Make us your home page
Instagram

Hula Bay Club on Tampa Bay resurrects RattleFish vibe

GANDY/SUN BAY SOUTH — Fans of RattleFish Raw Bar & Grill were not happy when the property was sold and turned into a private club. They missed the fish tacos and seafood margaritas, sunsets and music on the dock at the lively waterfront restaurant off West Shore Boulevard a few blocks south of Gandy Boulevard.

But two Green Iguana owners, Rick Caldaroni and Amir Mahdieh, along with advertising executive Loren Rhoads, have come together to remake the former hangout into the Hula Bay Club. It was scheduled to open Thursday.

They think their mix of drinks, docks and diversions will draw diners.

"We were able to take advantage of a great opportunity due to someone's unfortunate circumstances,'' said Rhoads, describing Hula Bay Club as "flip-flop and Tommy Bahama burgers, sandwiches and sushi."

Lunch is served Thursday to Sunday, dinner Tuesday through Sunday.

Guests can choose inside seating or kick back outside at Duke's Retired Surfers Bar, named for the original Hawaiian beach boy. A 380-foot ledge with dozens of bar stools offers views of Tampa Bay. Seven cabanas hold canvas lounges surrounding a swimming pool.

What makes these guys think they can revive the RattleFish vibe amid a grim economy?

"Tampa has so few restaurants where boaters can tie up,'' Rhoads said. "We can take 100 boats. This will be a destination, instead of going to the beach.''

As a RattleFish regular, Rhoads frequently arrived by boat.

Fort Myers developer Steeven Knight bought the former Tampa Bayside Marina and the adjacent RattleFish in summer 2006 as part of the exclusive Yacht Club of America network.

Renamed the Tampa Harbour Yacht Club, the dry-dock facility was renovated to hold 650 dry berths (rackominiums) and 40 wet slips (dockomininums) starting at $100,000. RattleFish closed to become a members-only clubhouse.

But the concept of selling waterfront access and the complex's amenities sank with the economy, said Lou Henry, general manager of Tampa Harbour Yacht Club.

A few months ago, "the decision was made to go strictly rental. Deposits were refunded and the restaurant was leased," Henry said.

"They can bring it right back to where it was," he said.

if you go

Hula Bay Club

5210 W Tyson Ave.

(813) 837-4852;

hulabayclub.com

Cuisine: Burgers, seafood, sushi, $8 to $13.

Hula Bay Club on Tampa Bay resurrects RattleFish vibe 02/19/09 [Last modified: Thursday, February 19, 2009 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming

    Roads

    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  2. A sports rout on Wall Street

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Sporting goods retailers can't shake their losing streak.

  3. Grocery chain Aldi hosting hiring event in Brandon Aug. 24

    Retail

    BRANDON — German grocery chain Aldi is holding a hiring event for its Brandon store Aug. 24. It is looking to fill store associate, shift manager and manager trainee positions.

  4. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  5. Trigaux: Look to new Inc. 5000 rankings for Tampa Bay's future heavyweights

    Business

    There's a whole lotta fast-growing private companies here in Tampa Bay. Odds are good you have not heard of most of them.

    Yet.

    Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, fills a glass for his employees this past Wednesday as the young St. Petersburg personal advice business celebrates its landing at No. 25 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Taylor, still in his 20s, wins kudos from executive editor Alexis Grant for keeping the firm's culture innovative. The business ranked No. 32 last year. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]