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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 >> Fun Fair Image Gallery - click on image to view the gallery > 1950's - Fun Fair on the 79th Street Causeway
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1950's Courtesy of Robert Bowman

1950's - Fun Fair on the 79th Street Causeway

79th Street Causeway, Dade County, Florida


Thank you to Robert Bowman for contributing this great image. I see a Howard Johnson's sign behind the left umbrella, an archery place and a "Stop 'n Sock" sign in the background.


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matt Bengtson 31-Aug-2020 09:55
These baseball cards say “old Tyme Penny arcade“ on the back of the cards as well. Name is matt thank you for your time .
matt Bengtson 31-Aug-2020 09:47
I have some of these baseball cards, could you tell me more about them? I know they are exhibits from the early 50’s And on the back they have a stamp that says “fun fair” 79th st. Causeway
Miami Beach Florida (treasure island arcade) My name is matt Bengtson and my phone number is +17072733620 if someone could tell me more about them that would be much appreciated
Guest 27-Jun-2020 05:53
my memories are of the arcade and all the games. plus those cowboy and basbeall player cards you got from the machine for a penny.
Nick Marian 14-Apr-2020 22:35
My mom worked there and for Mr. K. She let me work the counter to help out as a kid late at night. Loved that place....Great memories!

Robert 13-Oct-2019 21:18
My grandparents lived on Miami Beach, and would take me to Fun Fair when I visited them over the summer, and later lived with them from 1965-67. Loved that game room! My favorite: Skee Ball, similar to a small bowling lane. You got 5 small balls to try to land in the 4 ring areas worth 20-30-40 and 50 points for the smallest center ring. If you missed the outlying ring, you still got 10 points. My other memory was a machine that engraved letters or numbers onto a silver-colored ring. You could engrave your name, date of your visit, and other information, within the limit, on it Very good food, too. Great place to spend a couple of hours, the kids and teen-agers would always want to go there again soon for more fun at the Fun Fair!
Guest 11-Jul-2018 16:59
SW - grew up in Miami Beach in the 60's and 70's. Went to Fun Fair many times. Part of a really great childhood growing up there. Also remember Peppermint Lounge became L' Disque, the first discotheque in Florida. Luau was there also. I worked at the Luau II as a bartender in the early 70's.
John Adams 29-Dec-2017 19:24
I Used to go to Fun Fair Back in the 70's the putt putt on some of the holes had bowling pins and a loop the loop if I could remember? if anyone can refresh my memory on other items on the course please do. Also I could never forget the taste of the chocolate ice cream cone. still today 40 years plus Later anytime I eat good chocolate ice cream I compare it to Fun Fair and to be honest Fun Fair still wins. I also was amazed to see the sign of Howard Johnsons that's probably where they got there ice cream. if anyone can remember in north Miami beach there was a Howard Johnsons hotel On 163rd street and they had the best chocolate fudge sundae's. My other favorite memory of fun Fair is the game room = Pin Ball+ Skeet Ball+ and a Submarine Game with a telescope.... Fun Times at Fun Fair.
Guest 25-Dec-2017 18:05
I think this is the place I remember from the 70s. Was there a sign that said "Time for Fun and Food?"
Rich 18-Nov-2017 01:13
He is also the guy being referred to as the asshole..haha. He was an irish mobster from NY. Yes, I hear he was a rough guy lol..by the time I met him he was an old man with amazing stories who knew baseball like the back of his hand. He also played semi-pro ball. By the way, Fun Fair was so shady..I wont get too into details.
Rich 18-Nov-2017 01:07
The other owner’s name was my great grandfather: Robert Weller. Gangster. Legend. RIP.
Guest 19-Oct-2017 20:22
Just to add to the discussion about Fun Fair, the owner's son posted that he used to sneak into the Peppermint Lounge. My stepfather, Harold Rosenthal, owned that place along with one other whose name I cannot remember. Great doings in the early 60's with the twist at its height ! I recall sitting at a table with the great Lenny Bruce. Lots of fun being with the owner, met many stars there. Robin S
CJ Freund 20-Jul-2017 17:40
Message is for Keith, who commented about the boat "Little Moe". I'm researching information about ownership of the "Little Moe II" from Miami, Florida, which participated in the October 1965 Cuban Camarioca boatlift. Any information would be appreciated.
Ellen Gottlieb 26-Sep-2016 02:15
Great days, Beach Hi grad 1966, went to school with Danny he worked hard behind that counter. Those days were the best. Great food & fun. Every time I drive by that site I look over to see if maybe its back. We all could use those Fun Fair days again. Thanks for the memories. Ellen
Guest 15-Sep-2016 18:04
Does anyone recall Bahama Mama performing next door to Fun Fair in the mid fifties?
Guest 15-Sep-2016 18:02
what was the name of the motel next door to Fun Fair?
Les H 11-Jul-2016 01:02
Good jazz at Jillys in the 60's
Jay S. 13-Jan-2016 15:26
Fun Fair should have been preserved for future generations to enjoy.
MR 18-Sep-2015 20:26
This was a great place and still would be. Mr. Kleiman was a character and you'd have to go a long way to find another like him. It was and still is a special place for those who stopped to eat and chat or play in the archade. Pop took us there and we were all hooked. Thanks for the blog and I am happy to see we still remember the simple pleasures that made this a great place.
mike 11-May-2015 16:35
I grew up in Normandy Isle, just down the way from Fun Fair. I went there numerous times since about the age of 5 through college graduation. I loved the food. The game area had many nice games, but I thought the guy who ran that part was an asshole. When I was 18 years old, having gone there for about 13 years, and having spent a lot of money on the games, I went there with a friend, and saw some pinball machines. The machines would give you a free game if the last number of your score matched with a number displayed on the machine at the end of the game. The machine my friend and I were playing kept matching these numbers and giving us free games. The asshole manger saw this, became irate at me and my friend. I mean what an asshole. He knew I came there a over the course of many years, and spent a lot of money. Then he gets mad at us because of some malfunction of the machine. What an asshole.
Don Boyd01-Apr-2015 02:51
Well said, Bill Sullivan, well said. I was only at Fun Fair a couple of times in the early 1960's so I'm in awe of your memories there a couple of years later. Thank you for posting them.

