February 2024 Newsletter

Sloppy Joe's Bar, Key West | February 2024

Sloppy Joe's Bar, Key West | February 2024

Sloppy joe's bar building in key west

Halfway to Hemingway Look-Alike Annual Contest

The hemingway look-alike contest's running of the bulls

Sloppy Joe’s to host the 43rd Annual Hemingway Look-Alike Contest July 17-21, 2024 “view tentative schedule.” The contest will feature over 150 Papa Wannabes attempting to win over the hearts of the judges. The judges, aka Papa’s, are all well-versed in what it takes to be a winner of the multi-day contest. As past winners, they too were once wannabes and will carefully critique each contestant. Preliminary rounds on Thursday, July 18 & Friday, July 19, to name the semi-finalists, will lead into a day-long celebration at Sloppy Joe's on Saturday, July 20th. The day starts with a gathering outside full of photos with the Papas, chance drawings, and more festivities, including the infamous “Running of the Bulls.” It is a sight to see as Papa’s and Wannabe’s alike ride “bulls” around the block, reminiscent of Pamplona, Spain. The day culminates on Sloppy Joe’s stage as the 2024 Papa is selected. Sunday will close out the contest with a commemoration of the 125th anniversary of Ernest Hemingway’s July 21 birthday. Papa David Douglas said, “Coming together is a beginning; Keeping together is progress; Working together is success. I hope you join us for the World’s Largest Hemingway Look-Alike Contest this July. ”

The Look-Alike contest is limited to 80 contestants in each preliminary round, so register early. Entry forms may be filled out online, or the entry form may be downloaded and mailed by July 15, 2024.

Start celebrating with the Look-Alikes later this month as 2024 Papa Gerrit and Mama Sharon host Papas, Mamas, and Look-Alike Wannabes February 27-March 3, 2024, in Key West for their mid-year gathering. Meet the Look-Alikes for Bloody Marys at Sloppy Joe’s on Saturday, March 2nd at 9:00 am. For more information on the Look-Alike Mid-Year schedule, visit the Hemingway Look-Alike Society website.

Saturdays are 'caturdays' at sloppy joe's bar - staff with cat ears

The Sloppy Joe’s Foundation is excited to partner with Reef Relief for February’s Caturday Earmark Campaign!

Sloppy Joe’s Saturdays are Caturday! Each Caturday in February, we will be joined by members of Reef Relief sharing their mission of promoting marine conservation through education and outreach since 1987. Reef Relief is a nonprofit dedicated to improving and protecting our coral reef ecosystem.

Caturday funds raised this month will assist with Reef Relief’s ongoing educational programs, such as their Discover Coral Reefs School Program, which provides ocean education to over 6,000 K-12th-grade students throughout the Florida Keys. The program teaches the importance of ocean and coastal ecosystems through activities in the classroom and on the water. The program supplements the current science curriculum of these schools by focusing on marine science lessons that are of particular importance to students and families residing in Florida.

For more information or to make a donation, please visit the Sloppy Joe's Foundation. Your generosity is appreciated!

Sloppy Joe's Cocktail of the Month

The Sloppy Rita

Made by Bartender Ashley M.


  • Fill the glass with ice
  • Add 1 oz. Hornitos tequila
  • Add 1/2 oz. Gran Gala
  • Add a splash of orange juice
  • Fill the glass almost to the top with sour mix
  • Shake well
  • If you like salt on your margarita, salt your glass
  • Top with a splash of soda water
  • Garnish with a freshly squeezed lime

You can watch Ashley make the Sloppy Rita on our YouTube Channel.

The famous sloppy rita made by bartender ashley m.
Sloppy joe's vintage and jerseys

Shop Sloppy Joe’s Online Store for Authentic Sloppy Joe’s Bar Clothing and More!

Our limited edition 2024 Men’s and ladies' St. Patrick’s Day shirts are now available.

Looking for a t‐shirt jersey for the big game? Our Sloppy Joe’s men's and ladies' jerseys are available in-store and online.

Coming soon, Sloppy Joe’s will travel back in time to bring back your favorite vintage designs. Our first limited edition vintage t‐shirt, “Flapper Get Sloppy,” will arrive in early February.

The juliano brothers

Band Spotlight: An Interview with the Juliano Brothers

Chat with Greg Juliano of the Juliano Brothers

From the Jersey Shore to Key West, the “1200 pound Human Jukebox” that is the Juliano Brothers band has been entertaining the masses and brightening moods through music for over 50 years and counting. We sat down with the band’s bass player, Greg Juliano, for a quick chat ahead of their annual February Key West pilgrimage.

What brought the Juliano Brothers together?

Well, we really didn’t have much of a choice! (laughs) Our parents were musicians so that kind of selected our fate. We’ve been around music our whole lives. Well, I don’t want to say we didn’t have a choice…we did, but we chose it because we saw the enjoyment that our parents got out of it. We decided to stay with it as well.

How long have you guys been playing music?

Mike and Matt have been playing professionally for 50 years as of last year - they started in 1973! I started in 1984

What was it like growing up in a musical family?

Fun as hell! There were always musical instruments around. We constantly had musician friends over. There was always a party at the Juliano house!

