Chasing Down The Blues

"You should call it 'Chasing Down the Blues,' said Vinnie. It's the name of my column for the print edition for this week's review of Mickey's Bar. After a night of telling me his life's story,  he half-joking suggested it for his memoirs.

I'd been wanting to write about biker bars since I moved here, since I'm drawn to the stories of those who hang out in them.

On the heels of an exploration of two technical columns on why Floridians don't eat Florida seafood, I wanted to write something more impressionistic and expressive.

I wavered between a Sunday at Flossie's and Mickey's Bar (and visited both). After learning more about the owners, I leaned toward a portrayal of owners Lisa and Dave, particularly since Dave loves the bar so much and can't be there, as he recovers from a bike accident.

Vinnie and Rebecca were the clinchers. The two were among the most open, kind, and interesting characters I've met in my work here so far.

I was kind of nervous walking in to a biker bar solo on a rainy night.

They immediately broke the ice. "I'm Vinnie," he says, extending his

hand. "Welcome to Mickey's." His

breast pocket was stuffed with a handful of pens, a tool, and a

flashlight. He had been there since he got off work. It was around 8 p.m.

"This is Donna," he

says, pointing to a good-looking 30-something woman in a black tank top

and jeans next to him. "And the bartender's ReBreastra, but I'm the only

one who can call her that." Rebecca asked my drink and poured me a shot of Jameson.

Read on for a portrait of Mickey's Bar, a landing spot for a crew for which home is on an open road.

Click here for the full slideshow.

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