In 1932 a borscht circuit busboy, Wolfie Cohen, came to Miami Beach and opened one successful Miami Beach restaurant after another, including his original “Wolfie’s” on the corner of Collins Avenue and Lincoln Road. He also came up with an innovative approach to local dining that revolutionized the restaurant industry and established his popular sandwich shop type of operation, and earning him the title of “Million Dollar Rascal.”
In May, 1954, Wolfie Cohen erected another restaurant, The Rascal House, at a cost of over $750,000 in the heart of the fast-growing, glamorous motel area around 172nd Street.
Two big factors guided Wolfie Cohen. He believed his customers had a “Show Me!” attitude, so he always displayed tremendous desserts, salads, meats for carving and the sandwich-making operation up front where the passersby and in-coming patrons could see it all in a single glance.
His other principle he called the “margin for error.” For example, at the Rascal House all baking was done on the premises in their fully equipped modern Hot Point bakery. A basic recipe for something never made before—onion rye bread—was decided upon by the owner himself, Wolfie Cohen.
Each baker was given the recipe and each man competed to produce the best sample. Next came the discussions and tests and with it the birth of an onion rye bread distinctive in flavor.
Wolfie Cohen become a legend and his fame spread far and wide as Miami Beach tourists returned home and told their friends about his restaurants.
Adjoining Wolfie’s well-known Rascal House, was his Bull Pen Lounge.