battalion Chiefs on this fire July 4th 2012 and helped manage the incident from the command post. I was also an employee of the Bottle Cap as well as my dad, Bob Lyons, and other family and friends from Pace High School. I remember Millie, Tom, Gracie the cook, and Mr Brogren who worked the drive-up window in the package store. There was the red-headed waitress who married what's his name with the 66 charger who helped me rebuild my tri power GTO carbs. The waitress who wore her hair up in a bun who we would toss toothpick in coz we could. We progressed to bar straws then regular straws. She would call us "little shit asses" after the customers would laugh. I helped Mrs. Viscount pour the pizza sauce from the big pot that took up four burners on the stove into gallon jugs that went into the walk-in. I remember one of the alcoholics on site who used to hide the quart bottles in the toilet tanks to avoid getting caught. I helped Mrs. V in her home and moved furniture to the house next door with the pool. She was stern but very benevolent to my family and others.
I remember the mafia guys who bought the restaurant and seemed not to have a clue on how to run it. I was a dishwasher at the time and remember one night 3 cooks called out sick and they were trying to cook. I stood washing dishes right next to the stove telling them what to do. I finally told one of them, "I can do that". He said, "OK kid, get in there. I was slow but nailed it all night. Got an extra 20 bucks and a "yous did good kid". They had to loose money on the purchase as the "from scratch" formula on food was cut to save money. That's it for now. I hope I provided a window for someone to look into. Be safe, Bill Lyons
Ray 05-Jul-2012 00:23
Very sad to report that this building had a second alarm fire this afternoon. I havent seen it yet but I'm afraid that would be the end of this historic building.
Eva W 09-Feb-2012 07:09
This is a very old picture of the Bottle Cap Inn. I can remember going in there for Pizza many years ago, probably in the 1970's. Yes, there was a terrific Cuban Restaurant on the other side of NW 119 Street. At first it was a very small 5 table restaurant and then they built a bigger one on the corner of NW 14 Ave and 119 Street - the food was excellent, and across from that was the first topless bar in Miami back in the late 1960's early 1970's. The Bottle Cap Inn building is now a Haitian place. Brings back lots of memories. Eva Wilson
Guest 12-Aug-2011 15:18
D Farr I worked as a bartender in the late 70's had some great times there!
Dwayne DeLuca 10-Aug-2011 00:42
I remember late 60s/early 70s going here with my uncle Mike, he owned DeLuca Refrigation and worked on their equipment. In 1980 I rented a house a block from here and enjoyed eating here more then a few times.
Lew Azar 10-Jun-2011 15:17
When I was a teen this place was THE pizza restaurant. I have never found a pizza that could compare with theirs
Marsh Goldberg 28-Oct-2010 08:32
In the early fifties my Dad took me here. I remembered the pizza was the best. Went back many yrs later and it was gone.
Guest 23-Oct-2010 12:08
My sister took me for my first pizza in 1952 or 53, and my comment was, "How can you eat anything that smells like that?" The cheeses were so unique, that I have never had any pizza that tasted as good. The best pizza I have ever had (Valenti's and Marcella's ran a close second). The restaurant decor is institutionalized in Ripley's Believe it or not, in St. Augustine, FL. Bob H.
Guest 21-Oct-2010 05:16
K.Jones, what year was this that your mom waited on tables and what was her name? I worked there in the early 50's 1954 through 1956. Please let me know.
also you can go on that is our site. thanks for loving my mother's garlic sticks......Roberta
K Jones 11-Oct-2010 03:16
Roberta- My mom worked as a waitress at your mom's restaurant "Mary's Italian Restaurant" and met my dad there waiting tables! They would take us out to eat at the North Miami location for Eggplant Parm. and those wonderful Garlic breads sticks with fresh garlic. We would also go to the Bottle Cap Inn for Pizza! My mouth is watering just thinking about it :) Small world, I never knew about the connection between those two great establishments. It's been great reading everyones posts and remembering fun times.
Guest 28-Aug-2010 14:41
I remember my mom and dad taking me there. I was about 7 or 8 yrs old. pretty cool to find this after almost 38 yrs. memories of miami in the good days.
Michele Petrone Waldon 08-Jul-2010 14:15
I remember Tom as he was so sweet. The night my Dad decided I needed to work the service bar as I was selling call brands for the same price as bar stock, heck I was just a kid myself 24 yrs of age what did I know about expensive Scotch. But Tom just smiled and corrected me and waved my Dad away as he was just a bit upset. I recently came across a couple of pictures one of Kathy and one of Mary working at the bottle cap. I am not sure but I think Kathy had a daughter who suffered with diabetes, or maybe it was a grandaughter. Roberta I would love to hear from you and others. I had no idea Tom was still around. My email address (that is a number one after use) in the subject area of your email if you would post Bottle Cap Inn. As most likely I will not respond if I do not recognize your name or it will end up in Spam folder. Roberta and Steves please try to reconnect with me again would love to hear from you.
Don Boyd24-Jun-2010 17:53
Steve, thank you for writing in and giving us that information. Hopefully someone who knew your dad Tom will write in and relate some memories.

