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A Man and a Tiki Bar

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Quick question…

Would you rip out the back wall of your house and build a Tiki Bar where the wall used to be?

Well, Scott, our own resident Tiki Savant, did exactly that.

So we thought of some questions that might come to your mind about this endeavor, and here they are in no particular order…

1. Are you flipping crazy?

2. What are the stages of building a Tiki bar?

3. What kind of beer and rum should we expect (if we do indeed drop by)?

4. What happens if Phil Collins, the great singer from the 90’s stops by while we are there?

So let’s tackle the crazy part first. The first answer is YES. OK, moving on…

So it does sound a little crazy, but it worked. It was the ground level, non-load bearing back wall, and under a deck of a beach house. It backed up to a storage room, which ultimately became the serving area. However, it did feel a little nuts knocking out a perfectly good wall. And now that there is a Tiki bar, it would be inconceivable to rip out a perfectly good Tiki bar and replace it with a bland wall.

Now, let’s walk through the stages of this construction project…

Stage 1 is dependent upon finding people with a like mindset that have the skills, tools, and sufficient ability to engage in an off-wall venture of this nature. They have to come prepared to work without alcohol (all day), wear cool bandanas, and have the right discipline to see it through. The last thing you need is your people walking out on the project, and/or a miscalculation and the house tumbles down.

Stage 2 involves the renderings and detailed plans. While it doesn’t need exact blue prints, it does need a little bit more than drawings on the back of a bar napkin. Our Tiki bar rendering laid out the vision for the final structure. Once everyone had a consistent vision and tasking, the work became less ambiguous.


Stage 3 is the build. The measurements were inscribed on the wall and then the cutting began. Prior to the workers arriving on the scene, the large wood planks that make up the top of the bar were acquired and ready to install. The key to the wall cutting is to ensure that the cutout pieces can be put back on hinges so the bar can be closed up late at night and in inclement weather. Kind of like a puzzle piece, so you want to cut it right once.

Oh, forgot to mention… everything needs to be accomplished in one weekend, with Saturday night being mellow. Bar stools and accessories (to include beverages!) were pre-prepped and ready to go.

Stage 4 is the test. Can’t just open a new Tiki bar without thorough examination. It requires substantial testing and design verification. In fact, the builders decided that testing, and the associated tasting of the goods, was imperative and required an extra night of work. Just saying…

So, once all of these stages were complete, we got to the heart of the matter. Beer and rum, what to go with? Tough, tough call. Certain beers do lend themselves to the beach and Tiki bars. For example, you’re not going to find Guinness. However, ice-cold Corona’s would be a good choice. Maybe an IPA, too. The rum is a slam-dunk (hey, we’re Key West inspired)… it’s got to be Pilar.

In actuality, over time, all beers and rums were welcomed to our little Tiki bar, as well as moonshine, other miscellaneous spirits, and anything else our beloved guests bring along.

But the last question is the hardest. A few years ago Scott and I were at a bar in Belgium that had the same “Phil Collins problem” …what to do if he should happen to stop in? (Click here if you don’t know who he is.)

I digress, but that Belgium bar was pretty crowded that night, and there were only a couple of places still open. We asked the hostess if we could just snag those empty bar stools. She hesitantly replied, “Well, yes, but you should know that they are reserved for Phil Collins… If he happens in, you’ll have to leave.”

Problem solved. In homage to ‘ol Phil, we now have two places reserved at the Tiki bar. If you happen to be there, and chance sitting on “Phil’s’” stool and he shows… well… you now know the drill.

All in all, a heck of a great time building the Tiki bar… but a better time enjoying the fruits of the labor.

If you happen to be in the area… stop in!

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