While most of us who live in Key West count our blessings on a regular basis (blessings like a year-round warm climate, genuinely caring community, “One Human Family” philosophy that promotes equality for all, lively arts and entertainment calendar, and beautiful natural surroundings), the Thanksgiving season provides a reason for some extra reflection and gratitude.

Key West dancers at club

Thanksgiving visitors to Key West can be thankful for a great new dance club — the Sidebar at Aqua. (Photo courtesy of the Sidebar)

Therefore, after mentally scrolling through a list of (in the words of domestic diva Martha Stewart) “good things” to be found on the island, it seemed timely to share a few recent additions to the roster.

1. The New Sidebar at Aqua. Key West’s famed Duval Street is renowned for nightlife options that include everything from cigar bars to drag shows. And with the opening of the Sidebar at the popular Aqua Nightclub, an upscale all-welcome dance club joins the offerings.

The Sidebar is designed as a “casual urban” space with a distinctive iron chandelier and comfortable seating. It’s open for relaxed libations and conversation during the day and evening (you can even order artisan pizza from a neighborhood emporium), and at night it morphs into a dynamic hotspot for drinks and dancing.

Located at 504 Angela St. just off Duval, the Sidebar complements Aqua’s inviting setting for cocktails and “Reality is a Drag” shows by the talented Aquanettes drag troupe. The mix of music ranges from house tunes and retro to disco and contemporary dance music — plus local sensation Vogue hosts an “after-tea” event each Sunday.

Key west shrimp

Beautifully prepared local seafood is a signature of Ocean Grill. (Photo courtesy of Ocean Grill & Bar)

2. The Transformation of Square One into the Ocean Grill & Bar. Chances are, anyone who’s spent much time in Key West recalls the iconic Square One restaurant in Duval Square at 1075 Duval St. Founding partner Michael Stewart, a born restaurateur and a gentleman to the core, treated every patron like family. And the cuisine and cocktails were always flat-out wonderful. But even wonderful things change with time, and Michael eventually chose another path.

Luckily for Key West diners, the late lamented Square One ultimately became the Ocean Grill & Bar. Guests can sit outdoors, watching people pass by in the lively square, or in the classically clean-lined indoor dining room.

But no matter where they sit, they’ll savor truly lovely food. Based around the natural bounty of fresh fish and seafood, enhanced by influences from around the world, the menu features standouts like Key West shrimp and grits, local cobia encrusted with macadamia nuts and a stunning seafood pasta in sherry cream sauce.

Tennessee Williams painting

“L’inconnu C’est les Yeux” is Tennessee Williams’ portrait of his friend David Wolkowsky. (Photo courtesy of KWAHS)

3. Tennessee Williams’ Paintings at the Custom House Museum. Playwright Tennessee Williams lived and wrote in Key West for more than 30 years and helped put it on the map as a quirky gay haven — so it’s only right to remember and celebrate his legacy in the island city.

Regular visitors are no doubt aware of the wonderful Williams exhibit behind the Key West Business Guild Visitor Center at 513 Truman Ave., created by longtime community leaders Dennis Beaver and Bert Whitt (and the annual celebration of Tennessee’s life and work that they stage).

But far fewer people know the playwright was also a painter, who often relaxed by painting at his Duncan Street cottage and on Ballast Key, a private island owned by his longtime friend David Wolkowsky.

Now a permanent exhibition of 15 of his creations is on display at Key West’s Custom House Museum. Housed in a second-floor gallery at the 281 Front St. museum, the paintings depict subjects including Williams’ close friends (including David Wolkowsky) and personifications from his writing — and they’re well worth discovering.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, if you’re in Key West during the holiday season, check out the three elements outlined here — or let your exploration of the island city inspire your own list of things to be thankful for.

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