Carnage in the Name of Progress

I woke up to a sad notice on my Facebook feed this morning:

Tiki Waterfront Sea Grill

Come on by folks!! It’s TIKI’s very last Sunday Brunch .

Let’s see those photos!!

Tiki has been located at the Riviera Beach Marina since 2003.  It’s literally an open-sided tiki hut about twenty feet from the water of the marina.  And because of that you might think that they offered bad bar food and watered-down drinks, but you’d be wrong.  The food is teriffic and the drinks are first-rate.  Happy Hour is a good deal and they feature live music most nights. 

Mr. R. and I have fond memories of the place.  On our first visit, one date night when we couldn’t think of where we wanted to go, we ended up at Tiki, grabbed a table by the water, and were treated to our first time hearing local band favorite, Mighty Quinn.  Then there was the time my work had our holiday party at Tiki.  One of my colleagues, slightly sloshed, became a tad inappropriate and I was worried that Mr. R. might punch him in the head.  Good times!

But alas, all that is going away.  Tiki’s last day is July 6.  Eighty employees will be out of a job.  The place is being torn down because developers have realized that right next to the water is prime real estate.  There are millions of dollars to be made by throwing up (and I use that phrase intentionally) stacks of condos, high end restaurants, and big ticket retail shops. 

This is a cancer eating up miles of waterfront here in Palm Beach County.  Last week I went to lunch with the girls at Bubba Gump in Jupiter, and along the way we passed the abomination that is Harbourside Place.  THAT is what they’ll build where Tiki is.  But Tiki is only the latest casualty.  Next on the chopping block is Rum Bar and Panama Hattie’s in Palm Beach Gardens.  Soon, Palm Beach County is simply going to meld right in with Broward and Miami-Dade.  Charm and individuality are being sold to the highest bidder.  In a soundbite featured on the news, a Riviera Beach councilwoman stated that employees of Tiki had been warned months ago and had been given a couple of months grace, concluding with the statement, “But they can’t stand in the way of progress.”  And so it goes.  Someone is going to make a lot of money from this deal.  Dollars to doughnuts it won’t be the residents of Riviera Beach. 

Mr. R. and I are going to make a point of having one last date night at Tiki before Friday’s 4th of July festivities.  We should probably schedule one at Rum Bar before it’s too late.  Sigh.