This location was opened by Captain Dug Picking in the 1960s. A former Merchant Marine, Captain Dug found himself landlocked in Carson City and established a tiki bar serving Polynesian food and tropical drinks.
The restaurant was decorated with tikis and sailing paraphernalia: fishing nets, ropes, anchors, nautical flags, seashells. It boasted a “Shark-Infested Men’s Room.”
The following is from a former employee and was posted on Tiki Central:
"Dug would address all adult males as, 'Governor'.
He loved telling stories to the clientele, and I remember them bellying-up to the bar just to hear a good story. I never heard him repeat one. He did have a little fun with the tipsy, 'know-it-all' clientele: he kept a bridge compass near the middle of the bar area and a nautical map behind the counter. He would bait and bet the uninitiated by telling him that Carson City was farther West than Los Angeles. (He explained to me later that, since Los Angeles is actually on the Pacific and Carson City is east of the Sierras, we create a spatial error. After a few flabbergasting moments, out would come that map and the incredulous client would have to buy rounds.
He said that he and Victor Bergeron went 'way back,' and told ever-growing, ever more embellished stories of their years of carousing and drinking their way around the Pacific Rim, and how he got the best of Victor sometimes and sometimes not.
I got to watch Dug earning his fame with his 'Blue Mai Tai,' from-scratch Pina Coladas, grogs and flourish drinks (he cheerfully did five and seven-layered Pousse cafes on-demand.) He didn’t water-down or scrimp on anything for the guests. Nothing in the place was inexpensive, and, conversely, nothing was cheap. …except for the endless tape loop of Hawaiian music that he had wafting through the place every night."
Starting in 1974, Dug also created a series of liquor decanters themed after Nevada brothels. These decanters have turned out to be very popular with collectors. At least a couple of the decanters focused on Dug's West Indies for the first two years (a clipper ship design the first year in '74 and a sailboat with man and woman the second year in '75).
This location was sold by Dug in the late 70s or early 80s because of financial problems brought about because of his investment in another location that failed -- the Windjammer.
Dug's West Indies persevered for a time as just "The West Indies" but it eventually closed. Today the site is home to a Burger King fast food restaurant.