Dark outside. Very dark.

There cannot be much breeze. I cannot hear wind.

I do hear the water moving, however. I am sitting about 40 feet from the ocean. In the kitchen with the sliding doors open. I can distinctly hear water moving, slapping against the rocks.

The sun was out yesterday morning around 9. I decided to walk. Smathers Beach. Got started and…..it poured! The rain would not stop. Came down big time! For about 20 minutes.

There is no place to hide at Smathers Beach. I got soaking wet. I said the hell with it! I kept walking in the rain!

Afterward it was home to a warm shower.

I spent some time yesterday afternoon at Borders reading. Quiet. Comforting.

Then I decided to go to K-Mart. Tee shirts on sale.

There are not many places to buy male clothes in Key West. Probably because not much in the way of clothes is required. Tee shirts and shorts are the attire of the day. Every day.

Sears is the big store for men’s clothes. However, friend Aaron told me of a tee shirt sale at K-Mart. Only $3 a shirt. I looked. I saw. I bought not. Junk. Terrible material. Thin. And I am sure the shirts would have shrunk 100 per cent after a first washing.

As I was driving out of the shopping area, I saw an old friend. Ann. A newspaper reporter in Utica in the 1960s. Now a resident of Big Pine.

I had not seen Ann in about 6 months.

I beeped. We talked. Decided to talk further. We ended up sitting outside Papa John’s. Only in Key West!

We had a good talk. I hope it is not 6 months before we hook up again.

Chart Room last night! A decent crowd. Susan bartending. I had a couple of drinks and made idle chatter. Ate some pop corn.

I decided on La Trattoria for dinner. I was in need of some Becha attention!

It was not to be. La Trattoria was closed. Pitch black inside. The stools stacked on the bar. Closed for a couple of weeks. As many Key West restaurants are. September is the slow season and many close down for part or all of the month.

I was with a friend. Where to eat? We decided on making it a big night. The Strip House. A fine place for steak. Probably the most expensive restaurant in Key West.

A perfect evening for The Strip House. The weather lovely. We sat on the outside porch. Overlooking the ocean. There was slight breeze. A full moon. The sound of the waves in your ears.

The meal was outstanding! As anticipated!

A sirloin medium rare. We shared it. The portions are large. Onions and potatos. An appetizer to start.

Again, a glorious meal!

Then the bill. Expensive as had been anticipated. $42 for the steak alone.

I noticed an extra $5 charge on the bill. For sharing. I have been a loyal cutomer for years. Never noticed a sharing charge before.

I was pissed! Business is slow in Key West. Because of the time of the year and the recession. Most restaurants are having half price sales on everything on the menu this month. Just to get customers in! And The Strip House has the audacity to now charge $5 extra for sharing a $42 steak!

Someone upstairs in management has their head in their ass!

I said nothing to the waiter. Not his decision.

But I am writing about it this morning. Why?

The Strip House is a chain out of New York City. Someone in New York management is aware each time I mention The Strip House in this blog. It gets back to me. So I am using the blog as a vehicle to let someone upstairs in the chain of command know that this $5 sharing charge is rediculous. An insult. Get rid of it!

Let me further evidence the stupidity of the $5 charge. There is no restaurant in Key West that charges for sharing. From the smallest to the largest. I should know. I have eaten in most if not all of them.

Word has it that a new television station will soon open in Key West. A for real TV station. With drama and comic shows, weather, news and talk shows. Many with a Key West slant.

Sounds interesting! Should be a winner!

Today is Wednesday. Golf day. No golf for me. Unfortunately I have business to attend to this morning. Which means my priorities are screwed up!

Enjoy your day!

23 comments on “

  1. Kmart?

    Seriously, you need to get out more. There are LOTS of places, locally owned not chains, that sell clothing in Key West. Take a walk down Duval Street and go to FastBuck Freddies, Blue on Caroline, or buy a few shirts from the local restaurants and bars. Sure, you will pay more for them but you are supporting the local economy, buying from local mom and pop stores and giving back to the community. And getting some needed exercise to boot.

    As for only needing tee shirts and shorts, you need to get out more. Sorry, most in this town have more than this required beach gear. I see suits at the courthouse, pantyhose and blazers/skirts at the banks, military uniforms all over, and don't forget the required restaurant atire for some of our finer establishments. Going to dinner wearing something that the average touists would wear and not the proper attire is just too gauche. And too common. Sorry, don't paint the town like a Jimmy Buffett song – most of us are beyond that.

  2. And who wears a Kmart tee shirt and shorts into the Strip House? Or the Yacht Club? Have some class man – maybe that's why they charged you the extra 5 dollars – you weren't dressed appropriately!

    You get service and attention because you look deserving of such. A Kmart tee shirt and shorts doesn't command respect. A Ralph Lauren and Izod do. So does any designer label, a pair of 400 dollar shades, and a nice pair of shoes. Dress to impress and you will see results. Dress like the average slob and you deserve what you get. In this case, an overcharge on the dinner bill.

  3. Sorry KW Lou, I am sitting here laughing to the point of tilting off my stool! The anonymous commentators are advising YOU about proper attire and where to shop in Key West.

    Haven't you ever heard of Fast Buck Freddies?? HAAA HAAA HAAA HAAA…sorry that was great!

    As for the nonsense about painting the town as a Jimmy Buffet song and having some class, EVEN better!! HAAA HAAA HAAA HAAAA.

