This tiki themed bar and nightclub opened in 2015.
This location has a young nightclub atmosphere with light tiki decorations including at least one carved tiki and some flotsam and jetsam hanging from the ceiling. It has a strong tilt toward drinks with naughty sounding names -- concoctions like the "The Bear's Bollock" (served in a small frozen coconut resembling the drink name) or the "Jerry Springer" although they do have a house version of the Zombie and the Mai-Tai.
Opened in 2015.
This classic Portugese tiki bar is not as highly decorated as some of the other Portugese or Spanish tiki bars, but it does have some of the familiar decor, such as amazing tile-work on walls and bar, a working fountain inside, and a plethora of porcelain Spanish-style tiki mugs. It looks to be fairly well preserved (probably opened in the 70s) and although the flooring looks new and some areas might have a fresh coat of paint, it is still much like opening a vintage time capsule.
The first Brass Monkey Tiki Bar opened at the end of 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 2018, this new sister location, Brass Monkey Esbjerg, opened its doors.
From their website:
"At Brass Monkey Esbjerg, we are proud to offer one of Denmark's largest assortments of rum, consisting of selected spirits from around the world. Come by and taste some of the finest rum the world has to offer, or relax with one of our popular cocktails. We have something for everyone, and even if rum is not for you, of course we also have a small selection of other delicious and refreshing things on the menu.
If you are involved in a little party and trouble, we regularly hold small Limbo competitions. How low can you go?"
Steve Crane owned the Luau in Beverly Hills, the Kon-Tiki chain in Sheratons, and Ports-o-Call restaurants.
Crane is also well remembered as the second husband of actress Lana Turner and the father of her only child Cheryl. He was twice married to Turner - first marriage in 1942 annulled when it was discovered he was not divorced from his first wife. Turner then married him again in 1943 because she was expecting a child.
This property sits on an exceptional 12 hectare estate, located at the top of the Tahara’a Cliffs, and the viewpoint offers a spectacular panoramic view of Matavai Bay, and in the distance; Papeete and even the full view of Moorea.
Built in 1967, opened in 1968, and closed around 1989. It was designed by architect Neal Prince, who designed many hotels internationally. Tahara'a InterContinental Hotel was a subsidiary of Pan Am Airlines.
The Tahara'a was less of a Tahitian hotel and more of a Westerner's dream of what a Tahitian hotel should be. It was over the top in almost every way and was THE Tahitian hotel in the 1970s and 80s until its close in 1989.
In addition to the wonderful hillside, with a wonderful view of the Moorea Bay, the hotel offered the largest guest rooms of any hotel in the South Pacific, at the time. Each guest room was air conditioned, with a dressing room, bathroom and spacious terrace.
It had around 201 rooms and many amenities, including the Captain Cook Restaurant and a coffee house/café decorated with pufferfish, cork floats strung across the ceiling on old sailing rope, and many more tikis and artifacts supplied by the famous (at least to tikiphiles) Oceanic Arts in Whittier, CA.
Neal Prince designed the interiors of the hotel. During this time, no one on the island had the skills or the know-how to carve tikis. Thus, Prince hired Oceanic Arts to produce his sketches. Among many other pieces of décor, the owners, Leroy Schmaltz and Robert Van Oosting, produced the 21-foot tall signature hotel tiki for Prince. When that massive tiki was delivered, the plan was for it to be placed in the lobby of the hotel. However, due to the weight and height of the tiki, it was not able to fit. So, they telephoned Prince and inquired what to do with it. Mr. Prince asked where the tiki was at that moment, and Ed Crissman (another carver who worked for Oceanic Arts at the time) noted that it was currently located in the front of the hotel, to which Prince replied, "Great, then leave it right there!!". And so, it remained… an icon of the hotel for many years until the hotel eventually closed.
There are reports that this giant tiki remains standing today, even though the hotel has been closed and the property has been abandoned for many years.
Some wonder why this property was abandoned and the answers remain murky. The hotel announced in 1983 after a worker's strike that it could no longer afford to stay open. At one point later in its life it was named the Hyatt Regency Tahiti. In 1989 it was purchased for $30 million by the Japanese company, EIE, who planned to renovate it with $8 Million earmarked for that purpose. It does not appear that those renovations ever took place.
