First Flight Island Restaurant & Brewery

first flight restaurant and bar key west
The outside of First Flight, original home to Pan American Airways.

My husband and I had some business downtown to deal with the other day, and being close to dinner time, we decided to grab a bite someplace. Since we on Whitehead Street and had not been to Kelly’s Caribbean since it changed hands and became First Flight, we decided to give it a try.

When we entered the restaurant, we were told that there would be an event later on that evening so they only had seating available upstairs. We followed the greeter up the steep stairs, past the bar, and onto a patio overlooking the area being set up for the event later on that evening. While I had been upstairs before for other events, the area was now quite lacking and the music was very loud. However, we thought that we would make a go of the evening there anyway.

Looking over the menu, we were very surprised by the pricing. Everything was very pricey, and while I do not mind paying for great food, service, and atmosphere, the atmosphere and so far was lacking. And the waitress was quite pushy, so they already had two strikes. We were hoping the food would be worth it.

first flight key west upstairs dining area
Upstairs dining area of First Flight.

We finally placed our order. My husband ordered the chicken wings to start and the seafood linguine for his main meal. I ordered the fries and the black and blue salad. While we were waiting, two groups of people were seated near us. I think that they too did not dig the vibe as they were visually upset. One lady even said, “this is not the atmosphere that I was expecting here.”  Both groups ended up leaving without ordering anything.

Just before they brought out our appetizers, the music went berserk, the sound system obviously being tested for the event. It was extremely annoying and not good for a relaxing dinner experience. At this point, we decided that we had had enough and we asked the waitress to please cancel the rest of our order as we really were not enjoying ourselves at all and we wanted to try and salvage our evening out.

Since the waitress had just brought out our appetizers, we did eat those. My fries were delicious, but the wings were horribly overcooked and the sauce that came with them was awful tasting. I really cannot even describe it. Since we only had water and the two appetizers, we paid the $20 bill and headed out for ice cream to lift our spirits.

This was such a disappointing Key West dining experience that I do not think that we will come back here again, even if there is no event happening. I would say that if you only wanting a beer and some fries and are into history, it may not be a bad place to visit. After all, it was run by Top Gun actress Kelly McGillis for years and many years before that it was the home to Pam Am Airlines. But I would avoid for a nice meal out on the town.

Before deciding where to eat while you are visiting Key West or the rest of the Florida Keys, be sure to read my restaurant reviews; check out our restaurant review section of this blog.

To see what is happening on the island during your visit, check out our Key West Events Calendar to see other upcoming special events.

And for more information about the fun side of Key West… things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.

Feel free to Email Me if you have any questions about Key West!!

Island Genn – Your Key West Concierge

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