Mangrove Mama’s has been a landmark Restaurant and Bar located on Sugarloaf Key for over 30 years. Mama’s has a reputation for serving fresh local seafood, succulent steaks, specialty drinks and delectable desserts. Whether you are stopping in for Breakfast, Sunday brunch, lunch or dinner, you will leave raving for days about our delicious fare. We are always sprucing up our menu with new and exciting items, but the staples that keep the locals coming back are our Shrimp St. Jacques, Cracked Conch, Mama’s Conch Chowder, and our award winning Key Lime Pie.
We have daily specials that range from fresh Mahi Mahi sandwiches by day to Coconut Encrusted Grouper topped with a Pina Colada Rum sauce by night. This award winning restaurant is truly one of a kind with its laid back Florida Keys atmosphere. You can enjoy your dining and drinks by keeping cool inside or you may enjoy our beautiful outdoor patio lined with palm trees and live music (furry friends are always welcome outside). The next time you are looking to kick back, relax and truly enjoy a great meal, come on in to Mangrove Mama’s Restaurant. We promise that you won’t be disappointed!
We also can accommodate large parties and weddings and will cater any event of you liking.
Hours: Monday - Sunday 8 am - 10 pm.
It is impossible to talk about the history of Mangrove Mama's without talking about the history of the Florida Keys themselves. Well, the last hundred years anyway.
Bat Tower First called Glenn Key and later Perkey Key after Richter Perky, builder of the famous Sugarloaf Bat Tower...pineapple....Sugarloaf Key, it has been said, derives it's name from the shape of nearby Indian Mounds. Most people agree, however, that the name comes from sugarloaf pineapples that were once grown here.
Sometime between 1905 and 1912, probably in 1910, the buildings that house Mangrove Mama's were built. They were originally constructed as a rail stop and station agents residence for Flaglers overseas railroad.
What took Henry Flagler fifty million dollars of his own money and seven years to build, took only hours for the labor day hurricane of 1935 to destroy. After much haggling it was finally decided that a road and ferry system would be built roughly following the path of the former railroad.We invite you to relax and enjoy a rare slice of Keys history. Erected in 1909, the two buildings that house Mangrove Mama’s were originally a train stop and station agents house for Henry Flagler’s “overseas railroad”. In over a hundred years since, they have weathered countless storms, dire economic times and even survived the 1935 Labor Day hurricane that swept through the Keys taking the railroad with it. In 1939 US 1 opened and connected the Florida Keys to the mainland.
Gas pumps were installed and a general store now occupied the front building to service the growing number of tourists arriving. In the late 1940’s retired navy man Captain Eddie got hold of the place and opened “Eddies Fish Basket”. Catering mainly to sailors and the few locals around, it wasn’t long before it became known as a great spot for a cold beer and a quick meal. The men often locked the place up themselves before heading back to base after a long night of drinking and gambling. This went on for decades and though some of the details get a little sketchy, after he passed on and the gas pumps were removed the place fell into a state of disrepair.
In 1979 Gary and Nancy Bell decided to have a go at it. From Tennessee and no strangers to the restaurant business, the couple used to spend the winters at the campground across the highway. Seeing a great opportunity they did some renovations and by December were open for business. In spite of the fact that the place had no sign or even a name on the building they were met with immediate success. The locals can be credited with naming the place after Gary’s fishing skiff, the “Mangrove Mama” that usually sat out front. With the birth of their second child, the Bells decided to return to Tennessee full time. They sold Mangrove Mama’s in 1988.
A few changes have been made since then. The bar was moved to the house out back and aptly named “Captain Eddies Hideaway”. An elevated deck was added as well as the patio to accommodate outdoor dining but one thing has remained constant. This little gem on the side of the highway has always welcomed both locals and travelers alike. Hopefully for another hundred years!
Not much has changed here really. We're still an oasis for those traveling through, as well as a treasured watering hole for the locals. Here at Mangrove Mama's, good food, good drinks and good company never seem to go out of style. So join us under the banana trees and coconut palms and swap a couple stories of your own!
Thank you for your patronage.