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House of the Rising Sun becomes Shark Bar and Grill
October 11, 2017

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Fort Myers Beach's art bar has a new name and new owners, but it's keeping the same good vibes.

House of the Rising Sun Art Bar transferred ownership at the end of September; new owners and local seasonal residents Phil and Denis Karda brought a new logo along, but otherwise plan to keep the original mission of previous owner, Chelsey Cook.

"I wanted to honor her creation," Denis Karda said. "It would be a disservice to the community here to change that."

The shop, bar and outdoor garden, located at 17979 San Carlos Blvd., will still feature a showcase shop of local artists' work in the front, along with its indoor bar. The outside still has its own bar and beautiful lawn space.

Denis Karda has lots of ideas to expand. She's continuing to hold many community events, such as the Tuesday painting classes, Thursday craft classes and live music in the garden. She's hoping to set up monthly "art walks" where both artists in the shop and other area artists can set up tables and sell their wares, as well as artist demos so patrons can see the work that goes into someone's passion.

"People see the end result, they don't know the hours it took to make that piece of art," she said.

The Karda's are working on installing a Larue mister, which will help to keep no-see-ums at bay. They've also got some family-friendly events planned, such as a pumpkin painting event on Oct. 21.

Shark Bar's new hours are 11 a.m.to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m.to 1 a.m.Friday and Saturday. Once the pest management system is installed, they plan to host yoga in the back yard in the morning and aim to have a grill and food service up and running by November.

Why sharks?

Denis and Phil have a shark bar in their own home that they built; Bruce, their large model shark, is moving to their new venture, Denis said. Phil designed the logo to incorporates the artistic vibes that Cook brought to the building.

When Karda saw Cook post on social media that she had to shut the bar down for personal reasons, Denis said she just thought that shouldn't happen.

"It's so unique. There's nothing like it around here," she said. "It would be too bad to lose that."

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Regular Size Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer