Backyards of Key West

How The Perry Hotel is Thriving in This New COVID World

In this part 2 episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Jenny Lorenz, the Director of Marketing at The Perry Hotel Key West. We go behind the curtain in this interview, to get a first-hand experience of what all hotels had to go through during the pandemic, all the steps The Perry is taking to put their customers…

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Key West First Legal Rum Distillery with Paul Menta

In this episode of the podcast, Mark Baratto sits down with the Kiteboarder, Chef, and owner/creator of the Key West First Legal Rum Distillery, Paul Menta. We talk about how Paul took a number of chances when creating his rum distillery and how his “failures” help him find success. In a post-COVID-19 world, Paul saw…

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The Square Grouper Bar & Grill

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Square Grouper creator and owner Lynn Bell. We talk about how they got started, their expanding location plan, and how they are navigating the restaurant business in a new COVID-19 environment. More on The Square Grouper Bar & Grill The Square Grouper Bar and Grill is located…

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Social Media Talk with @visitkeywest influencer, Steven Dunbar

This episode is brought to you by The Marquesa Hotel. The Key West Hotel Marquesa and CafĂ© Marquesa are the finest small Key West hotel and restaurant on our island. Set in the center of the historic district of Old Town Key West, the Marquesa compound is set around a lush interior garden and sparkling…

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AMRI Sustainable Day Spa

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with owners and mother-daughter powerhouse, Jasmin and Morgan. We talk about how they got into the business, how they work together in a family business, and how their passion for the environment, spills into everything magical they do! More on AMRI We are an ethical and sustainable day…

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The Spice & Tea Exchange of Key West

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with owners Matt & Katie Wills of The Spice & Tea Exchange of Key West. This episode was recorded in December of 2019 and I wanted to wait for them to be back open after the COVID shut down. We talk about how they took a leap of…

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Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen & Bar

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Steven, the food and beverage director for Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen & Bar and the Salty Oyster Dockside Bar & Grill at The Perry Hotel. We discuss how these two restaurants get all their amazing food, the incredible brunch deal, and what the heck a fishmonger is…

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When Nature Calls with Under The Leaf Plant Shop

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Alex, the designer extraordinaire at Under The Leaf, located at The Art Shack on Stock Island. We talk about how she had the guts to jump headfirst into living her passion, some “kill proof” plants, and how such a tiny little plant could bring so many people…

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Living The Life at Paradise Restaurant

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Paradise Restaurant owner, Christian Velez. This was recorded before the pandemic shut down, and I hope they get as busy again as they were during this interview! This is one of the shortest episodes I’ve ever done because Christian was not only working the bar but helping…

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Conch Republic Seafood Company

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Casey Arnold of the Conch Republic Seafood Company. We talk about the history of the historic building, all the food options, and their infamous happy hour. Take note that this was recorded before the COVID lockdown, be as of June 5th, the bar at the restaurant will…

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Getting Back to Normal with French Bakery & Bistro, La Grignote

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with chef and co-owner Babeth to discuss how the business was affected during the COVID-19 shutdown, how this family-owned business is surviving, and some tips on doing the same. This is my first interview back after the shutdown and we laughed, shared stories, and I ate… a little…

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Getting Back to Normal with French Bakery & Bistro, La Grignote

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with chef and co-owner Babeth to discuss how the business was affected during the COVID-19 shutdown, how this family-owned business is surviving, and some tips on doing the same. This is my first interview back after the shutdown and we laughed, shared stories, and I ate… a little…

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Getting Back to Normal with French Bakery & Bistro, La Grignote

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with chef and co-owner Babeth to discuss how the business was affected during the COVID-19 shutdown, how this family-owned business is surviving, and some tips on doing the same. This is my first interview back after the shutdown and we laughed, shared stories, and I ate… a little…

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Rescuing Bars all Over the World with Celebrity Bartender, Russell Davis

NOTE – this episode was recorded months before COVID-19 lockdown. I hope you enjoy this interview, and get ready for some new episodes soon, as Key West begins to open back up June 1st. This episode Mark Baratto sits down with celebrity mixologist Russell Davis. We talk about how Russell got into the business, how…

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Frita’s Cuban Burger Cafe

NOTE – Here is another pre COVID-19 episode. I am happy to say that Frita’s is back open and serve their delicious food. In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with the owner of Frita’s Cuban Burger Cafe, c During this episode, we danced, we sang (well Marcia does) and I ate one of their…

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Talking Chops with the GM of Prime Steakhouse

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Aaron Pearlman, the General Manager of Prime Steakhouse Key West. We talk about the restaurant’s history, how they stay upscale, but with a relaxed island vibe, and how they keep their food consistently amazing in our tiny island paradise. A Message from Prime Steakhouse Finally a light…

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The Photography of Art with DE LA Gallery Co-Owner Jeff Rodriguez

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Master Framer, Jeff Rodriguez. Jeff is the co-owner of DE LA Gallery, located in Key West, FL and Charleston, SC, AND the co-owner of Art Warehouse, located in Key West. I visited Jeff at his Key West gallery where we talked about his wildly talented partner, photographer/artist…

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Getting Caffeinated with Cuban Coffee Queen

**NOTE** This episode was recorded in December, 2019. During the Coronavirus crisis, the Cuban Coffee Queen is open from 7AM – 3PM for takeout and still delivering all of Key West up to Cow Key Bridge. In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with head barista and manager, Irena Dalton at the iconic Cuban Coffee…

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Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist, & Storyteller Scott Kirby

**NOTE** This episode was recorded in January 2020 and published on my other podcast, The Songwriters Podcast. In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with singer, songwriter, guitarists, storyteller, sailor and road warrior, Scott Kirby. We talk about his long career as a musician, and where he goes for writing inspiration, and how a little…

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A Sweet Escape with Flamingo Crossing Ice Cream

This episode was recorded months before COVID-19 happened, and Social Distancing was the new catchphrase. I spoke with their team today and they wanted to let you know that they are OPEN FOR BUSINESS from 12pm – 8pmevery day for TAKE OUT ONLY during the crisis. Location: 1105 Duval Street, Key West, Florida In this…

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