Home of Pan Am’s first office, where the first American international flight ticket was bought has now become a bar owned by Top Gun’s Kelly McGillis.
Pan American World Airways was the US’ largest airline from the 1920s until its collapse in 1991. But it had its origins in a quiet corner of America’s southernmost point, Key West. On October 28th, 1927, Pan Am Flight Number One took off from Key West, headed for Havana, Cuba. It was the first American international air service in scheduled operation. Pan Am was started by Juan Terry Trippe with the aim to “provide mass air transportation for the average man at rates he can afford to pay.” Securing the air postal routes between Florida and Cuba, Trippe turned his fledgling airline out of this office into one of the world’s biggest air carriers.
Where once the well-to-do Clipper flying boat travelers of the 1920s would buy their airplane tickets, McGillis turned the building into a bar and restaurant. Currently it is home to Key West’s only microbrewery.