New Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar & Grill in Palm Springs
Palm Springs Restaurant adds a Tropical Twist to Palm Springs’ Cool
By Barbara Beckely
It’s 11 a.m. And the couple next to me is sipping champagne. But hey, it’s Palm Springs. And this is the Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar & Grill – only the second one in the world – newly opened in the heart of Palm Springs. And it’s packed.
A woman carrying a pineapple-replica handbag – only in Palm Springs – is photographing her handbag next to the real pineapples a barman is readying for her Handcrafted Pina Colada. Palm Springs Mayor Robert Moon is here, too. Looking dapper in a vintage Tommy Bahama shirt with – OMG -- a Palm Springs design.
No surprise everyone is here. The new-concept indoor-outdoor restaurant-bar splashed down May 8, 2018 on a prime corner at North Palm Canyon Drive and West Tahquitz Canyon Way. (The Kimpton Rowan Hotel is next door.) It’s the latest entry in Palm Springs exciting Downtown Redevelopment Project.
High-top tables, a breezy bar, expansive umbrella-shaded patio and inviting booths create a hip tropical vibe perfect for relaxing over adult beverages and light bites and watching the world go by. The earth tone color scheme and mid-century modern architectural hints pay homage to Palm Springs trend-setting desert heritage.
“The Marlin Bar is a new concept in dining,” Rob Goldberg, Tommy Bahama executive vice president of restaurants, explained to me over signature Blood Orange Margaritas. “We designed it to be a more hip, casual dining experience with faster service than our traditional Tommy Bahama restaurants (like the one in Palm Desert), yet feature all the favorites” – from creative cocktails to Coconut Shrimp, Filet Mignon Flatbread and the delicious Mahi Mahi Reuben sandwich, which I enjoyed. “We want people to come here to relax with friends. Or when they’re on the way somewhere, and want a delicious, but quick, meal.”
How does the Marlin Bar’s “new style of service” work? First, you walk into the patio and take a menu from the welcome sign. Next, you order and pay at the counter, receive a card with a number on it (to put on your table) and then take a seat. A server delivers your order. However – if you’re like me, and like to dine at the bar over drinks – you order your food from the bar staff like usual.
Why Palm Springs? The heart of Palm Springs is the perfect spot for the Tommy Bahama mantra – “live the weekend all week long,” Goldberg said. I’ll drink to that!
Another compliment to Palm Springs is the fact that several Tommy Bahama restaurant veterans left Florida to work here. The friendly bar manager opened the first Marlin Bar on Florida’s west coast (the Tommy Bahama franchise began in Florida) and is thrilled to be here. “I love Palm Springs,’ she told me in between making from-scratch Mai Tais. The charming service manager left Orlando and is equally pleased to be living the Palm Springs life.
Not to forget the fabulous Tommy Bahama boutique which opened adjacent to the Marlin Bar. It sports all the latest Tommy Bahama fashions for men and women, and irresistible home décor and accessories.
We hope that Goldberg and the boutique staff got the hint from Mayor Moon. To bring back Palm Springs-themed ready-to-wear -- and sell it in this shop!
The Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar & Grill is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Happy Hour is 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.