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A Sunny Place for Shady People

Jun 05, 2015

bar with a large amount of memorabilia on the walls

So, what happens from 4:00am to 10:00am, and who the heck has that shift? Those are only the hours that the  Green Parrot is closed. As for the rest of the time, The Parrot is wide open and full of classic American saloon revelry!

They’ve adopted a fitting slogan, "A Sunny Place for Shady People," which we’ve used as the title of this journal entry, and it’s perfect for the #3 favorite bar in America. Let’s be blunt… this is the “Dive Bar” of dive bars.

Truthfully, when asked about my favorite bars in KW, I had a tough time. There are plenty of great ones, and we’ll explore them, but it really depends on your mood. This one, though, is classic and quintessential Key West.

the roof of the green parrot bar

You’ll find the locals as well as the folks floating in for a weekend getaway. It’s just as likely that on the stool next to you is a millionaire or a regular Joe or Jane. The entire cross-section of America are all equal here… and all there for the same purpose… to relax, let go of some steam, and enjoy the moment. Let’s be clear, this place defines the word “salty”… including the patrons.

To give you perspective, after we wrapped up our photo shoot in February, we had the normal “wrap cocktail hour” at the Hogfish Bar over on Stock Island. Well, our local production teams decided the evening wasn’t over and held a “post-wrap party” party at The Green Parrot.

To say that we’ve “stumbled” across The Green Parrot connotes the wrong image when talking about bars. It proudly stands at the corner of  Whitehead and Southard street. With its wide-open sides, main and supplemental bars, it’s easy to slide in for a cold one and catch the local scene as well as live music. The evening starts with their 5:30 “Sound Check” that can highlight local artists, and then moves to rock where the place really starts rolling and the dancing kicks in.

man plays his guitar at the green parrot bar

And it doesn’t matter what time of the day or night you do slide in. There are games to idle away the afternoon… billiards, darts, etc., and ample room at the bars to nuzzle up and meet someone new or just hang back and people watch. Quite frankly, it’s just as likely to be packed with crowds on the sidewalk outside as well as inside.

It’s also the kind of place where it feels natural to buy the person next to you a beer, and they return the gesture… it has that old-time feel (and smell) of your favorite, Saturday afternoon, well-worn sweater. Beers are cold, drinks are healthy, and the staff is genuine. Actually, let’s stay on that for a moment. It’s the type of place that attracts genuine people that are both nice and real. Even if you are a tourist, you’ll feel like a local here.

The building goes back to its origins as a grocery store in 1890, to The Brown Derby bar (patroned by the sailors at the nearby Navy base), to becoming the Green Parrot in the 70’s. Through it all, it remained a classic setting for all who came in, and very much the neighborhood bar.

Sooo… leave your baggage (literally and figuratively) outside and jump in… Happy Hour is about to start!


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