It is listed for sale by Sotheby's Real Estate with no set asking price and has been for several years.
Currently, the newest and most exclusive hotel in Tahiti is just down the way from the abandoned Tahara'a -- Le Tahiti by Pearl Resorts (formerly the Radisson Plaza Resort Tahiti).
Beach passed away in Honolulu, Hawaii, in June 1989, at the age of 81.
He is known for starting Don the Beachcomber during the 1930s in Hollywood, California, which was expanded to a chain of dozens of restaurants throughout the United States. He later built the International Market Place and additional establishments in what was then the Territory of Hawaii.
Beach is also generally credited with establishing the entire tiki drink genre. He created dozens of recipes such as the Zombie, the Cobra's Fang, Tahitian Rum Punch, Three Dots and a Dash, Navy Grog, and many others.
He was an Army colonel during WWII and is buried in buried in Section B Site 1-C of The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.
Former pro boxer Vince Dundee Sr. and his son Vince Jr. operated the successful Kona Kai Polynesian-themed restaurant at 3034 Foothill Blvd., and opened the equally successful Scotch Mist steakhouse across the street.
In 1977 Vince Jr. passed the torch to his sons, Vince III and Scott, both in their early 20s. The site of the Kona Kai, was transformed into a faux-Tudor styled restaurant and disco called Sherlock’s.
By 1980, the restaurant had been remodeled into an “entertainment center” which included the disco (Sherlock’s), the restaurant, renamed Café 34 Restaurante, and a retail Record World record store.
On the night of Oct. 9, 1980, the site burned to the ground.
Known as a place to hear live jazz in the 1950s, legendary performer Anita O'Day sang at the Hula Hut as did "Queen of the Boogie" Hadda Brooks in 1957.
A North Coast Journal article written by Joseph Byrd states:
"The Hula Hut's facade was bamboo, cluttered with flotsam and fishing nets; inside it was lit with torches...Primitive masks and 'tribal' carvings were prominent, and tropical-themed fabrics festooned the booths. Hula girls were languorously draped around the printed menu, which featured exotic rum drinks, sweetened with fruit juices, flavored syrups and liqueurs. Beverages were usually served in equally exotic vessels, each with its garnish of fruit and oversized straw."
The Aloha Club, (1950-1965) was a burlesque tiki bar on Third Avenue’s sailor’s row, under management of Gaspare ‘Jasper’ Matranga.
Along with their other clubs next door on ‘Neon Row’ (The Cuckoo Club and Club Royal), The Aloha Club stayed open until 2am nightly. Large neon signs and tropical murals graced the exterior. It featured music by Billy Jones and his Beachcombers, a five-piece combo, with sultry burlesque acts of Dorothy Eddy, Vivian Lee and Joy Damon ‘in the flesh!’
And B-Girls galore – waitresses who mingled with the sailors, enticing them to gamble, buy more drinks, and God knows what else. The city passed an ordinance outlawing the practice, giving San Diego Vice one more excuse to raid the bars.
Tom Sheng’s popular restaurant, Sheng Haw Low, was originally located on the second floor and rooftop garden patio above The Aloha Club. After the Matrangas were forced out, he leased the entire ground floor of the building. Sheng opened it up as his Aloha Room, serving exotic drinks in the tropical atmosphere leftover from the club. He even kept the big ALOHA neon on the building’s facade. Smart thinking, as his was the biggest eating establishment closest to the newly built Centre City convention hall. Sheng Haw Low was the last holdout on the block before it was razed for the new Westgate Plaza Hotel.
The Luau Room (1949-1969) was a restaurant and bar at the Hotel del Coronado.
The Hotel del Coronado was built as a seaside vacation resort in 1888 on Coronado — a natural, sandy spit of an island in the bay — now considered by many as the crown jewel of San Diego.
The Luau Room opened in the summer of 1949 in the hotel’s Ocean Terrace mall, and immediately became popular with vacationists curious to experience the Hawaiian atmosphere, entertainment and exotic drinks.
The Luau Room’s cocktail list came complete with recipes for its tiki drinks, now attributed to head bartender Ebert William ‘Bert’ Chan (1916-1974).
