My dear friend the late Charles Lawson introduced me to Joe’s in 1989. There was a big crowd awaiting seating, however, as we entered I could hear the maitre d’ calling out “Mr. Lawson, table for two.” I mentioned it was good we had reservations, Charles replied, with his New England boarding school accent, “Mark, I am a regular here and a Joe’s maitre d’ can recognize regulars by the tip of our noses.” At that moment, I knew I had to move to Miami and return to Joe’s!
-Mark Ottosen / Miami, Florida
Homage to Jackie Gleason’s Joe the Bartender… One evening, I arrived with my wife and our two young daughters. We were early at Joe’s for a family occasion. Our oldest was three years old and our newest daughter was in a carrying basket which we set upon the uncrowded bar near the remodeled West entrance section. As the crowd after us built around the bar, the bartender mentioned a Florida State law that minor children could not be on or at the bar. We politely argued, but to no avail. Before stepping back, my wife retrieved a baby bottle from our bag at the end and slid it all the way down the bar. Having made some sort of point, we stepped back, receiving applause from our fellow guests. And we went on to a fantastic dinner!
-Brian Wade / Miami Shores, FL
My wife and I made our first visit to South Beach and Joe’s this weekend for her 40th birthday. I rarely walk away from a restaurant and say WOW. The food was great and the service was even better. We can’t wait to return. Thank you for the hospitality!
-Ned Dickinson / Williamsburg, VA
As a family coming from abroad we always look foward to eating at Joe’s Stone Crab, but this time it was especially important because it was our father’s BIG 70th Birthday. Joe’s is the best restaurant in the world and my father’s favorite, we had great food, great service but most important we had great memories to be treasured for ever. Calderon Family/El Salvador, C.A.
-Jose / Miami, FL
Our first dining experience at Joe’s was in 1971 when my father was at a convention in Bal Harbour. I was just released from the Army, and we used the occasion for a vacation. We loved the stone crabs so much, we went back 4 nights in a row. My mother finally said “isn’t there another restaurant in Miami Beach?” We went somewhere else one night and then went back to Joe’s the last 3 nights of our vacation. Go back whenever in Florida. In 1971, the entrance was at south of building, across from an old dog track.
-Robert Lindquist / Arlington Heights, ILL
Our parents, Ted & Pearl Kipnis have been coming to Joe’s Stone Crab since 1948. And for those 65 years, they have been coming to Joe’s once a week for almost the whole time. Our parents have been bringing us to Joe’s since we were little children and now we are in our 60’s and 70’s and we continue to bring our children as well. They have been here with their children, their grandchildren and their great grandchildren. Their dear friend and owner, Jo Ann and her family have been the perfect hosts for many celebrations (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.) and the staff including Dennis, Eddie, Bones and Janine always welcomes them like family. Their most recent visit today (April 1, 2013) was to celebrate my father’s 92nd birthday. Joe’s is a family tradition.
-Steven Kipnis / Wayne, NJ
What better way to celebrate a birthday than at Joe’s!!
-Howard & Idel Leibowitz / Cooper City, Florida
My husband is a fourth generation Miamian. Joe’s has always been a major part of our dining pleasure. Our three kids wanted to go to Joe’s when asked about dinner out. On Feb 28, my husband celebrated his 70th birthday at Joe’s with the kids and now the grandkids. The newest one is 8 months. We will continue to enjoy Joe’s, not only with family, but friends for many years to come. Thanks.
-Ann Taintor / Key Biscayne, FL
I dined at your restaurant last month, and Mike took very good care of us. The food is excellent and the service and attention, by Mike, was exemplary. The highlight of the evening was meeting Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly, who were also dining at your restaurant.
-Susan Altrock / Scottsdale, Az
On Dec. 15, 2012, my husband and I went for the first time to eat at Joe’s. I was 38 weeks pregnant. The wait time for a table was an hour, so a kind gentleman sat us in a waiting area where my husband can have a drink meanwhile. When we were called, as we reached the table my water broke! The 2 coincidences are while we were waiting I made a comment to my husband of, “wouldnt it be crazy if my water broke in public,” and we had picked Jocelyn as our babys name. We were calling her baby Jo for a while. A story we will never forget.
