Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States
This is probably the earliest fully realized home tiki bar still in existence. Amazingly, it is still in pristine original condition and open to the public.
Nestled in the basement of this 1886 Queen Anne mansion is a delightful surprise. Upon moving into the home in 1937, Howard Hall sought to create a space to entertain friends and business partners. At a time when life in America was becoming less formal and basements were utilized as living spaces, Howard created the Tahitian Room. Decorated with a bright South Seas theme, the room features a map of Tahiti’s location on the floor and dioramas. With the flip of a switch, the sound of a Tahitian rainstorm is simulated through water dripping on the tin roof ceiling (just like Don the Beachcomber had at his venue when Howard had visited it in Hollywood).
Howard’s fun-loving personality can be seen throughout the room, as can his business sense. The room was used not just to entertain, but to make a lasting impression on his business associates who came to visit his Cedar Rapids home.
The Tahitian Room continues to make an impression on Brucemore visitors today and is open to public tours.