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Big tiki news afoot! I know nothing about this group, but I've long argued that the Don The Beachcomber brand was far too valuable to stay dormant.https://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2022/08/19/don-beachcomber-brand-23-restaurant-services.html

Hey cut and past the article here as this link is to a pay site.

On IG and FB I've had conversations with folks tangentially connected to this. They insist folks with genuine interest in tiki are involved with this, and this incarnation of Don's won't be like the Tiki Docks this group operates. We shall see.

By Ashley Gurbal Kritzer – Real Estate Editor, Tampa Bay Business Journal Aug 19, 2022

A Tampa-based hospitality company has acquired the intellectual property of an iconic California restaurant brand.

Marc Brown, president of 23 Restaurant Services, told the Tampa Bay Business Journal that the company has finalized a deal to purchase the Don the Beachcomber brand from Delia Snyder, who had owned it since 2003. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Snyder had worked for Donn Beach, aka Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt, who founded the brand after his travels in the South Pacific and is widely considered the founding father of modern-day tiki culture.

23 Restaurant Services is the parent company of Ford’s Garage, Tiki Docks and Yeoman’s Cask and Lion. Some aspects of the Don the Beachcomber brand will be incorporated into Tiki Docks locations, and 23 Restaurant Services is also looking for stand-alone sites for the concept, Brown said.

Storytelling is a major part of Ford’s Garage, a casual dining concept with the feel of a 1920s service station and a focus on American automobile culture. Tiki Docks will be one platform for sharing the history and life of Don the Beachcomber.

“Admittedly, when we built Tiki Docks, I didn’t have the full understanding of tiki culture,” Brown said. “I think we’ve built a good product with Tiki Docks, but I don’t think it represents the history of tiki as well as it could. This will allow us to get really authentic with it.”

The acquisition includes the brand’s closely held cocktail recipes. Some Tiki Docks locations — there are restaurants open in Riverview and South St. Petersburg and locations in the works in Madeira Beach, suburban Orlando and on the Space Coast — will have Don the Beachcomber bars within them, Brown said.

It’s too soon, Brown said, to say what the ideal prototype for new Don the Beachcomber locations will look like, though 23 Restaurant Services is actively looking at sites.

“There will be some symmetries between the two,” Brown said of Tiki Docks and Don the Beachcomber. “But we’re really raising the authenticity of both brands.”

Hamo posted on Sat, Aug 20, 2022 6:38 PM

Very interesting. Thanks for posting this, Jayme. I'll need to double check, but I believe my sister and brother-in-law visited Tiki Docks when in Tampa last year.

Hamo, as I understand it, Tiki Docks is more of a thatch beach bar, the kind of thing that drives us tiki folk nuts. The CEO of the group admits they didn't get tiki when they opened Tiki Docks. I've seen elsewhere from folks involved that skepticisim is understandable, but they are planning to do DTB right. So we shall see. I've heard from others their Garage concept is a well done food and craft beer concept. All we can do is hurry up and wait.

Well I guess this means that Delia's plan to reopen a Don's here again is DOA, of course that was before the Pandemic, Bamboo Ben may know more as he had been in contact with her for awhile, "They insist folks with genuine interest in tiki are involved with this" well I have heard this time and time again and not once did it work out as promised, so.....


I love it when on American pickers somebody sells them something and they say "I'm just glad it's going to you because you really care about the thing they sold them"

Ha! they care about the markup they put on that thing when they sell it.

Bet they care more about making money than the tiki part and I'm not sure the whole real old-style tiki we like is what sells these days.

More like pretty tiki with loud rap at the end of the night.

But hey they need to make money, so I do get that kinda.

Good luck new people hope it works out.

Once the 1-year mark passed with no word of relocation, I figured the Huntington Beach incarnation of Don's was DOA. New ownership was the best we could hope for. This group has a mixed track record. The best we can do is hope they're sincere and see what they come up with. I won't hold my breath, but I've been pleasantly surprised in the past.


I guess my concern (beyond the issue of doing a good job) is if this is just going to be a Florida thing, or will they take this opportunity to have a West Coast presence for their company?

I, for one, welcome out new spambot member...

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