With two outposts of local brand Tiki Docks River Bar + Grill, Tampa-based hospitality group 23 Restaurant Services has built experience operating tiki-style restaurants—experience that the group is about to bring to bear on resurrecting legendary tiki brand Don the Beachcomber.
Founded in Hollywood, California in the early 1930’s by American businessman Donn Beach, Don the Beachcomber grew into an American restaurant icon and reached a total of 16 locations nationwide—the last of which, located in Huntington Beach, CA, shuttered in 2018. Now Don is about to make a return.
“We have a lot of the prototype work already done,” 23 Restaurant Services president Marc Brown told What Now on Wednesday.
Brown says the first location will open in Hamlin, in the Orlando market, before the end of this year. The company is currently looking for sites here in the Greater Tampa area—and, according to recent coverage from RestaurantNews.com, the initial push is expected to produce a total of 10-15 locations in the next few years, all of which will feature the “Polynesian-inspired design and flamboyant, rum-based drinks that have become synonymous with Don the Beachcomber locations for more than 90 years.”
“We will have a completely new menu,” Brown added, noting that many of Don the Beachcomber’s iconic (and mostly rum-based) cocktails will live on. In fact, several are available right now at Tiki Docks.
The type of site Brown has in mind would allow for a ground-up build of a restaurant that would feature about 9000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space.
“We’re actively looking for sites,” Brown said.