Trade Winds Lounge

Trade Winds Lounge

Years ago, a couple of merchant marine sailors found themselves far from their Florida homes, sailing in the South Sea Islands. In the seaside bars of ports of call throughout the islands, under slow-turning fans and over cool drinks, an idea began to take shape in the sailors’ minds: a lounge, back home in St. Augustine, that would recall the easy grace, the fun, the exotic charm of the island bars they visited. On their voyages, the two sailors collected and shipped home many of the artifacts — among them the solid teak bar, the grinning idol that squats on the back bar, the bamboo that adorns the “Dai Bar” — that decorate the lounge today. Even Trade Winds’ main trademark, and what people remember the most, the “Tropical Storm,” complete with lightning and thunder, echoes the island storms those two sailors heard so many years ago.

In the beginning, there was a wonderful Minorcan restaurant owned by Ms. Clara Meir, where as early as 1944, Granville Grissom and Sterling Andrews helped lay the groundwork for what was to become the lounge. With much anticipation on February 20, 1945, John Meigs and Kenneth Dow opened the South Seas Lounge.

Two years later, John Meigs had left, and on March 14, 1947, William S. Mills became Kenneth Dow’s partner. In the spring of 1949, C.F. Fisher and E.R. Carr bought the lounge and on May 17, 1954, sold the business to Rex Clark and Elizabeth Leonard Clark, the first of the Leonard family to own the business. After Rex Clark p

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