About This Web Site: A Bar
Tour Like No Other
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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...
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
Bars 101-200 (2013)
The Keep On Hoppin'
Bars 201-300 (2014-2017)
The Keep Calm and Hop On Tour:
Bars 301- (2018-present )
the Evolution of this Website:
KeyWestBarHops.com is a new-and-improved permutation of the
blog/website that has existed since 2012, first on Blogger,
then as "www.kwbarhops.us", 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
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.
Key West, a Few Fun Facts:
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.
approx 22,000 full-time residents, KW has 1 bar per 100
That same ratio in
New York City (pop. 8,419,000) would give the Big Apple 84,190
> 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...