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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Heilman's Beachcomber, Clearwater Beach, FL

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Heilman's Beachcomber, Clearwater Beach, FL
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 17, 2006
Posts: 646
From: Taboo Island, USA
Posted: 2009-06-22 4:35 pm   Permalink

Here's some history:

The Heilman's Beachcomber was owned and operated by Bob Heilman. His family started their first restaurant in 1920 at Lorain, Ohio, then opened this one in November 1948, and also opened a third in Ft. Lauderdale in 1958. The Clearwater location is at 447 Mandalay Ave. and is still open today, but is not the original structure. The original building caught fire January 19, 1959 causing $250,000 worth of damage. Most of the building was destroyed, with only 3 walk-in coolers holding 1,000 cases of liquor surviving. After the fire, they opened up temporarily in the Grey Gull Inn while they built a new restaurant at the same location. They broke ground on the new building on June 20, 1959 and re-opened December 28, 1959.

The new fire proof structure was bigger and better than the original, with seating increasing from 190 to 275. It had "The Seascape Room" and "The Gallery". In 1965 it was enlarged again, adding the "Room for One More Room."

Bob Heilman won the Restaurant Man of the Year award in 1964, and was very active in promoting the restaurant industry.

Here's an ad for them from 1964 with their beachcomer graphic

I also found the origin of this image comes from a 1940s Albert Dorne painting. Here it is being used in a 1947 American Airlines ad


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