-Daphne Robaina / Miami, FL
My wife and I are antique dealers in Los Angeles. For years we exhibited at the Greater Miami Antique show. Each January, we would pack up are wares and set up at the show. Through the years, business dwindled. But one constant thing was our great dinners at Joe’s Stone Crab. The food and service was always great. Even if we had a bad show we knew we could always have a great time at Joe’s with all our friends from the antique show. Keep up the tradition of great food and fantastic service. Thanks for all the great meals !
-Ralph Blunt / Pasadena, CA
….because of Calvin (Keel). In the late 70’s and early 80’s, I was buying stone crabs for a couple of restaurants I owned called The Seafood Express. I always enjoyed talking and interacting with Calvin, but only by telephone. So when my wife, Katie, and I had a chance to visit sunny Florida and stay at the Sheraton Bal Harbour, we thought what a great time to go meet Calvin in person. We motored to Joe’s but to our disappointment, the sign on the door said ”the season” was not yet under way….good news…a wonderful hostess asked us if we were there for opening night and we said we didn’t have an invitation. Through either graciousness or perhaps a misunderstanding, she quickly gave us an invitation card for that evening’s opening night. We were thrilled to be able to attend and mentioned that I was anxious to say hi to my phone friend, Calvin. That evening, Calvin was not available but to soften our disappointment, who would believe we were seated next to ”the great one” himself, Jackie Gleason! He was always the highlight of our early family TV time. And NOW I’m sitting next to him!! Thanks to Joe’s and a special thanks to Calvin.
-Gary Meszaros / Sharon, PA
Today is my birthday and it always reminds me of Joe’s & my Dad. I was born on my father’s birthday and as a Miami Beach native, we celebrated there every year – it was my Dad’s favorite place to go. We had a lot of family ties to Joe’s back then. My parents were very close friends with Herm & Hannah Levitt – they were my adopted grandparents – and my brother was named after Herm. Jesse Weiss lived in an apartment my Dad owned on Treasure Isle in the late 1950’s – probably when he was between wives. Each night, on his way home & before hitting the town with his pals, he’d knock on my parents door (we lived downstairs) and drop off a bag of crabs – a real treat for them. For many years, my Dad kept Roy in dress shirts and we never waited for a table. As soon as we walked in the door, Roy would call us out ”Rackear party, your table is ready”. Jesse would usually stop by our table to schmooze. Even though the original space has been completely remodeled, it’s still steeped in tradition for me and I take this great trip down memory lane, revisiting the ”old Miami Beach” and the close connections the Jewish community had back then, each time I dine there. The food has remained wonderful and unchanged. Thank you for the great memories!!! And here’s a pic of Murray Rackear, R.I.P.
-Nancy Rackear / Fort Lauderdale, FL
My first real meal.
-Lawrence Laster / Aventura, FL
Our first Valentine Weekend get away was fabulous and our dinner at Joe’s made it that much better…Thanks for a truly memorable dining experience!
-Kelly Taggart & Donny Martinelli / Delray Beach, FL
Our waiter Octavio was amazing. Had the best service, best food. Couldn’t be happier.
-Caitlyn Shiels / Wellington, FL
My parents first brought me to Joe’s to celebrate my acceptance to medical school in 1963. Fifty years later, my wife Nancy and I still visit Joe’s at least once a year with many fond memories of Jesse Weiss, Roy, and our favorite waiter, Bernhardt. For the past twenty years we have lived in WA State, but each year I return to Miami Beach to share a dinner at Joe’s with my 92 year old mother Shirley. Here’s to celebrating our 50 years and Joe’s 100.
-Mort Altman / Gig Harbor, WA
We visited your restaurant on a recommendation from a dear friend who obviously has great taste. We shared crabcake sandwiches, seafood bisque, conch chowder, and of course your wonderful key lime pie. The food was amazing, but our favorite part of the meal in your take away was Curtis! He saw a lost looking man seeking a table at noon on a Sunday…. not an easy task! But he guided me ably and served us all with such friendly attention! He is fantastic!
-Paul, Tina and Kristen Bakalis / Phoenix, AZ
My wife and I discovered Joe’s years ago when our son was still in diapers, unfortunately at that time he did NOT want to be there, so it was a very rushed meal:) We vowed we would make it back when the kids were older! We had a great time celebrating my birthday, great food!
