Sloppy Joe's Bar
Sloppy Joe's Bar
|Location||Key West, Florida, United States|
|NRHP reference #||06000957|
|Added to NRHP||November 1, 2006|
History and present day
Founded on December 5, 1933, the bar's most famous patrons were Ernest Hemingway and the infamous rum runner Habana Joe. The original location at the time Hemingway frequented Sloppy Joe's is a few doors down to the west, just off Duval Street, at 428 Greene Street, and is now called "Captain Tony's Saloon".
The bar went through two name changes before settling on Sloppy Joe's with the encouragement of Hemingway. The name was taken from the original Sloppy Joe's bar in Old Havana, that sold both liquor and iced seafood. In the Cuban heat, the ice melted and patrons taunted the owner José (Joe) García Río that he ran a "sloppy" place.
The bar is the site of the Ernest Hemingway look-alike contest, started in 1981. It is well known as a tourist attraction, with live bands and slushy drinks. On November 1, 2006, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Despite the bar's claim that it was Hemingway's favorite and the selling of merchandise bearing his likeness, there is no evidence that Hemingway was ever in the Duval street location, where it moved in 1937, although Hemingway continued spending time in Key West until his divorce from Pauline Pfeiffer in 1940.
Five years ago, he wrote from that place down there in the south — what's it called ... uh ... Shangri-La, El Dorado ... oh, Sloppy Joe's — what, what is the name of that place? *laughs* Oh, all right — Xanadu.— Jedediah Leland, Citizen Kane
The Silver Slipper dance hall adjacent to Sloppy Joe's, painted in the 1930s by Waldo Peirce
- Key West iconic bar comes to Daytona Beach Orlando Sentinel, February 1, 2010
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