After Hurricane Irma’s devastating strike, first thoughts went toward the well-being of those in the Florida Keys who lost homes, livelihoods, boats and possessions.
Then came more selfish thoughts: What about the hideaways, touristy spots, restaurants and resorts stretched throughout the chain of islands that belonged to all of us?
Thanks to the Florida Sentinel and Travel for the updates.
Green Parrot Bar, 601 Whitehead St., Key West, 305-294-6133 or GreenParrot.com
The popular hangout with live music that Ernest Hemingway once frequented is doing fine, said John Vagnoni, who operates the long-running bar with partner Pat Croce.
National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration satellite images taken after the storm seemed to confirm this, showing no structural damage to the bar’s roof or nearby trees.
The bar, Vagnoni said, is running on generator power, and sustained no flooding or structural damage. “We’re staying closed for business because there’s no clean water,” says Vagnoni, who evacuated to Sarasota to ride out Hurricane Irma and spent the night in a shelter. “There’s plenty of time to party later, when everyone is safe.”
Vagnoni said a longtime Green Parrot employee, Buco Pantellis, managed to rig a low-voltage landline inside the bar, which Conch residents have been using to let friends and family know they survived.
He said Pantellis’ improvised landline has, so far, drawn “lines of people around the block, 50-deep.” “[Buco] is a real MacGyver for stuff like this. We basically turned the bar into a relay station,” Vagnoni said. “It’s been a full-time job for somebody to man that phone.”
Vagnoni expects the bar will reopen “in a week or so,” after Key West’s water is “safe enough to make ice.”
No Name Pub, 30813 Watson Blvd, Big Pine Key, 305-872-9115 or NoNamePubestore.com
Owners of the historic No Name Pub on No Name Key believe the bar is "still standing" after Hurricane Irma, according to a Sept. 13 Facebook post.
Satellite imagery taken after the storm by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows trees toppled and a boat in the foliage across the street from this famous off-the-beaten-track pub, a former brothel and one of the oldest bars in the Keys (open since 1936), whose front sign reads, “You found it.”
Images appear to show the roof and structure undamaged, good news for a restaurant where the walls are covered with dollar bills left by patrons. Thousands of dollars – each embellished with names, initials, doodles and messages – have been stapled by visitors through the decades after they enjoy burgers, pizzas, local seafood and barbecue pork sandwiches.
Phone calls lead to a busy signal, and no updates from the pub have been posted to No Name’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
An update posted Sept. 14 on the pub’s website says, “Our site and online store is currently down. We have no electricity, no mail service, no cellular service, etc. Once we are able to access the Pub and assess the damages, we will be back online.”
Snappers Oceanfront Restaurant and Bar, 139 Seaside Ave., Key Largo, 305-852-5956 or SnappersKeyLargo.com
The longstanding Key Largo staple has been destroyed.
National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration satellite images taken after the storm show major debris at the oceanfront restaurant. The bar itself is in tatters — although the thatched room still stands — after a storm surge shoved it into the neighboring fence of a nearby business. Winds and storm surge also knocked down the restaurant’s boarded-up windows, leaving more water damage inside. There are also fallen palm trees in the parking lot, and the dock is also wrecked.
A CNN report on Monday, meanwhile, showed the full destruction of the Key Largo hot spot. Snappers later posted the clip on its website, featuring CNN anchor Bill Weir describing how the rubble had shaken him “unlike anything” he had seen “in 25 years of reporting and eight other hurricanes.” The bar is also selling T-shirts and soliciting donations to aid in relief.
Snappers’ website and Facebook page appeared to downplay the extent of the damage: “Snappers had a rowdy visitor called Irma who caused significant damage. Nothing we can't fix though so after the dust settles, our plan is to rebuild as quickly as possible, better than ever, and keep the party alive at your favorite Key Largo ocean front bar and restaurant! Stay tuned for updates. Be Good, Do Good!”