-Jamie, Teresa, Kyle and Nora / Pittsburgh, PA
As a native south Floridian, I have been coming to Joe’s since I was a kid. Always amazing food and a great time!! As an adult, I started looking at some photos and noticed at least on 2 different occasions the same bartender would be in the background creeping into our pictures. I know now he is Jeff and I am proud to have him as part of my adult memories of the pre dinner bar experience at Joe’s. I wish I could post more than one pic because there are so many great ones that capture my amazing dining experiences at Joe’s . :)
-Sheri Farbish / Boca Raton, FL
The sistas five traveled to South Beach for Paula’s 50th birthday. We all met in dance class 11 years ago and have been taking girls’ trips ever since. The birthday celebration was at Joe’s Stone Crab. The food was delicioso and the service superb. We started out in the bar with Lemon Drop Martinis and when our table was called for ”LePaula” we continued our partay in the dining room. Wonderful night!
-Angela McCombs / Castle Rock, Colorado
Our Tail Gate group of twelve had a wonderful, flawless experience! The food and service were impeccable! We will be back! Thank you!
-Jeanne Campbell / Hoover, Alabama
My dad took me and my fiancee to Joe’s a couple months before we were married for the 1st time, and we’ve been coming back ever since. My most memorable experience was when we took our first born son and my late grandmother a few years back. Creating wonderful memories to look back on is what Joe’s means to me and my family.
-Scott Billiet / Parkland, FL
We met our daughter and her boyfriend @ Joe’s for dinner. She showed us her hand and there was a diamond ring. She said jon had proposed and that it was going to be soon because he had asked her to get married, not to be engaged. They were married the next month.
-Mjay / Ft. Lauderdale, FL
We were having dinner with our older son, his wife and her parents when Billy brought out a cake that said: ”Congratulations, Grandparents.” Evan is now 17.
-Mjay / Ft. Lauderdale, FL
We look forward to Joe’s opening every season. We have so many stories to tell but some of them probably can’t be repeated. I remember the Matre D’s telling people to put their name on the list, go to a movie and when they come back their tables should be ready. Congratulations on 100 yrs. My father first started going to Joe’s in the 1930’s and still enjoys it.
-Quentin & Gary Sandler / Miami Beach, Florida
Just visited Joe’s with my 100 year old Aunt. Our waiter was Philly Mike and he suggested that I post the picture on your memories page. Joe’s is her favorite restaurant and we never miss it when we come to Florida!
-Ellen Simon / Jenkintown, Pa
My introduction to Joe’s came in December 1945, while still in my WWII Air Force uniform. My host’s tab for my five large claws, hash browns, cole slaw, Key lime pie and coffee was $5! After 67 years, the claws are more pricey, but the unchanged ambiance of the Joe’s experience remains a special treat that is enhanced by watching first-timers, smiling triumphantly as they arrive at table — even after a lengthy wait. Surely the legend of Joe’s, as an enduring symbol of Miami Beach hospitality, will continue for 100 more years.
*Stuart Newman / Miami Beach, FL
We get plenty of great seafood on the west coast, but we still dream about the stone crab we can only get on the east coast at Joe’s. Whenever we travel east, we make it a must to stop by for dinner. One year, we craved our stone crab so much that we had it flown in via Fed Ex for a New Year’s Eve dinner party. What a hit!
-Robin Venturelli / Pacific Palisades, California
Joe’s is our ”Special Occasion” place. We entertain there often and go annually for our anniversary. On our 30th, a truly special occasion, I surprised Babs with a heartshaped diamond ring. With the help of our waiter, the memory will last forever.
-Sam Graffeo / Parkland, FL
Just over 5 years ago, Louis popped ”THE” question at Joe’s Stone Crab! The ring that he had designed didn’t make it to Miami in time for the big day, so he handcrafted one from ground wire and a Pandora charm. Steve felt sorry for him, so he dressed it up with a ton of desserts! I loved it!!! And still said YES! Side note: He proposed a 2nd time in Richmond when the ring was finally finished! I said YES…again!
*Marti and Louis Williams / Richmond, VA
Three Irish Lads playing golf in Miami for weekend got wind that there was some good crab meat in Joe’s. We tracked the place down and being from Ireland thought we had the run on the world as far as shell fish goes. McDermot got us a table and the man Ryan served and entertained us for the night. It was truly wonderful and so good we stayed over a night to try it again and plans are aleady in place to get back next year. One word Fantastic. Thanks.
-Padraig Croke / Dublin, Ireland
I will never forget the first time I went to Joe’s. My grandparents took me for my seventh birthday. When the waiter took the order, he thought I might want chicken nuggets. However, I surprised the waiter by saying I wanted large stone crabs! He was so surprised that a child my age wanted to eat stone crabs. My grandpa is a very slow eater, so once I finished my stone crabs, he was still working on his steak and I asked if he ”needed help with it.” Then dessert came and I did not know that my grandmother let the waiter know it was my birthday. Out came a cake with candles and everyone in the room started singing ”Happy Birthday.” I cried, tears of joy! I could not believe everyone knew my name! I am now eighteen years old and still today I visit Joe’s every season for my birthday, my grandparents treat of course!
*Frances Iturrioz / Miami, Florida
Over the years, we have had the pleasure of enjoying many wonderful dining experiences at Joe’s. The hospitality extended to us by each and every staff member reminds us that we are among treasured friends. To say that all of the dishes prepared in Chef Andre’s kitchen are scrumptious is an understatement. The crabs are always cracked to perfection and the offerings on the creative summer menu are truly a treat. And speaking of summer, listening to the talented jazz performers during “Joe’s Summer Jazz” is the perfect way to top off yet another delicious meal. We consider ourselves truly fortunate to live so close to one of the most famous culinary establishments in this country, if not the world, and we look forward to many, many more great times thanks to the folks at Joe’s. Happy 100th Anniversary!
*Frank & Barbara Fernandez / Miami, Florida
Our most favorite restaurant ever! This is a photo from the 80’s when they almost asked us to leave because we stayed too long. We later found our great waiter, Kenny, and became instant friends. He added so much to our Joe’s experience, and we miss him! Thank you to everyone at Joe’s, especially; Kenny, Bones, Bill, and Ed for all the great memories. Happy 100th!
-Deb and Ray Glynn / Seattle, WA
I was dragged into an awful lawsuit several years ago and we had to go to the Federal Court Building in Miami for a few weeks. My attorney, who is a dear friend told me that I could either join him for dinner each night or I could eat on my now but either way I was paying for it….. He told me when he is in Miami he only eats at Joe’s. We went every night for two weeks. The case was dismissed and I became the biggest fan of Joe’s. Loved the food, the waiters, the atmosphere and even the line to get a table. Love it all.
-Bob Bell / Seabrook Island, South Carolina
My husband and I first went to Joe’s and discovered stone crabs as newlyweds while visiting our family in Miami back in 1988, when we used to live in Orlando. We totally fell in love with it. After that, everytime we had a chance to come down to Miami, we had to visit Joe’s. We moved to Miami in 1991, and we had to make it to Joe’s every season. We had our three children and they grew going to Joe’s in their multiple stroller and loving stone crabs from a very early age to the present when we now have a young adult and twin teenagers. Thank you for all the family memories we have been able to make and share in your awesome restaurant. Joe’s has always been a treat for us.
*Angie Iturrioz / Miami, Florida
Hello, My name is Helena Hornik, my husband’s name was George Hornik. We have been regular customers since 1944. Congratulations on your coming 100th anniversary. It was October 5, 1944, when I had my wedding dinner party at Joe’s Stone Crab. Now, 3 generations later my son Bruce Hornik, my granddaughter Jennie Johnson, and my new great granddaughter Gia Johnson are all customers of Joe’s! From Roy to Ed we have always eaten at Joe’s for special occasions or when guests from out of town want to eat stone crabs. We also have a family owned business since 1945, Jae’s Jewelers in Coral Gables.
-Helena Hornik / Coral Gables, Florida
After my father & another Torontonian bought the Corsair Hotel on 1st & Ocean Drive in 1955, he arranged with the owner of Joe’s at that time to provide a dinner for two to the restaurant each week as the grand prize for Bingo played each Sunday evening. Although, my father received the dinner gifts for his hotel guests, he & our family never experienced dining at the restaurant. Ultimately, my wife & I were taken to Joe’s by a friend when we returned to Miami after graduating from medical school in 1977. Now I am hooked on Joe’s not only for the fabulous tasting stone crabs but also for numerous other entrees, sides & desserts which have maintained value, consistency & quality over the years.
