The flavor finally returned!

Yesterday for me was the 18th day since coming off self-quarantine. Prior to last night, I had been out only 4-5 times.

Last night not only was I out, I had a good time! The old days prior to the virus had returned!

My evening was to start at 6. Don and Chris were meeting me at the Pier House Beach Bar for a drink and then out to dinner.

I was early. Discovered Jean and Joe Thornton at the bar enjoying an early diner. Jean was wearing a crazy Kentucky Derby hat.

The lovely Janine was bartending. She has worked the Beach Bar more than 20 years.

Chatted with Jean and Joe till Don and Chrs arrived. Jean was enjoying stone crabs. Reminded me yesterday was the season’s last harvest. She offered me a claw.

Don and Chris presently live near Syracuse. We met in Key West many years ago and have become good friends.

Poor Don! He had a foot problem far worse than mine. He was somewhere in the U.S. on business. Wisconsin if I recall correctly. He fell on a curb. Broke bones between knee and ankle, the ankle itself, a bone in his foot, and tore ligaments.

Good job, Don!

It has been a long recovery. He is better. Walks without assistance. He showed me a photo of the screws they removed from his leg. Heavy hardware.

We stayed at the Beach Bar and watched the Kentucky Derby with Jean and Joe and everyone else.

The Derby was exciting, as always. Two things impressed me.

Medina was the seventh horse trained by Bob Baffert that won. Baffert is the guy with the headful of white hair. He is now the Tom Brady of racing. No one else has won 7 times.

Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim and wife Julie were also in attendance. They met 27 years ago at the Kentucky Derby.

Boeheim also owned a “piece” of one of the horses running. Hidden Stash. Boeheim owns “two hairs of the tail.”

Actually, he does own a piece of Hidden Stash. Syracusan Adam      Weitsman owns Hidden Stash and for real gave Boeheim a small piece of the horse.

Unfortunately, Hidden Stash finished way back in #14 position.

Jim and Julie watched Hidden Stash make a run for the roses. As mentioned earlier, Jim and Julie met at the Kentucky Derby 27 years ago. Coach yesterday said, “It’s great to be back!”

I doubt Boeheim is into horse racing in any fashion, other than described herein. I have known him personally since 1981 and horse racing is not part of the man.

Bob Kastner came over to say hello mentioning he had met me a couple of times at the Chart Room and reads this blog every day. Thank you, Bob. I may have misspelled his name. If so, I apologize. He also introduced me to his wife.

The Derby over, it was time for dinner. Don had made reservations at a new restaurant. The Belmare.

Many Key West restaurants closed because of the pandemic. The Commodore was one. Sad. I had been a customer on and off for over 20 years. The best prime rib in town!

The Commodore was on the second floor near Alonzo’s. On the first floor was the famous and busy Boat. The  Boat is gone. Replaced by a hamburger restaurant owned by a movie star whose name escapes me. Both the Commodore and the Boat were owned by the same person.

The Belmare is top shelf. High end. Attractive. Decor basically the Commodore with minimal changes.

Don and Chris had eaten at the Belmare the previous evening. It was so good they wanted to go a second night. Don has a gregarious personality. Met many staff through him including Lucy the manager and bartenders Matthew and Kim.

Food and service were excellent. I enjoyed a piece of grouper, Don a lobster mixture, Chris the same except with shrimp.

Enjoyed Don and Chris’ company. We had not seen each other in over a year.

Such was my evening. Like the “old” days.

Don, Chris and I parted ways after dinner. Me to my car to go home. Don and Chris to Duval to party.

This afternoon an easy one. A manicure and pedicure at 2 with Tammy.

Enjoy your Sunday!


  1. Actually the Boathouse is moving to the old Turtle Kraals location. The White Tarpon moved into the old Boathouse location. The Wahlberg hamburger place moved into the vacated White Tarpon space.

  2. It’s good to hear KW is starting to get back to normal… albeit I’m never sure what “normal” is in KW. This is all a very good thing.

    I hope to see ya at the Chart Room soon.

    Kokomo Man

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