Picture of the Day: The Ancon Inn — El Paraiso de los Hombres Solteros

Ancon Inn 1a

The ink has faded with age, but not the memories I have of this club–the first club many service members checked out the first time they went to Panama City. I remember that there was a bus stop right in front of the door. You could hop, stagger, or stumble off the bus, right into the Ancon for a cold Atlas or Cerveza Panama or a Rum and Coke. From there it was down the street to the Ovalo or Paris. Maybe stopping off for some monkey meat along the way.

Ancon Inn 2aIn the two years I was stationed at Howard Air Force Base I checked out the Ancon a couple of times, but my favorite bar was the Ovalo and further down the street in the opposite direction, The Foxhole Bar.

Sixty beautiful hostesses? I never counted, but if the card says there were 60 of them, then there must have been. I wouldn’t have known or even bothered to have counted because I was usually pretty tanked when I went downtown with my buddies from Barracks 714.

The Ancon gets mentioned a few times in The Panama Affair and rightfully so.

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

35 Responses to “Picture of the Day: The Ancon Inn — El Paraiso de los Hombres Solteros”

  1. Bud Tristano January 28, 2011 at 1:30 am # Reply

    I wonder who you would get if you called that number now?

    • Jeffrey January 28, 2011 at 9:07 am # Reply

      Who wants to be the first to find out?

  2. Nye February 2, 2011 at 9:37 am # Reply

    I wonder if there’s any trace of the place now.
    Monkey meat just don’t sound too appealing to me, I know some Chinese would eat it to get smart.

  3. Dave Burger February 6, 2011 at 5:58 pm # Reply

    The Ancon Inn has been closed for a long time, maybe 10 years now. There was a fire there also some years ago. Walls are still standing though.

  4. Gary parker December 31, 2011 at 3:18 pm # Reply

    I have a copy of the very same card, I was there from 77 to 79. Alot of memories stirred in you comments I remember frequenting all the places youmentioned ate my share of monkey meat too! I was in the 601st medical co. On ft. Clayton.

    • Doug January 28, 2017 at 9:39 am # Reply

      Gary Parker,
      I believe we were in the same Co,
      Do you remember Sgt. Randal?

      • Gary Parker August 29, 2018 at 1:32 pm # Reply

        Maybe it’s been a long time tell me more I was in the 601st from 77-79

  5. Nelson January 27, 2012 at 5:42 pm # Reply

    No imagine how remember that place…in 1986 every night the Albrook to Ancon Inn…..how spend money in there….Panchito Mondefua….who opened the show……very nice memories…thank

  6. Stony Denver February 1, 2012 at 12:14 pm # Reply

    I too spent many nights there during my tour in Panama…Monkey meat was great at 4 A.M. after a night out….I have a token or two from Ancon Inn and a few other night clubs….

    • Jeffrey February 15, 2012 at 9:58 am # Reply

      Mmm… monkey meat. Used to buy mine from this vendor outside the Ovalo.

  7. Dave Ross February 15, 2012 at 9:44 am # Reply

    Served with the U.S. Army at Quarry Heights 1964-1966. I have fond memories of many visits to the Ancon Inn. It was my favorite bar. As I remember, the juke box was to the right as you went in. One of our favorite tunes was “Satisfaction’ by The Rolling Stones. We drank Balboa beer and another kind I can’t recall at the moment.

    • Jeffrey February 15, 2012 at 9:57 am # Reply

      I always liked how the bus stop was right in front of the entrance to the Ancon; hop off the Chiva or Canal Zone bus and walk right inside.

    • Jeffrey April 11, 2012 at 11:57 pm # Reply

      Hey Dave!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your memories of your tour of duty in Panama!

  8. Brian Uttech February 17, 2012 at 3:31 am # Reply

    I was stationed at Howard from 68-70 and thoroughly enjoyed my tour. I remember the Ancon Inn as the place where the guys in the barracks took the new arrivals for a “get acquainted visit”. Once acquainted you as did all the rest of the guys got to contribute a small amount to the “fund” for the next new guy. Don’t know what the meat was that the street vendors just outside the door were selling. Don’t want to know either. As I recall they were 3 bamboo skewers full for a buck. The guys at the barracks called them “shitties on a stick”….they left the worst taste and breath the next day. They went down pretty easy though with a little Ron Cortez and coke.

    • Jeffrey February 17, 2012 at 5:13 am # Reply

      Hey Brian, thanks for stopping by. Oh yes, Ron Cortez!

  9. Jeffrey May 8, 2012 at 7:40 pm # Reply

    Hi Alamo308,

    Thanks for stopping by and your comments. I was always an Ovalo Man and also preferred the Black Paris and further on down the street, The Foxhole. I was like a heat sinking missile as soon as I got off the Chiva or Canal Zone bus in front of the Ancon–aimed right for the Ovalo (which was the first bar I ventured in my first time downtown). I always liked the two “bars” inside. Lots of room to move. Thanks again for chiming in and sharing your memories.

