247. Isle Cook
Saturday, May 16, 2015, 5:30 PM
This is where Coasters was. Even though these Hopping Tours are not ratings or rankings, or even reviews, Coasters was my least-liked bar of the 20-dozen-plus that have been Hopped. It sucked.
When I saw a new place was going to open here, I knew it would be an improvement. It had to be. From a casual look, though, Isle Cook seemed like a place to buy cool cooking stuff. For me, with my total ineptitude when it comes to food prep, a cool cooking stuff store didn’t seem to be relevant. Definitely not relevant to the Keep On Hoppin’ Tour.
However, such a store was very relevant to Jan. She went to scout it out and zealously reported back to Hop HQ that there was “a great bar” in there. Hop Nation rejoiced.
B&J and I don’t usually catch last call at our Bar Hops. We’re more of an evening team than a late-night team. Plus, last calls around this town can be pretty damn late. But we barely caught last call here at Isle Cook when we walked in at 5:30 PM. They are a 10-to-6 biznizz. Nice hours: no crack-o’-dawn openings, and you’re home in time for supper.
There were no other patrons to be seen. While there were a few tables placed around the large and cheerfully daylit room, each covered with kitchenly things, the dominating feature of the room is, in fact, that large twelve-seat, stone-topped bar. It elicited a soft and appreciative Ooooh from yours truly.
The bar seats were a better version of the silver aluminum ones at BurgerFi and a few others. This style is all the rage now, it would seem, but IC’s version have higher back and armrests, a much more complete design.
One fit-looking, 40s-looking guy was seated at the far end, and he rose to his feet as we entered. He seemed a little surprised — I think he was already in Workday’s Over Mode — especially when I responded to his how can I help you? with my standard, “Just here for a beer.”
His name was Bill and his wife Eden joined us right away. The beer supply was limited — as it is in most cookware stores — but they had some good crafties in cans. Jan was quite willing to check out a white wine.
The bar has a large kitchen range in it. Naturally, the conversation quickly turned to cooking; the demos and classes given here by local and guest chefs; and various things about various Key West cooks. Jan knows her cooks well. I had nothing to contribute, so I quietly suckled my All-Day and listened.
Bill and Eden turned out to be the owners of Isle Cook. They are the sole employees, too, I believe. They seemed to be very happy in their new venture. They may be hesitant to refer to it as a “bar”, but it worked for us!
They were ready to lock up, so we saved them the trouble of throwing us out and departed gracefully. We headed off to the Gecko (#2) to watch American Pharoah and a few other horsies run the Preakness.