Baumhower's opens LA Teen Club at The Wharf

Posted 7/4/13

ORANGE BEACH – If you visit the newest dance club in Orange Beach expect to get carded.

And don’t expect to get in if you’re of the “legal” age of 21.

“The ages that we’re looking for are 13 to 17,” LA Teen Club owner Bob …

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Baumhower's opens LA Teen Club at The Wharf


ORANGE BEACH – If you visit the newest dance club in Orange Beach expect to get carded.

And don’t expect to get in if you’re of the “legal” age of 21.

“The ages that we’re looking for are 13 to 17,” LA Teen Club owner Bob Baumhower said. “You get carded there if you’re too old. It’s kind of reverse.”

The club is Baumhower’s fifth business at The Wharf and operated by his company, Aloha Hospitality. Aloha also owns the Compleat Angler, Baumhower’s, Bimini Bob’s and the Compleat Studio, a studio to promote local art and artists.

“It’s a work in progress, but it’s a really nice spot for teens,” Baumhower said. “If some 12 year olds come by or younger than 12 year olds come by we will certainly let them come in and have some fun.”

The club offers a few snacks and cold drinks, thumping music and strobe lights bouncing off colorful walls. There is a nightly $10 cover charge for the club's Thursday through Saturday schedule, but Baumhower says the club can be booked for private parties.

“We’re selling tropic Italian ice and we’ve got Pepsi products in there,” Baumhower said. “We’ve got a great disc jockey who does a really good job with the lights and the sound system. We have an area for the young folks to sit down and visit and socialize. I talked to some of the folks from the local schools, the high school, and they thought it was a great idea.”

With teen-aged children himself, Baumhower wanted a place that was fun, but also safe.

“I’m an overprotective dad, big-time,” he said. “We have an off-duty officer there every day. Whether you’re a local or somebody coming down to enjoy our beaches where do teen agers go in the evening where they can have a lot of fun and listen to some good music, dance if they want to and meet some other kids their ages. The options are limited when it comes to the teen ager.”

First Baumhower approached The Wharf officials about putting in a dance club at The Wharf and Jon Adcock of PTE Productions, one of the companies that produced the nightly light show at The Wharf, came up with the idea for teen club.

“Jon Adcock, we started talking, and I had talked to a couple of The Wharf folks about a place where people could come and dance at night,” Baumhower said. “I wasn’t thinking teen club and that idea came from him. We asked around, we talked to some of the city leadership in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach and they all thought it was a great idea.”

It also coincides with light show since the club hours are 7-11 p.m.

“It’s right there when we have the light show at 8:30 and 9:15,” Baumhower said. “We’re having the teen club open Thursday through Saturday 7-11 p.m. so there’s a lot going on there for young folks to come by and have a good time, enjoy The Wharf, enjoy the light show. And then to be able to come in to the teen club and have a place for them to be able to hang out and do their own thing in a really nice setting and well-supervised atmosphere.”

In return, Baumhower says, the light show is helping draw teens to the dance club as well.

“The light show is getting more and more popular so that is bringing more and more kids to the teen club,” he said. “We’re giving it a shot and hopefully the folks will enjoy it. It’s slow to build, but more and more kids are learning about it, more and more kids are coming in.”

Baumhower said the light show is also getting attention from other vacation destinations.

“I had some folks from the Bahamas yesterday with the tourism department,” he said. “They are buddies of mine from back in the day when I was playing ball and I used to go to Bimini all the time. They said ‘we need our minister of tourism to come see what you guys are doing down here.’ They were so impressed by that light show and all the folks that were out there. It is first class and the kids love it. It is absolutely fantastic. It’s a really nice thing to have down here.”

Its part of the way The Wharf is trying to attract more and more people to its “100 days of Summer” promotion. The marina now offers dolphin cruises and kayak excursions. There’s a daily carnival with rides for kids and carnival food as well on south Main Street.

Also available are helicopter tours from a pad in front of the Orange Beach Events center.

And Baumhower’s Compleat Angler plays host to a Sunset Festival every Wednesday from 2-9 p.m. with food and drink specials at all three of his restaurants.

A stellar lineup of concerts at the amphitheater continues tonight when Alabama takes the stage. Dave Mathews comes to town on July 23 and on Aug. 1 Casting Crowns comes to town. On Aug. 3 the Rewind Fest rolls in with five bands offering tribute to Def Leperd, AC/DC, Pearl Jam, Kiss and Bon Jovi.

The Top of the Hops beer festival returns to the green at the marina on Aug. 10.