1The Sandy Beach area of Rocky Point has long been known for its awesome restaurant and night life scene with places like Wrecked at the Reef, Banditos, Tiki Bar and El Tapeo Wine Bar. Now, we all can add another MUST STOP to our list…SWIM POOLSIDE LOUNGE located at the Bella Sirena Resort. SWIM Poolside Lounge (or just SWIM as the locals call it) opened recently to a full renovation and addition to the old swim up bar and dry land bar and restaurant area. Whether you are swimming in the pool or walking up to the bar and restaurant, you can equally enjoy the kick-back, elegantly casual newest addition to the Rocky Point FUN scene. And, if anyone knows anything about FUN in and around town, well I can raise my hand and say, I SURE DO, and SWIM is an awesome place to kick back on a lazy afternoon and hear some local, live music and enjoy the tasty food and marvy libations!
Part of SWIM’s addition is an elevated stage that sits poolside with tiki torches burning beside it, showcased in some playfully swaying palm trees. The lounge seating consists of Sea of Cortez blue, over-stuffed couches complete with fireplaces to add to the perfect ambience once our Mexican sun goes down. The blue glow that illuminates throughout SWIM at night, from the restaurant signs to the fireplaces to the lighting, add to the relaxed vibe you get immediately after entering SWIM. SWIM also has a huge state of the art television complete with sound system to catch the latest sports and games.
I recently sat down with Scott Poturalski, one of the partners in SWIM Poolside Lounge for a chat…
Marco: Please tell me about you and what brought you to Rocky Point?
Scott: Our family first came to Peñasco back in 1972 and we fell in love with the beaches and the people immediately. Within a couple months of our first trip, my parents bought a beachfront lot at Playa Encanto and we built a small home there. It became our favorite place for family and friends to gather with us and ‘decompress’ from all that comes with going to school and our various corporate careers North of the border. Many of our family members began pursuing real estate and other business ventures here in the late ‘90’s and my mother still lives here at Playa Encanto, where she is affectionately known by many as the ‘queen of the beach’ there.
Marco: That’s funny…I bet she is! Tell me about your experience in the restaurant/bar business?
Scott: In the center of the Bella Sirena Resort along Sandy Beach there is a great little poolside bar and grill facility located along side our central pool that was originally opened and run by a restaurant operator out of Chicago. When that operator left, my wife Cathy and I picked up the facility because we saw it as such an important part of the experience in the Bella Sirena resort. Over a 4-year period, we think we built a great following of owners and friends that congregated there because of the friendly atmosphere, great food and on-going entertainment. It was kind of the “Cheers Bar” and the energy center of the resort.
Marco: Yes, I remember those days…I remember it to be an even stronger vibe than a Cheers Bar…it was where everyone on Sandy Beach met to greet, rekindle and plan their evenings and plans for the week! Best of all, it was all about new and old FRIENDSHIPS!
Scott: (Nodding…) We got away from the business a few years ago in order to pursue some other ventures and my wife Cathy and I have now partnered with another group to ‘share the load’ in bringing an updated and exciting amenity to the development and Sandy Beach and Peñasco!
Marco: What is the official name?
Scott: SWIM Poolside Lounge – please follow us on FaceBook at SWIM Poolside Lounge and Grill for updates on hours of operation, weekly specials, live music and events.
Marco: What makes SWIM unique to the other restaurants and cantinas around town and on Sandy Beach?
Scott: We are really lucky to start with being surrounded by a very ‘sexy’ setting that is complimented by the stunning pool and landscaping of the resort. We have added to that by recently completing a significant remodel that has produced what we like to think of as a classy, but still casual environment, with a little bit of ‘swanky’ to it. The new look includes a blend of an upscale beachside environment with industrial furniture applications, hardwood slatted pergolas, elevated dining deck, fire features, high-end TV’s, and a mix of lighting techniques that really gives the space a great feel.
Along with our atmosphere, our focus is consistency with our service, value, quality and variety of items offered from our menu and our bar staff. Although we are just getting ‘out of the gates’, we are blessed with a team that is comprised of prior and new staff members that are committed to providing our patrons an experience that is second to none.