A good percentage of us were screwed by the draft looming over us in the mid-1960's thanks to LBJ building up the war effort and dramatically increasing the number of draftees. I wonder how many guys who did go to college would have gone if they didn't have the draft after them if they didn't? Military pay scales were pathetically low back then so America fought that war on the cheap and way too many of our age group were killed or seriously wounded or messed up in the head upon return from 'Nam to an ungrateful nation. Those in our age group were screwed good compared to those born earlier or later.

And I love "American Grafffiti" - I've seen it a couple of times in theatres and numerous times since then. I even traveled to Petaluma, California a couple of times when attending attending two Coast Guard Reserve schools on active duty at their training center west of Petaluma and I took photos of various building scenes that were in the movie and still existed in Petaluma. Long live "American Graffiti!" Now to rent that movie again.....

Don
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Bill Sullivan 31-Mar-2015 18:31
Our "gang" of around 20 assorted pals from Miami Edison, Archbishop Curley and North Miami high schools hung out at Fun Fair back in the Day (1962 - 1966), just before most of us went into the military. People forget that during the Viet Nam era pretty much every male age 18 or over either enlisted, or was drafted. What was the attraction of Fun Fair? That's easy: Girls! Funny looking back now that our mutual teenage experiences with drinking didn't occur there, or drugs of any kind. Just hangin' around, drinking Coke (not sniffing it) playing mini golf, wasting countless quarters on arcade games, goofing with each other. The middle 60's became the turning point for everything in America. The microcosm of weekend teen age life at Fun Fair and thousands of similar places across the USA can be easily re-visited by renting George Lucas' classic - and oh-so-perfectly done - movie, "American Graffiti".
Lee 28-Mar-2015 22:44
The hot dogs were amazing. The colorful characters and " family members " made it an iconic Miami landmark. I started work there at age 18. 1972-1973. Jerry Lewis and Sammy Davis Jr. ate there during my shift. " Two dogs Seaboard " ( to go ). Danny, I remember you as well. Your dad was an intersting guy.....
Craig Braelow Braelow 01-Oct-2014 23:09
My father worked the place for steak he ran the front door i would hang out there and park cars i was 15 yo this was 1973. Wise guys would come to me and give me a hundred dollars to bring them back a potato kinish. Or hot dog and keep the change wow
Keith 23-Jul-2014 17:51
Boy I remember the fun we had here, eating the hotdogs, crusty pizza, pizza burgers, and the games, Who can forget Howard Johnsons coffee Icecream
and the Fishing boat The little Moe, a few doors down was The Barn with Wayne Cochran and the CC Riders
before that it was The Peppermint Twist
those were good days
Guest 15-Jul-2014 15:12
Robert, the place brings back some great memories as i am sure you already know, one for me is after going to either the "Image or the Place or the World, this was where we went to get rid if the munchies and tried to find someone to go home with. Again thanks so much, Brett
Guest 17-Mar-2014 15:54
Danny
Only wish my kid could have enjoyed the times we had growing up at Fun Fair, and how much different Miami Beach was in those days. It was the best of the best and what great memories we will always have. Give me 2 Dogs and a Pizza Burger will always ring true.
larry 15-Jan-2014 00:46
Grew up on Treasure Island and Mia Bch. Everyone has already given the same comments as I would have. By the way JK 71, I was with you the first time I smoked and we went to Fun Fair listening to jeff beck superstition. Still a great song. By the way google the image club sunny isles.
Guest 29-Jul-2012 21:31
What a great picture of the paradise that was South Florida in the 50's. My memories are so similar to the other comments. We lived in Hollywood but in those days before interstates every ride seemed shorter. I think the taste of those dogs has never been duplicated in 60 years
Chuck Cooper 13-May-2012 06:14
Just found this site while trying to remember if an old photo booth picture might have been taken there. We lived in Fort Lauderdale and considered it a real treat to go there as teenagers for an evening of fun in the early 50's.
harold martin 03-Dec-2011 14:08
