In the latter half of the 1970s, a genuine Polish noble, the Baron Jerzy Hubert Edward von Dangel (“Call me George”), graced our lovely Bora Bora with his presence. His vivid imagination and his ability as a slyly humorous showman combined to give birth, in November of 1979, to an establishment that has become a Bora Bora icon, the justly famed seafood specialty restaurant, Bloody Mary’s. When George decided to sell his choice of a buyer was a stroke of near genius.
Among Bora Bora early guests was a Los Angeles businessman, Mr. Dexter Hewett. He has managed more or less annual visits from 1961 to the present day. Dexter made a really close look at what the Baron was offering and, ultimately, decided to buy.
The decision made, Dexter asked Craig Goold, with whom he had discussed the project, to come with him as manager. Later on Craig went to Hawaii to put the kids in school. And Rick Guenett became general manager.
Craig and Rick, casually acquainted in Southern California, became good friends when both of them were working in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. “Dexter and Rick wanted me to come back to Bloody Mary’s in 1996,” Craig says. “Rick was the general manager, and I came back as the restaurant and purchasing manager.”
“In Bora Bora when you hear someone laugh behind you, you might think they’re 12 years old. Then you turn around and see that they’re 60, and that’s magic,” Rick says.
“This is the old Tahiti right here,” Rick says, indicating the restaurant’s thatched roof, open sides, white sand floor, wooden slab tables and stools made of coconut stumps. “This is a big Fare Tiurai (the baraques or carnival type huts built for the Heiva Festival each July). All we’ve done is add the varnish.”
Each evening, a verbal explanation, which can be told in seven different languages is made of the fresh fish on display as guests choose the piece de resistance for their seafood repasts. The fish are named, their habitats identified, and perhaps a preparation is recommended. “We get the best and freshest fish and seafood in Bora Bora because we give the fishermen a check instead of making them wait 30 days to be paid” says Rick.
Celebrities from around the globe stayed in Bora Bora and made the stroll to Bloody Mary’s, there to be greeted as honored guests and, hopefully, future friends. As a result of this display of respectful camaraderie, a number of famous personalities became dedicated return guests, and, in some cases, offered impromptu demonstrations of their exceptional talents that delighted all present.
Such renowned artists as Jimmy Buffet, Julio Iglesias, Steven Bishop,
Commander Cody and Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones, to name a few,
played and sang concerts in the restaurant at one time or another.
Other celebrities and honored return guests, were Pierce Brosnan and his family, Mr. and Mrs. Buzz Aldrin, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Phil Jackson of the Los Angeles Lakers.
People come to Bloody Mary's restaurant to enjoy some good food and drinks. Some also come here in hopes of seeing a famous movie or television star, or a well-known singer or stage personality. And sometimes they do see a familiar public face. On the two “walls of fame” at the entrance, there are 230 names of famous personalities who have dined here.