Bert reportedly started his career at Trader Vic’s in San Francisco before tending bar at the Hotel Del — the later position he held for over 18 years.
After the close of The Luau Room, many restaurants have occupied the space.
Currently, the space once known as The Luau Room is now home to Serẽa Coastal Cuisine.
This mini golf course opened in 2020. It is the second location, the first having opened in Star City, Birmingham several years earlier.
The indoor course features lots of faux rock work, bamboo, artificial palm trees, and many tikis and moai. There is a "tiki bar" that serves light refreshments and a selection of bottled drinks.
The El Mirador Hotel operated from 1928 to 1972.
The name "El Mirador" is taken from the pre-Columbian Mayan Ruin in Guatemala but there was never a Mayan theme at this location. It just lent an air of exoticism. Built by Palm Springs pioneer Prescott Thresher Stevens at a cost of $1 million, and designed by Los Angeles architects Walker & Eisen, the hotel’s 20 acres included an Olympic-size swimming pool, tennis courts, stables, the desert’s first golf course, and a striking Spanish-Colonial Revival-style bell tower that became a city landmark.
This hotel also featured the South Pacific Room, which showcased Tahitian dancers, “Island Serenaders” and a Polynesian buffet. In advertisements, it encouraged guests to “go native” and had luaus every Thursday.
This site is now home to the Desert Regional Medical Center.
Opened in December 2007, this is a tiki-themed dive bar owned by Billy McKelvy and JT Black.
They have a large moai lit up in the center of the back bar wearing a coconut bra to match the Sailor Jerry's liquor store hula girl statue next to it. Wayne Coombs Florida style tiki poles line the booths in back and are painted in bright day-glow colors.
When he opened the bar, Billy McKelvy explained: “If you go to any tiki bars, it’s bamboo-and-brown tikis. We didn’t want that same old tiki thing: We’re just more rock and roll. We have an artistic, lowbrow approach.”
Beachbum Berry stopped by their bar shortly before they made their grand opening. He had just moved there at the time -- before his move to open his own bar in New Orleans. They were honored to have him, but showed little interest in taking much of his freely dispensed cocktail advice.
They do use fresh key lime juice, though, which was Berry's biggest tip -- using fresh juice.
Their menu is not a medley of tiki cocktail classics. They do have a mai-tai on their "Specialty Tiki Drinks" menu but they also list a Bloody Mary and a cocktail named for Donald Trump as tiki drinks too...so yeah...be prepared.
Despite it all, they appear to have a loyal following and have been thriving for over a dozen years.
They do have a limited food menu with smoked meat sandwiches, nachos, tacos, tater tots, etc...
This is a very large complex which includes a marina, a restaurant, a lounge, a long pier-side walkway lined with carved tikis, and a motel.
For over 70 successful years, the Ponce family has owned and operated the Conch House Marina Resort. The Ponce family is one of the oldest families in the United States and has been in St. Augustine for over 400 years. The property was purchased in 1946 by Jimmy Ponce and his wife Jackie, and was once the Coast Guard gunnery station. The business started as a 4 room hotel, called Ponces By The Sea in which the family lived in one room and rented the other rooms to guests.
Their Lounge Tiki Bar was built in 1976 and sits out 300 feet over the water.
Matiki opened at the end of September 2017 after 4 months of construction and is the first and only tiki bar in Vienna.
The space itself is rather small, sparsely decorated, and modern-looking -- gray/white/green paint with a few cut-out wall alcoves featuring small tiki carvings and puffer fish. Accents around the room include bamboo trim and a Tahitian-patterned wood bar molding.
A few potted ferns hang in the windows.
The focus is more on the bar and drinks. The back bar displays a lot more than just rum with hundreds of spirit bottles ranging from Ardberg scotch to Don Julio tequila, so there should be a range for all tastes. Their cocktail program has received wide acclaim.
They also sculpt and manufacture their own custom tiki mugs for sale -- available online through a separate website below.
Built in 1968, this two-story apartment complex sits on just over an acre of property and has a classic mid century Polynesian roofline. The only visible tiki appears to be in the front and is quite likely one of the long-tongued Oceanic Arts fiberglass six foot tikis that you can still purchase today.
This thinly veiled speakeasy tiki bar is located within the Pagoda Chinese Restaurant in Jacksonville, Florida.
