The Making of a Landmark
After the devastating Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 destroyed Flagler’s Overseas Railroad, work began on the Overseas Highway to Key West, which gave way to the first motoring tourists in the early 1940’s as well as new cafes, inns and restaurants in Islamorada.
In 1947 Sid and Roxie Siderious purchased a roadside establishment and transformed it into the Green Turtle Inn. The “Turtle” became known for great food and a comfortable night’s rest. True to its name, the restaurant served fare featuring sea turtles, a popular delicacy harvested from local waters and served in turtle steaks, soups and chowders.
Word of its great food traveled fast and the restaurant gained popularity as revelers flocked to the Turtle. After dinner, guests often cleared the tables from the floor, ushering in music, dancing and a celebration of the Keys’ lifestyle that ran long into the night. Later, the restaurant was owned by local restaurateur and acclaimed entertainer Henry Rosenthal.