A photo of the Oldest Bar and Cistern Room at 428 Greene Street was taken on March 29, 1963. It appears in this morning’s Key West Citizen in its History Section.

The photo was taken at the time of the formal opening of the Bar on March 29.

The Bar has a special significance. It was the first “semi-open” gay business in Key West. Captain Tony Tarracino owned the Bar at the time.

The picture motivated me to dig a bit and check the history of the building itself which today is named Captain Tony’s.

The first written history to be found is 1842. The building was used as an ice house. In the 1890’s, it was both an ice house and city morgue. Makes sense. The ice was used to preserve bodies for a period of time.

In the 1890’s, the building was further utilized as a wireless telegraph station.

Came 1912, the building was a cigar factory.

Following which it became a bordello and bar. A popular place with U.S. Navy personnel. The Navy at some point forced the business to close down. The Navy throughout its years in Key West never looked favorably upon prostitution.

The building reopened and housed several speakeasys. The last the Blind Pig. The Blind Pig specialized in gambling, women, and bootleg rum.

In the early 1930’s, Hemingway’s friend Joe Russell rented the bar and named it Sloppy Joe’s. Russell moved out to Sloppy Joe’s present location on Duval in the mid 1930’s.

The next 20 years found the bar having several different owners.

In 1958, Captain Tony Tarracino purchased the bar. He operated it till 1989 when he sold it to its present owners. The bar today continues to be named after Tarrracino. Captain Tony’s. A popular spot with locals and tourists.

Yesterday aftenoon spent time with Laurie and her radio show on Station 105.7 FM. My weekly 1.5 hour gig with her.

Every week, we become a better duo. Our exchanges interesting. Join us next thursday at 4 in the afternoon. You will enjoy.

Then to the Chart Room.

The charming Tammy bartending. Met a Georgia carpet maker. Milford Morgan. He was with William.

Morgan visits Key West at least twice a year. One of those weeks Christmas week. We talked about hotel prices during that week. Out of sight!

I envy Morgan. He first visited Key West in the 1970’s. The old Key West. Key West’s history during the 1970’s a rich one.

Elaine came in. Have not seen Elaine in a couple of weeks. She joined us. Looked terrific.

On the way out, ran into Al. A Key Wester. I have met him before at the Chart Room.

At 11 this morning, a special event. Remembrance of Vietnam. Vietnam Veterans day. I plan on attending. Though I did not serve, Vietnam was ongoing during my middle adult years. The War’s impact changed the U.S. Its effect with us even to today.

Big weekend at Boca Chica. The Blue Angels. Performing saturday and sunday. Aerial showtime. Jets flying all over.

The Blue Angels must have been practicing yesterday. I could hear them coming in low over my home. Can’t imagine the noise several would make simultaneously in war time.

Traffic has reached the crazy stage in Key West. Especially during season. Too many cars for too few roads.

I have come up with a new name for Key West roadways: Mad Ways. No question about it.

Some things bothersome whether you are Democrat or Republican.

Trump and his people demean opponents with silly names and sayings. Arouse the basic instincts of those attending rallies. Recall Hillary Clinton: Lock her up!

Donald Trump, Jr. came up with a new one at a Grand Rapids, Michigan rally yesterday.

AOC sucks!

AOC a woman. A newly elected Congressperson from New York. Her name Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Suck has more than one connotation. How would the Trumps feel if the Dems had a similar rallying cry re the President: Trump sucks!

Cuts 2 ways.

The Clinton “lock her up” cry is losing its vigor. Trump needed a new villain and a new rallying cry. He has apparently found it in the Congresswoman.

Trump has suggested retribution/retaliatory action against those who supported the collusion theory. He has referred to their conduct as treasonous.

Especially the media.

The next step could very well be the arrest of certain members of the media.

Philippine President Duerte ordered the arrest of a Philippine journalist yesterday. Maria Ressa.

Duerte refers to the media as “spies” and “sons of bitches.” Trump nicer. The news they report he refers to as “fake news.”

Whatever words used, Trump and Duerte are birds of a feather. Both like and respect each other. Both despots, bigots and mentally unbalanced.

Enjoy your day!




  1. To be fair, Trump has been called all kinds of personally demeaning things in and on the media. If you can’t take it, then don’t dish it out.

    • Fair? Trump has been called personally demeaning things for specific reasons, like being a liar and a cheat, both deserved and accurate. He’s also been called a narcissist and a bully, again accurate and deserved. He’s been called vile and vulgar and unfit, all true. Where does one need to make any of this up as unfair to HIM?

  2. Lou has a serious case of TDS. I get it, you can’t stand the guy. He may not govern the way you like, but his decisions are only based on what he thinks are best for the country. It may not be what HRC supporters want. Your anger should be directed at her. If she shows up just once in Wisconsin she probably wins! Boys and girls, the world is round and I’m sure in our lifetime AOC or someone like her will be running the show.
    In The meantime, this blog is best when Lou focus on all the good things of EYW!!

    • HRC is a thing of the past to everyone but weak minded Republicans and easily led Trump supporters. She has no influence on anything and hasn’t since the 2016 election. She holds no office and even Democrats hardly mention her any more. Now days she is only in the news when Republicans bring her up. Why are you internet marauding goons so scared of her? Bringing her up on Lou’s blog as just another way for you to try to disparage Lou. That whole topic is ridiculous and an insight to your OWN continuing derangement and ignorance. And suggesting that Trump’s decisions are what he thinks are best for the country reduces your credibility to zero. Your time would be better spent trolling and trying to pick fights elsewhere. Most of Lou’s readers can see through your poorly articulated nonsense. Lou’s blog is great the way it is, your advice on the subject is neither warranted or welcomed.

  3. “Lou’s blog is great the way it is, your advice on the subject is neither warranted or welcomed”….says you.

    There, I fixed it for you.

    I happen to agree with the pro-Trump comment. Not everyone agrees with your hatred of him, (the fact that he was elected President proves this).

    You being the spokesman for what is welcome on this site is meaningless. Lou likes the give and take, he says so repeatedly.

    • Of course you would agree, you wrote it. And your posts here are proof you are not qualified to judge what is meaningless and what is truth. What everyone here knows is that you are a troll more interested in starting trouble than anything else and you regularly overestimate your cleverness, even when correcting other people’s spelling.

  4. The Trump Tribe has a new target, the fabulous AOC, as in “AOC Sucks”, their new war chant that Trump just gave them. Maybe HRC is off the hook, unless they can hold two thoughts at the same time.

    • HRC, Nancy, now AOC? What is his problem with women? And those obedient cult followers of his (Republicans), always with so much hate.

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