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Palapas are basically synonymous with the beach experience. With a roof consisting generally of palm fronds placed atop large trunks, the rustic and frequently open construction of a palapa is an inviting spot for a siesta…or fiesta. What’s with all this talk about palapas? Well, in a strange twist of fate, the palapa over Banditos in the area of Sandy Beach is staying put through the summer despite initial plans to replace fronds and the sort through the latter part of July and into August. That’s right, Banditos is open for the summer (closed Tuesdays / Wednesdays), with the local group Riband back on stage Friday and Saturday nights!
Bandito management tells us palapa materials coming from Sinaloa were damaged from flooding, and, after holding out hope to get palapa materials from some other part of Mexico, they reached a decision to keep this spot of “refuge and refreshment” open through the summer. The current plan, Banditos explains, is to put off replacing the roof for now so they’ll be open through July and August, though various staff are also taking advantage of a little vacation time. “Rather than close down completely, we decided to stay open in the interest of customers and staff, plus they can make more than just vacation pay…and hope to make it worthwhile,” explains Dan Jellum, part of the Roger Clyne and amigos group that run Banditos.
Curiously, in preparation for the anticipated down time, kitchen staff had worked hard through the World Cup final (which was to be their last day open pre-new-palapa) to literally clean out the fridge. Excess food was even donated to area charities before the planned closing. Yet, with Banditos open for business through the coming months the kitchen is back up and running, and may I suggest you try the chile rellenos or jalapeño poppers!
This weekend Riband is on Banditos stage – Friday, July 18th 9:30 p.m., and Saturday, July 19th about 10:15 p.m.