New tiki bar Pink Pineapple will open in Seminole Heights this summer

Things are getting beachy in Tampa's hippest neighborhood.

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click to enlarge Husband-and-wife duo Kimmy Bruehl and Eric McKinney are on a mission to open a beachy bar getaway in Tampa Bay. - PHOTO CREDIT BECKY RUDOLF
Husband-and-wife duo Kimmy Bruehl and Eric McKinney are on a mission to open a beachy bar getaway in Tampa Bay.

Seminole Heights is about get some tropical vibes this summer with the debut of tiki bar concept The Pink Pineapple

Taking over the former location of The Refinery at 5137 N. Florida Ave., husband-and-wife duo Kimmy Bruehl and Eric McKinney are on a mission to open a beachy bar getaway in Tampa Bay.

The couple’s vision will integrate aspects of tiki bars they’ve visited on their previous travels into the aesthetic of The Pink Pineapple. 

The 2800-square-foot space allows guests to choose between a moodier aesthetic downstairs with black decor and pop of neon, or a more beachy aesthetic upstairs.

The hope is to allow locals to take a break from the day-to-day in their own city rather than having to travel to a remote island or kitschy vacation destination.

After leaving his last bartending gig, McKinney was itching to launch his own spot. “The only thing I wanted to do was open a tiki bar. It was something I always wanted to do — and there isn’t one here,” McKinney says.

Their wanderlust and extensive experience in the bartending arena — having worked at Coppertail Brewing Co. and Independent Bar & Café — they’re keyed into what the neighborhood is thirsty for.

Like a full bar to mix up classic rum-based tiki cocktails like Mai Tais and Zombies.

To get a little tipsy during the luau with the gang, boozy punch bowls will be offered for parties up to six people.  

As far as tropical bar bites go, they turned to a professional to curate the menu — Noel Cruz, of Ichicoro and former Armature Works resident Chismis & Co. 

Cruz plans on serving up traditional Filipino cuisine. “There’s a lot of tiki origins in the Philippines so the food and drinks really complement each other,” McKinney says. “Offerings will be reminiscent of that of Chismis & Co.” 

The duo has been plotting the concept over the last year, with heavy consideration toward catering to those in the hospitality industry who get off work late.

“We have so many friends in the industry, so we wanted them to be able to get a drink or grab some food without having to go to Ybor or downtown late at night,” Bruehl says.

Playing into the little-known fact that pineapples are the global symbol for hospitality, Bruehl is hoping the tiki bar will not only be a neighborhood hotspot, but also a sought-after travel destination.

“The Pink Pineapple is anywhere you can think of that’s warm or has a beach. People can travel to Tampa and ask to go to the tiki bar,” she says.

Upon debuting, dinner will be the main focus, serving Wednesday through Friday from 5 p.m.-1 a.m., with brunch on the weekends, 11 a.m.-2p.m., reopening for dinner at 5 p.m.

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