Chances are that when you return home after your trip to Key West, someone will ask you if you went to the Green Parrot. It’s that kind of iconic bar, the kind your parents’ friends ended up at over spring break in college long ago. The bar started as a local grocery store about a hundred years ago; the building became the Brown Derby, a bar that was popular first with the submarine sailors from the naval base down the street. When the naval base closed in the ‘70s, the bar transitioned into a hangout for fishermen and local sailors and the hippies that began to drift into town. The Green Parrot still has the air of a honky-tonk, lit exclusively by spotlight and neon, with a roster of almost-nightly live music, mostly of the bluesy, rollicking sort.
From Sailors to Bikers at the Green Parrot Bar
The Green Parrot Bar is legendary in Key West. Having opened in 1890 as a grocery store, it became The Brown Derby Bar that submarine sailors frequented after World War Two. In the 1970s, it was renamed the Green Parrot after it became a hotspot for hippies, bikers, and free spirits. Now, it is one of the hottest bars in Key West, with live music most nights of the week.