An excerpt from my Creative Loafing article:
“Tiki Bay Island isn’t your average bar, or boat ride. Originally launched in October 2017, it’s a floating watering hole in the middle of the bay on which guests can sip their favorite cocktails, beer or wine surrounded by water.
Yup — nothing like those landlocked bars.
To hop aboard this 2,400-square-foot, fully functional wooden tiki boat, which is in the process of relocating from Gandy Beach in St. Petersburg to Beer Can Island off Apollo Beach, guests must first catch a shuttle ride. The water taxi will make several trips back and forth from Beer Can Island once the bar reopens; it’s shooting for a soft opening at the end of March.
The concept of a floating bar came to Tiki Bay Island partner Russell Loomis while watching TV. A show about a guy in Mexico who built his own floating island from plastic bottles was on the tube, and Loomis thought it’d be fun to create a similar concept, combined with elements of an Airbnb.
According to partner James Wester, part of the reason he decided to join forces with Loomis and their third partner, Cole Weaver, is that Tiki Bay Island was something he believed in. He knew it could be done.
“I knew it was something new and unique that nobody’s ever seen before,” Wester said. “It would make people think, ‘Holy crap, that’s awesome,’ and it would be fun.” “
Photo courtesy of Tiki Bay Island Facebook page