LANDMARK SUB SHOP MAY FADE INTO OFFICES
Sunday, April 19, 1992
by WILLIAM McGEE - Miami Herald Staff Writer
George's Sub Shop, a Southwest Eighth Street landmark for 30 years, may close as early as May 1.
But then again, it may not.
Owner Sol Klein, 67, has been talking about retiring for years. He has just never been able to get someone to buy the property.
Klein met with his staff a few weeks ago to announce that Graceland Memorial Park is considering buying the building and converting it into office space.
"We're negotiating. We have expressed interest in it," confirmed Juan Ramos, sales manager at Graceland -- but the deal isn't done.
Klein said if the contract is signed, he'll close May 1, but added: "If we don't get the contract, we're not going to close."
If the building is bought, it will end more than three decades of George's Subs , a popular business started by George Levinson in the '50s at a nearby address on Granada Avenue.
Levinson moved the business in the early '60s into the white building at 4580 SW Eighth St. Klein said he took it over 1974 and bought the building in 1982.
Currently, there is a staff of six, three waitresses and three men who work in the kitchen. One already has found a new job; the others are looking.
"Nothing in this world is forever," said waitress Dottie Vandenberge, 60, who has worked at George's nine years.
Thursday afternoon, the waitresses were serving up the bad news with the ever-popular $3.35 steak and cheese sub. Customers couldn't believe it.
"I like everything they make," said Grady Hinton, who, in the 28 years he has been a customer has had ample time to try all the tuna-salad subs and chunky onion rings he wants.
"When you get to know everybody, it's just like one big family. You see a lot of friends in here," said Hinton, director of another funeral home next door to the eatery.
The room, with its arched wood ceiling and long Formica counter, smells of grease and aged wood. Chandeliers have lights that resemble small hurricane lamps. Old-style ads for such things as Camel cigarettes are on the walls.
"Some places are special. They have character about them," said Bob DeMaria, sitting near a window with wife, Jane. The DeMarias said they went to George's in 1967 on their first date.
Back then, it was a favorite hangout for students in high schools and the University of Miami.
"Seems like places like this are getting few and far between," Bob DeMaria said.