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Don Boyd | all galleries >> Memories of Old Hialeah, Old Miami and Old South Florida Photo Galleries - largest non-Facebook collection on the internet >> Miami Area RESTAURANTS, Drive-Ins, Bars, Lounges, Liquor Stores, Clubs, Strip Joints, etc. Gallery - All Years - click to view >> Kelly's Hamburgers Image Gallery - click on image to view the gallery > 1950 - Kelly's Hamburgers Drive-In (later Billy's Drive-In) on 79th Street and Biscayne Bay next to the North Bay Marina
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1950 Bob DeGise

1950 - Kelly's Hamburgers Drive-In (later Billy's Drive-In) on 79th Street and Biscayne Bay next to the North Bay Marina

Miami, Florida


Photo courtesy of my friend Gary Licko. Jeff Levine advises that this photo, cropped from a much larger image of the area, was taken by Bob DeGise of Florida Photo around 1950.

Kelly's was located on the south side of 79th Street, opposite Mike Gordon's Seafood Restaurant on the north side which is now being developed as a condo site.

From a guest: "One of the highlights used to be a trip or two to Kelly's for some nibbles and a big chocolate soda or malted. My aunt moved to Miami in, . . 1951? and in the summer of 1952 my mother brought me down on another vacation and I'm still on it, never went back. By then it was Billy's. Mike was one of the owners, Pearl one of the carhops and Papo, the Cuban cook, made wonderful BBQ sandwiches. For a couple of years I lived in the apartment building across the vacant lot just west of Billy's so Billy's virtually became my second home. I could be found there at almost any time of the day or night. The North Bay Marina building became Billy's "Dining Room" and Billy's was a major hangout for lots of kids from Edison. My God! Those years were so exiting and so much fun, always somethin' goin' on. How sweet it was." WBH MEHS 57


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Harry B. Schrier, MD 28-Mar-2015 17:54
I went to school with Stan Kelly from 3rd grade at Kinloch Elem. through Miami High '62 and the Univ. of Miami. His dad owned the original Kelly's on NW 42 ave and about 10th Street. This one had car hops on skates with trays that clipped on to the drivers side window. My friends & I could ride our bikes there for lunch or a soda, whenever we had the money, which was rare. He also owned the one on 79th street which came & went as Kellys/Billys. My family would eat there and then drove across the street to the Le Jeune drive in theater. Great old memories.
Jeff 27-Nov-2013 05:30
One thing more, Stan...

Despite my rush to reply 'after-the-fact' and leaving my message strewn with typos and grammatical errors...

If you'd ever like to exchange emails and give me some REAL background on Kelly's... please get in touch with Don and he'll forward your contact information to me.

I'd love to hear from you!
Jeff 27-Nov-2013 05:25
I don't know if Stan Kelly has ever checks back here, but I found his comments long after he posted them which browsing Don's site again.

Stan, please understand I didn't make a personal insinuation... I was simply relating a story told to me by that former carhop. I wasn't there (obviously), I didn't know your father, and I certainly wouldn't maliciously make such comments in a disparaging manner.

I was basically just relating a story told to me. There's an old saying that "there's three sides to every story... yours, mine and the truth".

The ex-carhop may have had an agenda, you [rightfully] defend your father's memory... I just related a tale.

In truth, years ago I tried in vain to locate him or any member of the family to give me some background history of the drive in, but had no luck (and that was back around 1984).

If you feel I have been unjust, please accept my belated apologies. Again, I was just 'reporting' a tale from a third party... by no means did I believe or allude to those comments being 'fact'. I DID satart the sentence with the word "Supposedly".

However, if you can shed some light on the selling of the 79th Street location, and whether the burger stands in Hollywood were his, fans of this site would be most appreciative.
Don Boyd27-Aug-2011 21:24
Thank you, Jim, for your comments and memories. And thank you to everyone else who has posted a tidbit or two previously. Keep the comments coming so that future generations can read them and learn some more about growing up in old Miami.

Don
Guest 27-Aug-2011 16:50
I remember the Kelly family and Kelly's on LeJeune Rd. My Uncle Breck drove a delivery truck supplying meats and potatoes to Kelly's and I'd ride along as his helper. I later joined the downtown Miami DeMolay chapter and met Stan Kelly as a fellow DeMolay brother. He was a couple years older then me so I really looked up to him. Sam was well respected in Miami and had a very nice family. I look back fondly on those days. Jim Bain, Houston.
Paul 05-Mar-2011 13:48
There WAS a Kelly's near Southside Plaza at 'the circle' in Richmond, Virginia. We ate there in the late '50's and early 60's. Hamburgers were 15 cents.
Lee Martines (MEHS '57) 24-Oct-2010 03:24
One of the prettiest girls I ever saw was a carhop at Billy's around 1957-58. I had the great fortune of giving her a ride to work one day when I saw her at a bus stop after she had missed her bus. She told me that she had been a showgirl in Las Vegas and I had no reason to doubt her. Unfortunately she had a short, smarmy looking boyfriend with a 1957 Olds convertible and deep pockets.
Guest 23-Oct-2010 11:45
My friend Earle R. and I were in Billy's one night and having a little fun with his 45 RPM record player under the dashboard. We kept playing Jimmy Reed's "Close Together" loudly, until the carhop finally said, "You have a record player in there, don't you?" In its trial run, the little record player did not skip a beat on U.S. 27 at 90 mph, near Bean City. Bob, MEHS '57
claudine magendanz martone 19-Oct-2010 03:23
I graduated from Miami Edison in 1958 and spent lots of time at Billy's
Guest 02-Sep-2010 14:28
Was there a Kelly's in Richmond, Va?
Judy Tobin 11-Feb-2009 17:54
There was a Kelly's Drive Inn on LeJeune Rd near what is now the Miami Airport. And almost across the street there was another drive inn called Hart's. Hart's drive inn had two very tall palm trees along side of the building. They had the best cheeseburgers and fries in all of Miami--including Kellys. I'm going back now to the 50s. All of that is gone now. The Kelly's Drive Inn, at that time was on LeJeune Rd.
Judy
Dale Reed 03-Feb-2009 02:50
Dear Stan Kelly

