Let us take you back to the era of the adventures of Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning author Ernest Hemingway. Experience his favorite foods and his favorite libations, and experience in Key West of the 1930s (Except for the LiveCam capturing Duval Street and The Southernmost point).
Check out our menu online along with our weekly events. Notice how the bar is constructed to mimic his beloved Pilar fishing boat. As it should be, the bar is built around this great re-creation. We stay true to the Hemingway’s spirit of adventure.
Ernest Hemingway fell in love with Key West on a stop over in the late 1920’s. He found it was unlike any other place he’d ever been and called it, “the greatest place in the world anytime, any day.” It was here he and his wife Pauline bought a home on Whitehead Street and where he worked every morning writing what would become some of his best-known novels. After spending several hours in the early morning writing, Hemingway would pull up a stool at Sloppy Joe’s with locals and the bar’s original owner, Joe Russell. Hemingway and Russell became great friends and would often go fishing together. In fact, they, along with several other Key West locals, were referred to as, “The Key West Mob,” famous for their fishing expeditions to the Dry Tortugas and to Cuba. They were also known for their nicknames, which is where the legend of “Papa” Hemingway started.
For Hemingway, Key West was a town of inspiration and familiarity. He lived like anyone else: fishing, visiting and drinking with his buddies. And he wrote books that were often based on the people he was closest with. To Have and Have Not, one of his acclaimed novels was based on Key West during the depression. Ernest Hemingway left an indelible impression on the community. At Captain Tony’s Saloon (which was the original location of Sloppy Joe’s), visitors can see his original bar stool where he sat almost daily. And his home on Whitehead Street hosts thousands of visitors every day, allowing everyone to see where it all took place. A tour of the Hemingway House is a treat, revealing original items and artifacts that belonged to the Nobel Prize-winning author. Guests can even meet the descendants of his beloved six-toed cat and see the penny he stuck into the cement after Pauline had the pool built in their backyard for a cost of $20,000. His spirit is alive throughout the mansion and the streets of the community he called home for nearly 30 years.