Last call? Iconic Keys bar closes indefinitely

One of Marathon's most iconic watering holes is closed for the foreseeable future.

Famous for its Sunday night jam sessions and waterfront Boot Key Harbor location, Dockside Bar & Grill co-owner Brian Sweeney said Monday that the business has been closed since mid-December for significant renovations.

"Basically, we're rebuilding the floor," he said. "We're going to put in new pilings and make the building safer than it was. You can't have people in a restaurant if you're concerned about the floor."

Sweeney said the repairs were a long time coming because of concrete poured improperly some 20 years before. He said he's been working with an architect and general contractor on the project.

Sweeney said it was an "owner's decision" to move forward with the remodel. He said the decision did not involve lessees Tony and Caitrin Piscetello.

"We just decided we wanted to get it done. Whatever he has planned, we'll discuss it with him," Sweeney said.

Caitrin declined to discuss specifics, but said she and her husband would not be involved with the reopening of the bar.

"We are not opening it back up; we've removed ourselves from the location," she said. "The building has needed repair for quite some time and they came in to fix it."

Dockside has undergone change in recent years. Sweeney said it was sold to L & E Entertainment "four or five years ago," L & E later defaulted on the mortgage and turned it back over to Servais, Sweeney and Johnson Property Company LLC. The Piscetellos took over one year ago.

Sweeney said he's already had several inquiries about the business, and that "you've got to kiss a lot of toads" before you find the right match.

"I've gotten a lot of interest," he said.

Sweeney added that renovations would likely carry on through the end of tourist season, so renovations won't be rushed. There is no target date to reopen, he said.

"It's just too early to tell," he said.

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