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About This Web Site:  A Bar Tour Like No Other

The Bull - tapsBasically, this a 900-page, 300-chapter book about a decade of Barhopping in Key West.  If you're not a reader, it might not be your mug o' beer.

About Hops: 
     Hi. Hops MacBarley, your humble narrator, here.  In 2012, I decided to do some barhopping on my island home of Key West.  300+ bars later, I'm still going.  I take breaks here and there, but I don't see any reason to stop.  I do it for fun, and I write for fun.  I ramble a good bit, and digress with zeal, but it all comes back to the topic eventually.  Just roll with it.  =)

About the Bar Hops:   
     THESE ARE NOT RANKINGS OR RATINGS!  No, no, no, Joe.  I just went to these bars -- sometimes alone, sometimes with friends -- had me a beer, snapped a few pix, and wrote about the visit.  That's ALL they are.  My Hopters (hopping+chapters = hopters) are for your reading pleasure, nothing more.  They is just snippets of life on a 4-square-mile island with watering holes galore.  You want ratings and menus?  Check Zagat and their ilk.  =)
     The first 300 or so Hopters will open in PDF.  They are all about 5-minute reads, give or take.  Some are a big longer, some a bit shorter.  Great way to pass the time if you're stuck in traffic, or languishing in a waiting room, or sitting on porcelain. 
     The Gone-But-Not-Forgotten bars have been kept in the mix, just cuz.  I thought a lot of them were pretty cool places (though I must've been in the minority).

About the Lists:
     The Chronological and Alphabetical Lists do give you the Website and Google Maps link for each and every bar that is still open.  (Not much point in directing you to a place that is no longer there, right?)  Everything opens in the same window.  Alphabetical Lists are 27 separate pages.  Yup, 27.

About the Bars:
      Of the 328 posted as of 2/20/21, 128 have closed down.  It sounds crazy that a town could have that many bars at all, let alone have that many have closed.  That 128 total spans almost a decade, though.  The average has been about 10 a year, anyway, of which half tend to be ambitious start-ups that just never caught on.  Ya gotta have a serious hook when you have more than 200 competitors within easy walking or biking distance.  There have been quite a few more closures in the last 12 months due to COVID, though a couple are rumored to be returning. 

FireFly glass
     That means that "only" 200 of them are still rockin', and there are a good dozen or so new ones that I need to get caught up on.  Yes, some new bars have had the kumquats to open during a pandemic.  Gotta love that kind o' moxie.
    Don't flip out if something's missing.  If you find a bad link, send me an email and I might even post you in my blog.  Still working on that part,and on the Comments aspect.  I want y'all to contribute your own ideas too!  Buy, hey, it's Key West.  No rush.  We're on Island Time...

About the Tour Pages:       
    These are "Pick-a-Pic" pages -- no names visible, just a collage of photos to choose by.  If you're on a PC, you can hover over the pic to see the name of the bar.  If you're on mobile, forget I just said that.
    Select an image that catches your eye, click on it, and grab yourself a read.  (Your back button will bring you back.)

    The Peace, Love and IPA Tour:           Bars 1-100 (2012) -- "100 bars in 100 days"

    The Second Century Tour                  Bars 101-200 (2013)

    The Keep On Hoppin' Tour:                 Bars 201-300 (2014-2017)

    The Keep Calm and Hop On Tour:      Bars 301-       (2018-present   )

About the Evolution of this Website: is a new-and-improved permutation of the blog/website that has existed since 2012, first on Blogger, then as "", which is where the Pick-A-Pic pages were born.  This site organizes them better, and gets the ball rolling for forthcoming updates and renewed Hopping as the KW bar scene tries to emerge from pandemic-induced hibernation.

    Explore the Tours if you just want to randomly pick some bars to read about. 

    Consult the Lists if you are looking for a name.

About Key West, a Few Fun Facts:

A reliable minumum number (prior to COVID) is 220 bars in action on any given day, so...

> At 4.2 square miles, KW has 52.3 bars per sq.mi.
       That same ratio in New York City (302 sq.mi.) would mean that the Big Apple has 15,824 bars.  Hey, maybe they do.

> With approx 22,000 full-time residents, KW has 1 bar per 100 people
        That same ratio in New York City (pop. 8,419,000) would give the Big Apple 84,190 bars!! 

> Key West's original name was Cayo Hueso, Spanish for "Bone Island", because the first explorers found human bones here.  Legend has it that English speakers, who couldn't handle accents well, mis-heard it as Key (Cayo) West (Hueso), and since it was the westernmost inhabitable island in the chain, the name stuck.

> You cross 42 bridges to reach Key West from the mainland.

> Key West is due south of Cleveland, Ohio. 

> ALL of South America lies EAST of Key West.  A line drawn straight south would pass through Cuba and Panama, then through 9000 miles of open ocean to Antarctica.

> In 1982, Key West seceded from the United States, adopting the name "The Conch Republic."  It's a great story.  Read it here.  Methaphorically, it's about the little guy telling the bully to go stuff it (or something more vulgar) and having the bully walk away.  I heard the tale when I first moved here and said, yup, this place is for me...