The new owners of the Rip Tide Lounge have given the town its first look into the new renovations that will be done on the bar with a rendering posted to the restaurant’s social-media pages.
The rendering shows an across-the-street view of the restaurant with two large windows at the front of the building, with the entrance kept in the same corner spot. Above the windows is a new “RIPTIDE” sign with what appears to be an illustration of the Marblehead Light Tower on the Neck to the left. The building is painted a navy-blue shade with two lights shining on the sign and four lights going down the alleyway past the entrance.
“A rendering of the new Rip Tide Lounge. We plan to re-open the Rippah before the end of the year. Stay tuned for more updates!” the bar’s Instagram page said in a post.
The real-estate deal for the bar to transfer ownership officially went through a few weeks ago after longtime owner George Ciampa sold the townie bar for $1 million.
In an interview, owner Mikael Vienneau of Broadway Capital said that he was pleased with how helpful the town has been throughout the process.
“It’s been a good experience working with the town and the community because of the amount of feedback we are getting. Hopefully that continues,” Vienneau said.
The Ciampa family held one final giant bash last month before the bar began its new chapter.
The bar was packed shoulder-to-shoulder as locals toasted to Ciampa, who owned the bar for 55 years.
The Rip Tide began as Kylie’s nearly 80 years ago, shortly after Prohibition was lifted. It was put on the market in January and will be closed until renovations on the building are completed.
In a separate Instagram post, the Rip Tide’s Instagram put up a poll on Monday asking followers for feedback on the new design. More than 300 users responded to the poll, with 39% saying they “love it,” 29% saying the bar is going in the right direction, and 25% saying that they dislike it and wish to see it left as is.
7% voted for the fourth, and least likely, scenario, which was to “raze it and put up a Chipotle.”
Many took to Facebook to offer their opinions and suggestions on a post by the Rip Tide Lounge Facebook page. The post featured a side-by-side of the bar in the 1930s and the new rendering. As part of the renovation, the post announced, handicap-accessibility improvements will be made, including two brand-new bathrooms.
A new kitchen will also be installed with a “new/improved affordable menu.”
Facebook user Tim Hutchinson commented on the post, hoping that the new owners decide to keep the pool table and dart board. Rip Tide responded by saying that it will be replacing the dart board and that the bar is considering starting a dart league.
Some are skeptical about the large glass windows at the front of the building, citing potential danger if they break. Additionally, some said that they liked the look of the Rip Tide better with no windows.
“Would look 100 times better without the windows and needs a red door,” Facebook user Pat Sylvester said. “That glass is either going to get smashed by someone in the bar or just as likely when the plows and snow removal comes.”
Others welcomed the new look.
“I think the rendering looks great! Can’t wait to return to the Rippa!!!” Facebook user Rick Miles commented.
While the bar is closed for construction, the new owners are still making efforts to have the original Rip Tide sign returned as they have upped the Rip Tide credit reward to $1,000, they announced in a social-media post Monday.
“Despite our efforts, the iconic Rip Tide Lounge sign has not been returned,” the post read. “We have decided to up the reward from $500 to $1,000 Rip Tide credit to anyone who safely returns the sign to the bar. No questions asked!
In June, the bar reported on its social-media accounts that the sign had been stolen off of the side of the building. It originally offered $500 in credit for anyone who could find and return the sign.
“We’re not looking to turn anybody in to the authorities, but we definitely would like to have the sign back because of its nostalgic value not only to the Rip Tide but to the town of Marblehead,” Vienneau said.