By John Hayden
A new restaurant in Key West wants to be loved by you. Marylin’s Restaurant & Pub is an ode to the mid-20th century woman who simultaneously exuded sexiness and innocence, knew where the boundaries were and crossed them.
An icon of her stature deserves an iconic home and that’s exactly what she has. Marylin’s is located in Key West’s historic 320 Grinnell St. building, a couple blocks off Duval St. Built in 1929, around the same time Miss Monroe was born, the building is once again a Conch Republic hot spot. Owner Rob Patterson told OutClique the location is perfect because it’s a little off the beaten path. “It’s great for the neighborhood because we provide different entertainment than what you see on Duval.” Another benefit of being a short, couple minutes walk away is Marylin’s can do their own thing on big weekends. Rob hopes to be able to shut down the street and have big parties and performances for events like Tropical Heat and Fantasy Fest.
For entertainment, we all know that Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Regular entertainers Jennifer McClain and Miss Bouvèé are usually as blonde as you can get. While normally performing at venues along Wilton Drive, Marylin’s lures them down to hit a high note with tourists and locals alike. Miss Bouvèé told us she was on board before the doors even opened. “I host bingo just up the street from the location that would become Marylin’s. I heard they were hoping to do drag shows and live entertainment, so I reached out to Rob.” She’s bringing a show you won’t see anywhere else in Key West. “I came up with the term Dragaret (Drag+Cabaret) about a year ago and have been using it to describe the type of show you would see when you come to my show. I wanted Saturday nights to be a fun vibe where people could come and hear their favorite songs sung live, but by a drag queen. Key West has tons of live music options, so it was key to make this show be different and offer something no one else in town was.”
Saturday afternoons at Marylin’s has the only all-ages drag show on the island plus other shows in the evening and Sunday is for Drag Bingo. Marylin’s also brings in local musicians during the week. Miss Bouvèé says it brings together all the things that make Key West so special. “I find that Key West is kind of a melting pot of cultures, ages, sexual orientations, and gender identities. I think it is so great that time and time again, I play shows in Key West where gay and straight, young and old, conservative and liberal, black and white, all coexist in this wonderful space called island life.”
When you’re hungry after a day of fishing, sunning, or sightseeing, Something’s Got To Give. Key West culinary legend, Chef Brendan Orr has 20 years of experience on the island and is fixing up favorites. Start with spice rubbed yellowfin tuna or their grain bowl tuna salad. His local snapper is served with a mango salsa or you could try the spice seared gulf shrimp with smoked bacon, roasted mushrooms, and creole remoulade.
If you want to pop in for a drink in the afternoon, they have a full bar and every day is happy hour from 1:00PM to 7:00PM and you can reserve space for large parties for you and all of your friends to enjoy dinner and the shows.
Check out their website MarylinsKeyWest.com for the schedule of performers and a look at their menu. Once you go, you won’t need a Seven Year Itch before you’ll want to return.