Extraordinary Ordinaries: Local spot featured on 'Bar Rescue'

Walter Allen reports

- There is a lot of history and culture in and around the Tarpon Springs area.

"If you can't get to Greece, this is the next best, closest thing. It's all Greek to me! You won’t get any better food, culture and people," Anna Cladakis said.

She’s one of the owners of "The Bridge-for locals" in the area.

It didn’t always have that name, but businesses have been in their building since 1939.

It was called the Bridge Lounge back when Bill Cladakis bought it 15 years ago, and the family has owned it ever since.

"We had another nickname for it - we called it the scrounge lounge," said Crissy Cladakis with a laugh.

They soon lost that unsavory reputation, but they also lost most of their business when their cliental stopped coming to the area after the BP oil spill.

Bill thought that he'd try and enlist the show on Spike TV called "Bar Rescue" to see if they could come and help out a local watering hole that was losing an estimated $4,000 a month.

"It's unfortunate that we lost that industry, and he wrote to [Bar Rescue] and the crazy thing is, I didn't even know he wrote to the show."

Bar Rescue responded that they were interested in the family’s bar, but the great news came a few days late.

"He passed away suddenly, and he never got the chance to know that his little bar was chosen for Bar Rescue, said Anna. “We got together and thought that this was dad’s way of getting Bar Rescue to come to his little watering hole."

Now the bar has a face lift, a new meaning to the "Bridge" referring to the ship, and not a bridge between two land masses, but it never lost the identity of "Mr. Bill".

"It was him not only bringing us all together, but keeping his legacy alive. We never thought about closing the bar, but it was day-to-day. Now this just made us feel all together and feel that he is still with us."

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