Today I’ll take you on a quick tour of the Barrelhead bar from Licence to Kill. Now officially called Buddha Bites.
According to the book ‘The Making of Licence to Kill” by Sally Hibbin, the bar was formerly called The Honky Conch Cafe or Harbour Lights Bar. A false wall was built for filming and a seedy neon sign hung in place.
According to the book “On the Tracks of 007” by Martijn Mulder and Dirk Kloosterboer you can find that sign still fixed to the wall. That has now been removed.
Inside the Barrelhead Bar
The owners renamed the bar the Barrelhead bar. This is located in Garrison Bight where the deep sea fishing boats run daily. It is here that James Bond also meets Leiter’s fisherman friend Sharky.
Inside the bar there is little recognition that the Bond franchise was here, with the exception of two movie posters on the wall. One curiously being The Man with the Golden Gun.
Talking to the Locals
Upstairs there is a Thai restaurant, they knew nothing of the James Bond film when I asked. Still the food was ok.
The barman informed me that Timothy Dalton was recently back in Key West. Timothy is a keen fisherman so this makes sense.
Talking to locals, the film production weren’t keen on the backdrop when Dario looked out from the hole in the wall made by the gunshot, so they filmed that shot in the Bahamas.
This conflicts with some of the DVD commentary on the Licence to Kill BluRay as we’re told they only shot the exteriors in Garrison Bight. The interiors designed by Peter Lamont were filmed in Churubusco studios in Mexico City.
The scene where Pam Bouvier and Bond make out on the boat as they drive off, was set in a stage in Pinewood. (Presumably Pinewood).
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I’ve filmed the interiors of the bar and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the end as someone makes a special appearance.
You might also enjoy following the James Bond location blog, On the Tracks of 007. A special thanks to Martin for all the information credited in his book and allowing me to share my videos on his page.