What was supposed to be a Haunted Tavern craft cocktail experience, quickly dissolved into the most magical hot mess of a pop-up and god was it so amazing! I realized this haunted craft cocktail event was grossly mis-advertised when we walked into the room of a commercial building Downtown. There was a projector screen with the word “Shipwrecked” on it, 75 folding chairs, and a table full of Halloween decor on a stage that was either from Party City or Spirit Halloween. I feared we walked right into a timeshare pitch for a Floridian pirate’s resort.
Come to find out later, it was more like Pirates Gone Wild.
Once the first cocktail was served, the story began and then animated tavern patrons reminiscent of a bad video game were projected on the screen. The presenter was dressed in a cheap pirate’s hat and his pirate accent was so bad, yet so good at the same time.
The second cocktail was served and out came the wench! Her pirate accent was just as wonderful and she did her best to ramp up the crowd with a tale of Blackbeard’s life story that took place somewhere in Florida.
After a brief interlude, the third cocktail was served. The wench started out with a story about a drinking game that the Captain would play with his crewmates. She asked for volunteers from each quadrant of the room and four guests went up on stage to recreate the game. The object was to see who could chug a beer fastest and then hold the can upside down over their head when they finished. Those who didn’t finish the last sip ended up wearing it on their heads, chests or backs.
The evening took a magical turn as the guests left the stage. The makeshift steps to the stage collapsed under one of the guests and he dropped into the crowd taking down a bunch of other guests. Little did we know, the show had only just hit full speed ahead.
The second wench came back on stage and announced the next challenge. Our energy for this evening went from “Get us out of here” to waiting with bated breath for the next event.
It was a roller coaster of human emotion and the best part of the ride was upon us. Wench 2 announced a twerking competition and the winner would get their shots of rum from the other pirate’s chest for their whole quadrant! The crowd went berserk! This twerking competition was heated. After the first round of elimination, only two contestants remained. They went head to head. The ultimate winner was a guy who twerked all the way down the aisle and didn’t miss a step.
Needless to say, the evening was magical. It was the most Florida thing I have experienced in my life and I lived there for four years. If timeshare companies themed their pitches with pirates, twerking competitions and alcohol, they probably wouldn’t have much trouble filling the seats in the room.
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