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After spending the day in Key Biscayne with our kids and dog, my husband thought it would be a great idea to find the “legendary” dive bar, Jimbo’s.

As our truck kicked up the dirt off the beaten path in Virginia Key, I questioned my husband’s good sense. What exactly is Jimbo’s and why is it a good idea to take our ravenous and sunburned kids to what my husband described as a “biker bar” restaurant.

We neared what appeared to be a dead-end, and came upon a  deeply nestled mangrove and shrub, where a colorful bunch of ramshackle tin and wood shacks perilously stood. Within a few moments of parking our truck, I lost track of my husband. I gingerly entered Jimbo’s, and immediately spied dozens of cats milling about. They, in fact, exerted more energy than any one patron sitting by the bar. I redirected my 4-year-old son as he gaped at the fishnet clad women drink beer; and steered my daughters away from the shadowy alleys between the tin roofed shacks.

I reached deep within my bag and searched for hand wipes, but they were full of sand, and I didn’t have any Purell hand sanitizer. “There’s no way we can eat here. My kids can not stay here — even if it’s a legendary slice of Old Florida and Flipper was filmed here,” I  thought.

Moments later, B, beer in hand and grinning from ear to ear, reappeared. “Yes, I know. We gotta go. But, I definitely want to come back,” he warned.

We strapped on our seatbelts and made our way back to the paved road. I am certain B, who was still grinning, had imagined himself in a brawl fight, breaking someone’s nose, and getting the hell out-of-town with the rest of his buddies in old cars and dusty motorcycles. Really, how many times do I have to remind him he is not a Hell’s Angel? He traded his rough neck motorcycle days for a house in the suburbs, three kids, a dog, plus a lovely and doting wife. 


Sometimes, his version of a good time can not be any further than mine. 


April 26, 2010

For interesting pictures and background details on Jimbo’s and its colorful founder, please visit www.jimbosplace.com.