Shorty's Bar-B-Q Property Sold...But Long Live Shorty's!

Shorty's Bar-B-Q sign is an iconic fixture.
Shorty's Bar-B-Q sign is an iconic fixture. Photo by Natalia Molina
The flagship location of Miami mainstay Shorty's Bar-B-Q, which has been in business since 1951, has been sold to Miami developers for $14.5 million.

Yesterday, the South Florida Business Journal announced the transaction, which saw real estate developers Florida Value Partners and Atlantic Pacific Companies purchase Shorty's at 9200 S. Dixie Highway and the adjacent property at 9180 S. Dixie Highway.

Before you get in the car for a farewell plate of ribs, know that the sale will not affect Shorty's — at least in the foreseeable future.

Shorty's CEO Mark Vasturo assures New Times that the 70-year-old barbecue joint will continue turning out its slow-smoked meats beloved by generations of Miamians. "The restaurant is going to stay where it is," Vasturo says. "We have a lease."

Vasturo adds that Shorty's did its due diligence before the real estate transaction took place. "We've had a lot of offers over the years for that property, but many have not included the perpetuation of Shorty's."

The restaurant executive says trust was built over time, with one key fact sealing the deal: "They're big Shorty's fans."

Vasturo and the team behind Shorty's are well aware of the restaurant's historical significance. "We were there before Dadeland," he notes. "Everything was built up around Shorty's."

Asked about the potential use of the property, Vasturo says that if and/or when the new property owners do expand, Shorty's will be part of the plan. "This may take several years, but they want Shorty's to be part of any plans. The bottom line is that Shorty's is not going anywhere."

E.L. "Shorty" Allen opened the restaurant in 1951. The original structure was replaced in 1971 after a fire and the restaurant was sold in 1980, but the restaurant remained a fixture of old Miami, cherished for its hickory-smoked ribs and chicken and friendly, casual ambiance. Shorty Allen died in 2013 at age 104.

Shorty's now has three additional locations, in Westchester (11575 SW 40th St.), Doral (2255 NW 87th Ave.), and Davie (5989 S. University Dr.).

Shorty's Bar-B-Q. 9200 S. Dixie Hwy., Pinecrest; 305-670-7732;
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss