1513 south west 8th street, miami, fl 33135
Ball & Chain bar and lounge and the building it occupies offers a history as colorful and as fascinating as any structure on this portion of Calle Ocho, an area increasingly considered to be the center of Little Havana.
But before there was a Calle Ocho, and even a Tamiami Trail, the mid-1900s name for Southwest Eighth Street, there was a dirt road, over which carriages and motor vehicles brought produce to downtown Miami for sale and shipment. The Trail, as it was commonly known, was also important because it represented the southern terminus of a national road, Highway 41, which began in the Midwest. In the era preceding superhighways, Highway 41 was a major entry route, via the Everglades, into Miami. Eventually, Southwest Eighth Street was paved and lined with commercial businesses, a movie theater, churches, and eateries in a neighborhood offering an intriguing demographic mix: a growing Jewish population standing side by side with a Deep South constituency.