Is the Road House a Real Bar? Is Glass Key an Actual Town in Florida?

A majority of Amazon Prime Video’s action film ‘Road House’ takes place in the eponymous roadside bar, which is located in the town of Glass Key in the state of Florida. Upon getting hired as a bouncer in the bar, the protagonist Elwood Dalton sets out to find out why a group of men unleashes chaos in the establishment, only to discover that a businessman named Ben Brandt wants the property to build resorts in the place. As Dalton tries to eliminate the threat of Brandt, he becomes a popular figure in the “gossipy” town of Glass Key!

The Fictional Bar and Town

The Road House and Glass Key, the place where the bar is located, are both fictional and conceived for the film. The movie is a “retelling” of Rowdy Herrington’s 1989 film of the same name, starring Patrick Swayze. In the original action drama, Dalton gets hired to look after the Double Deuce, the primary inspiration behind the Road House in the remake. Like the Road House, the Double Deuce is also a fictitious establishment, created by R. Lance Hill and Hilary Henkin. These bars are modeled after traditional roadhouses found across the United States and other countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and China.

The production department of the film seemingly built a set to shoot scenes that take place inside the Road House. Despite the bar being a production set, the chaotic atmosphere the viewers get to see in the movie is real. Jake Gyllenhaal, who plays Dalton, even sustained a severe injury while filming a scene. “We’re fighting on the floor, we’re fighting around tables. We’re fighting around glass, even if it’s breakaway glass. I put my hand on the bar, fucking straight glass. But the take, I knew, was good, because we were cutting right before, and they didn’t cut. So, I was like around the bar, like ‘We’re not doing it again,’” the actor said while featuring on the podcast ‘Armchair Expert.’

Even though the Road House is located in Florida in the film, a majority of the shooting of the movie took place in the Dominican Republic. The capital city of Santo Domingo, along with the resort town of Punta Cana, served as a significant location. These regions stand in for the fictional Glass Key in the movie. In the film, Dalton passes a real Florida landmark known as “Fred the Tree” before arriving in Glass Key. In reality, the tree is located on Old Seven Mile Bridge, which connects the city of Marathon in the Middle Keys to the island of Little Duck Key in the Lower Keys.

Glass Key can be seen as a fictional version of Marathon, where additional portions of the film were shot. Patrick Swayze’s original film takes place in Jasper, Missouri, which is a landlocked state. Shifting the setting to the Florida Keys, surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, allowed director Doug Liman to include several scenes set in water bodies, mainly numerous stunt sequences. These portions contribute to the overall appeal of the film immensely.

Read More: Where Was Road House (2024) Filmed?