Tennessee Williams, William S. Burroughs, Ian Fleming and Jane Bowles often drank here. A retreat for writers and drinkers back when Tangier was a place where anything went. “Debauchery and throwing up in the corners” was how Burroughs described a Monday morning here at the infamous Dean’s Bar. Opened in 1937 by Joseph Dean, former drug dealer and rumored British spy, it was the bar that was reputedly the inspiration for Rick’s Bar in Casablanca.
Pushing aside the wooden beaded curtain reveals a dim and smoky bar with a few local men sitting around on stools. Old pictures of famous stars drinking at Dean’s line the walls. It is surprisingly small and most of it feels like traveling back in time 76 years. Only a new TV on the wall prevents the perfect illusion.
This Monday afternoon is quieter than in Burroughs’ description. That could change, as we order a bottle of red to accompany our writing. Words flow to the pages of our journal. The Beats are now only ghosts here, but we are happening now.
Yes, I will have another glass.