Locals might not be able to sit at their favorite bars surrounded by others, but some bars like

Tiki-Ko continue to provide a sense of community for their regular customers.

Tiki-Ko co-owner Roy Scarazzo said the idea of a Mug Club originates from other tiki bars everywhere. Mug Clubs are hosted in different cities with tiki bars where guests bring in their own tiki mugs to showcase.

“Wednesday night (before the pandemic), our customers would bring in their own mugs and you’d get a dollar off your menu drinks,” he said.

Mug Club became more than just a Wednesday night. The people behind Mug Club became a community and family.

Though Tiki-Ko has closed its doors since the coronavirus pandemic, Scazzaro and his team are still trying to find ways to connect with their tiki community.

“We wanted to remind people we’re still here. There was a pretty tight-knit group of people coming in every Wednesday with their mug, and we wanted to make sure they still had a place to hang out and talk to each other and still feel that sense of community,” he said.

Scarazzo said Tiki-Ko hosts an Instagram Live for its community where bartenders come in, create drinks and showcase different tiki mugs at the bar.

Tiki-Ko also began selling prepackaged liquor for customers. Scarazzo said he wanted to be able to bring Tiki-Ko inside people’s homes by preparing drink mixes.

“We put our prepackaged mixes up for sale Monday evening and Friday morning we cut off the sale. We do everything fresh — we squeeze all the juice fresh and the syrups are fresh. We put that together for our customers on that Friday,” he said.

Scarazzo wanted to make sure Tiki-Ko continued its business and community with its guests.

“A lot of my favorite bars are places where you can get a beer and a shot. We’re really lucky our customers are showing up for Mug Club and ordering with us,” he said.

With Instagram Live, the Tiki-Ko bartenders create different recipes while walking their audience through the process and rums.

“It’s been really positive. We have regulars that tune into our Instagram Lives and we have regulars that place orders with us for pick up. People like the idea of making things from scratch and making their own drinks on a Friday,” he said.

To find more information about Mug Club, visit www.tiki-ko.com or @Tikikobakersfield on Instagram. 

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