Bahama Bob's Rumstyles

Friday, July 31, 2015

Sloppy Joe's Havana 2015

Sloppy Joe's Today, not the water system work being don here in Havana
     It was great to be able to return to Sloppy Joe's again after being there just after the Grand Re-opening in 2013.   Many of the original crew were still there and we were able to share some t shirts and other souvenirs from Sloppy Joe's in Key West. 

     Josie Russell owner of Sloppy Joe's in Key West renamed his own bar Sloppy Joe's in the 1930s at the suggestion of his friend Ernest Hemingway.

    Sloppy Joe's was Havana's most famous pre-revolutionary bars and a prime destination of American tourists, celebrities, and movie stars like John Wayne, Ernest Hemingway, Spencer Tracy, Errol Flynn, Gary Cooper, Frank Sinatra, and Greta Garbo and Clark Gable just to name a few.  Among Sloppy Joe's most famous attractions was the bar itself, stretching 60 feet in length.   It was immortalized in the 1959 movie "Our Man in Havana", starring Alec Guinness and based on the novel by British author Graham Greene - one of Sloppy Joe's former patrons.   Sloppy Joe's most famous attractions was the bar  which stretched some 60 feet in length.    It was immortalized in the 1959 movie "Our Man in Havana", starring Alec Guinness and based on the novel by British author Graham Greene - one of Sloppy Joe's former patrons.   Waiters dressed in black and orange uniforms served drinks and tapas to a mix of tourists and Cubans present for the grand re-opening, some of whom had waited years for the reopening of the historic watering hole.
Remaking of the Long Bar in 2012
     Sloppy Joe's Bar was founded by Spanish immigrant Jose Garcia, who made hay while the sun shown on the U.S. Prohibition era from 1920-1933.    American tourists flocked to Havana to drink and gamble to their heart's content throughout the era.   The bar was nationalized like so many other businesses in the early 1960s when Fidel Castro's revolutionary forces took power.

     The place still has the style and fine cocktails, food and service as it did in the days prior to the fire and the roof collapse some in the early 1960's.  While the clientele have changed in their dress, the atmosphere is still there from the days prior to the revolution.  It was so much fun to revisit the watering hole again.