Put on your peacoat and ragg wool hat and head down to … the Off Key Tikki?
That’s right. For the first time since opening in 2008, the popular tiki bar and restaurant on River Avenue in Patchogue is going to stay open year-round.
Off Key Tiki has tried before to push its hours past the fall, said owner and operator Michael Bruemmer. But that mostly involved shrouding the bar area in heavy plastic drapes for a few weekends in December.
Some of those nights were lively, Bruemmer recalled, but something was lost.
“It didn’t have the charm of Tikki,” he said.
But this year, he was determined to realize his dream of keeping the hot island vibe pumping all year long.
He got to work on enclosing the big deck this spring.
Now, just in time for the arctic weather, Off Key Tikki will be offering a waterfront experience through January, February and March. It’s an experience, Bruemmer says, that’s still representative of the glowing, golden tiki bar of summer.
“We’ve integrated all the intimate tiki bar space,” Bruemmer explained from inside the new dining area Monday night. “You’ve got 40 feet of water views. Theoretically, it’s almost like being on Fire Island, looking out over the beach and into the water.
“Or, it’s like being at Sandals and the ice age came roaring in. Wonderful.”
The new area is being called the Voodoo Deck.
The enclosed deck and winter hours all coincide — not by accident — with a new chef and the introduction this past season of a Polynesian-themed menu that Bruemmer said was a hit with customers.
“It’s kind of a build-it-yourself dining experience,” he said. “You choose how you want to load up your tiki bowl … You choose your meat, or fish, or chicken, which is on skewers but oversized. Then your veggies. Your dressing. It’s all you, custom made.”
He also pictures the heated Voodoo Deck being a nice place for winter engagement parties or rehearsal dinners — when waterfront dining isn’t typically an option.
Top photo: The enclosed and heated Voodoo Deck at Off Key Tikki. (Michael White)
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