This charming, black-owned bed & breakfast - offering Southern hospitality and comfort in both its accommodations and onsite dining - is restoring the forgotten historic neighborhood of Overtown to its former glory.
photos: courtesy of Copper Door B&B
Jamila Ross and Akino West, owners of The Copper Door B&B
Walking into The Copper Door B&B, you'd never know it was once a boarded-up, abandoned building... and before that, a 1940s hotel that caused quite a stir in its heyday. Copper Door revives the nostalgia of old Miami... and welcomes guests with a sunny smile!
The lobby is flooded with natural light. The (original) terrazzo floors gleam. The tropical rattan furniture is upholstered in a lively floral reminiscent of the typical "Hello from Miami! Wish You Were Here!" postcard somebody may have mailed you from Florida decades ago. A rustic, antique wood table surrounded by mismatched chairs is set for the Southern comfort food being prepped in the hotel's on-property kitchen.
In sum, it's a far cry from the establishment's former identity, The Demetree Hotel, where gambling and boozing broke all the rules during the Prohibition era when it was once owned and operated.
The Copper Door B&B is an intimate 22-room bed and breakfast located in the historic black community of Overtown in Miami, Florida. It is the upshot of a passion project by industry veterans Jamila Ross and Akino West, who aim to resurrect Southern hospitality while honoring the neighborhood’s powerful cultural past. “We hope that by revitalizing historic buildings like the former Demetree Hotel and promoting cultural tourism by creating a local’s perspective for Miami tourists, that we can shed new hope and light on Overtown, once commonly referred to as ‘The Harlem of the South'," explains Ross, an industry veteran who got her feet wet running a successful Airbnb property out of the home that she and West share in Buena Vista, and then went on to explore more luxurious pursuits such as working for the prestigious SLS hotel chain.
Together, Ross and West boast 30+ years of hospitality and food and beverage experience, have worked in award-winning kitchens across the globe, and trained with some of the most recognized names in the culinary world, including James Beard Award-winning Chef José Andrés, Chef Michael Schwartz of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, and Chef Niven Patel of Ghee Indian Kitchen. West was also granted a once-in-a-lifetime apprenticeship at Copenhagen Denmark’s globally-acclaimed Noma, voted best restaurant in the world four times in the World's 50 Best list.
The couple lovingly updated The Copper Door with modern and convenient design elements suited for today’s contemporary nomad. It houses 22 vintage-styled guest rooms and three private, double-room suites featuring bamboo and wood furniture, Mid-Century Modern pieces, wicker peacock chairs, rattan shelving, and on-theme accessories such as Cuban cigar boxes, antique record players, and old cameras - all set against a backdrop of punchy, "Granny-chic" floral wallpaper. The bathrooms pay homage to Miami Beach’s golden era with black and white mosaic tile, and vanities sourced from South Beach's once famed Raleigh Hotel.
In 2020, The Copper Door B&B opened Rosie’s - a pop-up, culinary concept created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rosie's (named after Ross’ mother) serves a "feel-good" breakfast and curated lunch selection, available to-go from a small service window to maintain a socially distant and safe experience.
By ushering in a new generation of civic-minded entrepreneurs, creatives and projects, The Copper Door B&B is helping return Overtown to its former glory as a cultural hub for live entertainment, music and dining.
For reservations call 305-454-9065 or visit: copperdoorbnb.com