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New tiki bar in Raleigh's Glenwood South opens to high turnout

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A new Raleigh bar inspired by tiki culture and Palm Springs, California opened last week.

Video Transcript

GLORIA RODRIGUEZ: All right Steve, the Ark royal is right behind me. And they had such a big turnout, they actually ran out of all of their beer, some of their liquor, and even stuff like paper towels. So they're closing up today and tomorrow, and they're reopening on Wednesday.

PATRICK SHANAHAN: That is a Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

GLORIA RODRIGUEZ: The Ark Royal Tiki Bar, opening Thursday in Raleigh's Gleenwood south district.

PATRICK SHANAHAN: Amazing response, I mean people are just, you know, lining up outside to get in.

GLORIA RODRIGUEZ: This report from the Downtown Raleigh Alliance shows food and beverage sales are picking back up. And the Glenwood south district made up about half of those sales from January 1st through March 31st of this year. Places like the Ark Royal speaking to something we've all been missing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

PATRICK SHANAHAN: It's just the experience of, I haven't been out of my house, I need a vacation, I need to get away and then you walk in and there's music. Island music playing, you know, there's palm trees everywhere.

GLORIA RODRIGUEZ: So one of the things that was really exciting to me is this bar has inspiration from my hometown of Palm Springs. So check out this artwork right here that depicts Palm Springs.

PATRICK SHANAHAN: Palm Springs Was a huge inspiration. I mean California, really, you know, that's where tiki kind of grew from and began.

GLORIA RODRIGUEZ: C. Grace and the upstairs Empress Room on Glenwood had been closed for more than a year. Owner Catrina Godwin is hoping to reopen June 22nd.

CATRINA GODWIN: We're doing training every week, this afternoon is one training session. I've got some building maintenance things, the plumbers are coming in tomorrow. You know there's a lot there's a lot to get back into the whole swing.

GLORIA RODRIGUEZ: And the owners of the tiki bar are Patrick Shanahan, who you just heard from, and also Niall Hanley. And they also own Watson Ward. The Tiki Bar was supposed to open in May of last year, but that all changed because of the covid-19 pandemic. Live In Raleigh, Gloria Rodriguez, ABC 11 Eyewitness News.