Miami Street Renamed After City’s First Black Bahamian Restaurant Owner

Family members of this late Black woman pioneer took a stroll down memory lane to witness a tribute to their loved one.

Margaret Jane Thompson Mackey opened the first Bahamian restaurant, The Seafood Cafe, in Miami decades ago, and the city is acknowledging the late restaurateur by renaming a street near the cafe’s old location after her.

According to CBS News, the renaming of the street honors the work Mackey had done throughout the Miami community, specifically in Overtown, a historic neighborhood that was known as “Colored Town” during the years of segregation.

“I see it, the sign is down there,” one of Mackey’s granddaughters, Andrea Pratt, said as she walked down the street, pointing out the sign for the first time.

“I feel so blessed,” she added.

Pratt had been campaigning for two years in an effort to have the City of Miami carry out the renaming.

“The restaurant was right here, because Mr. Louie’s store was there,” Antoinette Miller, Pratt’s sister, added as they continued their stroll.

Aside from the Bahamian food that Mackey offered to the community and famous visitors like Muhammad Ali, Mackey was also remembered for her generosity.

“When people came from out of town and didn’t have anywhere to go no place to give, she would give them a job in her restaurant and then she would get them a place to sleep until they go on their feet,” Miller shared.

“What I saw her do could be passed on to anybody,” said Enid Pinkney, who’s made it her mission to preserve Black history in Miami.

“What she did was put a greatness in the lives of many,” Pratt said.

Pratt observed how much the area had changed over the years.

Mackey, opened her restaurant in 1929, but had to close down, along with other Black-owned businesses in Overtown, to make room for the Urban Renewal Program and I-95 extension.

“Our youth, they need to hear these stories, if she could do it during a time where the world is going through a downfall the Great Depression if she was able to open up a thriving restaurant that can give us hope,” Gail Seay, City of Miami Constituent Affairs said.

The City of Miami held an unveiling for the sign. Currently, the sign is being updated to fix a typo in Mackey’s name.


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