hi! i was born in miami in 1952 first lived around nw 79thst and 17th ave then around 1955 moved to carol city then in 1965 moved to hialeah with my family we stoped here once when i lived in Hialeah we would take E25th st which turned into nw79thst in miami to go to 71th st Beach it was another great place good food as so so many places were great in Miami , Miami had to have more drive ins than any place in america seemed like there was one on every couple miles.
Tony Villella 21-Oct-2010 13:39
Don, what memories I have of Fun Fair. The pizza burgers, onion rings, and of coures the pin ball arcades. Thanks for bringing them back. We would stop there on our way back from the beach and spend qite a few hours. Thanks again.
Suzanne 24-Aug-2010 19:00
Can anyone tell me about the Archery Concession at Fun Fair in the mid 1950's? I just recently found out that the man who ran it could be related to me. Anyone know or heard of Danny Sumerall? (Not sure of the spelling). I spent most of my life, from 1960 with my family, to the final days before it closed, with my boyfriend at the time(who is still my husband), enjoying the best of times at Fun Fair. I lived in Miami in the 60's then moved to Miami Beach in 1968. It was a wonderful part of my life growing up and I have such wonderful memories... and now, at this stage in life, I find out I am related to someone that worked there!!! Would appreciate any information at all!
Jon Kaufman Beach Hi "71" 24-Jul-2010 18:01
Circa 60's,It was the place to be. Late nite we would all hang at the Fun Fair with a couple of dogs, fries and Pizza Burgers. You could get there by car or boat. I still make Pizza Burgers for my kids as a tribute to Fun Fair, but it's not quite the same. Great memories growing up on the beach.
RickD 01-Mar-2010 08:44
I used to go there and play pinball with my high school buddies in the mid-70's
jgalitz23-Feb-2010 23:26
Seeing this picture brings back great memories. I grew up on Treasure Island and Fun Fair was just the best. I have great memories of the hot dogs and the putting on hot sauer kraut from the condiment bar. One of my best memories was getting a pizza burger and as the cook was about to put in on the bun it fell off of the spatula upside down on the grill, just the the cook looks at me and says "I'll sell it to you for 25 cents". Every year across the street was the annual carnival with my favorite "Lobster Boy" as part of the freak show.
Guest 15-Jan-2010 16:34
Sunday, after the cabana, all parents took their kids to Fun Fair for fabulous food and skeet ball. I can smell it and we do not have those hot dogs in Louisville, but we do have the Derby!
Joyce W. Mosier 28-Dec-2009 02:36
I grew up in the Miami area, N.W. 17th Ave. & 112th Street. I have not thought about Fun Fair for years. I used to go there as a kid & I remember going there with my first boyfriend who I dated from 1967-1972. This picture just knocked my socks off! When I was little my dad worked at Mike Gordon's Seafood Rest. which was also on the 79th Street Causeway. I moved to Ga. in 1995 and have not been back to Miami for almost 12 years. I'm enjoying alot of these old pictures, what memories!
robertbowman06-Dec-2009 20:41
If anyone wants to see the souvenier "coin" that you got at FunFair Don has mine posted here

http://www.pbase.com/donboyd/image/97943995
Howard 28-Oct-2009 04:08
Wow! When I just saw this photo grweat memories came back to me. I lived on Adventure Avenue on Treasure Island in the 1960s through the early 1970s. I remember walking to Fun Fair to have the best hot dogs and pizza burgers ever! Living on Treasure Island as a little kid was really great. Our entire world was surrounded on all sides by water, but we had everything we wanted on our little island, including Fun Fair!
Steven Dayan 18-Oct-2009 17:03
I remember this place very well both as a kid and as a teenager. Always had a great time here even though I didn't live nearby (lived both in West Miami and then Coral Gables). I do remember they had some trampolines out back I think? and then they closed them and replaced it with something else?
David Sorokoty 17-Jun-2009 19:45
What a great place to have when we were kids. Even though living in Hialeah on 68th street, it was always a treat to visit and spend the afternoon!
guest 16-May-2009 23:26
My wife and I produced our first keepsake at Fun Fair. It was an embossing machine that produced a circular metal charm. That was in 1966. We have been married for 38 years!
D&W
dave 05-Apr-2009 19:59
in the early 60's it was a popular spot for celebs after the shows on the Beach, Jillys and the Peppermint Twist close by
Don Boyd17-Mar-2009 05:58
Marsha, and everyone else who has posted, thank you for all your comments.