Who was Mom’s favorite?

I would have to say Mike. She never really gave a reason; she just always made it very clear that he was her favorite! (laughs) I was always the black sheep. I’m eight years younger than my next closest brother, Matt.

What brought you to Key West for the first time?

One of Matt’s best friends moved here many years ago. He came down to visit and told us what an awesome place it was! So we all came down as a family and saw how amazing it was and what a great live music scene there was here. We thought to ourselves, “boy, wouldn’t it be great if we could play down here,” not really realizing at the time that many of our friends from the Philadelphia area were already playing at Sloppy Joe’s. One of those friends who played here knew that we were interested in coming down and hinted to the entertainment director at the time that he should consider hiring us as we would fit in well and do a really good job. It took him a little while, but he eventually gave in and gave us a week to try us out. It was the week after Memorial Day, 2006. In fact, our very first night in town was actually Memorial Day Monday. Generally speaking, the weeks after the holidays aren’t all that busy so we really didn’t expect much, but we were really happy to be here. Worst case scenario, we had a week-long vacation in Key West! Well, I guess news travels fast in a small town because by the end of the week, Sloppy’s was packed and full of locals! We’ve been coming down every year since, three times a year - sometimes four!

What is your most memorable Key West moment?

Well, I proposed to my wife on stage in 2018! That was pretty memorable! As a band, it was probably the first time we played New Year’s Eve down there. It was an amazing night. I remember the looks on the faces of my brothers, as there were just the three of us back then. The room was packed, and there was amazing energy. It was great…when the audience answers you back, that’s a good sign that we had a grasp on what we were doing and what people wanted. It’s a great feeling when we’re able to do that. Oh, and I have one other great Key West memory. On one of our trips, I had rented a scooter, and I was stopped at a red light on the corner of Greene and Duval - right outside Sloppy’s - and the Conch Tour Train went past me. As it’s going by, I can hear the train operator say, “..and to your left is one of the Juliano Brothers. They’re in town at Sloppy Joe’s until Tuesday night. Make sure you see them while you’re in town.” That’s how you know you’ve made it in Key West when you’re a part of the Conch Train tour!

You mentioned it was just the three of you back then. I notice there’s a fourth member of the band on stage these days…

There is! Deej will have been with us for three years this coming May. Having her in the band has allowed us to play a bunch of songs that we really couldn’t do before without a female vocalist. We’ve definitely changed up some of the songs since she joined. She’s a great musician, and she fit right in from the start. She’s much younger than all of us, but she’s got an old soul. She loves a lot of the older music that we play. I had known her for years before she started with us. When Matt was sick, we had the opportunity to reach out to some musicians that we knew could sit in with us and help us out while he wasn’t well. She worked out so well that once Matt was back, we asked her to stay in the band and see where that takes us. The rest is history!

Have any of you guys ever played in a band without each other?

We’ve all done subwork and sat in with other bands here or there if someone was sick or couldn’t make the gig for whatever reason. Of course, a lot of the time, we’re not able to say yes because we’re working a lot ourselves. I also did a project of my own a few years back called “Juliano Others” which I used to do on Tuesday nights. It was originally a booked night for the entire band, but my brothers wanted a night off as we were working four or five nights a week already, so it was getting to be too much, but people wanted to hear us play during the week, so I decided to keep playing that night under the “Juliano Others” logo. I would invite other musicians from other bands to come sit in with me. It was a lot of fun; we had a great time! Otherwise, we’ve never been in any other band but the Julianos. We’ve all been playing together since the start.

What do you guys do when you’re not on stage making music?

We have day jobs! I have thirty-two years working for the federal government. Mike custom-builds drums. In fact, you can see his handiwork here on stage every night. The Sloppy Joe’s house drum kit is one of his master strokes! Matt is semi-retired these days, but he was a finish carpenter and a cabinet maker for a long time. He has an apprentice who still does work under his guidance.

If you were pro wrestlers, what would your theme music be?

It would have to be the Rocky theme!

If you could open for any band or artist, living or dead, who would it be?

That’s a tough one because we all have different interests in the music we listen to outside of the band. Deej is a big fan of Judas Priest and Thin Lizzy, Matt is a big fan of Chris King and jazz & fusion groups, Mike loves the Doobie Brothers and 1960s soul & Motown, and I love Pink Floyd and Rush…we all run the musical gamut! But collectively, if we had to pick one band that it would be a privilege to open up for, it would probably be Steely Dan. That’s probably the one common denominator artist between the four of us that we all enjoy.

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today; we can’t wait to spend the week with you! Is there anything you’d like to add?

We appreciate the support always. I hope the fans realize that the main reason that we do what we do is because they do what they do - and by that, I mean they come out and support live music. I mean that in a general sense, not just us being live performers but live music in general. I’m always a proponent of getting people to support live music, whether it’s us or somebody else. Get out there and listen to live music. It's an art that has meaning. It can totally change your mood and put you in a place that you may need to be if you’re not there, even if it’s just for a temporary amount of time.

Catch Greg, Mike, Matt, and Deej, aka the Juliano Brothers, live on the Sloppy Joe’s stage Wednesday, January 31st through Tuesday, February 6th, starting at 10:00 pm nightly.

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