SQUARE ONE AND FAT ALBERT ARE NO MORE

 

I started coming down to Key West some 25 years ago. Two mainstays then either are or soon will be no more. I refer to Square One Restaurant and Fat Albert.

Square One Restaurant opened its doors about the time I discovered Key West. I became an instant customer. For years as much as 2-3 times a week. In recent years, not so much.

Michael Hayes opened Square One. In Duval Square. The perfect place for a restaurant. You had to look for it.

Michael was the perfect host. Always the gentleman. Tall and thin. His shirts perfectly pressed. He did them himself.

The bartender from almost day one was Patrick Hayes. Also known as Patty Cakes. Patrick knew everyone in Key West. Whenever I was in need of anything, I would ask Patrick. He would tell me who to see.

Patrick and Lisa have a bond. Patrick is Lisa’s best friend.

Square One’s food was great! Always! The service equal to the quality of the food. The restaurant attracted an upscale clientle.

Square One closed last thursday. For all time. The word is Michael sold to Carmelo. Carmelo is an experienced Key West restaurateur. He started the original La Trattore and Virgilio’s.

Whatever you do Michael, I wish you well. Patrick, also.

There is a large white blimp  that hovers over Cudjoe Key. To the left of US 1 going north. It has been there as long as I can remember. Turns out it has been operational for 33 years.

It took years for me to find out what the blimp was for. No one seemed to know. Then I was told it was for Radio Free America to air in Cuba.

Actually, the blimp had a two fold purpose. Beam television freedom type shows to Cuba was one. The other was as a tethered radar station. Generally used in recent times to help interdict drug runners.

The blimp acquired a name along the way. Fat Albert.

We are in an economic crunch. One of the things cut from the federal budget was Fat Albert. As of March 15, it will be no more. Not even to be seen. It will be taken down.

Turns out there were two blimps rather than one. A smaller one. Way up, also. I never saw it. Do not know any one who did.

I will miss Square One. It is another piece of Key West to disappear that will never be replaced. Probably could not be replaced. I will also miss seeing the big white blimp as I drive north on US 1.

My first stop early last night was Don’s Place. Sat and chatted with Herschel quite a while. I enjoy talking with him. He is a political junkie as I am.

David came in for a moment. He has a new dog. Female, 9 months old. She was jumping a bit as young ones are apt to do. David will have her trained shortly and she will be the perfect lady. David is a dog expert.

I stopped at the Chart Room. Captain Peter was there. I spent a couple of hours talking with Peter. Worldly, a knowledgeable man.

I was lucky. Two unusually intelligent people with whom to communicate.

My neighbor Andrew has returned. Andrew owns the MTV home across the water. He has spent the past several months in Switzerland. He called yesterday. We are having dinner together tonight.

Enjoy your day!

 

2 comments on “SQUARE ONE AND FAT ALBERT ARE NO MORE

  1. There is only 1 blimp not 2 – the other for TV MARTI has been gone for 10 years. It is sad – all those people out of a job and now what will they do without all that valuable information – they meaning the Coast Guard, NASKW and JIATF.

    Budget cuts are not needed for this valuable resource. Help save our Blimp!

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