By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
The Port Isabel Yacht Club, built in 1926 — two years before the incorporation of the City of Port Isabel — is no more.
The 92-year-old former speakeasy, hotel and restaurant was demolished beginning last Friday, Dec. 14.
The property’s new owners, father and son duo Ernesto and Armando Martinez, were on site as a large Caterpillar excavator used its bucket like a closed fist to punch through walls and claw away at the sagging, rotted roof.
Golden afternoon sunlight spilled into the building’s newly exposed interior as the Martinezes stood outside the fence line. Periodically, passersby on foot would stop to stare. Drivers, too, slowed down in the middle of the road, or pulled over to look up at the half-ruined structure through open car windows.
Though the elder and younger Martinezes declined to speak on the record, they did share their excitement for their future plans for the property. Ernesto Martinez reiterated comments he made during public city meetings earlier this year, saying the family was planning something exciting.
But those plans are not entirely clear. The family has guarded their plans, repeatedly saying they will inform the community when the time is right.
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