MikeandTaylor560Mike Graham and his fiancée Taylor Smith (left) outside The Cabana, downtown Port Elgin.

Hub Staff

The Cabana may be new to Port Elgin but they are certainly not strangers to the area. The Cabana Beach House has been operating in Sauble Beach since 2005 and now with their second location at 661 Goderich Street in Port Elgin, formerly August Skies, shoppers now have two choices from which to buy their Cabana summer fashions.

The Cabana Beach House is owned by the Graham family and Mike Graham said they have been looking to open a second location in Port Elgin for several years. “We were looking for Port Elgin specifically,” said Graham from his Port Elgin store, May 27. “We had looked in Southampton too but we thought it was too close to Sauble.”

Graham continued, “We had a huge customer base here already in Saugeen Shores, Port Elgin and Southampton and even further down in Kincardine, so this made sense to be here. Bring the store to the people.”

Graham said the store will be very similar to what they offer at their Sauble Beach location. “This store's going to be more fashion focused. It's inspired by warm weather and tropical travel,” he said, adding that it will be “toned down a little bit on the beach stuff”, such as boards and inflatables.

Brands carried by The Cabana include Sanuk, Body Glove, O'Neill, Maui Jim, Olukai, Columbia, Tommy Bahama and Von Zipper.

Unlike their Sauble Beach location, their Port Elgin store will be open year round. “We'll have fall and winter stuff coming in,” explained Graham. “We'll also make available a lot of summer apparel for people heading south because it's hard to find even in the city at that time of year.”

Graham said he and his family were liking the pace in Port Elgin. “It's not peaks and valleys, it's steady and we can focus on customers,” said Graham. “It reminds me a lot of what Sauble Beach used to look like or be like, where you used to have a steady flow of customers. Sauble's good for the big crowds but here is nice because it's a community and we do get a lot of cottagers and tourists too.”

The Cabana carries items for men, women and kids. “There's a huge spread on the brands and that's by design. We try and cater to as many people as we can and all our pricing is by the manufacturer, so there's no undercutting,” said Graham, adding that they set their prices to what's called MSRP, manufacturer's suggested retail price.

Some long time Port Elgin residents might remember the Graham family's former clothing store from the 1950s called McDermid's Men's Wear. “My great uncle ran the store here and his brother and his wife. They were here for many years,” said Graham. It wasn’t until they decided on the location for The Cabana that they realized the location of the 1950s store. “It didn't really resurface until we were down here. We signed the lease on this place and worked in here for a few months and then we finally decided to go to the town and to the museum to get all the information about it,” he said.

What they discovered was that McDermid's was located right next door, where Coldwell Banker now is. “It's kind of ironic that we picked here of all places,” said Graham. “They owned the building and they lived upstairs. Almost the exact same spot.”

Graham said The Cabana is a real family business adding that his brother Dan, who is also a real estate agent in Saugeen Shores, helped him with renovations. “We put in all new floors, painted everything and we had to custom build the till and build the change rooms,” he said, adding that his fiancée, Taylor as well as mom also work at the store.

The Cabana is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and also offers online shopping at thecabana.ca. You can also find them at their Facebook page.tshirts560Fashion560Sandles560Sunglasses560