One of Duval Street's most historic buildings

History - From Island City National Bank to I.C. Double's

 I.C. Double's Cocktail Craftery & Kitchen is located in one of Duval Street's oldest and most historic buildings--now an amazing bar and restaurant in the heart of the famous 200 block (between Sloppy Joe's and Irish Kevin's).  


203 Duval Street was built in 1901 as The Tropical Building And Investment Company.  By 1905, our location became the Island City National Bank.  Island City National Bank was founded by Key West's most influential (and in some cases, notorious) businessmen of the early 1900s.  


Island City National Bank's founding board members included:


  • Captain Jordan McCullough Phipps, Esq. (1827 – 1911).  Phipps was mathematics professor, captain in the Confederate Army, then became a lawyer and judge.  He was also a four-time Florida state senator.  


  • Richard Peacon (1840 – 1914).  In the early 1900s, Peacon owned Key West's largest grocery store, which was located at 800 Fleming Street.  His octagonal home at 712 Eaton Street, “Peacon House,” still exists and is a frequent stop for historical tours of Downtown Key West.


  • George Stowe Waite (1854 – 1915).  One of Key West's most successful merchants and clothing store owners.  


  • Charles Richard Pierce (1855 – 1923).  Prominent Key West businessman, sponge merchant, and owner of a significant portion of Key West's real estate.


  • John Thomas Sawyer (1853 - 1930).  Master builder, businessman, and property owner.  He built, among other historic buildings, the Armory in Key West.  


  • Theodore Andrew Sweeting (1870 – 1929).  County tax collector.  Because you couldn't have a bank in the early 1900s without being in bed with the tax man!


  • Dr. Edward M. Martin (1860 – 1925).  Martin was the original Cashier for Island City National Bank (his signature is on many of the original bank notes printed at the property).  He eventually became the bank's Vice President.  As the bank began to fail in 1914, Martin mysteriously developed a case of amnesia and disappeared.  He surfaced years later using the name John Porter Williams, working as a businessman and banker in Oklahoma, where he died in 1925.  


The bank even printed its own money from 1905 to 1914 under a charter from the federal government.  Fortunes were won and lost in our building, and Island City National Bank was a major player in the early development of Duval Street and Downtown Key West.  After all, Key West's merchants, shipwreckers, and smugglers needed a safe place to stash their cash!


Alas, in 1914, as World War I broke out in Europe, Island City National Bank was torpedoed by the death of founding board member Captain Jordan M. Phipps, Esq., and the mysterious disappearance if its vice-president, Dr. Edward M. Martin.  Scandal arose, and the bank faded into history.  The building, however, is referred to as the Island City National Bank building to this day.


In the 1920s and 1930s, 203 Duval street served as  J. Mulger's Clothing Store, featuring all the hottest fashions of the day.  From bow ties to golf knickers, J. Mulger's kept Key West looking sharp.


In the 1940s, Lopez Wholesale Liquors moved in and was operated for many years by the Ramos family, well known for their successful liquor distribution enterprises in Key West.


In later years, the building was home to a coffee shop, a curio and clothing shop, and then the popular Lazy Gecko bar from 2001 to 2017.  


We've faithfully restored the interior to its former 1905 glory.  Stop in to enjoy great food, cocktails, ambiance, music--and some amazing early Key West history.

image270

a bit of history to go with your daiquiri

Built in 1901

image271

Built in 1901 as the Tropical House & Investment Company, and became the Island City National Bank in 1905.

Witness to the Development of Duval Street

image272

Our building, circa 1917, overlooking the empty lot at Duval and Greene Streets, which would soon become the Victoria Restaurant, and then Sloppy Joe's in 1937.

Printing Money: 1905 - 1914

image273

Ever wonder where Key Westers got their cash in the early 1900s?  They printed it, of course!  Island City National Bank printed about $500,000 in U.S. currency under a charter from the federal government between 1905 and 1914.

Founding Members

image274

In 1905, Captain Jordan M. Phipps, Esq., one of the founding board members of Island City National Bank.  

A History of Great Beer

I.C. Double's 203 Duval Street, Key West Bar, history of Duval Street, Lopez Liquor Ad 1941

1941 beer ad from Lopez Liquor Distributors, who occupied our building from the 1940s to the early 1990s.

The End of Prohibition

image275

Prohibition ends in Key West on December 5, 1933.  Excerpt from the Key West Citizen archives.