unique neighborhood institution
“Down in Mobile, they’re all crazy, because the Gulf Coast is the kingdom of monkeys, the land of clowns, ghosts and musicians, and Mobile is sweet lunacy’s county seat.”
With this sentence, Mobilian Eugene Walter began his first and only novel, The Untidy Pilgrim.
Once labeled “Mobile’s Renaissance Man,” Eugene Walter was a screenwriter, poet, short story writer, actor, puppeteer, chef, translator, editor, playwright, cookbook author, novelist, costume designer, and raconteur.
After serving in Alaska during World War II, Eugene moved to New York City, hopped a ride on an ice cream freighter to Paris and helped found The Paris Review, then relocated to Rome at the request of an Italian princess. During his time in Italy, he appeared in Fellini films and began hosting the lavish parties that catapulted him to fame, entertaining the likes of T.S.Eliot, Dylan Thomas, his childhood friend Truman Capote, and fellow Mobilian Tallulah Bankhead. While known to be a storyteller of epic proportions, Eugene claimed to have carried two items wherever he traveled: a box of Alabama red clay and a stuffed monkey named Coco.
It is with this motley spirit that we designed Eugene’s Monkey Bar & Grill. We provide Downtown Mobile with a cocktail bar and lounge that—through its food, drink, and design—is a place you could find in Paris, Rome, or New York while still maintaining a vibe that is characteristically Mobile. Our chefs proudly serve distinct Southern cuisine featuring local ingredients. The beverage menu features classic and modern cocktails, including our versions of Eugene’s own recipes.
Eugene’s Monkey Bar & Grill is the ideal setting for you to relax and be yourself. Enjoy an after-work libation, a delicious dinner before an evening out, or a nightcap before turning in. You can even spend the entire evening with us, enjoying the one-of-a-kind view of Downtown Mobile and Bienville Square. Our sidewalk café provides an ideal spot for Mardi Gras festivities, and is available for private functions.
Eugene Walter was unlike anyone Mobile had ever seen before, and in this spirit, we hope to provide a drinking and dining experience that is equally unique and authentic. As Eugene liked to say, “when all else fails, throw a party!”