The legendary King Kamehameha himself would have felt right at home in the Diamondhead Yacht Club's grand restaurant. In fact, he did. That's what Diamondhead's Krewe of Boaters calls its king, and it has held its Mardi Gras ball at the yacht club each year. |
One King Kamehameha was Diamondhead resident Leon Prima, brother of Louis, famed King of Swing. Louis made a royal visit to play his immortal music at his brother's Mardi Gras ball.
Opened in 1975, the distinctive Tiki hut shape of the yacht club was in keeping with Diamondhead's Hawaiian theme. A stylized representation of the shape is seen on Diamondhead residents' car stickers. Its shape was inspired by the extinct volcano on the island of Oahu. The décor, the brainchild of developer Purcell Co., extended to the country club and even to some homes in the gated community.
The yacht club's first chef was Bill Vrazel, a familiar Coast name to those who enjoy fine dining. After a stint as head chef, Vrazel opened his own restaurant in Diamondhead, and later moved to the former Angelo's, a Gulfport beach location that had long been a popular Italian restaurant.
Katrina's storm surge left little more than the yacht club's roof. The Ship's Store, a separate building alongside, and many piers and slips of the marina simply disappeared.
According to Chip Marz, Diamondhead Property Owners' Association general manager, the club is in the same position as innumerable other Coast buildings - awaiting insurance. The association will discuss ideas regarding its future, which may include rebuilding or leasing to a restaurateur to restore it to its former glory. "We're studying what to do," said Marz.