Did your dad have anything to do with a Kelly’s drive in on 57th Ave south of Parameter Road near MIA? Contact me at photonpro@ hotmail.com I’d really like to know. They always put a dill pickle slice on top of the bun there, dose that ring a bell? We always thought it was to represent a shamrock. The hamburgers were great but I never liked dill pickles’ and was happy that they were on top where they could be picked off.
Marian Sperber 03-Aug-2008 05:56
We moved to Miami in 1946..I grew up in downtown Miami in the Rice Hotel..My Aunt owned 5 hotels at that time...(Edy Lefcoe)..Went to Riverside Elementary, Citrus Grove Jr. High & Miami Senior High School...Graduated in 1962 with STAN KELLY....The Kelly's were great people...Very honest..I DO NOT Believe Mr. Kelly would think of keeping any tips his employees made, not for one minute!! I wnet to the Kelly's on LeJune.....Those were GREAT days.....Marian Sperber
Stan Kelly 07-Jul-2008 03:48
Jeff,
You should check your facts before insinuating that my father was a "tightwad and kept the girl's tips for himself."
If you gave that comment one second of thought you would realize that if my Dad kept the tips, the carhops would willingly turn over all their money to him. Does that even remotely sound reasonable? The carhops were paid a minimal salary and worked for tips, every penny of which they kept.
My Dad was a very generous man to all who knew him.
Jeff 19-May-2008 05:15
Lee, that's a great anecdote... imagine being one of the first people to eat at a particular drive-in!

It seems that Sam Kelley only kept the place open three years before selling it... and it's a wonder why. Whether as Kelly's, Billy's or Sip-n-Sup, it lasted from about 1949 to at least 1963-64...

I met someone years back who said she was a car hop at the original Kelly's on LeJeune Road for a short time. Supposedly Sam Kelly was a real tightwad and even kept the girls' tips for himself... perhaps he decided that there was less profit owning two restaurants in Miami than just one.

Interestingly enough, I know of two locations where there was a "Kelly's Hamburgers" in Hollywood... 441 and Washington Street and US 1 (which later became Big Irv's Fruit Market. I just don't know if there was any connection to the Miami drive-ins...
Lee Barnett 15-May-2008 13:26
Really brings back memories. My Dad sold boats at the marina when Kelly's was built I was fortunate to get the very first hamburger off the grill before they were opened.
Guest 07-Feb-2008 00:04
Thanks for the trip down memory lane! Billy's was the "core" of social gatherings for so many Miami Shores, MESH kids, we practically lived there.. As a matter of fact, I'm writing this because of seeing Carla Weesner's comments, we not only graduated together,'62, but were actually good friends! Ah yes, life was good in those days, huh Carla? Pamela Chaney-James
Ron Valdes 01-Feb-2008 19:44
Loved crusing this one in my '39 Ford Coupe. Ron V.
Guest 22-Dec-2007 21:28
There was a Kelly's in Madison, WI in the 1960's. Our family went there frequently.
I always loved going there.
Jeff 16-Jul-2007 02:43
Sam E. Kelly opened this location at 1200 NE 79th Street (right on Biscayne Bay) after he started the one on LeJeune Road. It became Billy's some time between 1952 and 1953. The reason for the name change was simple: It's cheaper to knock off the "KE" of "Kelly's" and replace it with a "BI" for Billy's than to come up with a new name and a completely new neon sign.

Eugene Eising and his partner were the second owners of Billy's before selling in the early 1960's. According to him, the previous owner was not named "Billy", so this theory seems the most logical.

After Eising sold, it became the Sip 'n' Sup, then an art gallery [of sorts] and a boating business. It was torn down in the mid-1960's to build a condominium.

This aerial view was cropped from a larger-scale view taken by Bob DeGise of Florida Photo [now retired] and is circa 1950.
Don Boyd12-Jul-2007 04:53
From the guest's comments that are under the photo, when he came back in 1952 it was already Billy's. On his previous visit a year or two before it was Kelly's. So by the time you were at MEHS it had been Billy's for at least several years. Don
Art Funk 11-Jul-2007 19:46
Wonder when the name changed from Kelly's to Billy's. In the late fifties when I was at MEHS it was Billy's.
Guest 10-May-2007 20:16
Enjoyed seeing this picture of Billy's, even if it was still Kelly's in the photo. Many happy and fun times with wonderful friends then have provided happy and fun memories now. Miami was great, and still think Miami Shores was the perfect place, and the '50-60's the best era. Our father was one of those who chose Miami after the war to bring his growing family to settle down and start his business - very glad he did! He was so enthusiastic about So. Fla - the climate, all the opportunities, the wonderful mix of people from different places and different backgrounds, the close proximity to the islands, etc. We who grew up there certainly had a unique experience. Thanks for putting this all together.
Carla Weesner Conrad MEHS '62