Your comments really hit home, Marsha, regarding the people who post all over this site under the photos and in the different comments galleries - they do know their stuff because they grew up here and experienced the Miami area first hand. And thanks for posting your comments under the other photos on the site.

Don
marsha alexander 16-Mar-2009 21:12
With all the great places and resturants in the portfolio, for me nothing holds a candle to Fun Fair. I have such great memories of everything that happened there with my sisters, parents, boyfriends and friends. I always stayed up late and for me this was the perfect place without smoke. Seth Bramson and I have talked recently about how some people who were not raised here seem to be historians about south Florida and how mistaken they are about details. The people who have responded to these pictures have it right on. This is totally enjoyable.
Guest 02-Mar-2009 02:32
Fun Fair was the greatest! It did not get any better than grilled hot dogs with hot sauerkraut, pizza burgers and real mocha chip shakes made with Howard Johnson ice cream. Follow that up with pinball machines and miniature golf and life was grand. I grew up on Miami Beach and visited Fun Fair for years with my family and then had the pleasure of working there all through High School. Working for Danny and his dad Dave Kleiman and Richie Kasen at Fun Fair and then for years at The Sea Shanty was fantatstic. Great people to work with who always believed in serving the absolute best quality food. They worked on volume and made very little per person but they insisted on serving the best. What great times. Thank you! Bruce
Danny 26-Feb-2009 19:05
Dan Kleiman
I guess I have the fondness memoriesof all . My family owned the food concession of Fun Fair from the 60's to the final close. I went to Beach High grauduated in 66 with the rest rest the gang. I would work there after school, and weekends flipping dogs, and dipping cones. How about those pizza burgers!!!! the best ever!!!!. One of the greatest hang outs of all time. Those were the days. It was a 24/7 operation, never closed a day. I remember one time durning hurricane Donna I was there alone I thought that long overhang roof was going to blow off the structure. There was nothing like a dog at 2pm after Jilly's, Beach Bowl, or sneaking in to the Peppermint lounge. It will always make me remember growing up on the beach. Thank Robert for the snap shot.
laura B. 15-Feb-2009 05:29
My folks always stopped here on the way home from the beach. I loved this place. Thanks for the memories.
WFW28-Jan-2009 06:57
WFW here in Na$hVega$, originally from Miami Beach. I practically grew up @ Fair Fair. To the left of the HoJo ice cream section was the back 9 of the miniature golf course. Under that ARCHERY sign was the arcade; Ski Ball was my fave (only a nickle, & the most fun, for me). To the right, in that blank-ish looking space which was actually Biscayne Bay, a boat dock harbored a coupla day charter boats, in the '60s. Does anyone remember the li'l Italian-looking chap w/the lazy eye who was like the all-purpose busboy (he moved to Stahl's Coney Island on 167th Street in NMB eventually)?
Guest 20-Jun-2008 20:12
I remember going to Fun Fair with my two firends. They lived on 86th street, it was always a treat to get to go there. Thanks for the memories.
robertbowman22-May-2008 04:25
Used to go there quite often,With my older sisters when I was smaller and with my friends later. I graduated in '74 from Beach High. I remember all those things as well as "Hal" serving those hot dogs and French Fries in those cardboard trays. The relish bar was rude if I remember corectly,It was all in the open with whatever flew by on top.I still have a custom Penny Souvenir from the machine in the arcade.
Jeff 19-May-2008 04:59
Interesting how this showed up, Robert... It might even be a print I'd made for someone some years back.

By the time I got to go to Fun Fair in the early 1960's, the archery was discontinued in favor of a tiny miniature golf course, and the "Stop and Sock" game was replaced by a game room with pinball, skee-ball and a booth where you could record your own voice on a record.

At the back of the building was paddle boat rentals. Did you note the Hires root beer "barrel" dispenser on the service counter? It was there right up to the end of Fun Fair in the early 1970's. In the middle of the patio was a relish bar for topping off the hamburgers and hot dogs...
robertbowman15-May-2008 00:06
I found it in a box of pictures from the flea Market, It looked like a reprint. I saw a copy of the same picture in Seth Bramson's book on Miami Beach.
Jeff 07-May-2008 23:12
This is a print of a photo taken by the late Ernie W. Skog of Ernie's Studio and Camera Center (home based in North Miami).

It's circa 1957, if my memory still holds true. At one point I owned the original negative of this image, and sold prints to other Miami nostalgia enthusiasts for basically the cost of the photo supplies.

The 4x5 negative now resides in the permanent collection of Seth Bramson, noted author and historian on Miami, South Florida and the Florida East Coast Railway.