Exploring A Very Cool Spot: Polo’s Golf Cart Rentals and Gift Shop
My first job in San Pedro, one I was hired for with zero practical experience, was Manager of one of the busiest bars on the island – and the second oldest. The Tacklebox Bar And Grill.
Here is a picture from 2020 (it’s the wood building over the water) – earlier this year. The spot has been closed for a while. (You can see this cool painting/print that was done for the olden days. And here, this photo from the 90s. Or this one!)
Talk about being thrown into the fire…
Along with my management job, I got the “company car”. A 35+ year old electric carry-all golf cart that I dubbed the Tackle Cart. I even kitted it out with a chalkboard – advertising on wheels…we thought that was quite clever. (I just found a photo from 2011 on the old Facebook page – holy memories…from male strippers – I wonder what Black Sugar is up to these days… – to Supa G concerts.)
I loved this cart…the quiet of the battery operation but man…did she need have mechanical problems. And that’s how I met Polo. At Polo’s Golf Cart Repair and Rentals – all the way at the north end of Front Street. I was there 3-4 times a month…hanging around the yard…bringing the card for repair or picking her up.
But in 2011, I left Tacklebox…and the Tackle Cart with the job…and stopped visiting the golf cart repair yard. 8 or 9 years have passed…and though I see Polo often around town…and we wave…I haven’t chatted with him in age….or visited his beautiul house and gift shop at one of the cooler locations in San Pedro. Views that not many people get to see.
So last week, I stopped by.
Because I’d heard that he had a REAL Christmas tree (that was NOT there last time I visited…not at all…Norfolk pines grow FAST) and I wanted to take pictures but then I stayed because of the view…and the gift shop and because they are such a kind family. And Polo is a great lover of his dogs. And I LOVE people who LOVE their dogs.
Lacy posing outside the shop.
I’ll show you a bit inside the golf cart but first, let’s talk about the VERY unique location. Front Street San Pedro dead-ends at the northern end – running into the driveway of the beautiful Phoenix Hotel. Just before that…on the beach side…is Polo’s spot.
This might give you a better sense of where it is. The view from the third-floor balcony.
And while his large cement home is not beachfront property – he really couldn’t ask for better neighbors. Just in front of him…between Polo and the beach…is the old San Pedro cemetery. It was deemed “full” a few years back and new graves are located at the new cemetery south of town.
Plus…these neighbors give little trouble.
Views from the third-floor balcony.
And you can get a closer look, if you like. In the easement to the beach just south of his home, you can enter the graveyard.
There is a high wall that protects it from the beautiful beachfront.
Pretty pretty day…
Back to his spot.
There is a golf cart maintenance and repair yard where…due to the slow business over the last 8 months, they have started making other things. They put old tires to GREAT use.
I love this. He makes these for sale. SO SAN PEDRO.
And the guys have been making a few pint-sized golf carts…fiberglass…welding…how fun are these?
And these other tire projects. LOVE these bird houses.
Some get VERY elaborate.
And parrot hangers…
There is lots to admire. I love people that are CRAFTY! I spend 8 months watching Netflix and reading…Polo and his crew make art!
A quick peek inside…
Polo and his family are absolutely LOVELY. Polo came to the island in his early 20s from Santa Elena, Cayo after a short stint as a cook in Turneffe (one of the outer atolls) at a spot called Lamonte Industries. (I need to find out what that is! Who was running a REMOTE lodge in the 80s out in the cayes? I feel like there is a great story here!) You can read more about Polo in this 2002 article in the San Pedro Sun…one of the island’s early gift shops and golf cart rental spots…
A quick look inside the gift shop – everything from reclaimed antique bottles to hand painted art. I KNOW you can find something cool in here.
And even if you walk away empty-handed, you’ll explore a cute micro-neighborhood at the end of Front Street. In the middle of a busy town, but off the beaten path.