One of the greatest bars and restaurants in Utila has ceased to exist. As a matter of fact, it pretty much died when its founder, Lee Odelein passed away a few months ago. Rehab Bar came to be under the direction of Lee. He was a friendly, charismatic fellow who knew how to run a restaurant bar. Although Rehab Bar had several locations during its life, the most successful one was without doubt next to Chepe’s Beach. This is the popular public beach that is West of Utila Town, towards the Blue Bayou. This location allowed you to enjoy the beach and then walk in to the bar for an ice cold beer or a good dinner. You could also the scene on the beach and have easy access to yet another ice cold beer.
Rehab had a spacious deck over the water that allowed you to look out at the beach goers. It also was set perfectly to catch the trade winds and keep you cool. They even had an open air deck for you to sit under the sun in a hammock or lounge and work on your suntan! Best of all, they had the coldest beers on the island.
When Lee passed away, two different groups tried to take over Rehab Bar. Lee’s significant other took over the business, but since the lease was signed by Lee, it was not renewed. The landowner took over the locale, but had to change the name. He went for Relapse Bar and kept the same menu. The new owner moved the business into town, to a family owned property just east of the Municipal dock. She too kept the same menu and of course the name. Sadly, earlier this month they closed their doors. As such, its official: Rehab Bar is dead. RIP Rehab Bar!
Although the Relapse Bar is quite the same as the old Rehab, it does not have Lee managing it. Some places need that special soul to make them unique. For Rehab Bar, it was Lee. With Lee gone, the Rehab bar no longer is. Cheers to all the good times spent at the Rehab Bar in Utila!
The other great Utila Bar was celebrating 15 years last week! Of course, I am talking about the Tranquila Bar, a true institution in Utila. An inspiration for many looking to set up a bar in Utila. Bars do not usually last very long, and Tranquila Bar is without doubt the exception on the island of Utila. I was not able to stay an extra night in Utila to celebrate at the Tranquila Bar. But I can only imagine it was one heck of a party! Happy Birthday Tranquila Bar! Here is for many, many more years as Utila’s premier spot for fun times!