  10. Roger March 28, 2015 at 9:53 am # Reply

    I was just talking with someone about Ancon and found this. I was at the bar there in 1983. Cocaine was openly snorted at the tables there. The hookers – yeah they were hookers but they were pretty cute and definitely fun to chat with. Maybe I’ll go back one day.

  11. electrolux servisi April 4, 2015 at 6:46 pm # Reply

    Oh yes, the Buffalo Bar. If I am not mistaken, that bar was off limits. Larry Easterly took a bunch of us new guys there one night. Larry loved to push the envelope when it came to going out in Panama City.

    • Jeffrey July 23, 2017 at 8:10 pm # Reply

      He sure did. Larry was one heck of buddy. He always looked out for us.

  12. John Segelbaum April 14, 2015 at 4:30 am # Reply

    First bar I was taken to for an introduction to Panama City upon arriving in Panama in 1969 as a naval officer stationed at Fort Amador. It was our clubhouse. Hookers playing pinball. No better pl;ace to escape the heat of the day. Monkey meat on the sidewalk outside. P. Jhangimahl up the street. Fourth of July got gentrified when they installed the Dairy Queen next door. The Foxhole was also a regular watering hole.

    • Jeffrey June 11, 2015 at 1:24 pm # Reply

      Hi all!

      Just wanted to let you know that my novel, The Panama Affair is now available at Amazon.


    • Paul C July 23, 2017 at 6:49 pm # Reply

      Was down there from 81-84 and was stationed at Howard. Being down on “J” street was a several night a week experience. The Ovalo was always my favorite.
      I was crazy about a bartender that worked there whose nickname was China.. I will never forget her Like someone mentioned while wondering in between bars you would always be messing with the vendors and trying to get the cheapest bang for your buck on some monkey meat on that stick. Lol whether it was monkey meat or not, it was delicious after a bunch of rum and cokes.

      • Jeffrey July 23, 2017 at 8:08 pm # Reply

        The Ovalo was my favorite, too. We used to call it “the office” because we spent so much time there!

  13. Patrick dale April 25, 2016 at 5:54 pm # Reply

    You guys have great name memories , but panama screwed my memory up on names, I do know this tho my roomie married the owner of the Ancon Inns daughter, his name was Mike Baugh, from missouri, and for a fact they did add coca in in the drinks to keep you parting, I still wish I had the Ancon Ranger Shirt , it was bad ass , lookin forward to your book bro

  14. Doug January 28, 2017 at 9:29 am # Reply

    The Ancon Inn was the first bar I set foot in
    when I got to Panama, I was barely 19 young dum and full of $%m the girls loved that I was
    young and had a field day with me, Needless to say I was a very drunk and happy man when the night was over, till this day i can still see the face of the beautiful columbian girl who grabbed my junk as soon as i cleared the door
    Long Live Panama!!!

    • Rob September 16, 2017 at 12:40 am # Reply

      Doug, Exact same thing for me in 1972, I remember several hands grab me, lol. I remember a Panamanian girl named Judith, and a girl from Argentina named Jennifer. Then I’d hit the Pan Canal 1 & 2. My favorite girl there was Lucy from Columbia. Back then a guy could get lucky, eat at Napoli’s Rest, get a good buzz for less than $20.00.

      • Harold Harper April 28, 2018 at 6:13 am # Reply

        I was stationed at Ft. Amador from 1972-1974 in the Army and worked in the Adjutant Office building over the PX I think in building 3. My girlfriend for 18 months was a pretty Panamanian girl named Sarah Final. She worked behind the bar at the Pan Canal. I literally work take the bus from Amador to see her nearly every night. I would take a taxi with her to her families house after she ended her shift. She lived in a rough area called the Limits. I promised I would marry her and take her back to Tampa but when my time ended I left. To this day I think of her and smiles but still feel bad how I lied.

  15. Doug January 28, 2017 at 9:42 am # Reply

    Lots of memories

  16. Gary Austin November 27, 2017 at 12:35 am # Reply

    I also spent many hazy nites “downtown “ at the Ovalo and the Golden Key! ‘77-81.Bought your book asap.

  17. Teddy Quinones November 28, 2017 at 6:48 am # Reply

    1980 – 1983
    U.S.Army Communications Command
    Ancon Inn was the 1st bar I ever went there coming from Fort Clayton.

  18. Teddy Quinones November 28, 2017 at 7:03 am # Reply

    October 12, 1980 – February 3, 1983
    U.S.Army Communications Command
    Ancon Inn – “Roberto Duran’s Bar”
    Fort Clayton as a Switchboard Operator

  19. BestLorie August 11, 2018 at 11:47 pm # Reply

    I have noticed you don’t monetize your website, don’t
    waste your traffic, you can earn additional cash every month.
    You can use the best adsense alternative for any type of website (they approve all
    websites), for more info simply search in gooogle: boorfe’s tips monetize your website

  20. Jeff November 24, 2018 at 5:27 pm # Reply

    I was stationed at Howard AFB 77-79 1978 Comm Gp. What a great time. Liked the Paris and Ovalo bar. Cervesa and monkey meat all night long. What a place. Found memories.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: