Denver, Colorado, United States
The Shark Bait Ooh Ha Ha Tiki Bar & Lauhala Lounge (Shark Bait Lounge for short) is the home tiki bar of Jeff & Amber Ellis. It was built in September 2009 in the basement of their 1956 brick ranch home in the Harvey Park neighborhood of southwest Denver. The name comes from the scene in Finding Nemo when Nemo is initiated by his tank-mates in the dentist's office. Inspiration for the bar has come from many sources, but mostly Disneyland and the Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale.
The color scheme is based on some vintage fabric remnants the couple purchased at Tiki Oasis in 2010. The main space is divided into two sections: the more nautical themed bar and galley, and the more traditional bamboo trimmed, and lauhala matted lounge. In the far corner of the lounge stands a 7-foot papier mach tiki the couple built in their 2-bedroom apartment when they first started living together. The lounge area also features a tropical tiki garden, and a Shag-esque mid-century modern nook.
Two additional rooms off the main space include a Skipper's Office, and a Volcano Room with active volcano that can be seen glowing through the dense vegetation of the tiki garden. The Shark Bait Lounge also features thunder and lightning effects, vibrating bar stools, and a video porthole. The bar is a living, breathing thing, changing frequently as the couple tinkers after work and on weekends, adding effects, upgrading sections, and refining the overall design.
Jeff and Amber enjoy cocktails in the bar on a regular basis. During the holidays they entertain close friends and family; and about twice a year they host bigger parties for their extended circle of friends. The lounge is also a regular stop on the Denver Tiki Home Bar Tour.