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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 > 1961 - the Painted Horse Restaurant at 11495 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami
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1961 - the Painted Horse Restaurant at 11495 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami

11495 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, Florida

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Gail Gatton 02-Oct-2022 19:07
Wow, can't believe I found this! My dad used to take me and my three brothers there and drop us off there. The people knew us from going there a couple times with my parents and I think my dad greased someone's hand to let us continually come in by ourselves. We ate a lot, especially my brothers, an older brother and the twins. Then later a younger brother came along so there were 5 of us! One girl and 4 boys, yep we were noticed! We behaved though, we were watched by everyone. Of course there was an age limit and I think I was under 12 for about 3 yrs. Good food, good desert. Nice people. We went from Arlington, Va to Miami a couple times a yr and stayed at the Hawaiian Inn. Where my parents grew to be friends of the owners. Very nice people. Great memories! Gail !
Gary Dyer 15-Jul-2019 08:21
While a senior at Miami Edison High School ('72), I started as a busboy at the restaurant and then became one of the first waiters when they started serving beer. Seemed like lots of kids from Miami Edison worked there. I earned a paycheck, tips (which were always great on Sundays), and got to eat for free! I used to love watching the chef make large vats of tapioca pudding. After work, several of us would go 'pool hopping' at the hotels along Miami Beach into the wee hours of the morning on weekends. I really liked Mr Nohlgren...a fun and busy place to work! Gary Dyer
Gordon 20-May-2019 16:08
My family spent Christmas in Miami most years from 1962-1970 we stayed at the lauralee motel and frequented the painted horse often great food never left hungry these posts bring back many memories my father bought me a painted horse unfortunately over the years I can’t remember where it went. Next time in Florida think I’ll go by 11495 biscayne blvd for old times sake
Frank V. Denaro 16-Feb-2019 02:44
I remember going there probably in the late 60's. We are from NY. We used to stay in Miami Beach from Mid July to Mid August every year on the strip. Went everywhere from the Newport to the Marco Polo. I remember my dad always passed the place and thought it must have been some sort of gimmick. How could they possibly serve dinner for 99 cents. But he always commented about the Cadillac's and Lincoln's pulling into the place. One day we went in. I must have been less than 10 years old at the time. I remember the green jello and the sherbet. Also the Swedish meatballs. Always had a good meal. All you can eat. There were some really good memories of being in Florida. Another great place in that time was Fowlers. I believe it was in Hollywood. That place was like eating in an A&P but the food was good. Also Gigi's in Miami and then second Gig's location further North. Hard to believe you are talking about almost 50 years ago. Are there any more pictures from "The Painted Horse?"
Marysia A. Miciak 25-Jul-2018 14:57
Does anyone remember the kidney bean salad? I'd love to have that recipe!
Guest 04-May-2018 19:05
loved the fish with butter on it I 1960s
Haydee 29-Apr-2018 17:40
I was 8 yrs old, just arrived from Cuba when my mom's cousin took us. Loved their mashed potatoes and roast beef but we all loved the ice cream. It was a treat for us. Great memories.
Kurt Shaw 18-Oct-2017 02:18
I remember eating green jello here when I was 8. 1966.
Sophie 04-Oct-2017 01:13
My cousins raved about it, back in about 1970 or so, maybe earlier. We went and it was pretty good, but I think the main draw for them was that you could eat all you want. My cousins were teen age boys.
Guest 14-Aug-2017 03:52
We always went here every year in the early 60's while visiting my grandparents every Christmas in Hollywood. The had a great Ice Cream and Sherbet for desert.
Colleen Wooldridge 11-Feb-2017 23:58
I just found the painted horse my mom bought me out of her first nights tips when she worked there in 1960 ! Just to let you know this perfect little painted horse will live on in my family as a reminder of the most awesome little meatballs I've ever eaten. My mom loved working there and our family all enjoyed eating there...... wow an awesome 55 year old memory... Thank you for that so much, and for the chance to show my great grandkids where I spent a large part of my childhood.. from Colleen in Texas
Stephen nohlgren 10-Jan-2016 15:35
This is Steve Nohlgren again. I found myself thinking about the Painted Horse again today and remembered this website. It is a testament to Don and my dad that it keeps going. These stories are wonderful. A Seminole girl with nine empty plates? Who knew? Pat Mcnitt, who was your mother? I probably know her. I will keep closer tabs on this website from now on and will send a link to others in my family. Dave: jello is one of the cheapest things you can serve people and because they love it and eat so much, they eat less of that great fried chicken, which cost a lot more. That was how you served food for 99 cents. Thank you everyone.
dave 03-May-2015 16:30
also forgot to mention the jello never seen jello so big wow they used big molds
dave 02-May-2015 13:29
great place, my grandparents would drive us there from west palm while we stayed with them on holidays We lived in N Y Wow I thought it was great while eating there I seen a guy who lived in my area in N Y with his family small world we called the place the dollar horse !
