The Barefoot Bar Story, est. 2002
Inspired by his many travels to the Florida Keys, Butch Parks brought his love of the laid back island lifestyle to life on the lakeside of Parks Marina on East Lake Okoboji, Iowa in 2002.
He enlisted the help of his son, Brady Parks to build the original Tiki Hut. In his love for reclaiming old materials, the lumber for the tiki hut came from storage and shelving racks of the historic Okoboji Boats storage building.
And for authenticity, the roof is made of palm tree leaves purchased from Seminole Indians in Okeechobee, Florida. Because the leaves must still be fresh and green when attached to the roof, they had to be cut late in the afternoon, loaded into a refrigerated truck and shipped immediately to Iowa to be applied at once. The roof will last ten years and withstands hurricane force winds.
Look closely at the trees and you will see that they are real palms! These trees came from Homestead, Florida just south of Miami. They require very warm weather and spend their winters in our glass showroom.
Some will actually produce coconuts when they reach 20'. Fresh trees are hand-picked by Butch every year from a plantation in Florida, trucked and planted in pots for all to enjoy.
This island vibe felt so good to patrons, that what started as a small tiki hut with a few palm trees and tables has expanded to more huts, live entertainment, shopping and dining. Patrons keep coming back to see what is new, and new patrons come to see if it's real - in Northwest Iowa! Such a destination, we are now known as the World Famous Barefoot Bar.