The restaurant has been open since 1975, but the newer edition of the Secret Tiki Temple came about in 2017 or so.
The exterior sign highlights that there is a tiki lounge and the murals on the exterior show frolicking pandas as well as tikis.
Inside, the space is exclusively a Chinese style restaurant until you reach the hidden lounge of the Secret Tiki Temple.
Once inside the temple, the interior is richly layered and has tikis, Elvis paintings, fish floats, fish traps, colored mood lighting and basically everything you would expect from a vintage style tiki bar.
This huge A-Frame store carried all sorts of exotic goods, including gifts, sportswear, and gourmet food from all over the globe. Appear to have been built circa 1960 or so.
It had barefoot footprints leading up the concrete walk to the front door, a statue of the trader himself on the roofline below the peak of the A-frame, and in the front was a large Moai head with a lit torch at the top.
Mentioned in the book, Tiki Pop, by Sven Kirsten -- page 102 -- as having multiple locations but this one appears to be the most recognized.
Copy from one of their ads:
"Seeing is believing! But when you step into the Polynesian Paradise you won’t believe your eyes. You’ll find a treasure of gifts, food delicacies and sportswear that have been collected from the wide, wide world all set in exotic design.
The store is sectionalized according to the country of origin of the merchandise, From Norway, Sweden and Denmark come striking examples of modern Scandinavian. The continental flavor of Belgium, Holland, France and Germany is found in the gift selections from Europe. Who can resist the incomparable results of British industry or the artistry from the shores of the sun-drenched Mediterranean? South America, South Sea Isles, Oriental art, the United States.
Outside the building is a playground with swings and acrobatic accoutrements to keep youngsters occupied while parents explore the store. Children, however are invited inside. Inside the Polynesian theme is carried out. Palm trees and fronds adorn the walls, while fixtures reinforce the South Seas decor. Self-service is invited—or if you wish service, you need only to call on any of the clerks who answer all questions. Be sure and don’t leave the Cape until you have visited the Barefoot Trader."
Today, the A-frame building still exists, but it is currently home to the Cape Abilities Thrift Shop.
This tiki bar was opened by musicians Aaron Thomas Robinson and Brittany Graeff in Oaxaca, Mexico.
From their website:
"Maroon yourself in Oaxaca's first and only tiki bar. Tropical drinks, calypso music, birds chirping, waves lapping upon the shore. Sail away in a canoe for two or hunker down over a scorpion bowl in the tiki hut. Behind the imposing adobe walls of this early 18th century historical home hides an otherworldly oasis. The drinks are heady, mysterious concoctions; flaming bowls of light and dark rums, indigenous fruits, fresh juices, and secret tinctures that will quench the thirst of any pirate or scurvy dog who steps through these doors and into a Polynesian paradise that time forgot."
The Waikiki Tiki Room opened in 2019.
The build-out is very colorful with huge 1950s Hawaiian greeting card inspired mural wall graphics, plenty of tropical foliage wallpaper, reed matting on the ceilings, and an assortment of fish floats and basket style pendant lights hanging from the rafters.
The interior is light on actual tikis, however, with only a small tiki carving on the bar top and a couple of tiki masks on the back bar...
The emphasis is on their robust craft cocktail program, however, which appears to be on point and has drawn rave reviews with a respect for tiki classic cocktails and with an assortment of newer craft cocktails in rotation.
Doc's Place was located in the Town & Country Restaurant in the Westminster Hotel at Mutual and Gould streets.
The Town & Country is long remembered as being one of the most popular smorgasbords in town but few images or reports of Doc's Place remain.
The bar's theme was somewhat mixed with elements of Polynesian as well as African.
Doc's had a very colorful menu with several classic tiki cocktails featured.
They also produced their own mugs which were made in Japan and thinly veiled copies of the owner's favorite mugs from other successful tiki bars of the time, including a Cobra's Fang mug like the ones made for the Los Angeles Islander and a Voodoo Grog mug like the ones used at Trader Vic's.
Formerly known as Hatch Bar & Eatery, local restaurateur Leonard Chan and partner Dominic Iapello went from a light beach vibe to full-Tiki, starting with the re-opening of their restaurant in December 2018.
