Muskoka Beach Chic

How a Surf Club Revival Puts the Boogie Back in Port Carling

Frankie Avalon. Gidget. Moondoggie. Beach Blanket Bingo. It’s 1960s beach chic and it’s come to Muskoka.

Or shall we say… it’s come back to Muskoka.

Nearly 50 years since its inception, Frankies Surf Club has reopened in the iconic Muskoka town of Port Carling. From 1968-1974, the Port Carling Surf Club – a.k.a. Frankies — was a hip hangout for cottage kids. Think: pinball, Criss Cross Pop Up, and black-curtained photo booths. But, like local dairy bars, PEPs, and Polaroid Instant Cameras,  Frankies Surf Club disappeared….

Frankie Avalon & Anette Funicello

Frankie Avalon & Anette Funicello

Until now. This summer it’s back. Ian McGrenaghan and Colin Tooke, owners of Toronto’s cult-followed Grand Electric and Electric Mud BBQ, caught wind of Port Carling’s modish past and worked to recreate Frankies, giving Muskoka a fresh take on local nostalgia.

Beach Bar / Social Club 

Frankies Social Club

Frankies Social Club

“Frankies is a place to relax during the day and let loose at night,” says Tooke. “Think wooden boats and wayfarers, campfires and cocktails, surf tees and bikinis, and Sunday socials in a northern paradise.”

The new FSC is part east coast beach bar, part vintage Muskoka social club. Live music. BBQs. Movie nights. Savvy brands such as Frank & Oak, the Bather Trunk Co., and Kini Bikini show up on the boutique’s racks. They’re mixed in with a bright ‘n airy coffee and juice bar, serving sustenance that’s both healthful and electric. But naturally, there’s a cocktail bar, too, serving sweet, tiki-inspired Caribbean drinks. Says McGrenaghan: “Bright, boozy and easily drinkable, these cocktails are less about complex ingredients and more about easing you into a sunny day on the water.”

“Think wooden boats and wayfarers, campfires and cocktails, surf tees and bikinis… ”

— Colin Tooke

Check It Out

Sounds like a MuskokaStyle hangout. Check out the new Frankies Surf Club at 2 James Bartleman Way in Port Carling, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada. Twitter: @FrankiesSurf  Instagram: @FrankiesSurfClub  Facebook: Frankies Surf Club

Do You Remember…?

Do you remember the original Frankies Surf Club? Make a comment, we’d love to hear from you.


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Photos: Frankies Surf Club

Avalon & Funicello Photo:

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