Steve Hehir 24-Jun-2010 16:34
Me Dad worked at the Bottle Cap from 1958 till 1974. His name is Tom and was the bartender there. He left the Bottle Cap to move to Live Oak Fla. and is still there today.
I grew up with the pizza and many stories my Dad would tell. He made a lot of friends there.
Don Boyd31-May-2010 01:29
Roberta, I sent Michelle your e-mail address in an e-mail. It is okay by me for you to post it in the text of your comments so that other people can see it too.

The website that Roberta mentioned is at - my wife still has dreams of the wonderful garlic rolls that were served at Mary's Italian Restaurant.

JoAnne: if you can scan those photos of your dad standing in front of the Bottle Cap Inn and send them to me as e-mail attachments I would be proud to add them to the site in the Individuals & Small Groups gallery.

Roberta Rouse 31-May-2010 00:59
Michelle, I would love to be able to email you about our families. I wish I had done this before my mother Mary passed away in 2008. She always told so many stories about her life. I wish I had been more responsive and took notes. I only remember being very young when she worked there, but I do remember her making the deep dish pizzas in the round pans with the lip on them. I watched her many times. I wish I had remembered your parents, My mother would tell us about the people she worked for but I don't remember their names. Can you see if Don Boyd would give you my email address? Not sure if I can post it Roberta
Roberta Rouse 31-May-2010 00:52
my mother worked at the Bottle Cap restaurant and made the pizzas, and was the cook too. I remember the inside being covered with bottlecaps. It was so interesting to see. The entire floor had bottlecaps, and even curtains were made from two bottlecaps glued together in long strings. the walls were covered and the chairs and tables too. We lived across the street 1250 N. W. 119th St. Her name was Mary Buttino and she opened her own restaurant at this address. Mary's Italian Restaurant. We lived in the back of the building. She then sold the restaurant and opened one in North Miami, same name. This was in 1953 or 54. She has a web site you can visit. . I worked at Bennets drugstore across the street, when she had the first restaurant. Helped but not allowed to serve because I was underaged. Lots of servicemen would come from Opa Locka Air Base. So I'm sure that they visited the bottlecap restaurant too. I wonder how many did.
JoAnne 22-May-2010 17:36
I can't confirm,but I did find some old pics of my dad standing in front of the inn,they had to of been from the early 50's
Michele Petrone Waldon 17-Mar-2010 04:24
My parents once owned the Bottle Cap Inn if my memory is correct they purchased it from Millie. She lived behind the restaurant there were also 2 apartments and a pool. Joining the restaurant was a drive thru liquor store. The recipe for the pizza was a big secret as it was the first deep dish pan pizza and the garlic rolls. My father Jim Petrone was partners with Jim Verone who later bought out my dad's share. Years later we had heard that Mr Verone's son had taken the place over. I have many great memories there as I too worked there cooking or busing tables and sometimes worked the service bar. I have some of the old menu's and post cards showing the interior. I had been told at one time the floors and table tops were also covered in bottle caps but then health dept. had them removed. Two waitress that had worked for Millie and my parents were Mary and Kathy.
Guest 15-Jan-2010 16:29
We lived briefly on 116th , don't remember the ave. and alternated Fridays at the Bottlecap and the great little Cuban restaurant across the street and I believe up a few blocks.
Peggy Green
Guest 15-Jan-2010 16:29
We lived briefly on 116th , don't remember the ave. and alternated Fridays at the Bottlecap and the great little Cuban restaurant across the street and I believe up a few blocks.
Peggy Green
Earwig 13-Jan-2010 05:20
If memory serves, the Bottle Cap was there from the late 1920's. I remember someone who worked there told me that the bottle caps were placed everywhere, walls ,cielings, etc. by World War One veterans who were hired as some sort of local rehab program for them.
Don Boyd01-Nov-2009 16:06
Connie, Dave and Melissa: thank you for posting your memories. I sure regret never stopping by there to have some pizza and beer based on what I'm reading from folks posting here.