Guest 04-Jan-2015 15:57
I ate ridiculous amounts of pasta salad there. Also remember the various sized wooden painted horses for sale by the front door.
Michael Marko 25-Oct-2014 20:37
My parents used to take me and my brother here when I was like 3. There was a wishing well outside. I thought it was the height of exoticism!
Pat mcnitt 07-Jul-2014 05:13
My mom worked here when I was five . I hated to go to school so they let me come to work with her . I love it , I would cut up veggies all day it was great !!
Guest 23-Oct-2013 22:33
My family and I traveled every year on Christmas/New Years break and stayed at a motel called "The Arbordale" on 10800 Biscayne Blvd. We would walk nightly and eat at this wonderful restaurant. I was only 13 at the time but I have fond memories of the wonderful food. Also...I had forgotten the name of the restaurant until I found this website....we always called it a dollar nine.
Joyce Carol 01-Jun-2013 02:38
Just spoke to my 80 year old Aunt who asked me if I would like to have a wooden horse that her Mother, my Grandmother, bought for her when they visted this place, (I assume this is the one), on her first trip to Florida in 1945! Can't wait to tell her I found a picture of it! This has to be the place because she told me it was the only smorgasboard in the country at time and so was always busy, and had a parking lot all around the building. Thanks for letting me see a little bit of my Grandmothers history
Mary 11-Jul-2012 02:45
I worked there for 2 days, but arthitis got me down and had to quit. The food was great and the people friendly - wish I could have stayed on. I am thrilled to find this site!
Guest 09-Jul-2011 09:26
This pic brings back so many good memories. I remember one time while dining here I saw a young Seminole Indian girl with 9 empty plates stacked in front of her. Little thing too. I don't know where she put it all. Unbelievable for 99cents and the food was delicious. I enjoyed the post from the owners son.
Don Boyd07-Apr-2011 01:16
Thank you Steve, it's great to get great accurate information from someone who was there and who knows the facts. Your dad and his staff fed one heck of a lot of people over time and a lot of people have great memories of the Painted Horse.

steve nohlgren 06-Apr-2011 21:50
What memories and kind comments. This was my dad's restaurant til it finally went broke in the early 70's. I worked there from age 14 through some of my summers during college. A few comments on earlier posts: There was never a Painted Horse on the second floor of the Walgreens though there were many imitators after we first moved into the Miami area. There was indeed a Painted Horse on SW 8th, probably about 15th-20th Avenue from the late 50's through early 60's. My dad had two financial backers when he came to Miami and they opened that one, the Biscayne restaurant and one in Pompano Beach. They soon had a falling out and each took one. One of the partners renamed it the Dahla Horse, from a region of Sweden, but it didn't last long, nor did Pompano. The new dining room was a tremendous move, doubling the capacity for about 400. What essentially killed the business was a combination of Lyndon Johnson deciding that restaurant workers should fall under the minimum wage laws (hard to serve for 99 cents unless you pay slave wages) and my dad's declining health, because the restaurant business always needs tremendous attention. But at its peak in the early to mid-60s there was nothing like it. We would serve 2,000 plus people on Mother's day, sometimes with lines over an hour long. I used to take names out front and sometimes would send in customers before any tables became vacant, figuring that by the time they came off the salad bar with full plates there had to be an open table somewhere. Occasionally that caused a few embarrassing moments. Willie Pearson, if you are out there anywhere, email me at
Louis 12-Mar-2011 04:17
I was roughly 4 or 5 years old at the time, but if memory serves me right, I believe there was a Painted Horse on the 2nd floor of Walgreen's in Downtown Miami. There were two Walgreen's, one close to the RIo Theatre, and one across from the Florida Theatre and The Olympia. The Painted Horse was in the Walgreen's across from the Florida Theatre. Wow, that was a long time ago!
