Black-Owned Bed & Breakfast Helps Revive Historic Overtown and Promote Cultural Tourism
The Copper Door B&B is an intimate 22-room bed and breakfast located in the historic Black community of Overtown in Miami, Florida. The charming bed and breakfast is the passion project of hospitality industry veterans Jamila Ross and Akino West who aim to resurrect Southern Hospitality while honoring the neighborhood’s powerful cultural past.
The culinary-trained couple transformed the boarded up Demetree Hotel, operated by Jimmy Demetree, a controversial Robin Hood figure in Miami during the 1940s, into a unique, immersive and inclusive lodging experience for modern travelers featuring chef-driven amenities and local goods.
By ushering in a new generation of civic-minded entrepreneurs, creatives and projects, The Copper Door B&B is helping revive Overtown to its former glory as a cultural hub for live entertainment, music and dining.
“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, who got her feet wet by running a successful Airbnb property out of the home that she and West share in Buena Vista.
Ross and West lovingly updated The Copper Door with modern and convenient design elements suited for today’s contemporary nomad while preserving the building’s historic features including its original terrazzo floors, crown molding, hardwood floors and mosaic tile entryway. They also restored and repurposed some of the furniture including the original front desk. Bathed in natural sunlight, the bright and airy lobby features tropical rattan seating with plush floral cushions and a communal antique table overlooking art exhibits highlighting the works of Black artists and creatives.
The Copper Door features 22 vintage-styled and thematic guest rooms, a communal space, and three private, double room suites featuring bamboo and wood furniture against a backdrop of colorful and unique floral and geometric patterned wallpaper.
Guest room decor includes mid-century modern furniture, wicker peacock chairs, rattan shelving and amusing accessories such as Cuban cigar boxes, antique record players and old books. The bathrooms pay homage to South Beach’s golden era with black and white mosaic tile and vanities that were once nestled inside the historic Raleigh Hotel. As travelers relax in the quiet space and take in the bright South Florida sunshine from their second floor window, views of the downtown Miami skyline and the Brightline train station look back, offering a local’s glance at one of Miami’s most historic neighborhoods.
The bed and breakfast is also conveniently located near the Miami River and its waterfront restaurants, Little Havana, Adrienne Arsht Center, American Airlines Arena, Port of Miami, Bayfront Park, Perez Art Museum Miami, Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science and the Wynwood Walls.
Ross and West maintain a strong connection to the community and have established partnerships with local, South Florida-based brands including Argyle Coffee Roasters, a slow-grade, single-origin coffee roaster, and Laundrify, a modern, eco-friendly laundry pickup and delivery service that services the hotel rooms directly.
In 2020, The Copper Door B&B opened Rosie’s, a pop-up, culinary concept created as a pivot in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The to-go only concept operated out of a residential kitchen with a small service window to maintain a socially distant and safe experience.
Since then, Rosie’s has expanded thanks to being a recipient of Discover Card’s Eat- It-Forward Grant, which allowed the restaurant to expand hours, hire local professionals and vendors, and launch an inviting outdoor space to operate to-go and dine-in options.
Named after Ross’ mother, Rosie’s offers a feel-good breakfast along with small yet, worthy lunch selection that combines Italian ingredients and techniques with Southern-American roots and inspiration.
Ross and West, who together 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 Denmark’s globally-acclaimed, Noma restaurant, voted the best restaurant in the world four times in the World's 50 Best list and named the world's second best at the 2019 awards.
The Rosie’s pop-up evolved from the communal breakfast served every morning exclusively to guests of The Copper Door B&B. Ross and West took great care to never repeat a meal during a guest’s stay and breakfast soon became their calling card.
Today Rosie’s is currently open to the public for brunch from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday through Sunday serving a diverse range of sweet and savory menu options, sandwiches, breakfast items and fresh, baked goods. All dishes are plated with vintage dinnerware and served on the restaurant’s scenic patio, decorated with potted plants and a floral archway by local designer Say Sukii that leads to a covered pergola.
The Copper Door B&B is now offering touchless check in and affordable options for long-term stays. Reservations are available with rates starting at $105. For more information visit CopperDoorBNB.com, Tel: 305.454.9065. Address: 439 NW 4th Avenue, Miami, FL 33128