*Dr. & Mrs. Stanley Skopit / North Miami Beach, FL
I’ve been coming to Joe’s for years and I love it. When I moved to Miami Beach from Boston in 2001 it was one of the only places (I think) to find great food with even greater service. Last night (Nov 20) I took my wife to celebrate her birthday and it was no different, George and Avi made us feel welcome and added to an already wonderful evening. Thanks Joe’s and congrats to celebrating your 100 year anniversary.
*Matt & Samantha McKenna / Miami by way of Boston
I consider it the greatest restaurant of all time. It’s the best in Miami. We want to return and have a good time. Thanks to Joe’s and its tradition…
*Déborah & JC / Saint-Tropez, France
After 20 years we visited Miami again. Two things haven’t changed: my wife and Joe’s. Both are great! Never change a winning team. We spent a most relaxing and enjoyable evening with you.
*Burkhard Lehn / Siegen, Germany
Have so many memorable times of breaking bread and claws at Joe’s. Will be making more as I treat my girlfriend Claudia to her favorite grilled tomatoes ….every year for her birthday. For me the claws, mustard sauce and key lime pie are a little slice of heaven.
*Holly Royce / Sunny Isles Beach, FL
In the 1980’s, I was the CPA for Joe’s. My first meeting with Jesse Weiss was a great experience. The Super Bowl was in Miami that year and he received a phone message that a Fed-Ex envelope would be arriving from ”LH”. With his unlit cigar dangling, he said to me ”how the **** do I know if it’s Leon Hess (Jets owner) or Lamar Hunt (KC Chiefs owner)? To which I responded, ”we should all have such problems!”
-Marc Fine / Miami, FL
I moved to Miami in 1954 and M.B.in 1972 and Joe’s became the place to weekly dine and entertain my family, friends and my many corporate customers. Dinner at Joe’s became the highlight of their trip to Miami. My wife still wears the ring she made with a pearl I found in my oyster dinner at Joe’s. I always celebrate my birthday at Joe’s. It’s tradition.
*Harry Branam / Amory, Miss.
Harry, Joey, and I have been customers at Joe’s for over 50 yrs. And we celebrate both Joey and Harry’s birthday at Joe’s every year. Joe’s is their favorite restaurant. The two best days of my restaurant experience at Joe’s are the day it opens and the announcement of when it’s going to reopen. We have many memorable memories thanks to Joe’s. Happy 100th Anniversary.
-Maria Gagliardo / Miami Beach. FL
Joe’s has always been a special place for my family, where many occasions have taken place. Since 1985 when I was a baby to now 27 years later with my husband. Happy 100th!
*Elaine Wechsler / Fort Lauderdale, FL
In December 2010, My husband and I went to Miami with our good friends Mark and Val Morgan. On our last night’s stay we took the Morgans to Joe’s and they fell in love with the food. Sadly, our good friend Mark Morgan passed away this past summer from cancer. Thanks Joe’s for the good memories.
*Yolanda Stott-Glover / Warren, Michigan
I was introduced to Joe’s as a child by my Dad who had many close friends who worked there. We would visit Saturday mornings well before opening time. His friends would always give me a Coke and something to eat. As an adult, I have been celebrating my birthday there every year for the past 28 years on Nov. 10th. I plan to be there again this year to help you celebrate your 100th birthday along with my 53rd.
*John Olmo / Miami, FL
When I developed the picture of my wife and son, I saw the light shining in from above and thought to myself, “Family members who are no longer here to celebrate special occasions at Joe’s are now looking shining down with happiness”. Thank You Joe’s Stone Crab Love you guys!
-Lawrence Laster / Aventura, Florida
Thank you for visiting Joe’s Memories, a website dedicated to capturing your memories of the venerable Joe’s Stone Crab Restaurant. We want to hear from you! Please take a moment to tell us your favorite Joe’s story and, if you’d like, you can even upload a Joe’s picture. Remember, space is limited so please keep your story to about 60 words.