Postcard-Indian Rocks Beach Restaurant-Mob Connection? 1950’s?

Indian Rocks Beach Restaurant, Cocktail Lounge & Bar

The description on the back of the card reads: “19915 Gulf Blvd.  1/4 mile South of Indian Rocks Bridge.  Telephone 9-8283.  Mailing Address: Rt. 1, Box 254, Largo, Florida.  Chicken-Steaks-Seafood.  Capt Joe Urga: ‘I’ve traveled all over the world and spent most of my life on the sea.  I found a nice spot on Indian Rocks Beach, won’t you come and enjoy it with me?’.”

I bet they did have great seafood!  I wondered about Capt. Joe Urga and looked him up.  He was the owner!  Aug 30, 1953 advertisement for the restaurant in the St. Petersburg Times states, “…Finest Greek salads and seasonings, Capt. Joe Urga, host.”

An article in The Evening Independent, Jan 24, 1964 tells a little more about the Urga family.

“The vast collection of china, statuary and furniture which once graced the Indian Rocks restaurant belonging to the late Capt. Joe Urga will be auctioned off…”

The Auctioneer “…was handling the sale for the captain’s widow, Madame Diamente Urga…”

“Many of the objects now awaiting sale came from a Roman villa once owned by Captain Urga, who was also an Italian Marquis.  The documentation for the Renaissance sculpture lists him both as marquis and captain of the Italian Navy.  He also served in the US Merchant Marine.”

Madame Urga was also famous, “Madame Urga, a licensed midwife for many years, was convicted three times over a 20-year period for performing abortions.  Two convictions were later reversed.  A third conviction in 1962 currently is under appeal.”

More personal drama accompanied the couple, and the article also brings up this bit of infamy.  Apparently a Mrs. W had shot Madame Urga in 1936, wounding her slightly in the arm.  Mrs. W received a $100 fine. In 1956 Mrs. W once again pulled out her weapon and “…shot and seriously wounded herself at the Urga’s luxurious beach home, adjoining the restaurant.”  According to the article Mrs. W also shot Capt. Urga, but the severity of his injury wasn’t clear.

I love Madame Urga’s comment to a reporter, “My husband is a wonderful man but she has been giving me trouble for 20 years.”

The next google link took me to a summary of the Special Report from the Texas Crime Investigating Committee and places a Joseph Urga on the list of Tampa mob figures circa 1950’s.  Hmmm…wonder if it is the same man?

Published by Florida Speaks Corp, St. Petersburg Florida
Not Postmarked
Very Good Condition

Interested?  Currently item 400067715001 on eBay


2 responses to “Postcard-Indian Rocks Beach Restaurant-Mob Connection? 1950’s?

  1. This is a very interesting. Thank you for this information.
    Russell Urga, Grandson of Capt. Joesph Urga and Mrs. Diamante Urga

    • You are welcome. The personal connection of postcards is one of the reasons I remain fascinated with them. I hope you have lovely family memories, and do you remember eating here as a child?

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