There are only two reasons to vacation in the paradise of the Conch Republic as best I can determine, and this post is about one of them!
Key West, Florida (actually all the Keys lay claim to this phrase) is known as “a little drinking village with a fishing problem” and that brings us to reason one. It appears to this traveler that there are more bars in the “Keys” than in the rest of the world. I doubt you could ever have a drink in all the bars in just Key West if you had one drink a day in as many bars as you could each day for an entire year. Sounds like it would be fun to try it though!
Our group of four sisters (The Dragons) and their husbands (Knights of the Beer Table) did not try to find them all, but having been there once before we went back to the most popular and had several in honor of all the rest!
The majority favored Yuengling, from America’s Oldest Brewery, which was on tap in most establishments. We remembered Sunset Ale, from a previous trip, but it seemed a touch bitter this time, so Yuengling won The Knights’ award.
We visited the following six Key bars in order of preference:
The Green Parrot Bar – We prefer this one because it is strictly local. However, locals tolerate Hawaiian, Croc, logo T-shirt wearing, and camera toting mainlanders who add money to the local economy. The nighttime blues music is a plus for this pub, but to us it is the bar’s clientele that keeps us going back. The man with his dog that lapped beer at the bar did not come by during the time we got to spend there this trip, but you rarely find that at Hooter’s!
Sloppy Joe’s – For the best “anytime” entertainment this is the place and the food ain’t bad either! There is always some good solo or small band performing while you eat cholesterol prepared your favorite way. Finding a table may be difficult, but a table for eight is almost impossible after dark.
No Name Pub - Now if you travel about 30 miles back toward Miami from Key West, just north of Big Pine Key, and just 10 miles to the south of the “Seven Mile Bridge,” you will be on the No Name Key. No Name Key is home to the endangered Key Deer and we saw a couple as we drove through in our rented convertible. The pub is quaint and plastered bill-upon-bill with dollar bills!
We enjoyed the conch fritters and watched a beautiful pizza, heaped with everything but the kitchen table, being eaten at the table next to us! That was a work of art! We were finally asked to leave when the table with the pizza complained about the staring, watering mouthed, buzzards sitting across from them!
The Smallest Bar In Key West (no website) – I mention this because it is quite small (two stools), just what you see shown, but a very friendly proprietor made us welcomed as we stopped to refresh our traveling supplies and dropped off a few Mushy’s Moochings Blogness Cards! I know, I am shameless! We also met Capt. Dave Grow (white cap on left) there, which only proves it is liked by the locals too.
Captain Tony’s – This one is linked to Sloppy Joe’s in that it is the original location of Sloppy Joe’s where Ernest Hemingway hung out. However, Sloppy moved because the rent went up a whopping $1.50 per month back in 1937. He moved to the current location in one day by offering free drinks to everyone who moved a piece of furniture. He took everything including the doorknobs and urinals, which I will tell about in a future post.
Anyway, Captain Tony’s has great bar service, good music, and room to shoot pool if you are not a partier!
I would have placed the Hog’s Breath Saloon here, but three nights in a row we could not find room at the inn! We did stand in the parking lot one evening listening to the entertainment, but as soon as our buzz faded, we moved on seeking refuge! The only thing I can tell you about the saloon is that they have a good bathroom.
I know by now you are wondering, “Is that all Mushy did in Key West?” Well, we also did a little fishing! Remember…"a little drinking village with a fishing problem!”
More on the other things later…
Update! A comment poster said this: If anyone makes it to 'Smallest Bar' before November, 2008, can you tell Mark or Dano (the bartenders) that 'Team Smallbar Chicago' says 'Hey!!!'Thanks!