Florida Life

Why We Built a Tiki Bar in Our Home

Thank God the tiki bar is open – Jimmy Buffett. Our family room now has a tiki bar in it and there’s one good reason why: we have a baby.

img_1848Treasured Tiki Mugs

You see, one morning my husband and I sat at our kitchen table gazing at our collection of tiki mugs. Our baby will eventually crawl and climb and reach. How would we feel if one of our precious tiki mugs ended up broken or worse: ended up injuring our little guy?

The solution was to build shelves for our mugs, high up and out of reach. The only problem being, the tiki mugs would stand out even more on shelves and they really wouldn’t match the look of our dining area.

We opted to build shelves in our den-like family room. And before we knew it we were embarking on a enchanted tiki adventure.

Blame the Book

As a Father’s Day present I gifted my husband a copy of The Field Guide to Tiki Decorating by Trader Brandon. The little book proved to be a treasure trove of ideas. After reading through the pages we learned the importance of a backstory and sticking to a particular era in time or type of tiki culture.


Looking around here you think, “sure, they’ve got everything.” As we looked around I thought, “ok we’ve got to have a backstory… how do we make use of all this Landshark and Margaritaville stuff?” Soon I had my answer.

The Lost Landshark Bar

img_0876Once upon a time we were invited by Norwegian Cruise Line to sail aboard the Norwegian Getaway for a week, to explore the Margaritaville at Sea (one of the many great restaurants on board) as well as the new Landshark Bar and Grill on Norwegian’s island, Harvest Caye. We were ecstatic and we had an incredible time.

One thing went array on that voyage. As we sailed to Harvest Caye one morning, gusty winds prevented us from docking. And so we sadly never made it to the Landshark Bar and Grill on Harvest Caye.

We’ve since sailed on Norwegian Cruise Line again, a gift we gave ourselves for our belated honeymoon. We made unforgettable memories together in Key West, Cuba, and on the Norwegian Sun cruise ship itself. But we still longed for the day we should’ve had at Harvest Caye and the Landshark Bar and Grill.

As we began to build our tiki bar we gathered our Margaritaville and Landshark swag, polished up our tiki mug collection, and began to plot out our story.

img_3541The Backstory: How We Found the Lost Landshark Bar

We set sail aboard Norwegian Cruise Line with our fins up ready to celebrate the parrothead lifestyle. We weren’t quite following the equator, but we did make it to a few ports of indecision.

Through no fault of our own (we swear), our ship never made it to the new LandShark Bar and Grill on Harvest Caye, our much-anticipated final destination.

Stranded. Thirsty. Not quite naked and afraid, we found ourselves a salty piece of land. We salvaged all we could from the ship: supplies, food, super cool tiki mugs, and the island supplied the rest.

Slightly dejected and delirious, we decided if we couldn’t make it to the LandShark Bar and Grill, we’d make our own.

Welcome to the Lost Landshark Bar! Sit back, relax and enjoy a boat drink. Share a funny story – we could use one, because we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.

This story sits framed hanging about our tiki bar’s seating area.


The Decorating Process

My tinkering husband threw himself into the process. He searched online for decorating methods and consulted Trader Brandon’s book. He melted PVC pipe and shellacked it to make “bamboo” for our lamp and to hold of “lost and found” crate.




We’ve added some tropical Christmas decorations and have a special “Christmas Island” playlist. Many Friday nights or weekends we test out our own tiki concoctions then sit at our Margaritaville table (straight from the Orlando Margaritaville Cafe) and enjoy conversing with each other. And we love sharing The Lost Landshark Bar with friends too!

We still have some touches to complete on our tiki bar, and perhaps like Disneyland, it will never be complete. We’ve made our own little paradise, all because we had a baby and needed a place for tiki mugs. But I like to think we would’ve found our Lost Landshark Bar one way or another.



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