from the Archives

Wolfie’s and Rascal House

Wolfie Cohen’s Rascal House was the brainchild of Wilfred “Wolfie” Cohen, who started his foodie career as a busboy in the Catskills. In the late 1930’s, he moved to Miami Beach and bought a sandwich shop, which he turned into a destination; Al Jolson and Milton Berle both ate there. Then in the 1940’s and 1950’s, he built a food empire. There was Pumpernick’s deli, The Bull Pen, Mr. Mahzik and the Rascal House of course Wolfies. “Wolfie’s” was opened in the 1940’s on Collins & 21st St. Later there was a second Wolfie’s on Collins Avenue at Lincoln Road. Known for being the place…”Where everyone meets to eat”; it was open all night with loads of free delicious breads & rolls, pickles, and coleslaw on the tables for the taking! Even their neon sign had an appearance at the beginning of the The Bee Gees 1977 video for “Night Fever”. The Rascal House was not just famous for its generous portions. Jam packed by locals and tourists alike, it was also popular for celebrity sightings such as Clark Gable, Judy Garland, Katherine Hepburn and even gangsters Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky. By the time Wolfie Cohen died in 1986, he owned just the Rascal House which he left to his daughter. She managed it for ten years and then sold it in 1996. After having various owners, Rascal House officially closed in 2008. Archival postcards shown of Wolfie’s, Rascal House & Pumpernik’s and archival photograph of Rascal House donated by Nancy Liebman. What are your fondest memories of eating in these restaurants?

Photograph of Rascal House on 172nd St and Collins Avenue courtesy of Nancy Liebman
Vintage postcard for Wolfie Cohen’s Rascal House Restaurant
Vintage postcard for Wolfie Cohen’s Pumpernik’s Restaurant

1940's vintage postcard Wolfie's on Collins & 21st St

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