Sloppy Joe’s, the iconic Key West bar that Ernest Hemingway frequented during the 1930s, is set to reopen Thursday after closing six months ago because of the coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19 concerns even forced cancellation of the 40th Ernest Hemingway Look-Alike Contest held at Sloppy Joe’s each July during the subtropical island’s annual Hemingway Days festival.
The three-night competition typically draws about 150 stocky, bearded entrants from the U.S. and other countries, as well as their supporters and hundreds of spectators. The Duval Street bar has been associated with the legendary author since he lived in Key West during the 1930s.
With the noted exception of the Key West Marlin Tournament, most other festival events were canceled as well.
The reopening of Sloppy Joe’s comes three days after bars were allowed to reopen throughout most other Florida regions.
Management plans to operate at 50% capacity, maintain strict social distancing and require patrons to wear face coverings except when seated to eat or drink.