VALENCIA GARDEN

"Salute and Happy Days!" 

Who can forget Manuel Beiro  toasting everyone lucky enough to be up watching SHOCK THEATRE on a late Friday night? Laid out in front of Manuel would be a great spread of everything the Valencia Garden Restaurant was famous for. Cuban food and lots of it.  "Frijoles Negroes... Black Beans and Rice..."  

Amazingly enough, the spots were done LIVE. The Cuban hot spot stayed open late and Manuel  encouraged patrons to jump in their car and head right over their in the middle of the night!

Beiro started the restaurant out of his house in 1927, later building a proper eatery on that same spot in 1945 that endured until June 3rd, 2009 when the doors closed for good and the property was purchased by the University of Tampa.

I had the pleasure of dining at Beiro's restaurant on a few occasions and we received a very nice email from the owner (recounted below).

After Paul Reynolds departed SHOCK in 1968 the live spots were co-hosted by Andy Hardy. 

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I enjoyed reading your web site. My grandfather was Manuel Beiro and I ran the Valencia for the past 30 years. 

I was fortunate to have been working the day Paul came into Valencia and told me he came in because someone told him his picture was on the wall.  It was with my grandfather as The Longest Running LIVE television commercial in America for Valencia Garden. I also have a plaque from Channel 13 with Paul commerrating the 500th Live commercial. 

My grandfather did well over 2200 before the video tape was the norm. I am happy to see Shock Remembered. My grandfather had plenty of stories about him and always enjoyed working with him. Thank you. 

David Agliano

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Site content copyright MMIX Fred Olen Ray   fred@fredolenray.com