My Favorite Bars


As a youngster in Hawaii in the sixties, I loved bars. When Mom and Grandmother would go out for Mai Tais at Don the Beachcomber or the Halekulani in downtown Honolulu, this is when I got to explore the world through A:staring at people (picturing their lives) and B: collecting their swizzle sticks. And C: my maternal scolders were caught up in their rum-infused conversation to interrupt my worldly thoughts.

As an adult, I still love bars. They are a place to view humanity in its most potent form. In the right sort of bar, the kind with non-ironic, non-self conscious clientele, you can sink into their world, take a vacation there. (Don’t get caught staring.)

I had a youthful notion once, twenty-something and wielding a Minolta, that I would travel the country and go to every small town bar–pub–local watering hole and document with black-and-white film the patrons in each, capturing the lives of those from San Francisco to New York and all the small places in between. Well, it never happened but I’ve been in tune ever since and here, below, are my favorites so far. Descriptions, photos and more will be added, eventually.

Southshore Tiki Lounge, Kihei, Hawaii
Wailana Coffee Shop Cocktail Lounge, Honolulu, Hawaii

Adler Museum Café, North Beach, San Francisco, California

The Chartroom, New Orleans, LA
The Abbey, New Orleans, LA

The Boathouse Oyster Bar-Destin, Florida
Goatfeathers, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
Riverside Café, St. Marks, Florida
Papa Joe’s Oyster Bar at Scipio Creek Marina, Apalachicola, Florida
The Neptune Bar, Cedar Key, Florida
The Boathouse Lounge, Steinhatchee, Florida
Cherry Pocket Fish Camp, Lake Wales, Florida
Annie’s Bait Shop, Cortez, Florida
Crescent Lounge, Siesta Key, Florida

Nokomos Sunset Hut, Nokomis, Florida
Navigator Bar and Grill, Arcadia/Port Charlotte (where, exactly?) Florida
Bert’s Bar, Pine Island, Florida
Joanie’s Blue Crab Café, Ochopee, Florida
Alabama Jacks, Homestead, Florida
Mangrove Mama’s, Sugarloaf Key
Geiger Key Marina, Geiger Key, Florida
Hogfish Bar and Grill, Stock Island, Florida
Captain Tony’s, Key West, Florida
The Lemon Bar, Neptune Beach, FL

Low Tide Lounge, Playa Esterillos, South of Jaco, Costa Rica

Every Castelmaine XXXX bar in Queensland, Australia (they’re all kinda the same)

Ye Old Trip to Jerusalam, Nottingham, England
The Pitcher and Piano, Nottingham, England

The Brazen Head, Dublin, Ireland
Fitzpatricks, Kilcrohane, Sheeps Head Peninsula, Ireland

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