There are many strange, weird, unique, odd & different traditions in many of the bars in Key West and the Keys but none have such a wide variety as Capt. Tony’s! I’ve reported on this bar a number of times in the past, let me recap our previous adventures: Home of the Infamous Death Chains, Tossing coins into the Good Luck Fish’s mouth, Cemetery Headstone located inside the bar, & Famous names painted on their bar stools to name a few! This place indeed has it all! This should rank HIGH on you list of must see attractions for Key West… I mean top 5 for sure!
Here in this installment of Crazy Key West you’ll see that along with the laundry list above their also known for a few other things to boot. Seen below there is a collection of bras… yes, female bras tacked on and hanging from the ceiling along with dozens of mens hats and 1,000’s upon 1,000’s of business cards stapled all over the walls & ceilings throughout the entire bar. Though there are some dollar bills upon the wall & ceiling, it’s not their specialty as in other bars I’ve reported on in several previous blogs.
Formerly the original Sloppy Joe’s Bar, it’s now called Capt. Tony’s Saloon and is located at 428 Greene Street just 1/2 block south of Duval Street. It’s FREE to stop by and wander in amazement of all of the different things packed into one street address as here. DON’T MISS IT, IT’S THAT GOOD!
Good Luck Fishing at Capt. Tony’s
Piggy-backing on yesterday’s blog and Victoria’s well appreciated comment I give you this previous posting! 🙂
Legend says that a quarter tossed into the fish’s mouth will bring you good luck… but it DOES stipulate one thing, and that is you have to do it standing backwards! This is totally FREE (that is if you miss) or in my case cost me ONLY 25¢, yep only a shinny twenty-five cent piece since I did in fact make it on the first try! Oh yeah, “Hello everybody!” that’s actually me! Warning: Don’t even try using a penny, nickel or dime… it’s said to spit them back out at night bringing you bad luck… so don’t be a cheapskate!
This fish story is located in front of Capt. Tony’s Saloon at 428 Greene Street in Key West. Future blogs will give more to do at Capt. Tony’s so stayed tuned! Wow, fishing for good luck and only costing a quarter! Try it, it’s a ton of fun and others will gather around laughing at you & clapping for you and then asking “What the heck are you doing?” and then you too can pass along this TRUE fisherman’s tale!
I first read about this story at an on-line travel site for Weird & Off-The-Wall Roadside Attractions. Upon reading I said “Wow, I’ve seen them a dozen times but never heard that story before”. I put a return trip to Capt. Tony’s on my next visit list to Key West in order to check it out for myself and ask some probing questions.
Formerly the original Sloppy Joe’s Bar, it’s now called Capt. Tony’s Saloon located at 428 Greene Street which houses the infamous “Death Chains”. It’s reported that Capt. Tony’s in the past has been the original “Sloppy Joe’s”, an ice house, doubled as a morgue, cigar factory, bordello, the Blind Pig gambling hall and more! Not all could be substantiated, in fact, my uncle who’s a lifetime Conch (Key West born and raised) laughed at the morgue portion of the story!
Capt. Tony’s is also the oldest licensed saloon in the entire state of Florida. This location is best known as the hangout of the hard-drinking Ernest Hemingway and later frequented by president JFK. Since 1937 Capt. Tony’s has occupied this building that was built in the 1700’s, and has a set of chains in its wall where at least one person was reportedly shackled and beaten to death. Upon researching this story I stopped by Capt. Tony’s and quizzed the bartender with a barrage of questions including the “Death Chains”… he laughed and laughed saying the he’d never heard that before. I informed him that it was all over the internet so beware that I wouldn’t be the only one coming in looking for the “Death Chains”. He welcomed the tale and looks forward to new visitors seeking the birth of yet another Key West myth. 🙂 Though the bartender laughed and my uncle had never heard of such doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, either way, it makes for a great story!
If you’re down here anyways, I invite you to stop on by and check out this FREE and unusual attraction! Oh yeah, tell the bartender that you read it on the internet and that means it has to be TRUE! 🙂
Capt. Tony’s Famous Bar Stools
Want to be in a bar with your favorite celebrity? If so, here’s your chance to literally share a stool with one!
As you can see in the photo to the left that Dan Akroyd, Arlo Gutherie, Robert Deniro, Dustin Hoffman, and Clint Eastwood are just a few of the most recognizable names. Not pictured are Joe Pesci, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Harry Truman, David Allen Coe along with MANY others from the field of film, music and literature. These famous names appearing on bar stools can be found at Capt. Tony’s Saloon on Caroline Street just one block southwest of Key West’s main drag Duval Street.
Stop by for a FREE walk around seeing all the oddities and attractions it has to offer. So ladies, if you’ve ever wanted to say that Clint Eastwood is yours… then come claim your stool along with your proud souvenir photo!