Gator Joe’s, established in 1926, is on Lake Weir in Florida not far from where Ma Barker and her son, Fred, died in a shootout with authorities in January of 1935. This beachside, over-the-water diner appears to be as old as the gang that once lived nearby. It is named after the alligator that led authorities to their location. Ma Barker had written a letter to her son Arthur “Doc” Barker who was in a penitentiary, and mentioned that they were going hunting for “Old Joe,” a huge alligator that hung out in that general area.
That clue gave away their whereabouts, and led to their ultimate demise. Old Joe, on the other hand, survived until 1952, and now this diner bears his name and has had one of his preserved feet on display . As can be seen in the photo it is very popular with locals even though it still looks a 1920’s hangout.
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