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Tiki Bar

Aloha Cafe

Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico

Tijuana's first pre-tiki bar opened in 1928.

A legendary social spot for over 80 years, the Aloha serviced the Prohibition crowd from the U.S. and sailors come to port. Originally it featured amateur boxing as its source of entertainment but then turned to dancing, featuring classic romantic dance numbers from Old Mexico and the popular Aloha girls, swaying and sashaying their way around the room to the music of the tropics.

It was burned down and rebuilt in 1938.

This was not a tiki bar as we think of them today and even by pre-tiki standards it was still essentially a Tijuana tequila bar. Other than a few decorations and tropical murals (which were on display for many years), the name, and the occasional hula dancing, this location blended in with other bars in the area.

However, it proved a popular spot for tourists throughout the 20th century -- the club grew and evolved with the times in both good and bad ways. As the century reached its final decades it operated as a disco in the 70s and a strip club in the 80s. In 2011, the Aloha burned down, thus ending a legendary bar and restaurant experience. The building's marquee however survived, and can still be seen on the front of the building to this day - a symbol of Mexican history and a physical reminder of Tijuana's once bustling, enterprising nightlife.