The History of Two Friends
Our roots extend far beyond 1967. Two Friends is one of the oldest bars on the island and
a local favorite thanks to our famous specialty drinks and our Key West breakfast.
The Two Friends Story
According to the Sanborn Maps in the Key West Archives, there has been a saloon or bar at the address of Two Friends since before the Great Fire of 1886. However, the name Two Friends wasn’t adopted until shortly after World War I.
The Saloon in 1886 That Would Become Two Friends
(corner of Front & Ann Streets)
According to the Sanborn Maps in the Key West archives, there has been a saloon or bar at the address of Two Friends since before the Great Fire of 1886
The Female Bartender
In 1941, Barbara Smith was hired by Two Friends and became the FIRST female bartender in Key West! In this photo Barbara is behind the bar at Two Friends alongside her loyal locals no doubt enjoying one of her famous libations.
The Introduction Of Draft Beer
In 1967 when Dante Capas purchased Two Friends it became the first bar on the island to serve draft beer – and your options were Schlitz or Schlitz. Today Wisconsin has over 100 breweries but sorry…you can’t get Schlitz in Key West anymore.
Built By The Rough & Tumble Travelers
In 1967 when Dante Capas purchased Two Friends it became the first Bar on the Island to Serve Draft Beer… Your options were Schlitz or Schlitz. Today Wisconsin has over 100 breweries but sorry… you can’t get Schlitz in Key West anymore.
Fun Fact-Key West was built by many “rough and tumble” industries like the military, shrimpers, wreckers and others looking to find their fortune on this island.
Prior to 1967 the two small bedrooms upstairs were used as a Bordello
Colorful Regular Mel Fisher
A lifelong regular at Two Friends, Mel was sitting at the bar the morning he got the call from his son that they were bringing in the first of the large treasure hauls from the Atocha- one of the most valuable finds in US History! The contents of the chests were worth over $450 million!
Mel ordered a beer and a short while later watched an old Cadillac with it’s tailpipe dragging down Front St pull up outside of Two Friends with two very large chests in the trunk.
The contents of those chests were the first of over $450 million dollars of treasure Mel and his family has rescued from the ocean floor thus far. The chests sat on the bar at Two Friends for over 4 hours as locals stopped by to see for themselves. No guards or security were needed and nothing was taken.
2017 Fun Fact
Two Friends Fun Fact
Two Friends a popular business name Key West was built by many “rough and tumble” industries like the military, shrimpers, wreckers and others looking to find their fortune on this island. In addition to a saloon, grocery store, an unrelated Duval St restaurant, an auto repair shop and a laundromat have all been named Two Friends in Key West.
Post Irma Opening
Sunday, September 17, 2017: We had a “Soft Opening” with Staff & friends. Pictured is Col. Craig Mays, USAF (Ret.), being served his so-called “Scurvy Medication” (a Margarita); the 1st drink served at Two Friends after Hurricane Irma. Col. Mays is a retired Lt. Colonel, being one of only (14) people left who dropped ordinance on Vietnam AND Iraq (Desert Storm). Col. Mays teaches a Dwight Eisenhower Leadership Course at the World War II Museum in New Orleans.
September 28, 2017
Two Friends just before Opening at 9:00 a.m.; (7) days after Hurricane Irma hit Key West and the Florida Keys. We have served Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner – with Live Music – since that day.
Live Music Returns
CW Colt was our 1st Musician to return, and played from 12-3pm September 18, 2017. CW streamed his Set to six different websites (see laptop right).
The Locals Return
Thursday September 21, 2017
Two Friends is back in full swing with a full house of customers less than 2 weeks after Hurricane Irma. Locals Sara and Timothy, pictured at the bar, have been visiting Two Friends to show us their support and dine every day since the first day we reopened after Hurricane Irma.