best bars key west

The Chart Room Bar

In November 1971, when Jimmy was brought for the first time to Key West by Jerry Jeff Walker and Teresa "Murphy" Clark, the trio's first stop in town was the Chart Room Bar at the Pier House Motel. The bartender on duty was Tom Corcoran, a friend of Jerry Jeff and today an author whose mystery novels are set in Key West and the Lower Keys. Tom gave Jimmy his first beer "on the house" as a welcome to the island. Jimmy saw the freebie and the bar's ambiance as omens of great things to come.

Jimmy began his tropical career playing for drinks in the The Chart Room for treasure divers, pot smugglers, beachcombers, politicians and friends. Some nights he was joined by Vaughn Cochran on washboard ( and today a well-known artist ), Steve Goodman ( writer of Banana Republic and City of New Orleans ),and even Jim Croce. Jimmy's earliest Key West related songs were tested on the Chart Room audience, and he sang a few that might surprise the die-hard fans: Tell Laura I Love Her was a frequent request, as were Danny's Song by Loggins & Messina, and the obscure, beautiful On My Own, written by B. W. Stevenson.

Read the complete piece above and more in Jimmy Buffett, The Key West Years.