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Tarpon Bend Celebrates 11 Years in Fort Lauderdale With a Fiery Luau

"The craziest thing I ever saw?" ponders Tarpon Bend General Manager Aaron Abramoff. "Well, there was this one time that a bagpipe troupe decided to march through the restaurant out of nowhere. Everyone got up and just started dancing like nuts. There was so much energy, it was really cool."

Yes, Fort Lauderdale's Tarpon Bend has seen its share of crazy. It's been home to impromptu dance sessions and has swung a lit tarpon from the ceiling on New Years Eve. On virtually every weekend in its existence, it's been ass-to-glass packed, from the first floor to the rafters. And it's served plenty of honest food and drink in the process. Bu next week, the Himmarshee Village institution is passing an even bigger milestone. Tarpon Bend will officially turn 11 years old. And it's doing it the only way it knows how: With a rockin' luau that will combine live music, bikinis, and a Hawaiian fire show.

The party will start on Saturday, August 14 at 6 p.m. with a live

reggae show. At 8, the tunes will quiet and the lights will dim as a

local fire-juggling troupe will take the stage. And just when you

thought things couldn't get hotter, a bikini contest at 9:30 will pit

Fort Lauderdale's best beach bods against each other for a $500 cash

prize. (Ladies can register for the contest in advance here.)

It wouldn't be a Tarpon Bend party without drink specials. Guzzle down

$2.50 Coronas and $3.50 Seven Tiki rum drinks all throughout the night.

Drink enough of 'em and you might just work up the nerve to take part

in the hula-hooping and frozen T-shirt contests spontaneously

combusting throughout the evening.

It's been a long ride so far for the two-story bar, restaurant, and

grill, especially when so many other places have come and gone in Fort

Lauderdale. But the secret to its success, says Abramoff, is simple.

"When you have fresh food, drinks, and a great atmosphere, a place can

last," he says. "But the best part of Tarpon Bend is it speaks to


Bagpipers included.