There are now 35 Tiki cocktails on the expanded cocktail menu and the rum selection has grown to 70+ bottles.
Food-wise, some favorites like the Loco Moco remain, with some new Polynesian-inspired additions including a tempura-battered Spam Musubi and Chinese-five spice chicken wings. The kitchen can also accommodate gluten-free and vegan preferences – the Impossible Burger is another new option.
Stowaway is tucked behind Blacksteel Barbershop.
Zamboanga was a pre-Tiki restaurant/bar/nightclub opened in the 1930s by Joe Chastek who was one of the very first to open a tropics themed location.
It billed itself as "home of the Tailless Monkeys" and featured a cheeky pipe smoking monkey on its menu and other advertising materials.
"Tailless Monkeys" may have been a derogatory term for Filipinos coined during the Philippine Insurrection circa 1900. There is some debate about this. You will hear John Wayne sing this in the movie "They Were Expendable" (1945).
As of 2020, this location appears to be home to a Dollar General Store.
Ken's was a 1930s/1940's pre-Tiki south seas inspired nightspot with dancing girls.
It modeled itself on the success of Bob Brooks and his 7 Seas nightclub in Hollywood.
The site is now home, as of 2020, to the Beverly La Jolla Tower, a 6-story building with high-end office spaces for lease.
The Limbo opened softly in January of 2018.
They offer a menu of tiki cocktails, many of which give a nod to Louisville as deep in the heart of bourbon country.
From their website:
"The Limbo is a performing arts venue disguised as a Tiki Bar. The Limbo aims to have live entertainment 7 nights a week, including live music, DJs, Burlesque, drag shows, variety acts, magicians, spoken word, string quartets, and karaoke. Supporting artists and the performing arts while being an all inclusive venue where everyone is welcome no matter their background, gender identity, or sexual orientation. The owner, Olivia Griffin, moved to Kentucky from San Francisco in 2014 and realized there was no tiki bar in Louisville. Having spent her 20’s experiencing the wonders of classic Bay Area tiki bars like Smuggler’s Cove, Forbidden Island, and Trader Sam’s, she has always sought out unique, themed bars in every city she has visited."
Built in 1956. The Village of Hillburn is where the once well-known Motel & Restaurant on the Mountain operated and was regarded as a local landmark. It was designed by a prominent architect, Junzo Yoshimura, who modeled the facility after the famous Kyomizudera temple in Kyoto Japan.
The site boasted 16 buildings, a restaurant, 101 rooms, a coffee shop, and cocktail lounge, as well as a clear view of Manhattan from 30 miles away. They offered banquet/conference facilities as well as dinner theater and ski season packages.
Somewhere in this 18-year-span from 1956-1974 with the original owners, they also ordered custom cocktail mugs and drink bowls from Otagiri with their signature menu cover's risqué Geisha Girl which is taken from a piece of period art housed at the Met:
*Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese, 1753–1806). A Woman and a Cat, ca. 1793–94. Edo period (1615–1868), Japan. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929.
They removed the cat from their graphic art because apparently exposed nipples were permitted but showing pussy was just too much!
Thomas Esposito took ownership of the property in 1974 and unsuccessfully ran it for three failing years with many different entertainment acts. Faced with defeat, he brainstormed a last ditch attempt to make it work financially. From September 1977 - January 1978, Esposito attempted to turn it into the first resort in the Northeast specifically designed for homosexuals. This attempt failed and successive businesses took control of the property since then. However, many today in the LGBTQ+ community still remember this as a historic first.
Today, it is home to Mt. Fuji Steakhouse and has been since 1985 when they did a major remodel to add it to their chain.
The Kona Kove Lounge was housed within the Stardust Bowl recreation center. It is unclear when it was built or closed, but it was open as late as April of 1970 as there are ads from that time for live music at the venue.
This bar is also mentioned in James Teitlbaum's Tiki Road Trip as part of the Stardust Bowling Alley and in Sven Kirsten's The Book of Tiki on page 198.
Wan-Q started out life in the 40's or 50's as a fairly average Chinese restaurant, but at some point in the 1960s, owner Benny Eng was caught up in the Pop Polynesian movement and converted his restaurant into a unique tiki establishment with a full menu of tiki cocktails in addition to his already excellent Cantonese menu of food.
