There are backyard tiki bars and then there is the one that Ruben Rios had built at his home in Texas. I was floored when I came across Ruben’s images on Instagram and initially thought that the pictures he had posted were from a resort. After reading some of the comments on his pictures, I finally had to ask “This is in your backyard?!” He confirmed that and I knew I had the next article in my “We Built Our Own Beach Bar” column. Nothing I say will add to what the pictures already show but I can tell you this – if Ruben was my neighbor, I’d be at his house every single night. I don’t know how his friends stay away, at least voluntarily. In Ruben’s own words and pictures, here is the story of his backyard tiki bar. It really is true what they say – everything is bigger in Texas!
“Last year we went on vacation to Cozumel Mexico. We loved everything about it. Tiki bars, white sand, blue beaches and how colorful it was. When we got home, we decided to throw a Hawaiian luau in the backyard. The pool was already built and we had an existing pergola. We started buying all the Hawaiian decor and decided to decorate our pergola and make it look like a tiki bar for the party. Of course, it was the cheap plastic stuff that you buy at the party store. After the party was over, we didn’t want to take down the decoration because we loved the way it looked and felt like this theme would be perfect for our backyard. Shortly after, we decided to turn our existing pergola into a tiki bar and started getting quotes. We ended up using Gulf Coast Palapas (located in Galveston, TX) to do the work. We decided to build a smaller palapa on the other side of the yard to balance it out. After both were built, we decided to extend the back patio to tie it all in together. We have one flat screen (60 inch) under the tiki bar and another flat screen under the patio. We also added lights on both sides of the yard. We have three gas torches around the pool and two bamboo torch tables. We added a parrot chair, corona chairs, customized bamboo sign, customized cooler, hammock and a lot of tiki decor (we even bought a macaw bird that hangs out in the back). We also added outdoor Sonos speakers and strobe lights. All of our neighbors love hanging out and say it feels like they are on an island. It makes us feel good to be able to entertain people. We are having another luau in May and have a Hawaiian dancer coming out to perform. The neighbors are really excited and have asked us to make this an annual event.”