Which great writer best represents the spirit of the Sunshine State? Hemingway, of course! Although most of his fiction is not set in the state, Hemingway is forever linked to Florida, and specifically Key West, in addition to the surrounding Caribbean region, including Cuba.
Space Coast fans of Hemingway will soon be able to lift a glass (or two!) of their favorite drink to this American icon at a new restaurant set to open next month in the Oaks Plaza, near Melbourne Square mall. A creative team that unites forces from Melbourne staples Long Doggers and Meg O’Malley’s has designed Hemingway’s Tavern, a restaurant and bar where the author himself would feel right at home. According to a recent article in Florida Today, Jim McMillan is the designer of the concept, Jimmy Tarasavage II is the general manager and partner, Leigh Hinton will serve as the operations manager, Murphy Jones is the head chef, and Arthur Cox will be the sous chef.
I predict locals and tourists alike will be eager to sample the restaurant’s traditional Key West food and drinks while relaxing in a fun, Hemingway-inspired atmosphere. This literature professor would gladly read Hemingway passages for free drinks!
Hemingway’s best-known and last novel, The Old Man and the Sea, was published 63 years ago this week. It was featured in Life on September 1, 1952, and the magazine sold 5 million copies in a mere two days. Hemingway was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 for the novel, and this classic also contributed to his selection as the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954.
His 1937 novel To Have and Have Not is set in Key West, where he had made his home when he returned to the U.S. from his time as an expatriate in Paris following World War I.
The narrative began as two shorter magazine pieces published in Cosmopolitan and Esquire, but grew into book length as Hemingway further developed the story of the fishing boat captain Harry Morgan and his exploits between Cuba and Florida.
For additional Hemingway-related information, check out the following resources:
- The Hemingway Society & its publication, The Hemingway Review
- The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, located at 907 Whitehead Street in Key West
- The Hemingway App: a fun writing & editing tool in the spirit of Hemingway’s prose style
- Cuba & the Hemingway Papers: article on a state-of-the-art facility to preserve Ernest Hemingway’s books, letters and photos