Most of Hemingway’s productive years as an author took place in Key West during 1928-1938 and his favorite watering hole was a bar, owned by his good friend, Josie Russell called “Sloppy Joe’s” … not the one on Duval Street though; the original Sloppy Joes is now Captain Tony’s Saloon.
Anthony “Captain Tony” Tarracino, former mayor and “Mayor Emeritus” of the city of Key West, a former charter boat captain, saloon owner and still a visionary character who for years brought world attention to Key West, died peacefully Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008, at the age of 92.
Anthony Tarracino was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey to a bootlegger father. He dropped out of the ninth grade to make and sell whiskey, illegal at the time due to Prohibition. After becoming a gambler, getting involved with the New Jersey Mafia, and being beaten and left for dead at the Newark city dump, he moved to Key West and decided to start over.