Last weekend Riviera Beach Tiki bar is open; servers search for new jobs

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. - It is a bitter sweet Fourth of July at the Riviera Beach Marina.

A new 375 million dollar development with shops and restaurants is on the horizon, but this is the last weekend the old Tiki Bar Restaurant will be open.

"I'm dealing with a broken heart. I am very sad. This is not just a job, this is not just a restaurant, this is a legacy," longtime Tiki Bar server Ginger Rittenhouse said.

The Tiki Bar is closing to make way for the city's new, voter approved, development that includes shops, restaurants, and an event center.

"We're not out of here by choice," Tiki Bar co-owner Keith Ragon said.

Ragon says the Tiki Bar opened eleven years ago.

"A lot of the customers think there is something I can do. There is nothing I can do. The city says we are out of here, so we are out of here," Ragon said.

Ragon says there are preliminary plans to open a new tiki bar as part of the new development.

While the new development could create thousands of jobs, for now, the Tiki Bar's nearly 100 employees are looking for new work.

"I went to nine places on Tuesday and no one unfortunately is hiring because it is summer. It is really a terrible time to have a business close down," Rittenhouse said.

Others say they will miss the bar's old Florida charm.

"I think they are taking away too much of old Florida style. You can sit in concrete, but people like this old Florida atmosphere," server Diedra Davis said.

The Tiki Bar will close on Sunday.


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