Bar brawl in the Conch Republic

Two Key West bars with which I am — how do you say? — familiar are embroiled in a legal battle to determine which can be called “the original Sloppy Joe’s.” Some background:

The original Sloppy Joe’s was in Havana, and no longer exists. From 1933 to 1937, “Sloppy Joe” Russell ran a bar out of a former city morgue where Captain Tony’s now is located.

Some believe the saloon at what is now Captain Tony’s was the inspiration for a bar Hemingway called “Freddy’s” in his Key West tome To Have and Have Not. Whether the Greene Street bar was called Sloppy Joe’s back then is open to discussion, like so many other details in this story.

The conclusion: Hemingway, like everyone else in Key West, probably got shitfaced at both. (Via Sarah Weinman.)


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