A Slice of Key West History
Pier House Resort & Spa was built in 1967 as a small 50-room motel by American developer David Wolkowsky, a Key West native. Wolkowsky is largely responsible for the preservation of Key West and the prevention of high-rise buildings on the island paradise. He previously built the original Sloppy Joe's of Hemingway fame, Pirate's Alley and the Original Cigar Factory. The initial Pier House Resort Motel soon added 50 more rooms facing the ocean and became a magnet for celebrities.Jimmy Buffett and Bob Marley started their careers in the hotel's funky Chart Room Bar, where Buffett credits as his first gig. Over the years, the hotel was the winter home of Truman Capote, who wrote "Answered Prayers" and Tennessee Williams. Wolkowsky served hot dogs, white wine and potato chips to his guests, including British Prime Minister Edward Heath and various Rockefellers, Mellons and Vanderbilts.Today, Pier House Resort & Spa is a haven for locals, world travelers and musicians. The Chart Room Bar still serves free hot dogs and popcorn!