Like many a red-blooded American boy, I grew up having a crush on the comic book’s king of the seas, Aquaman! Sure his powers were lame, talking to fish, but his long flowing blond hair made him different from other superheroes. I got to relive those fantasies as I sat in the Wreck Bar at the B Ocean Hotel and took in the Aquamen Burlesque show.
Porthole bars were common in South Florida in the 1950s and ‘60s. One of the few to survive, B Ocean Hotel’s Wreck Bar, designed to resemble the inside of a shipwreck, complete with “broken” deck planks, has been around since the hotel’s days as the Yankee Clipper in the 1950s. In 1965, the Wreck Bar ceased regular performances, but the windows into the hotel’s pool remained. When the B Ocean Hotel opened, they brought back the kitschy shows, but with more of an adult edge.
The Aquanauts, along with their distaff cohorts, the Aquacats, perform other days of the week, including an all-ages family-friendly show on weekends. But Thursday night is when you want to attend and watch the guys flip their tails in America’s first all-male underwater burlesque show, where you can sip a cocktail and watch through porthole windows into one of the hotel’s pools as the guys strip down to their G-strings.
Not only can you see through the square windows, the Aquanauts bump and grind right on them. As for the men, they range from lean and muscled bald guys to a cute little twink with flowing hair and the host and MC, a few years past his prime, but oozing with sex appeal, working that jiggly ass like a 20-year-old. And when he strips down to a G-string his, ahem, “dorsal fin,” will make your jaw drop.
What would a visit to a show like this be without the addition of tropical drinks? Wreck Bar has a full menu of the classics, including many with a new spin on them and drinks that are sure to become classics. Our attentive and friendly bartender Mark made some excellent suggestions. I started with the classic Mai Tai, made with Captain Morgan white rum, dark rum, Curacao, OJ, orgeat, and lime. Even through all that sweetness, I could tell that this drink would knock me on my ass (and I wanted to sample another concoction), so I asked Mark for half a glass of soda and watered it down a bit. He also made a virgin mojito for my teetotaling husband.
After that drink, I decided that I should put some food into my body to absorb the alcohol. I opted for the redundantly named Di Mare Seafood Ceviche. It was easily enough to serve as an entrée or to be shared by two as an appetizer. Corvina, clams, shrimp, and calamari swam in a citrusy broth topped by a small order of fried calamari. A side dish of fried Brussels sprouts suffered from a lack of seasoning, a bit of salt and pepper took care of that. My hubby loved his salmon and Parmesan-truffle French fries. Both parts of the dish were perfectly prepared.
Your ticket includes a $35 credit towards food and drink, performances are included, but tips are not. Whatever you do, bring some cash because after the show the “mermen” work the room in their skimpy finale costumes collecting tips. The guys were friendly and seemed to enjoy their work.
Rick Karlin is OutSFL's food editor. Have a culinary tip to share? Email Rick at