    The idiiotic comments started my day even better than normal!

    Lou, one thing is for sure….you are being read! Keep it up man!

  4. Good Morning Louis –

    I've never commented on your blog before but today spurred a certain need to do so. Your anonymous detractors cannot possibly know you at all.

    Suits and pantyhose in the courthouse?? My God, you lived in the most expensive suits money could buy for 40 years. Also, if Key West isn't painted as a Jimmy Buffett song, the sign at the end of US 1 should read "Naples".

    Have a great day in paradise pal.

  5. I'm sure a retired 75 year old attorney give 2 sh**s about impressing people with $400 sunglasses. Anonymous- What a shallow idiot you are who has no business even being on this island- you should be in Naples. By the way…I have always seen Lou in a pressed Ralph Lauren shirt!

  6. Ugh, the $5 sharing charge is awful. It's become more common in restauraunts over the past couple of years, especially up here in the north east. I guess they figure it's another way of making a buck and people will pay it.

    But at least you didnt complain to the waiter. I've been in the waiters spot before and it's rough when the customer takes it out on you, it's not like I set the policies.


  7. If they are charging five dollars for sharing a meal they wouldn't get my business again. Especially since they are a chain from NYC. Did they charge for water? Perhaps a napkin? How about the silverware? Ridiculous. My business would be limited to the restaurants in town that respect their customers and that means local only. Say no to the others.

  8. The "best" T-shirts in the world are available at the corner of Duval and Green. Crazy Shirts will last you ten years. 2 nd. best Tommy Bahama.

  9. I've seen pantyhose and suit jackets at the courthouse. And at the bank. And in real estate offices. And by the government employees on bass where opened toed shoes are not allowed. You must be dressed to work there. I should know – and so do many of my GS counterparts. We make a great living here and respect the opportunities we are provided. This isn't paradise and never has been. We are here to work, do our jobs and in our off time we play. Sorry for all you who haven't a clue but this town has many of us who work for non-tourist related business and to wear a suit and tie, a dress and jacket, pantyhose, closed low heeled shoes and be well groomed is a must. Otherwise, you will be sent home to change. That is the norm for quite a few of us and no, not Naples or Boca but Key West. We make a living here just like those of your up north. Would you wear flip flops and sloppy tee shirts to work? I think not. Neither do we. And yes, we do not work on 'Key West' time or we would be fired. So remember, for a good many of us, Key West is a post, a job, a career just like you.

  10. Post said it all. An overpaid government employee with too much time on their hands. Our civil service employees are hard at work earning their paychecks. More entitlements I see. No wonder the US is in trouble with these morons running the show.

  11. continue to do what you doin lou. kw and the laid back life stlye. some just doesnt get it. screw the chop house for the $5 charge . restaurants are luck to have customers this time of year in kw. oh , the hire ups for sure know about this at corporate by now ! sunny , hot, and 94 degrees in columbia,sc………….BYRDMAN

  12. You are complaining about a lousy 5 dollars when you spent over 40 for a steak? Lou your priorities are really screwed up here! Penny wise and pound foolish I would say.

    Corporate could care less – learn to live with the price increase as this is the way restaurants will stay in business. You don't like it? Go somewhere else but remember, once one establishment does this all the others will follow. Kind of like gasoline – no one wants to be the one who lowers the price. You got the bucks so spread the wealth around -it is the Obama way of life! Take from the rich, give to the poor.

  13. The Strip House won't be in business for lonf in Key West Lou. Remember Shula's restaurant at The Reach? They're gone now. I went there and all the menu was ala carte. Steak Diane was $54.00, a cowboy steak $47.00 and the Austrailian lobster tail for two was $122.00. Even the lunch caesar salad was just under $20.00. And they had a dress code to boot! Sure, it was in the heyday of the real estate boom and the bigwig realtos and clients would play there but once the bottom dropped so did their customer base. So that $5.00 charge may be a signal there is trouble brewing. You can't piss off the loyal locals or you will be out of business. This is a small town and word spreads fast.

  14. Hi Lou, great seeing you the other night. Laughing about the comments on your attire as you always are dressed nicely! Just fyi, Mangia Mangia also charges for sharing, $2.00, we found this out last trip to KW. Don & Chris

  15. I'm confident that the person that spoke of the 'uniform' for work in KW is so stringent is our military. Hardly the ones that are over paid. Ever see an enlisted man at the grocery store with food stamps? Yet they put their lives on the line to save our sorry a–es that can only complain about $5 share charge. Get over your pompous self.

  16. Military on foodstamps? NOT in Key West! Their BAH rates are some of the highest if not the highest in the nation. That is tax free money! Sorry to disappoint you but here in Key West I see lots of military driving corvettes, Hummers, Range Rovers and the like. Seems to me they aren't applying for food stamps!

  17. Lou, you screwed up again. I saw you at the restaurant with your guest sitting on your lap and you were feeding your guest with the same utensils and plates you used, you shared the water glass, had no whiskey that would give the restaurant a real profit, didn't cause any depreciation; you even carried your guest out so you didn't step on the carpet that might need cleaning from time to time. I'm glad you tipped well. At least the waiter earned some money.

  18. If you are sitting at the restaurant with the guest in your lap I can see why they charged you the five dollars. Should have been fifty. Then you could have gotten a cheap motel room and saved the restaurant crowd from your exhibition. No one needs to see a 75 year old make a fool of himself in public.

    End this comment section on this post – time to move on readers.

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