Are you ready for a rags to riches story with a south-of-the-border twist? One of the most famous bars in Mexico, the Giggling Marlin, has just such a story. And there is a lesson here for anyone with a passion to follow a dream mixed in with a splash of risk taking.
In the early days Cabo San Lucas was just another sleepy fishing village located at the tip of the Baja Peninsula. The weather was great, the beaches were incredible, the fishing was spectacular, and Cabo had all of the elements of the perfect destination getaway...except for one thing. You couldn't get there from here.
For decades those who enjoyed the secret treasures of Cabo were either die-hard fishermen who had friends to fly them down in small airplanes, or those who dared to boat down from the States along Baja's desolate coastline. Only those who were totally crazy would dare to drive down the 1,000 + miles on the dirt road from the US border.
But in 1976 the Mexican Government completed Baja's Transpeninsular Highway, linking Cabo with the rest of the world. And a few years later Mexico completed an international airport in nearby San Jose Del Cabo. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Cabo San Lucas was about to explode.
Enter two fishing and drinking buddies from southern California. They loved the Cape and Cabo San Lucas, but found it seriously lacking in any kind of civilized drinking establishment. So they took a gamble, rustled together some money, built the Giggling Marlin, and rode of into the Baja sunset with enough bait money to last them a lifetime.
The Giggling Marlin was then, and is today, one of the funnest bars in Mexico. The popularity of this famous watering hole is due in no small part to the word of mouth about the bars famous "hang 'em high" photo op at the far end of the bar. This is where over-served customers get their feet strapped into shackles and then hoisted upside down in front of a smiling 8 foot marlin. Hence the name of the place.
Photos of drunken Gringos hanging upside down next to the grinning sailfish started making thier way back up into the States, as did the rumors about how much fun the bar was even when standing upright. Year by year the popularity of the Giggling Marlin grew and now it is a true Cabo landmark.
The Marlin today is just as much fun as it was in those early days. Yeh, there are probably a few less fights between guys with tatoos, a few more visitors of the female gender, and the cold Corona's are no longer 25 cents per bottle. But it's hard to walk out of the place without a smile on your face and a few good memories.
Although the establishment is open during the day for lunch and libations, the evening activity usually gathers momentum each night aroud 9:00 p.m. Shortly thereafter a very well orchestrated floor show begins on the dance floor, with audience participation a big part of the formula. Girls, get your ya-ya's warmed up.
The floor show is the catalyst to get the fun started, and soon thereafter the DJ works his magic enticing guys and gals to get crazy on the dance floor. Unless it's one of those really crazy nights where a few hot girls jump up on the bar to put on a wild show of their own. This happens so often at the Giggling Marlin that the management has installed a permanent set of dance poles on the bar. Yikes!
Between the great music, the talented floor shows, the fun dancing and Vodka-Jello body shots...if a person can't have a good time at the Giggling Marlin maybe it's time to go back to the hotel room and refold those dirty socks. The Marlin rocks so strong that Carlos Fiesta spent a week there one night.
Carlos Fiesta's Hot Tip
To really enjoy the nightly floor show at the Giggling Marlin it's best to grab a table early. At 8:30 pm there are usually plenty of good tables to be had. But by 9:15 pm you might get stuck standing in the corner next to a guy named Billy Bob from Texas. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But it's fun to sit back at a table, relax, and enjoy the show. Ole!
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