From the very experienced mixology provided from Martin (our head bartender) to the food items designed and produced by our chef Toni (and his team), we expect to be a valuable amenity to Bella Sirena and the surrounding community.
Marco: Soooo cool! You can surely tell you all did your homework in the planning of SWIM! Please tell us about your Chef (Toni) and what types of food he’s bringing to us?
Scott: Our Chef Antonio (Toni) Acuna and his team of Selene and Banessa are a fantastic find for us. Toni graduated from the University of El Golfo de California and is originally from Mazatlan, where he worked at an organic farm-to-table restaurant. He has also worked in fine restaurants in Cabo San Lucas, and recently was the chef at Peñasco del Sol. Toni enjoys producing a wide variety of culinary delights and brings an inventive approach to his dishes, which includes a slant towards Asian-Fusion dishes. Acuna has loved being in a kitchen as long as he can remember, tracing his culinary beginnings to cooking at his grandmother’s side in her kitchen. As a grille that principally serves the Bella Sirena community, it is important that his team provide a solid set of basic food items on a consistent basis, but his talents will also allow him to offer unique and exceptional menu items. You’re in excellent hands with Chef Toni, who aims to “give people the best product I can, and that can’t happen without mixing a little love into everything that comes out of my kitchen.”
Along with weekly specials on Friday and Saturday nights, patrons will also be able to choose from a mix of more unique poolside options. Although our official opening is April 16th, the ‘soft opening’ menu included items like Fish Sliders, a Grilled Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce on a bed of fresh Jicama Slaw, Tuna Poke, and Shrimp Sautee with Quinoa. All, by the way…have received rave reviews! We hope to expand the kitchen shortly and broaden the menu at the same time, so please check our FaceBook page for updates and new offerings.
Marco: Toni is a great guy and comes out to smile and introduce himself to the patrons which helps to keep the vibe authentic and cool. I hear you are going to have live music? How often and when?
Scott: Yes, we plan to provide the community and guests with tasteful and fun live music entertainment…mostly on weekends during the afternoon and early evening hours. We will keep our Facebook updated with scheduled events. We currently have an agreement with the band formally known as Agua de Coco to play their Latin and Jazz stylings poolside on a regular basis. We will also be bringing in other types of artists, to include acoustic players and hopefully, our very own and extremely talented Bella Sirena owners, Ashley Leroux and Patricio Sullivan also known locally as their band name, Pashley & Amigos. You may have already seen them around town at other venues. They really know how to put on a great show!
Marco: I sure have, and Pashley & Amigos really know how to whoop it up for a full on good time! When does Happy Hour occur?
Scott: Although we are still ‘tuning’ our Happy Hour (so look for updates), we currently offer happy hour daily from 2-4, with $2 Cervezas and $3 Well Drinks, along with $1 off all other cocktails.
Marco: What are the hours and days of the business?
Scott: We are open 6-days a week (closed on Wednesdays), with the pool bar ready to serve at 11am and the kitchen at 11:30. Our typical close time for the kitchen is 9PM and the bar usually stays flowing until 10 or 10:30pm on weekends.
Marco: What is your favorite thing about being an owner of a local biz here in Peñasco such as SWIM?
Scott: The entire team appreciates being able to be surrounded by owners, guests and outside visitors that are in a great mood because they are typically on vacation and we get to help enhance their experience through fantastic food, drinks, service and attitude! We also really enjoy being able to involve and work with our family members including our lovely daughters, Megan and Erin and other close ‘family like’ friends on a daily basis. It is truly a blessing for us!
Marco: That’s just way awesome. Gracias mi hermano and I wish you all the success in the world!
I look forward to seeing you all down at SWIM Poolside Lounge for a spectacular afternoon and evening of FUN!!! Until next month, always remember what a super cool young man recently shared with me…“I’m different. I love fully. I laugh fully. I embrace life to the fullest and I love those around me and it’s in my nature to make everyone feel extra special. It’s who I am. When they are at their best it makes me the best. Build others up and watch them shine. It’s the best of all!” So, I challenge each of us this month to live up to his advice…
Be the BEST you can be and give it your HEART and the FUN will follow!!!
Adios Amigos…GOD BLESS!