Our History

The first Rum Runners Restaurant & Dueling Piano Bar was opened in an old 2 story building located at 601 East Michigan Ave, in Downtown Lansing, Michigan on June 1 st, 1996. This particular property was located directly across the street from a new minor league baseball stadium, Oldsmobile Park. A perfect location for the launching of a new concept! Over the years, the restaurant was transformed into a high energy dance club and piano bar.

In 1998, the second Rum Runners Restaurant & Dueling Piano Bar location was opened in Raleigh, North Carolina. The early years of Rum Runners were a huge hit in the Michigan and North Carolina markets as few people in these areas had ever experienced a dueling piano bar before. The Raleigh Rum Runners was relocated downtown to City Market and was reopened as “Rum Runners Dueling Piano Bar & Grill” in 2001. As time went on, Rum Runners sold some franchise locations for a period of time.

In 2002, a leasing agent from Sandestin, Florida contacted Rum Runners about opening a location in a newly developed commercial property called “The Village of Baytowne Wharf”. A deal was struck and the new Rum Runners Dueling Piano Bar & Grill opened to huge crowds in June of 2003. This location has grown year after year and is now our flagship “Tropical Island Grill & Dueling Piano Bar” located in Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort!


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