Well, things change, don't they? Last year I went to several events at The Blue Heaven Restaurant here in Key West and they were nothing short of stellar events in a fantastic surrounding! The Blue Heaven, of course is like no place on the island whatsoever! It goes so far back that Ernest Hemingway used to go there and referee boxing matches held in the '30's. Up stairs there is a bar that was a bordello, back in the day, with three very small rooms off of it, just large enough to do the deed in. Outside, where today just about everything takes place, is a sand floor with a water tower that used to be part of Flagler's Railroad, above the outside bar. Did I forget the two stages?
Well, the last event I attended last year was the New Years bash they had. The place was packed and everyone was full of cheer and good tidings, The atmosphere was second to none.
Naturally, I was very much looking forward to this years New Years there as well!
My mode of transportation in Key West is bicycle, unless I'm taking the dogs to the park or going shopping, where the car is more practical. New Years Eve was no different. Blue Heaven is only about three or four blocks from home, so I arrived in no time. I was kind of surprised when I pulled up to the bike rack and there was plenty of space to "tie up" on Thomas St.
I went inside and to my additional surprise, the place was almost empty! Half the stools at the bar were available as well. I moseyed on up to the bar and ordered a Stella Artois from Alanda, who was holding court behind the bar. Mary Spear was just finishing up her set on stage with Cayman on percussion and a guitarist whom I didn't know. That was just before ten pm.
I met a nice family from Detroit there, Denise and Rocky. She and I share the same birthday, it turned out, so it was an instant bond for us. We had fun as I plowed down Pilsner Urquells, which followed the Stella.
I was in the men's room when the clock struck the hour of the decade! Fitting. What a relief that was! "Out with the old and in with the new!!!" I hollered and I made my way out of the men's room and headed back to the bar, ordering, yet another Pilsner Urquell.
Shortly after that, The Junkanoos of Key West came marching into the Blue Heaven in their complete regalia and the cacophony of marvelous sound which accompanies them! They stayed about ten minutes, or so, before heading off to their next destination.
A little after that I left. I was a bit bewildered at the lack of people there since last year. The owner has purchased another restaurant in town, Salute, over on Higgs Beach. Naturally, he's focusing his energy on getting that place off the ground, however, I think they may be doing it at the expense of The Blue Heaven.