A busy day yesterday. I was out and about all day. Did a lot of walking from one place to another, which was good for me.
Last night I had a late dinner at the bar at La Trattoria with Donna. Her new love Terri left for New York for a couple of weeks. So Donna was down!
This Terri is a winner! Besides getting her things together for her move to Key West, she is back in New York doing some things with Liza Minnelli. Turns out Terri has been performing with Liza for 19 years, off and on.
Then to the Keys. Diet pepsi for me.
New performers in town. At piano was Ricky Rizzo. An Irishman if you ever met one! Ho ho!
He is good, funny and talented. Mature and experienced.
Singing was Erin Malloy. Really an Irish person! Young. Late 20s at best. A beauty. And a riveting voice!
Ricky and Erin worked well together.
I was amazed once again. Keys was packed! Very few locals. I recognized only a few people. My sense is that the audience consisted primarily of tourists.
The new Keys is located in the old Alice’s Restaurant on Duval. The building looks like a concrete bomb shelter. I always thought it did not fit in with the rest of the architecture surrounding it in the neighborhood.
Turns out it was built in the early 1940s by Jesus Carmona. Carmona started out by selling cigars from a wooden shack nearby the present site of the building. The cigar business expanded into a home made ice cream business. Carmona called it El Anon which translates into The Sugar Apple.
Business flourished, so he built the presnt concrete structure nearby the shack.
Initially the building housed El Anon. Sold ice cream big time. Expanded into sandwiches. The house specialty was a ham sandwich.
In the l960s and 1970s there was an influx of new Cubans who were escaping Castro. By this time in Cuba, the ordinary ham sandwich had become a cuban mix. The sandwich was pressed and heated! And so Carmona became the place to go for a cuban mix sandwich and cup of cuban coffee.
Carmona died in the 1960s and eventually El Anon as well. However the building has housed over the years many different type establishements which have contributed to the Key West scene and ambience. Represented today by the Keys piano bar!
So much for history. Enjoy your day!