Our little tin shed by the sea is about as cool and cozy as it gets. Simple and classic in its construction, it houses all of our gear and goods and is the staging point for all of our discoveries and dreams.
In December of 2012, a small “For Rent” sign hung on the corrugated tin where the COAST sign now stands. We saw it by accident on the way to the bar just down the road and pulled over abruptly. One phone call and 30 minutes later, the spot was ours. And COAST – after a year’s worth of napkin scribbles and daydreams – was ready to roll.
Back in the late-1970s, the tin shed was built, and for the next two decades was used for a local boatbuilding operation – Spencer’s Boatworks. Local fishing boats were designed and built for the then-active commercial fishing industry. Remnants of those days – like fiberglass crust and resin puddles – still exist on every surface of the building and corner of the outdoor space.
For the next decade or so, it was a fisherman’s hangout – where tall tails were told and broken traps, nets, and dreams were mended. Thousands of rusty bottle caps – mostly Grolsch – and crab pot tags still sift around the dusty parking lot; each one adding to the history and high jinks of the space we now call home.
We’re stoked and humbled to be tied to such an authentic seaside lineage. Big shoes to fill out here, no doubt, but we’re happy to carry on the traditions of the tradesmen by the sea.
When we took over the space we had a blank, albeit dingy, canvas to work with. Looking to our surroundings for inspiration — the old industrial fishing harbor of Key West — we soon found there was an overabundance of raw, rugged, and radical materials readily available for price we could afford — free!
Dumpster dives, maritime salvage, and tidal offerings brought us driftwood and dock line; planks, pallets and pipes — all put to good use as merchandising displays for our expanding product line. A little paint here and there, some sanding and stain and a quick dusting and we were ready to go.
It started as a dusty lot with a few weeds and beat up chain link fencing—complete with barbed wire at the top to keep the riffraff out. Those elements all still exist — riffraff, too. But we added a few boardwalks from reclaimed dock planks, scored some expired lobster traps to section off a couple of areas, built a salvaged driftwood stage for bands to play on, hung some blown out sails to create shade and then invited our friends over to re-break it all in.
The outdoor space has loads of soul and we can’t think of a better place — on land — to spend our days.