Jimbo Luznar Doesn't Want to Forfeit Jimbo's Place After All, According to Latest Letter to City
Remember how Jimbo Luznar, the 85-year-old founder of the bizarre Virginia Key hangout Jimbo's Place, agreed to turn the site over to the City of Miami?
Well now -- according to a letter signed by him -- he wants to keep the site in his family, to become a "green" kayak rental and active shrimping operation.
A month ago, we brought you the story of the warring siblings behind the 58-year-old landmark's closing. There were accusations among the Luznars -- Jimbo Luznar's sons and daughter -- of crack dealing, theft, and insanity.
Jimbo himself appeared to seal the place's fate when he wrote a March 15 letter to Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado asking the city to take back the site -- which is located on preserved land -- to turn it into a public park.
But Jimbo's son Bobby Luznar recently forwarded us another letter, this one dated April 2, in which Jimbo appears to rescind his offer to the city:
I do want my vision for the Jimbo's Shrimp site and business to live forever as a "Green" model site for the community. The business that will carry forward is Jimbo's Place 54. Jimbo's place will continue to serve the people of Miami on the site. Those are my wishes.
He then adds that the new business will feature a "cyclist park," rent canoes and kayaks, serve as a backdrop for films and movies, and this:
I was unaware that my son's plans include the conversion of the "shrimp shack" into a museum for all to visit. That is wonderful and I support that too.
Bobby emailed the letter to Mayor Regalado, writing in the third person:
Bobby Luznar, son of James Sr aka Jimbo's, has been told by his father to "fight for Jimbo's land as a place Miami's citizen's to gather". Bobby Luznar, independent of his siblings, has made the decision to fight to continue Jimbo's wishes.
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He also added that Jimbo's Place 54 would be solar- and wind-powered, while also "maintaining [a] working shrimp boat on site."
"Stop the city now," Bobby tells Riptide. "They will ruin Jimbo's as a historical site. Why after 58 years does the city want to bulldoze the site immediately?"
He goes on to suggest that the original letter from Jimbo, asking that the city take back the land, might have been a fabrication by Bobby's sister, Gail Araujo. (That seems unlikely. Jimbo's wife, 84-year-old Ruby, told us that they had decided to give up the site.)
Jimbo is said to be suffering from Alzheimer's disease and other ailments. Araujo says her brother Bobby had his father sign the letter without reading it -- Jimbo thought it had to do with his son keeping boats at the site. "For him to have my dad sign anything while my mom is sleeping is underhanded," Araujo says, adding, "We have no say-so as to what's done with the site. We gave it away a month ago."
Yep, Bobby Luznar has an uphill battle persuading the city to let the family keep the land after Jimbo forfeited it. Even if it will be the site of a green shrimping operation.
Here's the latest letter:
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