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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki The Volcano
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The Volcano
Davie Ono
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Sep 18, 2009
Posts: 11
From: Winter Haven, FL
Posted: 2009-09-19 6:19 pm   Permalink

Yes. The complex was expected to resume operations. The Volcano sign had "Closed for Remodeling. New Buildings - More Fun." But only the 3rd building was built and opened.

 
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Davie Ono
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Sep 18, 2009
Posts: 11
From: Winter Haven, FL
Posted: 2009-09-21 7:51 pm   Permalink

If I recall correctly the servers and bartenders were all women and were paid $24.00 a week plus tips. That would be about $150.00 to $175.00 a week. They were considered being highly paid each week. I made $1.17 an hour. Can you believe that? It's hard to believe that it used to be that way in 1968. "Mad Men" All of the valet were guys, Chef's were men, and Bus boys were what they were.

 
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twitch
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 12, 2006
Posts: 425
From: Vacant lot where T. Vic's, Van. was
Posted: 2009-09-23 7:10 pm   Permalink

Whoa. $24 an hour nowadays and you're considered just above the poverty line!
Fantastic thread, and like others, this one totally slipped my radar & I've been playing catch-up the last few days!


 
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Davie Ono
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Sep 18, 2009
Posts: 11
From: Winter Haven, FL
Posted: 2010-04-04 9:00 pm   Permalink

The Volcano Restaurant's phone number was 293-3138 which spelled out AWEE 138.
AWEE means "Awhile" or "Awesome".
I met up with my sister-aka: The Volcano Girl recently. I have 2 of the tiki mugs that were used in the restaurant and another bar table ornament. Pictures forthcoming. I also have a few menus. I constantly look at the Winter Haven, Tampa area antique stores and thrifts for former memorabilia from the restaurant. I'm still looking for local resident owned Volcano treasures. My dad's secretary still lives in the area and I know of one server still here. Dad's secretary-bookkeeper, Ileen V., devoted herself to the job-amazing because she had a disabled husband. I understand that she herself has a medical problem. She would be about 70 to 74 years old.
My dad hired "Joe" as one of the chef's from the Kapok Tree Restaurant in Tampa. Joe worked a lot. He didn't complain. He was always there, it seemed. But he did take some time off to visit relatives ( a good thing ) and dad purchased his tickets home( wherever that was) I also have some of the music that was played in the restaurant. A favorite group was Buddy Canova. He still and performs in the area at a Greek/American Restaurant -Sea Flame- on Thursdays early evenings with Joni Canova. I'm going to see them this Thursday.
I'm not sure why the Tiki-Polynesian theme but suggest that the next door motel was similarly themed and a partnership was developed. They'd get to house the "Stars" that came to visit.I do know that the area restaurants worked together -at times- even though they were competitors-sharing kitchen help as needed. This was something that my father had encouraged. Even in his later years he did exactly the same in other business ventures forging strong business relationships. This is really genius if you think about how competitors can all profit, succeed together. Here's the kind of thought: A person I worked with boasted of me being the best to Senior Management- I would boast his expertise to Sr Mgt. We'd both get promotions. We did this for years and it just kept getting better. The Greek Restaurant owner I mentioned earlier, visits every table and talks to the guests of their news of family etc. Another form of service that most restaurants don't even consider. Walt Disney World's Polynesian Restaurant -The Luau- has some of those same treats. Chef Eugene will come out to visit the tables. Their best Luau Review was run by Shellie Randazzo whose husband was THE Teddy Randazzo- a writer of many recorded, award winning songs. I have not maintained contact with her since Teddy died -maybe 7 or 8 years ago. She was wonderful. A true talent. She is no longer with Disney. I'll post more later.


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11249
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-04-04 11:11 pm   Permalink

Thanks Davie for sharing more on the history of The Volcano. It is always good to see this thread come to the forefront again, for it is such a great example of urban archeology by Tiki Centralites being complemented by ephemera from members of the family of the owner. That's how the full-fledged picture of a Tiki Temple can rise again from oblivion.

