Thank God the Tiki Bar is Open
Posted by Tony & Cheri on February 29, 2008
What were we thinking? Four years ago we decided to buy, renovate and run a hotel in Mexico. Never mind that we knew nothing about owning real estate in another country…or about construction…or the travel industry. In fact we knew nothing about running a hotel. And our Spanish wasn’t very good. But it sounded like a fun adventure so we said, “What the heck!”…or words to that effect.
We jumped into our new life and our new business head first. It wasn’t easy. In fact at times it was downright difficult and it was always hard work. We kept telling ourselves that when the work was done and the hotel a smooth running success we would relax and enjoy a little time off. Ha! Well, most of the hard work is behind us and the hotel is, thankfully, a smooth running success (we have an average occupancy of 99% in high season). But as for the relaxing part…not so much.
We decided last year to add a small bar to our hotel. Never mind that we knew nothing about building, stocking or running a bar. It sounded like another fun adventure. We said “What the heck!”…or words to that effect.
So we built a bar with carpenters who never showed up and with plumbers who we discovered couldn’t find the pipes. And of course there was the legendary third world bureaucracy. The city inspectors, the sanitary inspectors, the parking police and all the others. And getting a liquor licence is a trip unto itself. Everything had to be provided in triplicate…no excuse us…we will need four copies and the original…and the fee paid in cash please! At one point the city license office fell behind on its processing of applications (this was last December when our application had been “in process” for several months) and decided to cancel all applications and make everybody start over in the New Year! Seriously!
We plodded ahead and built a beautiful tropical hardwood bar. We surrounded it with swings hanging from a palm thatch covered roof. We set it so that it overlooked our sunken garden and waterfall. Our dearest friends in the world, Eric Rogers and Jan Docchio, came down from their jobs tending bar and managing a restaurant in San Francisco to help us and advise us how to make and serve drinks. Eric even desingned some new “boat drinks” for us.
Our receptionist wanted to learn to be a bartender, so we agreed he could work in the new bar. We also hired Jose, a legendary Playa Del Carmen bartender to run things. So finally we were ready. Almost. Today is the bar’s Grand Opening. We cut the ribbon at 5:00 p.m. But before that we have to buy limes, pick up the beer and chill it, go to the liquor distributor and get our tequilas and rums, help the guys set up the bar, print and laminate the bar menus and a dozen more things. Oh, don’t worry. We’ll get it done. Somehow we always manage to. It will be a long day of hard work, but when it is over we will be the proud owners of a new tropical bar in Caribbean Mexico!
Now maybe we can relax a little. Or maybe we’ll start an auto repair shop or a laundry. After all we don’t know anything about those businesses either!
If you get down to Playa in the future, please stop by and join us for a drink at the new bar at the Luna Blue Hotel.
“Thank God the Tiki Bar is Open.”