With picnic tables out front, a truck painted with skeleton heads and a large pirate with shades and sword earrings greeting guests out front, at first glance you might be confused as to what’s going on at this Chevron gas station. Investigate a little further and you will find a gem of old town Key West, The Pirate Seafood Company.
The big guy with the sleeveless shirt and big white boots standing by the truck is proprietor Mundy Parra. From a distance, he looks like the last person you would want to meet in a dark alley. But all it takes is a shake from his rugged hands and his quick smile as he greets you to make you feel like a long lost cousin. Mundy is a fifth generation Conch with extensive family ties to the history of Key West.
“My grandfather was the mayor years ago and his father used to cut hair. He was also known as ‘the rooster man.’ The Parra family has been around for a long time in Key West,” he stated proudly.
This one stop shop for local seafood offers both retail and wholesale goods with a touch of true conch color.
This weekend, Mundy is mixing seafood and scholarship. He’ll have a booth set up at the Noon Rotary’s Boat Show and Nautical Market.
“Oh, yeah! Mundy’ll be there,” immediate past Noon Rotary President Ronnie Leonard had the scoop for the Key West Weekly.
“Mundy pays for his booth. You never know exactly what he’s going to have. Lobster, Grouper, fish sandwiches…he sells a lot of fish sandwiches!”
Whether you sample Mundy’s Seafood sandwiches at the Boat Show or at his place on Truman, one thing is certain – you’ll feel at ease at his establishment.
“We’re a unique place. Nothing fancy, very clean. It’s the best and it’s local seafood,” Mundy said. “You come here and you walk up and see a product that you like, we cut it, and we cook it. Everything is processed right here, cleaned right here.”
As Mundy talked to The Key West Weekly, a woman pulled up and asked for some Mahi. They chat for a few moments and share a jovial laugh. He instructs her to come back later, because a fresh catch is on the way in. Such a personal touch and genuine love for the product and patrons truly make Pirate Seafood Company a special place.
Mundy smiled and waved as she drove away.
“The favorite part of my job is dealing with people, teaching them the right things,” he explained. “Just talking and being myself. I’m trying to make a living, not trying to get rich.
“I treat everybody the same way and we get all walks of life here… rich, poor, good, bad…I treat ‘em all fair, just as long as they got money,” he finished with a laugh.
Pirate Seafood Company also has an extensive menu of meals served right in the gas station parking lot. They carry everything from a grouper sandwich to a lobster tail plate.
“The Pirates Famous Smoked Fish Dip” is worth the trip.
“My wife Mercedes, she does most the cooking. She’s from Cuba, so this is the real Cuban food. Once you come here, you’re going to be spoiled.”
Mundy is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 or 11:30 am (depending on how long it takes him to get his coffee in the morning) and closes between 6 and 8 pm.
“I got a lot of people that call me and tell me they are on their way and I’ll wait for them,” he said of his business hours.
“I really love what I do and when you do something that you like it’s a fabulous thing.”
This weekend Saturday, February 27 and Sunday, February 28 go find Mundy at the Boat Show and Nautical Market. He’s not only servin’ up seafood but making the scholarship fund more succulent.
Mundy shows us what’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner…Key West Pinks! They arrive fresh to the store each morning around 4 am.
Mmmmm. Long John Silvers take this!
Pirate Seafood owner and fisherman Mundy Parra shows off a platter of some of the island’s freshest seafood. The only item from a box is Conch he has his shipped from the Caicos Islands. The delicacy can’t be taken from the waters around Key West.