Key West’s TRUE ‘Top Gun’ / Kelly McGillis

From her 1986 Hollywood mega smash box-office hit movie ‘Top Gun’ staring with Tom Cruise (Maverick) to Key West’s Kelly’s Caribbean Bar/Grill & Brewery. It’s true, this bar is owned by none other than actress Kelly McGillis (Charlie). In speaking with the bartender, he mentioned that she’s only been here about 3 times in the last nine years… so don’t expect to see her there!

By checking this out you’ll get three hidden bonuses that passers-by have no idea of what’s inside. First, the building it occupies was the old historic Pan American Airways headquarters. Second, the inside bar is in the shape of an airplane’s wing covered with aluminum complete with rivets replicating its contours (photo below). Third, there’s a mini display of two windows filled with old Pan Am memorabilia from the cockpit & galley (photo below).

You can find the little known wonder at the corner of Whitehead Street & Caroline Street in Key West. If you’re a history buff you’ll love the Pan Am artifacts and if you’re a movie buff you’ll love that it’s owned by Kelly McGillis of Top Gun fame. It’s FREE to browse around the bar and to see the Pan Am Airline collection. The building itself is worth the trip, the rest is icing on the cake!

PS – Be sure to look across the street and check out the brown garbage can whose sticker says “Kelly McGillis Didn’t Litter Here”. How strange is that!


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See And Touch $100,000

Have you ever seen $100,000 and be able to touch every single one of them? I know where you can!

As mentioned in yesterday’s blog, the “No Name Pub” pizza is indeed world-class awesome but it’s NOT the #1 tourist attraction… it’s the $$$ MONEY $$$… “SHOW ME THE MONEY!” And I mean plenty of it, although no one really knows exactly how much, estimates of $100,000 or more cover every square inch of the walls & ceiling.

We went for pizza and was offered a table outside which we willingly turned down! I’m sorry people, you don’t come here for the first time to eat and sit outside… AIN’T NO MONEY OUTSIDE! :-) For the glorious green George Washington decor and the aroma of pure U.S. Mint :-) we patiently waited 10 minutes for a table and another 3o minutes for our pizza. It’s always packed, with only a dozen or so be prepared to wait.

The very first dollar bill was given to a female bartender who had caught the eye of a male patron. He proceeded to write his name and phone number upon the dollar which he handed the barmaid that she in turn pined on the wall behind the register and the rest as they say is history. With a FREE provided staple gun & magic marker, these days people just write their names and date visited on a dollar and staple it OVER existing dollars on the wall or ceiling anywhere they can. I spent 45 minutes looking for my previous dollar bill I’d stapled to the ceiling to no avail.

Travel Channel host Samantha Brown was shown stapling up a dollar that I really wanted to find and photograph for you. Unfortunately the waitress said that Samantha did NOT sign one of her own but was shown stapling up another customers dollar instead.

This is an awesome sight to behold and not to be missed! I can only imagine how much their insurance is with such a fire hazard as this in a restaurant! So put this on your list for sure, the address and directions were in yesterday’s blog. It’s FREE to browse around and take photos but the dollar bill itself that you sign and leave behind they ask it be yours! :-)


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The “No Name Pub”


Wow, what a GREAT PLACE this is! You MUST put this on your list even if you only stop at 2 or 3 sights along the entire trip down the Keys… it’s that cool.

I first saw this on TV during an episode of the Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown’s Weekend Getaways as a pub/bar oddity with literally no name. That’s right, it’s called the “No Name Pub”. This place is so far off the beaten path and hard to find, upon arriving, you’ll see the sign that reads “You Found It”! Though I’ve been here before, I’ve waited for 3-years now to write this blog for one reason only… and that’s to eat their world-famous self-proclaimed best in the world “PIZZA”! Yum, yum, yum and the pizza I must say was worth the wait!

You can find this out-of-the-way hide-a-way by turning right off of US-1 South at Mile Marker 30.4 onto Key Deer Blvd then an immediate right (maybe 50 ft) onto Wilder Road, then winding the rest of your way a few miles by turning left on South Street, then right on Ave. ‘B’, then veer onto Watson Blvd and drive only a bit more where you’ll see it on your left. Yes, it’s that hard to find, if you get lost then you’re right at home, after all that’s why they put it there! Believe me, just ask ANYONE along that stretch of road and they’ll be more than happy to point you in the right direction! Though the pizza’s are out of this world, the real reason why the Travel Channel was there will be disclosed in tomorrows blog! Do you know why? I do! :-) I promise… it’s WAY TOO COOL!


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Road Flooded… Oh Really!

8342611686_2dfc73fa4f_bROAD FLOODED…Oh Really! I guess someone forgot to tell all of the parked cars and current drivers! :-)

This is either a prediction from the world-famous French seer Nostradamus or a forgotten sign left just for me to write this blog… either way IT WORKED! :-)

You can find this oddly placed sign at the corners of Thompson St. & United St. here in the NON-Flooded town of Key West. :-)


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Unique Mailboxes Of The Keys (part #1)

The Florida Keys are full of a diverse assortment of mailboxes throughout its entire 128 mile stretch. Seen here are three such examples of unique approaches to receiving your US Postal snail mail. They include the top portion of a ships vent pipe, a replica airplane actually located next door to an airport & a Cushman type golf cart mostly used by retirees in their communities, campsites and parks.

You can find these and thousands of others on your next trip to Key West both on US-1 and its side roads.


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Historic Monroe County Public Library

Welcome to the Historic Monroe County Public Library, stop #5 on the Heritage Monument Trail presented by the Islamorada Chamber Of Commerce.

In the photo you can see all four of the notable aspects of the Historic Library. A plaque on the quarried stone sitting on the ground states much of the next paragraph written. The #5 marker on the posts signifies that this is the 5th stop on the numbered Heritage Monument Trail of Islamorada. The Monroe County Public Library sign sits only 10 feet or so from US-1 at Mile Marker 81.5. The original building is pictured sitting only 30 feet behind the road sign.

Helen Wadley Branch Library: The public library building was constructed originally by the Red Cross and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) three years after the “Great Hurricane” of 1935, to serve as a community hurricane shelter. Prior to that time no protective buildings existed in Islamorada; consequently, hundreds of veterans and local citizens died with little or no protection from high winds and water. The poured concrete and steel walls of the shelter are 18 inches thick at its base. Additionally it served as the local school, replacing the previous school destroyed by the storm. Later it functioned as a church and a U.S. Coast Guard facility before becoming a library in 1966. A library addition was built onto the rear of the original structure in 1983.

The library is one of many stops on the Heritage Monument Trail of Islamorada. You can find this tourists cache of city-packed information located throughout Islamorada at many of the locations detailed within the handout along with the Islamorada Welcome Center.

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Sloppy Joe’s Bar & Hog’s Breath Saloon

Absolutely two of my most favorite places in town. Not only mine, these are the two hottest, always packed bars to be seen at in the entire Florida Keys!

Too cool, I took this uniquely angled photo while walking around noticing that the background life ring fit nicely inside the other saying “That would make a great photo”!

Find time on your next visit to stop by both of these landmark watering holes Sloppy Joe’s Bar & Hog’s Breath Saloon. These $30 souvenirs can be found anywhere in town at any of the hundreds of local shops that line Duval Street & Harbor Walk to local area flea-markets.

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