Food

This burger museum in Miami was one of a kind. But now it’s closing

Tour the Burger Museum by Burger Beast

Take a tour of the Burger Museum with Miami's "Burger Beast"
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Take a tour of the Burger Museum with Miami's "Burger Beast"

He knew from the beginning that a burger museum in Miami was going to be a tough sell.

And less than three years into his experiment, curator and owner Sef Gonzalez has decided to close the only museum in the United States dedicated to America’s favorite sandwich.

Gonzalez, a burger historian who has written a book about the topic and is launching a Miami burger restaurant, announced he is closing the Burger Beast Burger Museum in the Magic City Casino. Its last day will be Sept. 29.

FOOD_HAMBURGER-MUSEUM_1_MI
Sef Gonzalez, knows as the food blogger Burger Beast, opened the Burger Beast Museum at the Magic City Casino in Miami. But low attendance is forcing him to close it Sept. 29, 2019. Jose A. Iglesias jiglesias@elnuevoherald.com

“It was my labor of love, that place. It’s just heartbreaking,” Gonzalez said.

The museum — a vast and significant collection of memorabilia tracing the burger’s history — was a nostalgic tour of Americana. Unfortunately for the museum, it was buried inside a casino in a Miami neighborhood with little foot traffic, few signs out front and away from tourists. Not enough burger fans found their way there.

“It wasn’t a money issue. It was an attendance issue,” he said.

Gonzalez said he has been offered to move his museum to another location and has a pair of other suitors. For now, he said he is focusing on his eponymous upcoming restaurant, the Burger Beast Burger Joint in Westchester.

However, a candy shop he opened inside the museum — Candilandia — will remain open, selling a host of goodies such as flans, ice cream and shakes. It also sells a flan milkshake dubbed the Westchester Famous, which he will also sell at the Burger Beast Burger Joint.

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Miami Herald food editor Carlos Frías won the 2018 James Beard award for excellence in covering the food industry. A Miami native, he’s also the author of “Take Me With You: A Secret Search for Family in a Forbidden Cuba.”
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