(For more Fort Lauderdale/Miami history, visit my history blog at: janeshistorynook.blogspot.com)
After World War II tourism gained a strong foothold in Fort Lauderdale. But this seaside city had not yet earned the sophisticated reputation of Miami Beach with its fancy hotels and floor shows. It was not easy to climb above the noise of the competition beckoning visitors with all sorts of roadside attention grabbers. But one operator of a restaurant near Dania in Fort Lauderdale did get notice of new patrons – and a sanitary inspector. It’s a story that made the front page of newspapers as far west as Kansas, and as far north as Ohio.
A pig in a parlor act in a restaurant run by Gina Riva featured a sow named Suzette who, on command, would sit on her hind legs and drink scotch, beer or soda from a bottle. The act, no doubt, was hilarious, but sanitation inspector Ray Almeida declared it unhealthy for customers and cited Ms. Riva. She had to appear in Broward County criminal court. Never mind the health or rights of poor Suzette; these were the days before PETA. Copyright © 2012. All rights reserved. Jane Feehan.
Miami News, April 6, 1951
Tags: Fort Lauderdale history, Fort Lauderdale in the 1950s, Florida tourism, Fort Lauderdale tourism, film industry researcher