Guest 28-Feb-2011 18:46
I will always remember the Painted Horse. My father Dawson Murphy took us often in the sixtys. I enjoyed everything about it. From a greatfull native Rosemary
Guest 28-Feb-2011 18:46
I will always remember the Painted Horse. My father Dawson Murphy took us often in the sixtys. I enjoyed everything about it. From a greatfull native Rosemary
Dave 27-Nov-2010 16:52
My grandmother lived in Miami Shores from 1955 till the late 70's. We used to go to visit in the summer (too hot)! She wanted to take us to the Painted Horse everyday.
One time my sister and I only ate the ice cream because we were tired of going everyday!!!
Guest 20-Jul-2010 22:07
OMG! I can not believe I found this website. We traveled every year to florida for a summer vacation. I spent ever summer in miami bch with my folks. We ate at the painted horse several times a week. It was part of my childhood. We met many other vacationers and ate dinner there. My mom would tell everyone about the Painted Horse. Thank you for bringing me some great memories. Grace, Punta Gorda, Fl
Norm Faith Jr. 30-May-2010 03:37
My mom and dad would take my brother, one of my friends and myself there...We three boys would freak everyone out at the amount of roast beef and mashed potatos that we could eat. Poor mom...She would hang her head in shame. (GRIN)
Guest 15-Jan-2010 16:39
Looking at all these wonderful restaurants, I'm starting to wonder if we ever ate at home. The Swedish Meatballs were amazing and yes, Orange aide, pure bliss.
Peggy Green
Lou. Ky
Tom Fermanian 11-Jan-2010 15:08
Hi Great memories! Used to live close to 8th street in the 50s & 60s, wasn't there a Painted Horse Restaurant on 8th street or close to there, I seem to remember that the name changed to the Dahla Horse afterwards?? Thanks for this great site!
Marie 24-Jul-2009 00:00
We used to beg Mama for a penny for the wishing well. Lots of wishes made in the little shaded area in front of this building!
Randy 19-Jul-2009 07:22
We ate there often in the '60s. I think my fav were the swedish meatballs. I do remember that us kids got a drink they made there called organge aid. I really miss places like this.
Buzz 10-Mar-2009 20:23
As a kid my family took me there several times a month. It seems it was one of our favorite places. I remember there was a thing that looked like a pirate's treasure chest that kids were allowed to take something out of (can't remember on our way out. I think a lot of family restaurants did that back then to try and lure in the kids. It worked!
Guest 23-Jan-2009 19:01
Don't forget the apple brown betty.
Julie 19-Jan-2009 16:06
We moved to Miami in l968 and bought a house in Miami Shores. We took our kids to the Painted Horse because the food was good and cheap. It was located at the "Y" where Biscayne Blvd.went NE. The movie production building was across the street (where they made the Flipper movies). The Jockey Club was at 112th and Biscayne on the Bay.
Jeff 02-Oct-2008 18:22
Oh, you lucky people who were here in the 1950's!

Within one block you had the choice of the Painted Horse, the Biscayne Boulevard Drive-In and Grandma's Kitchen! Who needed to cook?
Guest 03-May-2008 14:27
Oh my God, the Painted Horse where everyone filled up to the brim for 99 cents. My girlfriend was a waitress for "one day" finding she couldn't cut the job racing around the always packed place.
John Lasseter14-Mar-2008 10:34
Cant' believe that I just found your great collection. I worked at the Painted Horse from 1964-67. Mr Nohlgren had enlarged the building and somehow the magic system began to fail.... leading to it's demise. People would wait in line for up to an hour just to get in!
The "General" was DA MAN and Willie was his #2.
Guest 06-Mar-2008 17:44
It broke my dad's bank to give all six kids a penny to throw in the wishing well! Excellent rice pudding and that huge bowl of potato chips.
Louis 21-Feb-2008 10:46
The Painted Horse Buffet! You know they also had a restaurant on the 2nd floor of the Walgreen's building on Flagler Street in downtown Miami. I think the one on Biscayne came later after the downtown restaurant was closed. Anyone remember???
gary k 12-Feb-2008 19:59
spent many a sundays' dinner here. the old man loved the price.
Guest 19-Jan-2008 12:22
The "General"was the name given the excellent for his orange tapioca pudding...wish i had his recipe!
Jo-Anne K 15-Jan-2008 21:48
All you can eat $.99, they had all colors and flavors of jell-o. I think the Jockey Club was built behind it (or very close by).
Guest 11-Oct-2007 16:27
What a great place!!!!! Cannot forget the little ice cream sundae's in the stainless steel cups at the end. I think there was a well full of pennies on the left on the way inside the front door as you walked under that canopy. Thanks Don for sharing this, I was beginning to think no one else knew about this place.