It is unusual for me but I find myself missing the oddly named Parrotodise bar and restaurant on Little Torch Key. I see so much change, people come and go as do businesses, but this one I miss.
It's been closed for almost a year and already the signs of entropy are closing in on the formerly bustling eatery. Rather than pay the modest fee to dump a bed at the ...dump, some kind soul chose to drop it off in the parking lot. Much better.
It's as though when the place closed no one came back for any reason, to clean up or remove any decorative touches left by the ancien regime. The decorations are in place...
...the signage hasn't changed. I used to park here from time to time and I appreciated the convenient space for the Vespa or the Bonneville.
It's difficult to discern what made this place attractive. The food was okay, simple but not terribly brash or exciting, the service was cheerful and the owner was always to be found wandering the bar and restaurant keeping an eye on things and apparently enjoying the life of a restaurateur.
Looking back Parrtodise had its own place in the pantheon of Lower Keys restaurants, not as fancy as Square Grouper and not as organically hip as the Wharf, but they had a nice bar, good beers and fresh fish and locals flocked to it.
I also liked the view, unique to this place with its panoramic windows overlooking the channel. I enjoyed bringing visitors here and eating coconut lobster bites, or lobster mac and cheese and the ridiculous breakfast burger with bacon and a fried egg (!) drinking a draught Smithwicks while looking out over the water. I felt rather melancholy as I wandered around kicking abandoned dead palm fronds and remembering good times.
This was one place I didn't mind coming to have a beer and a meal by myself at the bar. The staff were friendly but not intrusive and the prices were good value. All gone.
The end came abruptly in June 2012 ironically while my wife and I were eating at Square Grouper we heard that this place was closing. It was not a happy moment, checks were left unpaid as te rumor had it and the operation closed on a sour note.
So there it is, abandoned but not forgotten, though a neighbor mentioned to me there is a rumor of a potential new tenant in sight which may reverse the gradual decay which is making it unlikely I will stop off again until something actually changes. Soon, I hope.