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Thursday, May 30, 2024

3 stories of eclectic flavors, summer drinks, ocean views coming to CB

The Tropical will be located in the former spot of Krazy Kones and will be three stories, including a restaurant and rooftop bar. (Port City Daily/Ginny Smith)

CAROLINA BEACH — Walking down the Carolina Beach Boardwalk, it’s easy to spot The Tropical.

READ MORE: Riverfront cocktail lounge and fry bar changes ownership 

The freshly-painted white building consists of three stories, towering over its neighbors, Silver Dollar and Nauti Dog, and what’s soon to be a crowded boardwalk of tourists and locals. The restaurant, complete with an open-air, ocean-front rooftop bar, is slated to open in May, if all goes according to plan with permitting. 

The owners of Island Beverage, Roger and Jenny Monk, decided to open The Tropical as a sister establishment to its bottle shop, located a mile away in Cross Bridge Commons.

“At first, it was just about finding something that was a small compliment to Island Beverage, and it grew when we got this opportunity for the piece of property at the boardwalk, which was a little bit unexpected,” Roger said. 

Once Krazy Kones — which merged with The Fudge Boat — the Monks were able to sign a lease for the 2,700-square-foot property. Two years of construction and renovations have been in the works since.

The exterior, rather minimalist, will be contrasted by a “Miami art-deco” aesthetic, with bright neon signs and tropical greenery on the walls of the interior, comparable to The Carlyle, an iconic southern Miami hotel. Inspiration for the decor was drawn from the Monks’ time spent visiting Miami with friends, and Jenny’s preference for the sleek-looking façades respective to the area.

The addition of a rooftop bar will take The Tropical to the next level, Roger detailed.

“It’s literally a tiki bar on the roof — where you get the full view of the boardwalk carnival,” he said. “You’ve got the full view of the ocean … So just to have that opportunity is really what drove us to kind of go big.”

Frozen drink machines — 10 serving strawberry daiquiris, pina coladas, margaritas, and hurricanes — will elevate the paradisal atmosphere of The Tropical. The Monks have the goal to add up to 20 machines after the first year of opening.

“This was one of the first beaches we’d gone to where there wasn’t a frozen drink bar,” Roger explained of highlighting the island libations. 

The first floor will serve as an indoor-outdoor bar, with convenient proximity to the beach access off of the boardwalk. Customers will be able to pick up food and drinks through a roll-up window facing the boardwalk. Coolers filled with grab-and-go sandwiches, salads, and drinks will be available to beachgoers who would rather take a picnic to the shoreline. 

The second floor features a traditional dine-in restaurant with 90 seats. Space for live music, trivia, or Bingo will take place at the venue as well. 

The menu will have various bowls and egg rolls, with the Monks turning the traditional handheld on its head. 

“We’re going to do a shrimp and grits egg roll, collard green and ham egg roll, cheeseburger egg roll, and a Philly cheesesteak egg roll, and even a cheesecake dessert egg roll,” Roger elaborated. 

He was inspired by the convenience of an egg roll as an easy takeaway to the beach. The bowls are essentially deconstructed versions of the egg rolls, a dish for those who prefer a lighter version without a fried wrapper. 

Poke bowls and rotating monthly special bowls, such as pork belly and mac n’ cheese, will also be featured. 

Roger emphasized a desire to cater to CB locals, while balancing appeal to summer seasonal visitors. He has hired kitchen manager Steve Vaughn to run operations behind the scenes.

“We are still going to heavily rely on our local business,” Roger added. “And you know we will always cater to (locals) first, but just where we’re at will naturally get several more visitors to the island that are coming in that are not long term residents.”

The Monks are preparing to make a memorable first impression on the crowds this summer season, as the restaurant and bar will open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

“It’s all about creating an experience,” Roger said. “People are coming and spending their money on vacation and what we’re hoping is we can create that thing that you look back on 10 years from now and say — ‘Wow, you know, that was a really fun experience and we can’t wait to go back there.’”

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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