Don the Beachcomber makes a comeback

Last year, 23 Restaurant Services acquired and added Don the Beachcomber restaurant brand to its portfolio, now in honour of Donn’s birthday on 22 February, the Tampa, Florida-based hospitality company is moving forward with an expansive growth strategy for its new tiki-themed restaurant brand.

According to Marc Brown, president of 23 Restaurant Services, there are currently two Don the Beachcomber restaurants and bars under development in Central Florida, with the first slated to open by the end of the year. 

“Don the Beachcomber is the most iconic brand in tiki history, so it’s impossible to overstate how excited we are about what lies ahead. We look forward to leveraging our expertise in management and operational excellence to reintroduce the world to the legend that is Don the Beachcomber,” said Brown. 

Initially, Brown expects there to be around 10-15 of the tiki-themed restaurants across the Southeastern US over the next several years, with plans to expand nationally.

Each of the restaurants will feature Polynesian-inspired design and rum-based drinks that have become synonymous with Don the Beachcomber locations for more than 90 years.

The expansion is being supported by a newly assembled advisory board made up of influential voices in tiki culture from the last 30 years. The board includes Tim Glazner, Donn Beach historian, Martin Cate, author of Smuggler’s Cove, Sven Kirsten, Tiki historian and author of four tiki books, John Mulder, tiki mug designer and Danny Gallardo, designer of tiki carvings, ceramic cocktail mugs and complete tiki bar interiors.

“Assembling this dynamic and legendary group of experts to serve as our advisory board was the first step in developing a plan to share and represent the history and life of Don the Beachcomber with the utmost authenticity,” added Brown. 

Additionally, Marie King, former beverage director and general manager of Tonga Hut in Hollywood, California, has joined the 23 Restaurant Services team as director of beverage.