Benny outfitted his restaurant with rattan, bamboo, Tikis and waterfalls. And of course there was the exotic tinseled glory that was Wan-Q’s exterior which included a thatched A-frame roof, tapa cloth details, Chinese jade tiles and float lamps.
Wan-Q was replaced for a time by the Sugar Shack (Caribbean themed), which kept the exterior (including the sign) mostly intact. Several other restaurants also occupied the space since then. Today the location houses another Chinese restaurant called Fu’s Palace.
In 2019, The LuWow re-opened its doors in a prime spot in Melbourne’s cbd on Little Collins Street. It is in the space formerly occupied (fittingly) by Hawaiian-themed restaurant, Hana.
From their website:
"The LuWow has been recreated by 'Skipper' Josh Collins and Barbara Blaze Collins in a more intimate space, relax in a cosy booth or hang at the bar surrounded by an oasis of colourful kitsch with huge tiki totems, all carved by 'Skipper' Josh himself, leopard lounge suites, a jungle of plants and bamboo and a plethora of insane and wonderfully trashy souvenirs from the South Pacific and beyond. Josh & Barbara have kept to their retro OTT design ethic on this new venture. Their previous bars have been The LuWow (Fitzroy), Hula Bula Bar (Perth), Devilles Pad (Perth), South London Pacific (UK), Tikis (Belgium). Adding to the retro Tiki vibe of The LuWow the background music is hand curated from the owners’ huge vinyl collection of exotica, rhythm n blues, ska, soul, surf, 60s garage, beat & rock n roll."
The Castaways Hotel opened on the west side of the Las Vegas Strip across from the Sands Hotel in 1963, became one of the casinos billionaire Howard Hughes bought in the late 1960s and survived into the 1980s, when it was demolished to make way for Steve Wynn's The Mirage in 1989.
In 1963, the casino was themed as a Polynesian Resort, with Tiki torches and palm trees surrounding the exterior. It also included Pacific Island Tiki-themed showrooms and a bar with a fish tank in which a woman swam to entertain patrons.
The following year, in 1964, the Samoa Room showcased "Playmate of 1964" with March & Adams/Dick Wells/Jay Nemeth. The Kon-Tiki Room showcased continuous entertainment.
Successive remodeling as the years went on sometimes went against theme. For instance, outside the hotel, Castaways managers bought and assembled a sixty-year-old scale replica of an East Indian Jain temple, made of elaborately carved teakwood, which they called "The Gateway to Luck".
This establishment touts itself as Rome's first tiki bar.
Camillo Affinita and Alessio Esposito (along with their partners Alessandro and Marco) opened up Makai in November of 2016.
They feature a signature mug and other barware made by Maka-Tiki as well.
NU LOUNGE BAR was founded in December 2000 by four friends – Davide Cavallari, Daniele Dalla Pola, Elena Esposito and Maurizio Gerosa. The four members gathered their national and international experiences together in order to create a Cocktail Bar in the center of Bologna and offer their customers a unique experience.
It is tucked inside an open galleria and there is seating within the bar area as well as outside in the enclosed galleria space. Focus is on tiki cocktails and the bar features a unique assortment of Italian made tiki mugs.
Daniele Dalla Pola is known in the United States for his work at Esotico Miami.
This tiki bar was opened in June 2017 by Ian McCol, the force behind the Tiki Bar and Kitsch Inn (see the similarity in logos). It was opened a couple of years after a Lola Lo's tiki bar closed at this same location. Lola Lo's was run as more of a nightclub and this incarnation made use of the space for more of a restaurant and bar atmosphere. However, the Auld Reekie Tiki Bar only lasted a year or so before closing and being converted into an Irish pub, Kitty O'Shea's.
This venue opened in August 2011 at the site of the former Po Na Na in Edinburgh. It appears to have closed after 2015 or so.
The Auld Reekie Tiki Bar opened at this same location in June 2017 (created by the owner of The Tiki Bar and Kitsch Inn) but it only lasted a year or so and was replaced by Kitty O'Shea's, an Irish pub.
Barney West (1919-1981) was a tiki carver during the golden age of midcentury Polynesian Pop.
