THE SOUTHERN MARYLAND ICONIC SOLOMONS ISLAND TIKI BAR HAS ENDURED FLOODS, HURRICANES, POLITICS, BUREAUCRACY, 40 YEARS OF GENERATIONAL TIDES AND IT WILL SURVIVE COVID19!!
It all began when the Hipple family built the Island Manor Hotel. Their son Gordon, also known as Bunky, ran the motel and owned the bar. The bar could be found on the front porch of the motel, and started operating around the mid to late 1970s. It became popular and customers were loyal. Bunky hired John and Kathy Taylor as barkeepers when it started.
The Hipple’s sold the property in 1980. John & Kathy took out a lease for the bar at the time from the Hipple’s. The rest of the property was owned by several companies and eventually went into foreclosure. At that time, John and Kathy bought the bar and it became the iconic Solomons Tiki Bar. They even survived Hurricane Isabelle as seen in the pictures in 2003. They sold it to Terry Clark and Pat Donovan in 2005. The new owners turned the space that was once a parking lot into a larger island Tiki feel with sand, palm trees, and the massive tiki statues to accommodate the massive crowds.
Brings us to today the Tiki Bar after being closed for a few years reopened starting in 2019. So the Tiki Bar was better than ever, especially the amazing live musical talent that the new owner, Rich Cutair has brought to Southern Maryland. Rich kindly shared some old pictures of the Tiki Bar and with some research put some history with the pictures.
Rich wanted to share a few words with his Southern Maryland Tiki goers;
“Owning and operating the Tiki Bar Solomons Island last year was amazing. The Island and County supported us completely and made what was a very fast transition a success. I was very much looking forward to the 40th Anniversary Tiki Bar Solomons opening weekend from April 17 -19th. We had many plans with additional bands, vendors, and surprises lined up to make the 40th the biggest opening weekend yet!
So now we play the waiting game. The corona pandemic has made picking our opening weekend dates almost impossible. The near future is so unpredictable and trying to schedule the opening weekend would really be a guess at the moment. What I can say is that when this storm passes, Tiki Bar and the rest of Solomons Island will be ready! All the planning is still going on. All the conversations with bands and vendors are still happening behind the scenes.
Stay tuned for future announcements. In the meantime, take care of your families, neighbors, and each other. God Bless and we will have plenty of Mai Tai’s ready for all the medical professionals out there that need one or a few when it’s time.”
A special thanks to Charlene Lankford and Tommy Carroll for their historic insight. Southern Maryland and The Bay Net Staff look forward to better days ahead and the Tiki Bar 40th Anniversary Celebration so in the meantime stay home and stay safe.