Browse the Straw Market. Enjoy a libation in the bar overlooking the sandy beach. Dance to live music. A Caribbean vacation? No. Welcome to the new restaurant and bar, Beach Bums, that opened today in downtown Eustis.
Business partners and co-owners of Sand Bar in Tavares, Roger Kooser and Travis Senning, are the masterminds behind the Beach Bums concept.
"We wanted to create a place that was reminiscent of 1960s/70s beach experience. Think Beach Boys, boardwalks, beach parties," said Kooser.
The Beach Bums Bar, located at 12 Bay Street, is housed in what was originally an orange packing facility, then an auto repair shop, Turkleton's Tavern, and most recently, Rhythms. The 100 year-old cavernous building has old brick interior walls and a wood ceiling which add a sense of warmth to the space.
A few flat screen TVs are strategically placed throughout the bar, ready to broadcast the latest sporting event. Tables and conversational areas, with comfy sofas, give the bar a cozy feeling. Loading bays open directly onto the beach, giving customers front row seats to watch the action and listen to the live entertainment.
The owners named the beach "Kokomo," inspired by the Beach Boys song of the same name. The large rectangular courtyard has palm trees a sandy beach with a boat, fire pit and tables and chairs. An old boat and other props are place near a stage that will showcase live music on weekends.
Co-owner Senning, who is the executive chef commented, "We are offering some menu items featuring foods that were popular in the '60s and '70s, like fondue served in a variety of ways, and we will toast s'mores out by the fire pit."
"Rounding out the concept, there is the Sloop John B Cigar Lounge--another nod to a Beach Boys songs--and a Straw Market with stalls like you see when you get off the cruise ship in the Bahamas. Eventually, a package liquor store will be added," continued Kooser.
A Beach Boys tribute band is scheduled to play tonight. Tomorrow, Saturday, February 20, the Mount Dora Boomerz will hold a reunion concert and fundraiser to benefit K9S For Warriors beginning at 7pm with a $5 donation at the door.
Senning summed up the Beach Bums experience, "We have created a space that will make people feel like they have gone on vacation while they are still close to home."