SOLVANG, Calif. - Disney fans are flocking to Disneyland after the park reopened to guests for the first time in over a year on Friday, but those still waiting for tickets can find a taste of the park here on the Central Coast.
The High Roller Tiki Lounge in Solvang officially opened its doors last July, at the height of the pandemic, but has managed to stay open.
Owner Michael Cobb credits his 17-year career with Disney as his inspiration for opening the Tiki Lounge.
"That's where I got my first taste of Polynesian style and food and entertainment," said Cobb referring to his time working at the Tahitian Terrace, a Polynesian-themed dinner and entertainment experience at Disneyland.
Now, he is concocting recipes that fuse wine country and tropical flavors to create something unique to the Santa Ynez Valley.
"We worked really hard on the recipes," Cobb said. "It is really hard to take six ounces of wine and match it up with a couple ounces of liquor, but we did well with it."
For Cobb and his two full time staff members, Alaina Deporter and Alanna Dixon, "tiki" represents more than just a style.
"Tiki is basically escapism," said Deporter. "You get away from your life, you relax, enjoy a nice fruity cocktail."
It's what brought guest Amy Olivas and her friends to the lounge for a taste.
"We were at another wine tasting room and when we were leaving I said 'no, we need to go to the tiki bar,'" said Olivas, "It's fun, it's special, it's different."
The High Roller Tiki Lounge is located at 433 Alisal Road in Solvang. For more information, visit highrollertiki.com.