It’s not every day you hear the phrase, “…and then we’ll release the live mermaids.”
But each Tuesday night, everyone who attends The Beach Klub’s Avon Luau gets the opportunity to see — and even swim alongside — a pair of living, breathing mer-ladies.
And that’s in addition to the other entertainment offered at the Avon Luau, including hula dancers, fire-spinners, and the infectious, toe-tapping musical stylings of The Librarians, a five-man outfit that serves as The Beach Klub’s house band and plays a mix of pop, indie and folk rock.
The Avon Luau is just one item on the buffet of out-of-the-ordinary experiences served up by the folks at The Beach Klub in Avon.
Located on the oceanfront beside the Avon Pier, The Beach Klub features a swimming pool surrounded by tables and lounge chairs, an outdoor recreation center, a concession stand, a tiki bar, two covered lounge areas, an observation deck with beautiful views of the coastline, and a private boardwalk to the beach.
It is the most recent addition to the award-winning Koru Village campus, and, not only is it the only venue of its kind on the Outer Banks, but, with the addition last year of the 4,000 square foot, state-of-the-art PapaWack Theater, The Beach Klub now has North Carolina’s only oceanfront theater.
It truly is a one-of-a-kind establishment, and during the summer, members and guests alike can enjoy the array of high-quality entertainment options that The Beach Klub offers each weeknight—including an authentic Hawaiian-style Luau on Tuesday nights, a parent- and booze-free Teen Night on Wednesdays, and a Thursday night concert series that features artists such as The Embers and The Original Wailers.
Koru Village, owned and operated by Joe Thompson and his family, is probably best known for its spa, salon, and fitness center, which has been providing guests and residents of Hatteras Island with a variety of health and wellness services for years.
And while, on the surface, live music and quirky entertainment may seem like a slight departure from Koru Village’s otherwise Zen-like approach to physical and spiritual health, it is, in many ways, a natural expansion of the Koru Village ethos—a holistic attitude toward health and happiness that embraces fun, excitement, and conviviality as integral parts of a person’s overall well being.
“It’s not just about building beach clubs and theaters,” Thompson explained from his playful perch in one of The Beach Klub’s wildly oversized Adirondack chairs.
“Look around you. What are all these people doing?”
Whether they were swimming in the pool, enjoying food and drinks from the tiki bar, playing with the hula hoops, or simply standing on the observation deck, taking it all in, it was pretty clear that most people were having a good time.
“People want different experiences,” he said. “And our goal here is to take them back to their childhood…to bring out their inner child.”
It’s an important goal, one for which Thompson seems well-suited, since he happens to know a thing or two about reconnecting with that child-like instinct to seek out and enjoy new experiences.
He began his career on Hatteras as a builder and developer with Land’s End Construction, but Thompson is an adventurer and an explorer at heart. And Koru Village, he said, has allowed him to get back to those roots.
Now, with The Beach Klub, he has a chance to help others do the same — whether they’re down for a few weeks on vacation or here on the island for the long haul.
Equally important, The Beach Klub affords him the opportunity to give back to the community that has made it all possible — an opportunity that Thompson makes every effort to seize.
The Beach Klub has been the venue for a number of community-oriented and fund-raising events. This spring, the club hosted the Cape Hatteras Secondary School prom, as well as a barbecue event that raised funds for the Hatteras Island Meals organization.
In addition, the club hosted the Shore Break 5K, which benefitted the Cape Hatteras Education Foundation, and Rock the Cape, a food, music, and art mini-festival to benefit the Dare County Arts Council.
Coming up this Thursday, Aug. 1, they will be hosting the second annual Avon Fashion Show, which will feature local models showing off the clothing and accessories from some of the island’s stores, as well as sporting the sartorial innovations of several local designers. Admission to the show will be a cash or clothing donation, and all proceeds will go to the Hotline organization.
Finally, on Saturday, Sept. 28, the Beach Klub will host Summeritaville, a fundraiser for the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce that will feature live music and entertainment, as well as local food and local arts and crafts vendors.
While Thompson hopes that all these events will give locals a chance to get together and enjoy themselves while still supporting the larger community, his motives for hosting these events go much deeper.
“We have these incredible tourism opportunities,” he said. “People come here from all over to experience our way of life. And I don’t see how you can take from that without giving something back.”
The idea of giving back is a critical part of the Thompson family philosophy.
“Every night…we pray for two things. We pray for a good night’s sleep, and we pray that we will leave the world better than we found it.”
It’s a worthy goal, but it’s one that requires more than just a hope and a prayer. Implicit in the dream of making the world a better place is the reality that it has to change. It’s a necessary component of improvement, and when you’re on a quest to improve the world you found, you can’t be afraid to shake things up a little.
Luckily, Thompson isn’t scared of change. In fact, he embraces it.
“I spend a lot of time on the edge,” Thompson said. “And what I’ve learned is, people love the edge. They love going to the edge as long as someone’s there, holding their hand.”
And Thompson is willing, eager even, to be that person. The Avon Luau is a perfect example.
“I wanted an event that was super family friendly,” said Beach Klub owner Joe Thompson. “And I was thinking, what can we add that will make this even more special?”
That’s when it hit him. Mermaids.
So, he went online, searched until he located some functional mermaid tails, found some willing employees, and came up with the idea to roll the “live mermaids” to the edge of the pool on a low, specially-designed platform, and then “release” them into the water.
It may sound gimmicky, but the smiles on the faces of the hoard of curious children who immediately swarmed the mermaids were genuine, and you didn’t have to look very far to see that the little kids weren’t the only ones having a good time—the big kids were enjoying themselves, too.
“With the Luau, we wanted to break down all the barriers,” Thompson said. “Because at the end of the day, when everyone’s dancing and singing and having fun—young, old, local, visitor, man, woman, black, white—it doesn’t matter.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more details about Koru Village and The Beach Klub, including a full list of services offered and a schedule of upcoming events, visit www.koruvillage.com, or, check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Koru-Village-and-Spa/305511879492980?fref=ts
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