West, a native of Seattle, came to the Bay Area as a boy when his parents moved to Oakland. His father was chief engineer for the steam schooner Wapama which is now part of a San Francisco waterfront museum. During World War II, West joined the Merchant Marine and served as a steward on Liberty ships in the South Pacific. During his 15 years at sea, West became interested in the native art of Easter Island, Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Hawaii, an infatuation that later had a great influence on his art. West moved to an ark on Corte Madera creek shortly after the end of World War II. To set himself up in the woodcarving business, he drove spikes and laid heavy rails for a railroad crew. West’s first wood carving came from redwood pilings he floated to his home from San Pablo Bay. His first major customer was restaurateur Trader Vic Bergeron who purchased many pieces of West’s early art.
After establishing himself as a wood carver, West opened a studio in Sausalito ("Tiki Junction") on land lent to him by Zack’s by the Bay owner (Zack’s became Margaritaville, then Paradise Bay, now Salito’s Crab House), Sam Zakessian in 1963. The tiny studio soon became engulfed by tikis and other assorted tropical carvings and vegetation. West began his carving career with conventional carving tools but soon progressed to a chain saw. He shipped in mammoth redwood logs by rail and shipped his commissioned works on flatcars all over the country. West’s art can be found in London, Hawaii, and Cuba. West’s business thrived well in Sausalito and at one time he had five apprentices working with him.
This Lola Lo location opened in April 2012 in what was previously the space occupied by Sakura bar and closed in November 2016. It was replaced by Lincoln Fever (a disco bar).
Set in a basement in the heart of Lincoln, one of the biggest challenges for the design team was how to incorporate a historical Roman wall through the middle of the space that had to remain visible but untouchable, so incorporating the elements of stone, a silhouette of Moais was incorporated on the glass to allude to their natural origins.
The main club room with flaming bar front and reclaimed timber wall had unique hand-painted volcano graphics and was surrounded by other tropical décor well known at Lola Lo’s such as the puffer fish lanterns and fisherman’s floats lights, fish traps and tapa cloth and vintage Hawaiian print seating. Seating area tables had glass-topped curiosity boxes showing off shrunken heads.
This Mahiki location was located at the Forte Village Resort. It appears to have been open from 2017 to 2018 or possibly 2019 before it closed.
Promotional materials show a beachfront open seating terrace bounded by glass dividers to block the wind/ocean spray. Arching trees were strung with lit fish floats. The bar was a small open-sided structure facing out over the seating area. The attached youtube video gives a better idea.
In addition to this Mahiki location, there are also the original London and the Manchester locations, one in Dubai, Arab Emirates (now closed), the Mahiki Beach location in Marbella, Spain, and a second London location (Mahiki Kensington, closed in 2019). There is also a Mahiki club in Gothenburg, Sweden (open).
In 2017, Mahiki took over this second London location on Kensington High Street location from alpine cabin-themed club Bodo’s Schloss, which is situated beneath the Royal Garden Hotel and just a few hundred meters from Kensington Palace. Rumours of a tunnel connecting the palace to the club for VIP royal access have existed for as long as the site has been a club. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke of Sussex, Rihanna and Harry Styles have all partied here.
The location is a 350-capacity, 6,000 square foot space and was detailed and designed for the Mahiki by CT Creative Limited, a sister company of CheekyTiki. One detail that this Mahiki had in abundance were oriental jade glazed temple tile divides. These were molded by CheekyTiki and are still for sale through their now re-branded company, Little Grass Shack.
In October of 2019, it was announced that Mahiki was closing and would be replaced by Bloom Nightclub.
In addition to the original London location (open) and the Kensington location (now closed), the Mahiki franchise has spread to several other venues. Mahiki Clubs have opened in Dubai, Arab Emirates (now closed), Marbella, Spain (Mahiki Beach/open), in the Forte Village Resort in Sardinia (now closed), and Mahiki Manchester (opened in 2017 in collaboration with Gary Neville's company GG Hospitality Management Ltd., closed in 2018, then reopened in 2019 before being forced to temporarily close once again because of COVID.). There is also a Mahiki club in Gothenburg, Sweden (open).
