Sloppy Joe's Bar, Key West

Sloppy Joe's Bar, Key West

Sloppy Joe's Bar is a historic drinking spot in Key West, Florida, whose colorful past stretches way back to 1933. The bar's owner, Joe Russell, ran a speakeasy during the Prohibition era. When it was over, he opened a small drink stand originally known as "The Blind Pig".

The joint quickly gained popularity among locals for its lively atmosphere and cheap drinks and, over the years, played host to a number of notable patrons and events. It was a favorite haunt of writer Ernest Hemingway, who lived in Key West for many years and was a regular here. In fact, it was Hemingway who suggested that the bar changed its name to Sloppy Joe’s through association with his favorite watering hole in Havana, Cuba, which bore the same moniker (for being owned by one Jose Garcia), that he felt would suit this place just as well – and it did.

In 1937, following a quarrel with the landlord, Russell moved the establishment to its current location at the corner of Duval and Greene streets, where it has remained ever since. Today, Sloppy Joe's is still going strong, as it was in the days of Hemingway, and remains one of the most popular gathering spots in Key West.

It's an old but fun space, full of tourists and live music, so be encouraged to grab a few drinks here, as they're stronger and cheaper than most others in the area (you will even find that they serve Kenny Chesney's line of rums – Blue Chair Bay). The Caribbean-American comfort food is really good, too, so have at least one meal here during your trip. While at it, take some time to look around and you will notice all the historic photos, including lots with Ernest Hemingway, their most famous patron.

Although not exactly the same place frequented by Hemingway, Sloppy Joe's continues to celebrate the life of the great author with the Annual Hemingway Look-Alike Contest every July. As for the original Hemingway location nearby, it is currently occupied by Captain Tony's Saloon.

They always ask to see your photo ID along with your credit card, when paying the bill, as a precautionary fraud measure.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Key West. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Sloppy Joe's Bar on Map

Sight Name: Sloppy Joe's Bar
Sight Location: Key West, USA (See walking tours in Key West)
Sight Type: Food/Drink
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Key West, Florida

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Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles

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