The original Machinegun Kelly's was the area's most popular live rock-and-roll entertainment establishment during the mid-to-late 1970's. Originally owned by Jack Wing and later sold to Buddy Davis, it was located at 666 Scenic Highway, on the east side of the curve at Cervantes Street in East Pensacola Heights.
Often referred to as "The Gun" or "The Guns", the venue was probably best known for hosting a different touring band every week and for it's "Nickel Beer" Monday night specials. Machinegun Kelly's also sold their own logoed t-shirts, and gave away logoed hurricane drinking glasses with the purchase of their famous Flaming Hurricane beverage. They also had a signature drink called the Kelly Killer, along with own mini-frisbees and matchbooks. Another plus was the large back terrace which provided a scenic view over Escambia Bay.
The Gun(s) was in business for approximately 12 years between the early 1970's and 1980's. Several local bands performed there including Flame and The Heaters, Lyman Slack, Slayer, Ringwraith, and Southern Comfort. Touring faves The Raisins, Silverwing, and The Vandals each played there several times to a packed house. Ron Young, a well-known Elvis Presley tribute artist, Joey Dee and The Starliters, and soon to be top 40 recording artists Brownsville Station also performed there.
After the sale of the club to local realtor Doug Halford, Davis relocated and opened a tack shop in Beulah, and The Gun(s) continued in business for a few more years. Competition from newer clubs such as the much larger Franco's Lounge certainly affected the whole area's entertainment scene, especially those inland from the beach. Soon after, Machinegun Kelly's closed and the building reopened in 1983 as a restaurant.