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Pelican Restaurant, Clearwater Beach, FL (restaurant)

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Name:Pelican Restaurant
Street:470 Mandalay Ave
City:Clearwater Beach

Operating since 1938*, the Pelican was one of the happy lights in Florida's Gulf Coast tiki constellation.

Bartender Manuel Lopez created the tikis for many area establishments.

The Pelican burned down in 1974, soon after this photo was taken. ... Among what was salvaged in the fire was the namesake driftwood, and the restaurant was rebuilt, but later closed -- and you probably don't want to see what's there now.

Lopez made the tiki in the above picture from an upside down palm; the root system is used for the hair. Another Lopez tiki:

  • Some sources say that a hot dog stand was operating at that location since 1925, but we highly doubt it was "tiki"! When Henry Henriquez bought it in '38, he named it the Pelican soon after finding the restaurant's driftwood piece that ended up in a rotating glass case behind the bar.

[ Edited by: mike and marie 2013-07-24 17:26 ]

[ Edited by: mike and marie 2013-07-25 20:53 ]

Older interior shot showing the tiki in context:

This is the only interior shot I have of the rebuilt (1977? 78?) Pelican, showing the driftwood, but it seems promising. Note the Costco warehouse style ceiling is replaced by post and beam wood construction, and there's both plants and a big hanging glass float at top:

[ Edited by: mike and marie 2013-07-25 20:48 ]

We always wondered what happened to the pelican driftwood piece. Never thought we would find it, but we did---when beachcombing!

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