Connie 01-Nov-2009 00:43
The Bottle Cap Inn had the very best Pizza any where. It is a taste never matched by any other Resteraunt EVER! I have missed it all of my adult life. I left Miami when I was about 18 and am now 66. The place was covered in bottle caps and there was a sort of circular design around the little round mirrors. I also remember the shells of a few large turtles on the walls. I never ate anything other than the pizza there, why mess with perfection? But I never saw the relationship between Pizza and turtles, perhaps they had seafood also. I'm sad to hear it's gone, but I for one will never forget it.
dave dunn 19-Aug-2009 03:27
lived on n.w 96 st and 5 ave, went there with parents in the late 50's and up to the 70's, the bottle caps covered everything, great pizza
Melissa Viscount 17-May-2009 01:04
I am elated to find some memories of the past....and these here are family. Millie was my grandmother, I have fond memories of these times past. I never had the chance to meet my grandfather Steve, but have heard many stories of his kindness. There son Robert, my father is still a resident of Miami. Thank You to all who are keeping these historic Miami landmarks alive and making sure to keep them in our cities history.
Anyone is free to contact me at
Don Boyd03-May-2009 13:34
Nat, and other posters, thank you for posting your memories of the the Bottle Cap Inn on here for others to read. We do appreciate it. Nat, what else can you tell us about serving at Opa-locka during World War II?

NAT L. 03-May-2009 10:44
marsha b. 16-Mar-2009 20:57
I used to drive by during the viet nam era on my way to Miami Dade Jr. College as it was called then and stopped in a couple of times. All bottle caps and very
LES. VARGAS 14-Mar-2009 00:17
tuffie 16-Oct-2008 12:43
My uncle "Pat", his daughter Millie and her husband Steve bought the Bottle Cap Inn in the 50's or 60's. I was never there but my nephew was, and he is the only one alive to tell about it...My uncle was my mother's brother and she and other family members went there often...sad to see what happened to it...
Guest 04-Apr-2008 19:29
If my memory is correct, it seemed to me that almost everything in the building was covered in bottle caps. The support post inside, some chairs, counters, etc. all coverd in caps. I guess that's probably all plastered over now. I almost wish they would have taken the building down as it was instead of so drastically changed it as pictured in the other photo. The current look of the building saddens me.
Don Boyd15-Mar-2008 21:52
Thank you Georgia, for remembering something that no one else has mentioned. Collectively we should be able to remember almost everything there is to remember.

