No Name Pub
Just off No Name Key
Via Big Pine Key, Florida
Phone: (305) 872-9115
I can tell you right now that there are some Keys locals that might hang me from the highest yardarm for even mentioning No Name Pub, because we are very protective of our unique and special eating and drinking establishments. We want them all to ourselves, as I’m sure you can understand, but in reality it wouldn’t be fair. It’s not easy to find so you’ll need to ask for directions and if “strongly rustic” is not your thing then keep on driving. I’m adventurous and after my 9th or 10th month in Key West I asked a more experienced and very special friend to ride up the keys with me and acquaint me with the more extreme locals hideaways. No Name Pub was number one on her list.
Keys residents mark locations from Florida City to Key West by their mile markers for the 157-mile roadway. If No Name is your objective then you’re looking for mile marker 31 in Big Pine Key. The one major intersection here has a stoplight, and, if you’re heading northbound you’ll make a left and then an almost immediate right at a split in the road. Only one sign directs you to No Name Key so watch for it.
You’re going to be frustrated at this point in this piece because the most unique aspect of the Pub, once you find it, will have to remain a secret. You’ll have to see it for yourself to believe it because it will totally ruin the surprise if I reveal it here. Just know that once you enter through the squeaky screen door and your eyes adapt to the darkened space from being out in the bright Florida sunshine you will be amazed!
Location often dictates the direction in which a restaurant operates, decorates, prepares and serves. No Name Pub is situated between the Old Wooden Bridge Fishing Village and No Name Key, which is known for its unique residents who live with no electric power or water delivered to their homes. If you lived here you’d want a pub/restaurant that gave you plenty of beer, good pizza, healthy sized fish sandwiches and lots of space to tell your story and we all have them.
You can’t be afraid to get into the game here because everyone talks to you. Service is very friendly and it’s so about good food. This Pub epitomizes a side of Florida Keys life that needs to be experienced by outsiders. I’ve had the strangest reactions to my No Name Pub t-shirt by those who have heard about the place. People want to know.
If you want to know then venture off route one and seek this place out. Who knows, you might become part of the wallpaper and indelible part of the Pub’s history.
Doug Heyman in Key West for the Food Reference website