Gato Village Pocket Park

So it is no secret that MySideOfTheBar was on the Rock for the  month of march. I am hoping to recap a few places of interest that we visited. The Gato Village Pocket Park is one such place.

You are probably wondering what a Pocket Park is? (I know I did) Well simply put a Pocket Park is a small green space that has been set aside for public enjoyment.

We were listening to Pirate Radio one morning and found out they had a fund raiser, coincidentally enough on a Whiskey Wednesday at this Pocket Park. The fund raiser was to raise money to pay for the recently refurbished giant cigar sculpture. 

Need I say more? No, but I will anyway :) We arrived a little late for the free cigars

but did get to sample some of my favorite rum from the Key West Distillery that produces what I think is the best rum on the island (or anywhere else for that matter), Pappa's Pillar.

But I digress: The Gatto Pocket Park is This park has a special history as it was part of a unique community of employee housing built by Eduardo Gato in the 1880's. Gato Village, also known as Gatoville or Barrio Gato, consisted of 40 cigar makers' cottages that were built around the Gato Cigar Factory on Simonton Street. What most people do not know is that at one time Key West was once that largest cigar mfg. industry in the U.S. (before it moved to Tampa).

You are going to want to read the story behind the Cigar Factory as it still stand just up the street from the park.

The interesting thing about the Gato Village Pocket Park is outside the event it is a no smoking park. Go figure?

The Professor


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