The first thing a bar or restaurant needs in order be successful is a signature menu item.
Something that is unique to it that no other place has, be it a crazy cocktail or an out-of-this-world burger. I call it the equivalent of the song “Margaritaville.” Even if you don’t know anything else about Jimmy Buffett, you know him because of that song and you know that song.
And from the night it first opened its doors at a bright-yellow building in Manhattan Beach’s quirky north end known as El Porto, Sharkeez had that menu item. It was the Shark Attack and it was served in a giant, white plastic bucket, complete with multiple straws and a “shark” swimming around in the red liquid of several rums and who-knows-what-else ingredients. It was the ultimate group party drink.
The buckets were such an identifiable mark for Sharkeez that Team PubClub.com wore them on our heads during the Redondo Beach Super Bowl 10K one year. Heck, we probably would have won the costume contest had we woke up in time for it but it was all we could to to make it to the race’s starting line at 8:30 a.m. After a night at Sharkeez, of course.
During the pandemic, tho, the buckets were put on the shelf because shared drinks were not allowed. In their place, Sharkeez created smaller, individual buckets.
But now the big buckets are back. Along with large, plastic goldfish bowls. A whopping 84 ounces, too. The originals were “only” 64 ounces.
I managed to drink one all by myself one time. It was to numb the pain of a former girlfriend telling me that our time together was done after I had gone back to her to seek a more serious – I’m talking potential marriage – relationship, a move that came too late on my part. Let’s just say that I did not wake up at the crack of dawn the next day.
Today, there are a lot more Sharkeez to share a bucket, as there are locations all up and down the Southern California coast: Hermosa Beach, Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Newport Beach and Santa Barbara.
There are also several other potent varieties of bucket cocktails than the original Shark Attack. Tho that one is still my favorite. Part of that is because I love rum and part of it is for sentimental reasons.
So go get your Shark Attack on at Sharkeez, folks!