With a tag line of “A last little piece of Old Key West”, one might believe that the Schooner Wharf Bar has been around for a long time. Well, it hasn’t been in the historic seaport neighborhood of Key West forever, but has been providing a comfortable, rustic, mariners atmosphere since the seaport went “tourist” several years ago.

Housed in the old Singleton Shrimp Company building, the seafaring decor definitely makes you feel like you are visiting an old establishment. It actually looks like it may fall down if a stiff breeze whistles through, but alas, Schooners has survived several hurricanes and tropical storms. When Wlima swiped Key West in October, 2005, I was watching Schooners on their webcam shortly after the power was restored. And the locals were sitting at the bar while the storm remnants continued raining down.

Schooners is truly a locals bar. At the dark and dingy back bar you’ll usually see several local characters and watermen, some that are members of the “Breakfast Club” who visit during the 8AM until noon happy hours. They even have their own T-shirts to signify their membership.

Schooners recently started serving breakfast from 7AM until noon. There really aren’t many breakfast places in Old Town, at least not on the waterfront. The food is just as good as their full daily menu, which includes such favorites as shucked oysters, steamed shrimp and of course an island staple, conch chowder & fritters.

As the noon hour approaches you’ll see the tourists begin rambling in for lunch, a cold drink and some live on-stage entertainment along Key West Bight. A favorite afternoon entertainer, singer/songwriter Michael McCloud, entertains five days a week and has a loyal following. Frankly, I’ve heard him so many times I can recite his stories and lyrics, but it’s a great show for the tourists who only stop by for a day.

There is a break in live entertainment during the 5-7PM happy hours, then the evening crowd starts rolling in for the nightly entertainment. A variety of live bands playing anything from blues, funk, rock or island reggae will perform for your listening or dancing pleasure seven nights a week. As an added attraction, magician Frank Everhart Jr. may show up with some wild card tricks.

Schooners has long been known as “pet friendly”, so much so that one of their most popular T-shirts shows a line of dogs sitting at the bar with the caption “Hang With The Big Dogs”. It was common to see locals come in with their dogs and have their cold noses rub against your leg while sitting at the bar. But alas, the Health Department put a stop to this old tradition. No more dogs roaming around in an eating establishment. However, the guy with the parrot standing on his head still stops in regularly.

Off the Duval beaten track, from the corner at Sloppy Joe’s walk down Greene Street to the Historic Seaport area. Stroll around the Harbor Walk toward the tall ships, America and Western Union, and you will be right next to the Schooner Wharf Bar. The bartenders and servers are friendly, as well as the numerous locals that you’ll encounter. A must stop for anyone visiting Key West, you will put it on your list of favorites.

202 William St, Key West, FL · 305-292-9520