Often enough, great things come with a bit of controversy. When we first heard that our friends were going to a fun, summer tiki bar for drinks a few years ago, we were intrigued. Frosty drinks, great views, the whole being-at-a-bar experience plus being-in-the-pool to boot? We were into it. But it would seem that running a bar/tiki lounge/community pool/ tourist attraction has its complications. And each year, whether the barge will open, and when, and to whom has been seemed precarious. Well, ready or not, it’s open for the 2013 season. That’s the good news. The oh-but-we-liked-it-better-before news is that the pool itself is now members only. But members can bring guests (for a fee) and anyone is welcome to come soak up the summer fun, sun, and drinks any time.
For better or for worse, the Tiki Barge’s new members-only pool policy will certainly change the tone of the place. At $150 a month, or $350 for the season, the membership is a definite step up from paying your $1.50 to the parks and recreation people for a dip in one of the city’s community pools on a hot day. The barge’s online announcement generated plenty of grateful responses (“it’ll help keep the riff-raff out”) as well backlash from a number of understandably upset former patrons, who’ve now been priced out of their favorite local dive (pun intended…?). We’re not going to come down on one side or the other as of yet—we’ll have to see how the place fares under this new policy, and weigh in later in the season. Now if only we can find someone to bring us in as his or her guest…
The Tiki Barge is located at 500 Harborview Drive in Baltimore. For more information about visiting, or becoming a member, visit the Tiki Barge Facebook page.
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