Testa's in Trouble

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

Once upon a time, the old Testa's restaurant in Palm Beach was famous amongst the resident teen population for its banana and strawberry daiquiris. Those drinks were dessert with a kick; they suited our untrained palates. And the see-no-evil policies of the managers and bartenders suited the desire of kids with fake IDs to get pleasantly high in safe surroundings. Now, we hear, after almost 100 years of business, Testa's, which opened in 1921, is in trouble: According to yesterday's article in the South Florida Business Journal, the Testa family is in default on a $2 millon second mortgage from Olympia Palm Beach - ratcheting up the bill, with accrued interest, to a cool $3.1 million. Olympia filed a foreclosure action against the Testa's Inc. on July 13. The Testa family took the mortgage to redevelop the property, but apparently city approval stalled.

The restaurant has been around long enough now to have generated a good deal of drama. But unlike many other Palm Beach boites, it's always had the feel of a down-home diner - maybe because of the ageless waitresses who've worked there forever, maybe because the Testa family, who control one of the town's prime pieces of real estate, couldn't care less about putting on airs. It's been my go-to spot for a hangover remedy for many years -- I can sit at the bar with my back to the room, nose buried in the Sunday Times, and there's nothing to come between me and my Bloody Mary save the odd celery stalk (Testa's starts serving liquor at 7 a.m. every day of the week).

Testa's bartenders have adjucated spousal feuds -- when my significant other and I almost came to blows there over the precise interpretation of a documentary about child molesters, the guy at the bar smoothed things over with a joke and a round of drinks on the house. Many years ago I had a boyfriend who drove his Bentley up the sidewalk in front of Testa's, scattering snowbirds picking at their late night pancakes on the front patio like a flock of disturbed pigeons.

And even in the midst of foreclosure, they make a hell of a she-crab soup.

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.