I walked into World of Beer knowing the guys who started it a few years back in Tampa, I was excited to see this location as I have been coming to Key West for the last 25 years. My first impression was "WOW!!!" The location had been a half dozen places in the last decade and there was something always lacking about it, until now. World of Beer finally got it right for this huge spot on greene street, just make it two really nice bars. There was even a stage with its own PA and monitors!!! Unfortunately no one was playing but it still looked great.
Then the reality of the place started to sink in, our bartender spent most of her time pouring small glasses of beer and drinking them with a few select patrons. Nearly every time we wanted to ask her something she was filling up another round for her and what must have been her friends. There was another bar in the back so we chose to sit back there. The service improved quite a bit as the younger bartender came right to us and asked if we wanted to try anything.
Thank god for this second bar, it was a little more crowded but the service was 10,000 times nicer, direct and professional. At one point my wife even joked with the bartender and asked why she wasn't getting hammered for free with her friends like the first bartender. Even the barback was attentive to our needs as he kept chatting with us about the different events coming up like brewery tastings.
We paid our tab and left a generous tip and on our way out the doorman walked after us saying that the bartender said we walked out on our bill. My wife almost lost it, she told the doorman that we had paid our bill and that the drunk bartender upfront was out of line and unprofessional. I was a little embarrassed and wanted to assure the first bartender that we did in fact pay our bill and tipped for the service we got at the other bar. When I went to talk to her she walked away into the far back and disappeared. after a moment or two I realized she wasn't coming back and we left.
We have been coming to Key West for over two and a half decades, we've been to every dive bar and overrated pub on the island, we've seen good bartenders and bad bartenders and World of Beer had both. I have read a few other reviews and it appears that some of the staff are more concerned with their select clientele or friends than with the random tourist or frequent visitor.
This experience hit home so much that we decided to actually join tripadvisor to review World of Beer. Great concept, the Tampa location is one of our local hangouts, great beer, combined my wife and I are at 300 odd beers, great service, Key West should pay a little more attention to the customer and not so much on themselves. It's a tough town and we've seen hundreds of businesses come and go. We hope World of Beer is not one of them.
If you own or manage World of Beer, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.