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Updated: May 24, 2021

Alabama Jacks was originally built by a man named Jack Stratham. Jack was born in 1900 in Alabama, traveled around a whole lot and even at one time actually worked in New York driving rivets to help build the Empire State Building. In 1953, a Miami plumber sold Jack and Alice the Card Sound lease. Jack's initial intention was for a weekend place and a place to dock his boat. He began building his swamp bar in 1950.

It sits on Barnes Sound on a couple of close knit barges in the middle of the mangroves at 38000 Old Card Sound Road in Key Largo and is about the only place on that 13 mile stretch of highway. The bar's face had changed many times through the years due to hurricanes, especially Donna in 1960 and Betsy in 1965, and as he remodeled after each one, it got a little bit larger. Jack sold the bar to Phyllis Sague in 1981 and hands down it is still the best stopover in or out of the keys.

Above, Old Card Sound Road being built in 1927

The absolute best Conch Fritters anywhere in the area and the crab cakes are nice & crabby too. Funky atmosphere with lots to look at while you wait for your food which comes out so fast you ain't been done looking. Do not feed the birds. I had one sitting on the bar stool right next to me ready to tell me any lie I wanted just for a nibble. They open every day from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM. They have to close exactly at 7 because rumors have it the mosquitoes can easily lift a motorcycle.

Best place to stop halfway in to relax if you are going into Key West. Alabama Jack's sits on Card Sound Road, the alternate route into Key West. If you are also going into Key Largo, this is also the best way in, in my opinion.

If you go through on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, you’ll catch the Card Sound Machine country band playing and they have been since 1985. You go to Alabama Jack's for lunch, then continue southeast on Card Sound for a couple of miles then make a right onto County Road 905. Light traffic and a beautiful road that will lead you right into Largo with a full belly and a peaceful mind and more than enough body fuel to get you to Key West.


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