The Pearl: A boutique hotel for the ages

Published: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 05:00 PM.

The hotel was half built when Shoaf found it, and had sat vacant for five or six years, abandoned during the downturn in the market.

Shoaf and his partners took over but did not change the hotel's design, only adding the black and white awnings you see today.

However, they were able to have more of a hand in the design of the hotel's first-floor restaurant and bar.

Shoaf said The Pearl's Havana Beach Bar & Grill was fashioned after the popular El Floridita, a frequent haunt of Hemingway in old-town Havana , Cuba .

"We felt this coast wanted a real bar such as El Floridita," he said. "I grew up in Latin America and had a lot of experience with hotels in South America and Latin America . They are always grand but not intrusive, welcoming, and always have high ceilings."

Pictures of the El Floridita were obtained and it became the inspiration for the Havana Beach Bar & Grill.

"All the rest grew around the bar," he said. "Notice when you go in, on the left side of the bar is a picture of the Floridita and a bust of Hemingway. We are proud we were the visionaries of this and proud of the way it turned out."

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