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The famous writer was a regular patron of this lively joint.

Perri Ormont Blumberg
July 20, 2018

After you're done touring the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum in Key West — Hemingway lived in the Florida town for more than a decade — it's time for a tipple.

While there are many fine local restaurants that will dole out a stiff drink, our vote is to head to the author's go-to watering hole: Sloppy Joe's. As Architectural Digest writes of the bar, "Hemingway wrote around two-thirds of his published works in Key West, which is no small feat given that his local [bar] was Sloppy Joe’s. The famed watering hole opened on December 5, 1933—the day Prohibition was repealed—offering 15-cent shots of whiskey," shares Ryan Smith in a piece entitled Ernest Hemingway's 8 Favorite Bars Around the World. "The bar's owner, Joe Russell, operated a speakeasy during Prohibition, supplying Hemingway with Scotch at the time. The bar maintains that frenzied bootleg vibe today, with guests arriving in the early hours of the morning to drink."

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Today, the bar tips its hat to the legendary figure by hosting an annual Hemingway look-alike contest and an end of prohibition party, and serving out a Hemingway Mojito for thirsty patrons eager to get some of their muse's divine inspiration.

Next time we travel to Key West, we know we'll be toting along around dog-eared copy of The Old Man and the Sea and grabbing a stool at Monsieur Joe's.