In answer to our Chasing Shadows question for June 30, “Mr. Bill” Miller of Lanark Village shared a few memories of the Crew’s Quarters and the Captain’s Lounge
He said the Crew’s Quarters, located on Alligator Point was originally owned by a family named Border. One of Mr. Bill’s daughters attended high school in Carrabelle with their girl Kathy.
The place consisted of a little store that sold sandwiches and stuff. This was in the 1960s.
There was a large room containing a juke box attached to the store and on weekends kids from Carrabelle would come to roller skate and dance there.
Later it was purchased by Vern and Jo Grace who made the large room a lounge that served alcohol.
“They had quite a few little tussles over there,” Miller said. “What was unique was he had a buck’s head mounted on the wall. One old wino who frequented the bar had a glass eye and when his pension check didn’t last out the month, he’d hock the eye until (until his next check came).
“Sometimes, he’d take his glass eye out and stick it in the buck’s ear and then say ‘Here’s looking at you.’”
Miller said Vern Grace’s mother-in-law lived next door to the Crew’s Quarters and fixed a big buffet every supper every Sunday.
Later on, said Miller, one of the girls who ran The Oaks in Panacea bought it. She wasn’t used to all these rowdy people and when she tended bar she’d set a big glass brandy snifter out for tips. One night, she had a disagreement with customer and he started breaking pieces of glass off of the snifter and eating them.
Both Cindy Clark of Bay Media and Mr. Bill shared some information about the Captain’s Lounge.
“If I’m remembering it correctly, it was a bar on Gulf Beach Drive just east of Jeff Galloway’s office,” Clark wrote. “The one-story building is still there I think, but I’m not sure what it is anymore – probably a tattoo shop or swimsuit shop. When I came to town in ‘82, it was the Captain’s Lounge, later the Red Rooster (or something more derogative) and maybe a couple of other bar names before Steve Malvestuto and Kim Norgren turned it into Juice and Java in the 90s.
“It’s been a lot of tourist-type businesses since then. Used to dance to live rock bands there in the 80s. - Renee Bacot would know; she used to work there. It was a locals’ hangout. At one time, it was owned or operated by Moe, the fellow that once ran Moe’s Pool Room bar, just west of Apalach on 98 near the abandoned Suwannee Swifty Store close to Antonio’s (other side of the road).
According to Mr. Bill, there were two bars called the Captain’s Lounge; one at the Alligator Point Marina which had a restaurant, and one on St. George Island which is the one described as “rowdy” in the July 1976 Times article.
“My son and ‘Tarzan’ Shiver from Eastpoint had a band that played there on Friday and Saturday and I used to carry their equipment over for them in my truck,” Mr. Bill said. “There was a screened porch where they set up and people would dance.
Harry Arnold, longtime St. George Island resident remembers the Captain’s Lounge well. He said it was “a good place to get stabbed with a knife or screwdriver” and that he visited occasionally but not often because it was the site of many fights.
The following article from the July 15 Times in 1976 seems to set the tone for the establishment:
Sheriff Jack Taylor found an unwelcome passenger in hi car Friday night and before Phillip Cook was arrested he had damaged two county cars.
The skirmish began outside the Captain’s Lounge on St. George Island when Cook insulted the sheriff. Cook then climbed into Taylor’s car refusing to let him in. When Taylor attempted to get in the car and subdue the man, Cook struck Taylor on his head forcing the sheriff to retreat.
No deputies were present at the time and when the sheriff tried to call help, Cook disconnected the microphone wire.
Cook was charged with disorderly intoxication, destruction of county property and resisting arrest with violence. He was released on $1551 bail.