 
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Davie Ono
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Sep 18, 2009
Posts: 11
From: Winter Haven, FL
Posted: 2010-04-07 9:02 pm   Permalink

I mis-spoke. It was Bruce Canova, Buddy and Joni Canova are bother sister act now in local restaurant.

 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5062
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2011-05-10 07:40 am   Permalink

I showed these pictures to a Mystery Girl who worked at the Mai-Kai in 1968. She said the Mai-Kai catered and traveled all the time. She did events all over and was quick to make extra money. They did large batches of Rum Barrels and Black Magic, etc. This was not uncommon.


All Mai-Kai dancers. Hedipu to the left, center dancer is Riu, and gal on right was Hedipu's girlfriend. Lundy Nelson back there on guitar.


Toti on left, Hedipu and Lundy again. Fireknife dancer is Faalia.


The sarong is not a color she ever wore, but the knee length and fabric is right. Those are Derby Daiquiri glasses on the tray.

She never heard of the place, but, that does not mean a lot. They went all over. I also found a direct link between the Mai-Kai and this place when it was under the previous name and managment.

_________________

Announcing Swank Pad and Crazy Al's Molokai Maiden!


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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11249
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-05-10 08:25 am   Permalink

Aaaah, one of my all-time favorite Tiki Central threads! A great example of multiple TC members working together, delving into the mysteries of a forgotten Tiki Temple, and then being joined by "insiders", members of the owner's family. Great work, all.
And thanks Swanky for keeping the research alive!


 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 684
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2011-05-10 2:24 pm   Permalink

Wow, a great thread buried among TC archives... thanks, Tim, for resurfacing it!

Engaging in some internet archaeology, I ran across this article that, consistent with Volcano Girl's chronology, indicates that The Volcano was open by early 1968...

Boston Globe Feb 18, 1968


VG was a bit uncertain when The Volcano closed its doors, placing it somewhere in 1972 on page 2 of this thread. However, the following article indicates it still was in business as of late 1973...

Lakeland Ledger Oct 18, 1973


Another article sheds light on one of its reincarnations...

Lakeland Ledger Aug 12, 1997




Finally, a memorial tribute to the creator of The Volcano...

St Petersburg Times Feb 13, 2003


Noticed that the memorial states that Mr. Lester moved to Gainesville in 1970; that could be an approximate recollection of family or it could, in conjunction with the 1973 article, indicate that The Volcano lived on a bit under new owners.

-Tom


 
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Davie Ono
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Sep 18, 2009
Posts: 11
From: Winter Haven, FL
Posted: 2011-05-10 10:32 pm   Permalink

I've found more items from the Volcano in a used furniture shop in Winter Haven - Table decoration. I believe the Volcano closed in Fall of 1970 because I went to university in Gainesville in Winter Semester of 1971. I'll have to get my camera out for pictures of stuff I have.

 
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Robb Hamel
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 07, 2008
Posts: 1013
From: Ohio
Posted: 2011-05-15 07:51 am   Permalink

Great story, cool pics. I'd like'ta see the menus.

 
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Big Kahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2007
Posts: 2355
From: SoMass
Posted: 2011-05-15 10:11 am   Permalink

Nice work TikiTomD! It's nice to see a Tiki connection involving my beloved Red Sox!

 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5062
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2012-02-20 08:50 am   Permalink

A little follow-up. The images above, and more from that day, are in the Mai-Kai photo archive. I will post new ones when I get the chance.
_________________

Announcing Swank Pad and Crazy Al's Molokai Maiden!


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Davie Ono
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Sep 18, 2009
Posts: 11
From: Winter Haven, FL
Posted: 2012-12-27 7:12 pm   Permalink

I was just checking my things of the Volcano that I still have. I'll post some pictures of the items soon.

 
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Davie Ono
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Sep 18, 2009
Posts: 11
From: Winter Haven, FL
Posted: 2013-11-17 5:43 pm   Permalink

The Volcano Girl and myself-DavieOno are well and are working on new Volcano information and photos.

 
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