Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Blue Heaven Key West - and why it was empty

What a surprise awaited us at a few minutes before 11am at Blue Heaven in Key West yesterday:  A powerful experience that caused chaos.... More of that later.  Let's start at the beginning...

We headed for Blue Heaven, the most unique restaurant on Key West. It's a one in a million restaurant and I totally recommend a visit.  Sunday breakfast is great but any evening is good too.  Starting our walk there at 9.30am, it was a hot and pretty humid (for March) day.
Sunday.  What a lovely start to the day.  A little humid, but clear and full sunshine.
Blue Heaven entrance bathed in rich sunlight.
Blue Heaven gates.
The only downside to this place is that because it's so famous, well reviewed and raved over it gets very very busy - as you can see from my pictures.

Arrive nice and early for Sunday breakfast

We arrived early at 10.15 - I've never seen it so busy!  The wait time was 45 minutes, we were told.  Fantastic, time to wait at the bar and have a coffee.  In the old days, the local law meant that this place was dry until noon but we were plesantly surprised to find they changed that last year.  So, it was 10.15 coffee and then 10.30 straight onto a morning martini.

I kept to martini but bloody mary was very popular
The very busy bar at Blue Heaven
Sunday is always very busy at Blue Heaven
The Sunday Citizen and the Blue Heaven cocktail list
Live music from 11am at Blue Heaven
The rooster above the stage was competing with the singer for attention.
I've never seen this place as busy.  The crowd, the sounds of happy eaters, the roosters crowing, and competing against all of this the singer/guitar player trying to put us into the mood.

The comes the change

Here's a video taken at 10.40am.

Then see the change by 10.57am....  

The skies clouded over and darkened very quickly.  Strong gusts started.  And then the heavens opened on Blue Heaven and the torrential rain came down....
Sunday morning torrential rain at Blue Heaven emptied out the ground floor eating area.
Those waiting to eat, took cover from the rain where ever they could.  Here's a fantastic video (it's now 11.02am) of what happened when a group of ladies took cover under the stage where the act was playing....

Even harder torrential rain emptied out all tables but one.  Intrepid (and wet) eaters.
The rain did not ease off or stop.   So what did we do?

The roosters sheltered under a table.
One of the waitresses, obviously used to this kind of thing, used an umbrella.
A really clever rooster sheltered under the stairs and behind a wooden board.  You're looking at the driest rooster in Key West.
And we all moved upstairs to eat.
Yes, Blue Heaven emptied out - but only from the ground floor.  Business as usual carried on upstairs. And the food was as good as always - in fact, better than I had last time.   The only problem for those arriving now: the upstairs is a smaller eating area and so the wait times have gone up.  But generally the staff were organsied and dealt with the drama very well.

This winter has been excellent weather in KW and this is a freak, very unusual (for March) cold front.  It was to cause high wind and cold temperatures for some time.

But after the torrential rain had stopped after an hour, the Blue Heaven show must go on:
View of the stage from the balcony.  After an hour of rain it calmed down the music started again.
On the balcony at Blue Heraven
Blue Heaven Breakfast menu cover
The fascinating story of the 100 year old building and the Blue Heaven history
Buzztone Kazoos - On the wall right behind me on the balcony
Part of the Blue Heaven breakfast menu.
Rooster Special including lovely blueberry pancakes - delicious

So total drama made for en eventful and unusual Sunday breakfast at Blue Heaven.

From blue skies and heat to torrential storm and a chilly gale.  And the change in fortunes happened in 15 minutes.

As Fluffy said: 'something happened today which I never expected when I woke up.'

The skies only cleared after 5pm and it was still chilly the whole evening.

After Blue Heaven we continued to make the most of the day.  Here's my article on What to do when it rains in Key West. [coming soon]

Blue Heaven goes from strength to strength.  A unique place on a crazy day.