Albany trio’s ‘hop-on bar’
By Gordon Woodworth, Chronicle News Editor
A custom-made floating Tiki bar is now patrolling the busy waters of Lake George, and making waves wherever it goes.
“Everyone loves it. Everyone smiles. It’s great,” said Frank Casimo of Albany, who with long-time friends Larry Davis and Greg Teresi bought the as-yet unnamed ‘Cruisin’ Tiki” for $25,000 after Mr. Davis saw a prototype in Florida last winter.
“It’s our own fun spot,” said Mr. Davis.
“We figure why go bar hopping when you can hop on a bar!” said Mr. Casimo.
“We don’t get somewhere,” adds Mr. Davis, “but we still have happy hour!”
And in the winter? “We’re going to shrink-wrap it and ice fish though the trap door in the middle,” Mr. Casimo said. “I can just see the tip-ups all around the bar.”
The octagonal-shaped bar, with thatched roof, bamboo chairs and cyprus beams made by members of the Seminole Nation in Florida, is equipped with a 30-horsepower Suzuki motor.
It was delivered in four pieces to the Harris Bay Yacht Club on June 20.
Four hours later, the three friends were making their way to Dark Bay Yacht Club, the lakeside compound they purchased together in 2014, and then on to the Boathouse restaurant for dinner.
“The response has been incredible,” said Mr. Casimo, who owns Casimo Plumbing and Heating in Albany.
“The looks on everyone’s faces are priceless, and everyone wants a ride on it,” he said. “It’s so relaxing, and it handles in the wind like a champ.”
Mr. Teresi is a criminal defense and civil litigation attorney who just moved his own law practice in Lake George.
Mr. Davis is an “entrepreneur” who owns Comsoft, a software company in Albany.
He said he saw Cruisin’ Tiki company owner Greg Darby in the prototype Tiki bar/boat last winter in Fort Lauderdale “and I chased the guy down like a dog.”
“Ours is the third one ever made, and the first out-of-state boat they have ever made,” Mr. Teresi said. “He’s currently making one for Jimmy Buffett.”
The men say they are all licensed by Mr. Darby to represent the company up here.
“We’ve gotten six orders in less than a week,” Mr. Davis said. “We’re considering chartering it out for small groups. In fact, when I called the New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation offices to inquire about it, the guy said, ‘I was expecting your call.’”
If they continue to get solid inquiries, Mr. Davis said they might start building the boats up here.
Their new toy is “fully Coast Guard compliant,” said Mr. Teresi. “It’s got life jackets, flares, a horn, a fire extinguisher, lights, everything! And you can have it custom-made to what you want.”
It can carry 12 people or 2,000 pounds, which includes ice buckets, cold beer and olives.
Less than a week into owning the ultimate wet bar, Mr. Davis said they ran out of gas.
“We got our first tow,” he said, smiling.
Did they have to call for help?
“We didn’t have to call anyone out on this,” Mr. Casimo said. “They came to us! We just cracked another beer.”
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