Cocoa Beach Pier debuts new Rikki Tiki Tavern

By Allison Walker Torres, Entertainment Reporter/Anchor
Last Updated: Friday, May 05, 2017, 4:58 PM EDT

You can now dine out nearly 800 feet from the shore in Brevard County, surrounded by almost 360-degree views of the ocean.

  • Rikki Tiki Tavern now open at Cocoa Beach Pier
  • It offers full-service dining 800 feet from shore
  • Westgate Resorts took over the pier in 2014

Westgate Resorts has debuted its brand new Rikki Tiki Tavern at the end of the Cocoa Beach Pier. Unlike the small bar that was there before, guests can now enjoy a full-service dining experience.

“[The old bar] was actually the ugliest part of the pier," said Westgate Resorts COO Mark Waltrip. "We bought it with a purpose in mind to restore the architectural character of the pier. We didn’t want to make this “Disney.” We wanted this to be something authentic.”

Since Westgate's takeover of the pier in 2014, it's pumped in nearly $4 million for renovations. That includes a new color palette, signage (including a 27-foot tall marquee), awnings, chairs, brand new bathrooms, railings, and more.

The cuisine at Rikki Tiki Tavern includes noshes like coconut shrimp, gator bites, fish dip, lobster rolls, fish sandwich, and the Pier dog, which is like a hot dog-style egg roll. The adult beverages include a colorful line-up of concoctions, and a signature Tiki drink (pictured above).

During the ribbon cutting, Jacqueline Siegel—wife of Westgate Resorts founder, David Siegel—explained the story behind the tavern's concept.

"My late daughter, Victoria - who died of an overdose about a year and a half ago - her name was Victoria and she always talked about coming to the beach," Jackie Siegel said. "She wanted to open up a restaurant called Rikki Tiki Tavern. Rikki was her nickname for Victoria. She said, 'Mom, I want to open the Rikki Tiki and it's going to be a rule that no one can wear shoes.' She wanted everyone to feel that her place was everyone else's home... Hopefully, she’s looking down on us and really happy.”

Waltrip says Westgate plans to invest another $4-5 million into the pier over the next 2 years.