Georgia Goins (Ruford) 15-Mar-2008 20:29
Sure do remember the Bottle Cap. Enjoyed reading the comments but no one mentioned the old upright piano which also was covered with caps.
I lived on 29 court and 103rd street from 1955 to 1993.
Vikki Ricciardelli-McGowan 10-Jan-2008 17:27
Grew up on 127th St and 10 ave. Loved going there as a kid. Great food.
Guest 08-Jan-2008 22:16
In the 50s one of the newspapers carried "Believe it or Not" in the comic section. They had The Bottle Cap Inn in once and I thought it was great that a little bit of home had made a national article.
Dave the Guest
marpop01-Jan-2008 03:54
I grew up on nw 10th ave. & 121st (only house on 121st.) in the 30's/40's and not far from the Bottle cap Inn.At that time it was about the only business on remember the entire outside of the building was covered with bottle caps slso.It was a famous hang out for Army,Navy,&Marines during WWII too.
Mark 29-Dec-2007 22:14
I grew up not far from it...on 119th Street and N.W. 5th Avenue (about 6 blocks directly north of Biscayne Dog Track). I went there with my father sometimes (late 70's) and I used to pass it on my way to college (Miami-Dade Community College...119th street and N.W. 27th Avenue). I didn't realize the historical significance of it, though. I don't know what it's become now (I'll check later tonight) and the surrounding area definitely doesn't look like it does in the picture anymore, but it did definitely exist.
Ray 20-Sep-2007 02:16
Hard to believe it's the same building. NW 119 St comes up within a few feet of the front door today. I remember it being open in the 1990s as I saw it on the way to and from work every day. Then it became, get ready, a church! I think it's still some sort of Haitian church. I wonder if there's any old history buried in those walls.

This would be a good one for a 'then and now' picture. I'll try to catch one next time I'm in the area.
Guest 18-Sep-2007 02:40
Yes, it definitely existed. I remember counting bottle caps on the walls, tables, chairs etc. waiting for pizza to be served. One of our favorite places to eat.... :)
C and A
RICK 06-Sep-2007 14:59
Earl D. Williams 29-Jul-2007 18:16
I grew up in North Miami 131 Street & NW 16 Ave. My parents and sister live there still. The Bottle Cap was one of my hang outs with several friends who also lived in the neighborhood. As late as 1981 they were still serving Pizza and Beer. In the late seventies someone attempted to turn it into a Gay Bar but it did not last.
George Young 25-Jul-2007 17:44
I lived in So. Dade, but managed to make it here several times for Cold Beer.
Neat place
Guest 22-Jul-2007 00:47
I can confirm that the were serving pizza until 1970 when we left Dade County. I can also confirm that it was great - but compared to all the artificially labeled pizza from the national chains, etc., equally great was Mansene's, Villanova's, Patsy's, Mae & Dave's, a several other spots throughout Dade where we (at the time) took great pizza for granted. It obviously was not - or at least - I cannot currently locate the grant!
Ffra 17-Jul-2007 18:07
I am almost positive that they served the best pizza. My husband worked at the dog track, and often, on a Saturday, I would wait up for him and he would bring home this delicious pizza. Can someone confirm that they were making pizza in the '70's?
Diane 16-Jul-2007 20:17
The Bottle Cap Inn was where we spent family birthdays! It was a special place. That was in the 50's and 60's. It did have bottle caps in every available spot, tabletops, seats, ceilings, bar, you name it and they were there! They were one of the first to have a drive through put in for alcohol purchases. And they were also made some of the best spaghetti and meatballs when I was a kid. I was sorry to see they let it go. And I do believe that was in the late '80's or early '90's. It was a great family place with a lot of precious memories for me.
Jeff 12-Jul-2007 02:53
The Bottle Cap Inn was a North Dade landmark that closed somewhere around the mid-to-late 1980's [if memory serves me correctly]...

It was famous for having over 1,000,000 bottle caps embedded in its decor - right down to the tables and booth benches. Old publications I've seen from the 1940's had ads for this place, and I suspect it was opened sometime during the 1930's...