Created (April 2014) in the former site of Coyote Wild in Victoria Street, this 800-capacity bar covered the ground and first floors, featured two bars, an Island Grill diner, a spacious dance floor and an upstairs tropical garden -- totaling up to 22,259 sq ft. CheekyTiki's sister company, CT Creative Ltd., did the design work and worked over the course of several weeks to make a space where guests entered through a real sunken ship to be greeted with a tropical arboretum of hanging plants, and a flock of 52 mirror ball carrying parrots over the dance floor. It was one of, if not the largest spaces they had done up to that point for the Lola Lo chain.
Closed August, 2017 and was replaced by Bar Soba (which only lasted a single year) before being converted into office space by a new design firm.
Eli "The Original Beachcomber" Hedley ran his Island Trade Store on Beach Blvd in Midway City in the 1950s-1960s.
Today, the location is now home to a Jack-In-The Box fast food restaurant.
In Disneyland, Eli also ran “The Island Trade Store” gift shop in Adventureland for about a decade, which was located where the Bazaar is today.
Eli is a legend among fans of Polynesian Pop, his carvings and decor graced countless tiki bars and locations, and his shop featured tikis by other noted carvers such as Milan Guanko.
Today, Hedley's grandson, Ben Bassham (Bamboo Ben) continues the tradition.
Vintage tiki bar from the 1960s located in Kearney, Nebraska. Elevated pagoda-style with original Oceanic Arts tiki lamps. Its round layout and perch above a Ramada Inn swimming pool gives it a treehouse feel and possibly qualifies it as the coolest lifeguard tower ever built.
Tikis is a small but quaint tiki bar in the heart of Virginia Beach. They specialize in classic tiki cocktails and a Polynesian and Phillipino fusion based menu.
The 190-capacity Oxford site opened on April 7th, 2011 and closed on March 31st, 2017.
This location was described as a buzzing bar with Polynesian-inspired decor serving tropical cocktails, plus a DJ-hosted dance floor.
There are several other Lola Lo's in the franchise, however, including Bristol, Cambridge, Manchester, and Reading, which are all currently open.
This location was previously home to another tiki bar, Kukui, sister to the first Kukui (Cambridge location) which opened in Bournemouth in 2010 and then closed 6th February 2012. The bar re-opened as Lola Lo Bournemouth on the 9th February 2012, before closing once more in July 2014 only to be re-opened as a non-tiki themed establishment afterwards. Currently the space is home to a Be At One, which is another bar franchise that recently replaced Kanaloa tiki bar in London.
There are several other Lola Lo's in the franchise, however, including Bristol, Cambridge, Manchester, and Reading, which are all currently open.
The first Kukui opened in Oxford in 2008 and closed in 2011. This second Kukui location opened in Bournemouth in 2010 and then closed 6th February 2012, re-opened as Lola Lo Bournemouth on the 9th February 2012, before closing once more in July 2014 only to be re-opened as a non-tiki themed establishment afterwards.
Situated on the famous beach paseo of Marbella, Mahiki Beach offers a unique beach club experience with its tropical restaurant, original cocktails and luxurious beach beds – all designed in a Tiki inspired theme.
In addition to this Mahiki Beach location, there are also the original London and the Manchester locations, one in Dubai, Arab Emirates (now closed), one in the Forte Village Resort in Sardinia (now closed), and a second London location (Mahiki Kensington, closed in 2019). There is also a Mahiki club in Gothenburg, Sweden (open).
Bob Loo's was located in a former Howard Johnson's which was built in 1962 and closed around 1972. A steak house moved in almost immediately, but closed within a year. Then, in 1972, came Bob Loo’s, Salem’s first Chinese/Polynesian restaurant. In typical fashion, the top portion of the Howard Johnson’s cupola was removed. Likewise, the orange tile roof was replaced with a standard asphalt roof, and the trapezoid sign was taken down. Aside from these surface changes though, the building retained most of its visual lines and remained largely recognizable as a former Howard Johnson's. Bob Loo’s continued a successful operation here until late 1998, when the owners decided to retire and close the business for good.
They produced at least one collectible glass -- a hi ball with a moai on front to serve their house Fog Cutter cocktail in.
Robert N. Loo (Bob) passed away in 2010. He was known for this restaurant as well as the highly successful Silver Dragon Restaurant in Methuen which was started around 1962 and burned down in March of 1985.