A lot can happen in a little town in 79 years. Overseas Pub and Grill, established in 1937, has seen most of it during its arc which included highs and lows. After three years of work, owners Tim and Kathy O’Connell say the historic landmark now has all the grandeur it deserves.
“I just fell in love with the building,” Tim said, while dining in the open shaded outside bar, which was cool even on a 93-degree summer afternoon. “I enjoy working and this place needed a lot of help.”
The inside is filled with cold air-conditioning, (28 tons to be exact), evenly distributed. That’s a plus for local laborers and a nice place to get away from the summer’s heat for a game of pool or just to hang out at the bar at lunchtime. The frozen drink rail around the bar is not only a conversation piece, but a significant help in keeping beverages extra ice cold once poured by the “Z team” – which includes some of the most popular bartenders on the island.
The conch bites on the appetizer menu are killer. Light and fluffy, just like they make them in the Bahamas. General manager Joe Caligiuri said they are one of his favorites choices for a late lunch.
Chef Chris said the “broasted” chicken is on the top of his list. They use a special broaster, (there are only two in the Keys), to pressure cook then deep fry the chicken. The result, he says, is a higher quality, more flavorful chicken with less the fat and calories than the regular chicken.
Their Ice Cream Tuesday is pretty yum, too. It’s named after the restaurant’s grand opening — “It’s going to open on Tuesday. We’re not sure which Tuesday …” — the fast-spreading joke among locals waiting for the eatery to open.
Marathon’s late historian Dan Gallagher said in his “Marathon 1906-1950” book that Ernest Hemingway frequented Overseas, a place where local fishermen, lobstermen, and shrimpers spent their off time.
O’Connell said the Overseas Pub will once again be “the center of Old Town,” as it was once billed. The owners said he is looking to host art shows on the weekend in the parking area behind the restaurant, and the GM added that the liquor store and eventual ice cream shop will also be on the property.
Overseas, located at MM 49, is open every day from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. A late night menu kicks in from 10 p.m. to midnight. To order the broaster chicken to go, or anything else, call 305-290-4666.
picture: Overseas specializes in ‘like grandma makes’ deliciousness like the specialty Genuine Broaster Chicken, Kathy’s Home Cooked Pot Roast Sandwich and Overseas Cobb Salad. The pot roast sandwich is the owner’s favorite.