- Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 April 2013 12:04
- Published on Wednesday, 24 April 2013 11:56
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Nine new palm trees. A large new outdoor grill. An enlarged and improved stage. Newly painted tropical colored chairs. Wines from the Trump Winery. And, almost 40 popular bands on the schedule.
With another summer at the beach right around the corner, High Tides on the Potomac plans to be ready! The family built and owned restaurant and bar has become an essential part of the food, fun and music that
has made Colonial Beach popular for generations.
“We’re working hard, so Colonial Beach will come back and be what it used to be,” said Vickie Coffman, who with her husband, Bryan, and her children built and opened High Tides in 2005. Today, with 65 employees, their restaurant and bar is one of the town’s largest private employers.
To get ready for a new season, Vickie and Bryan had nine new palm trees trucked from Florida to replace palms that died during the cold winter weather. They built a large outdoor grill next to the Black Pearl Tiki Bar that will serve barbeque, burgers, kabobs and island-style pork chops to accompany the beer, wine and frozen drinks served at the bar.
The Coffmans painted many of their outdoor chairs in tropical island colors and this summer they will be the first restaurant in the area to serve wine from Donald Trump’s new Charlottesville winery. And, the Black Pearl Tiki Bar has an expanded stage that will host a wide range of rock and blues bands from May 4 through Sep. 8. Free concerts will be held almost every weekend.
High Tides, located on the Colonial Beach Boardwalk, will of course continue to serve the steaks and seafood that made the restaurant one of the premier dining facilities on the Potomac River. “We try to be the best we can be,” said longtime employee Bonnie Gysel.
The credit for the growth and success of High Tides and the Black Pearl Tiki Bar goes to the Coffmans and their hard-working family and friends. “We bought the beachfront property and then went to South Carolina and Florida looking at different venues that we thought were unique,” said Vickie. “We combined the best of what we found.”
Bryan served as general contractor, and the construction of the riverfront restaurant was done by the Coffmans, their three sons and several longtime family friends. Today, the Coffmans are hands-on managers of the popular restaurant and bar with the help of one of their sons, a daughter-in-law and two of their granddaughters.
This year, beginning in May, Mondays will again be Game Nights featuring darts and other games; Tuesdays will be Movie Nights with popcorn, drinks and feature films under the stars; and on Wednesdays and Thursdays, Rockin’ Roger, a local musician who is a one-man rock band, will entertain guests.
The weekends will again draw top billings and top crowds beginning with the Craze on May 4 and ending with Doug Parks and the Lonewolves on Sep. 8. Other summer weekend entertainment will include a long list of popular bands and featured special events for Memorial Day weekend, the June 21-23 Blues Festival, the 4th of July and Labor Day weekends.
“Colonial Beach is such a great place,” Vickie said. “It’s like sand that gets in your shoe and stays with you. You see people on the street, they smile and wave. It’s a close-knit, but welcoming community.”
Vickie and Bryan, who moved to Colonial Beach from Maryland where they still own and operate a trucking company, are committed to the town and want to be a part of its revitalization. “It’s a little hidden secret,” Vickie said. “We want to help get the word out.”
The same could be said for High Tides on the Potomac and the Black Pearl Tiki Bar. Except, the word on the restaurant and bar has already spread far and wide. “We get people from all over,” said Vickie. “People come from Georgia and North Carolina for our weekend music events. It’s great.”