Technically, today is Saturday, but this thought came to me, well, yesterday, so I think it counts as a “Friday fantasy.” And even if it doesn’t, so be it. At the moment, I’m too frazzled to think of another blog topic.
For my American Nomad travel blog, I spent the last couple of days working on a two-part article called “Historic Taverns Across America.” It was a lot of fun to remember some of my favorite watering holes, especially the ones that famous writers, musicians, and actors once frequented.
In the first part, I mentioned Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop (pictured above), a cozy, candlelit cavern of a place at the corner of Bourbon and St. Phillip Streets in the New Orleans French Quarter. One of the only original buildings still standing, Lafitte’s is popular among tourists as well as natives (like me!), not to mention celebrities. The dimly lit walls are, in fact, covered with photographs of famous folks visiting Lafitte’s. Of course, the patron that always gives me chills is Tennessee Williams, the playwright who made a habit of stopping by Lafitte’s during his brief stay in New Orleans. Apparently, he was also a patron of another old hangout still in operation: Captain Tony’s Saloon in Key West’s Old Town district, a saloon better known for being favored by the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote, and Jimmy Buffett.
In the second part of my article, I shared three more of my favorite American taverns, not the least of which is Boardner’s, a longtime Hollywood landmark. Although the beloved neighborhood dive has since undergone an art deco-style transformation, its historic atmosphere is still palpable. This was, after all, a favorite hangout for some of my favorite performers, from W.C. Fields to Robert Mitchum – and I can remember when it was dark and moody and filled with, as the saying goes, “the Who’s Who and Who Cares.”
So, do you have a favorite hangout with a storied past?
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