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Tiki Central Forums Collecting Tiki Waitoma Grotto - Holly, MI
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Waitoma Grotto - Holly, MI
Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2793
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2004-12-08 6:37 pm   Permalink

Just found this auction for a 1920s topo map of Holly, Michigan on Ebay.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=37962&item=3767608236&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW

It seems Mauna Loa lake existed back in 1920! So they probably chose the theme of the restaurant based on the topography and not the other way round. Very interesting!

Sabu


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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11195
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2004-12-08 6:45 pm   Permalink

This calls for further investigation. There are old place names in the U.S. like Owahee that stem from early American connection with Hawaiian culture. I wonder if there is a library in town...

 
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freddiefreelance
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 2993
From: San Diego, Ca.
Posted: 2004-12-09 08:28 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-12-08 18:45, bigbrotiki wrote:
This calls for further investigation. There are old place names in the U.S. like Owahee that stem from early American connection with Hawaiian culture. I wonder if there is a library in town...


Holly Township Library
1116 North Saginaw Street.
Holly, MI 48442
Phone: (248) 634-1754
Fax: (248) 634-8088
Serving the community for 125 years.
_________________
Rev. Dr. Frederick J. Freelance, Ph.D., Th.D., D.F.S


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puamana
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 02, 2002
Posts: 291
From: Seattle, WA
Posted: 2004-12-13 3:45 pm   Permalink

I had forgotten that I had this dinner menu from the Huki Lau Restaurant at the Hawaiian Gardens, with cover art borrowed from the Matson Lines :



The back of the menu mentions a few legends surrounding tiki in Maori mythology, and has a very faint (and kinda blurry) drawing of the Hawaiian Gardens grounds. Also mentioned is a floral shop on the premises, the Huki Lau Restaurant, and motel:



There is a little blurb on the inside cover, describing the owners idea of what the Inn represents, and also mentions architect Jim Livingston who designed it :



The inside back cover has another little bit of info the on the Waitoma Grotto Lounge:



And also a placemat from the Hawaiian Gardens :



 
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Michele
Member

Joined: Mar 24, 2006
Posts: 7
Posted: 2006-03-24 5:41 pm   Permalink

Hi I am new here. I live about 15 minutes away. Has the mystery been solved? I can drive by the old Holly Hawaiian village as I do remember going to it as a child, and was thinking about it today, that is how I found Tiki Central by searching for the Village. Curious myself anyone have an update? I will go take photos if someone here hasn't already done so. P.S. I went and read the whole thread. I thought parts of the building could still be seen off of I-75. My parents are in their 80's I will ask them tomorrow what the place was like, their memory is better than mine, I was like 12 when I ate there.

[ This Message was edited by: michele 2006-03-24 20:50 ]


 
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tikigik
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Oct 25, 2005
Posts: 119
From: Ann Arbor Michigan
Posted: 2006-03-24 9:14 pm   Permalink

Quote:

Michele wrote:
> Hi I am new here. I live about 15 minutes away.
> ... I can drive by the old Holly Hawaiian village
> as I do remember going to it as a child....




Lucky you! I'm sure everyone would love to hear your
and your parents' recollections of the Village. I am
in Ionia, about an hour west, but never visited the
Village.


 
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HOUSE OF KU
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 15, 2005
Posts: 539
From: TIKILAND, USA
Posted: 2006-03-25 12:52 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-03-24 17:41, Michele wrote:
Hi I am new here. I live about 15 minutes away. Has the mystery been solved? I can drive by the old Holly Hawaiian village as I do remember going to it as a child, and was thinking about it today, that is how I found Tiki Central by searching for the Village. Curious myself anyone have an update? I will go take photos if someone here hasn't already done so. P.S. I went and read the whole thread. I thought parts of the building could still be seen off of I-75. My parents are in their 80's I will ask them tomorrow what the place was like, their memory is better than mine, I was like 12 when I ate there.

[ This Message was edited by: michele 2006-03-24 20:50 ]

Much mahalos for restarting this thread!! HOKU


 
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bwana-rob
Member

Joined: Jan 16, 2007
Posts: 3
Posted: 2007-01-16 4:40 pm   Permalink

Like Michele searching for this place also led me to this forum.

My parents used to drive down to Holly from Flint, MI to eat here. They said it was good for the time.... but then again where in mid central Michigan could you get Polynesian or any other kind of quasi-chinese food?

They still have a Surfing Wahine drink mug from the place. My mom told me they had a menu at one time, but she hasn't seen it in years. Curses!

About 15 years ago I remember seeing some big maori stools and a beat up tiki bar at a flea market/resale shop in Pine Run, Michigan. I've always wondered if they were from this place after it shut down.....

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TOOOOOOORRRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


 
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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1799
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2007-04-30 2:31 pm   Permalink

Just a small item to add to this post. A hard to find swizzle stick from the Hawaiian Gardens. The Maori design looks to be the same as the one on the back of the menu for the Huki Lau at the gardens. Sorry for the bad quality of the pic.







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"Anyone who has ever seen them is thereafter haunted as if by a feverish dream" Karl Woermann


 
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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1799
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2007-08-12 4:56 pm   Permalink

Another addition.







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jan
Member

Joined: Jan 11, 2008
Posts: 1
Posted: 2008-01-17 08:10 am   Permalink

This brought back memories...I used to go there for Sunday dinners w/my parents and sister back in the 60's. My sister and I would have those drinks w/the paper umbrellas in them.
The menu and swizzle sticks looked so familiar when I saw them posted here. It took us like an hour to get there because you couldn't get there on I-75 like you can now.
My husband and I have driven past the site a few times in the
last few yrs and I kept trying to remember the restaurant name
and other details. This really brought it back for me!!


 
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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1799
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2008-01-17 10:30 am   Permalink

Aloha Jan. Welcome aboard TC. Memories like your and others along with all the great photos here are what makes Tiki Central the great place it is. Enjoy.

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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4351
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2008-04-07 5:20 pm   Permalink

I have a postcard of the interior of the Waitoma Grotto from the Hawaiian Gardens. It is not all that Tiki but certainly cool in its own right. That carpet, that Naugahyde (whoops, wrong post subject), just beautiful.




 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11195
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-04-07 8:13 pm   Permalink

Nice rock wall. That establishment had quite a few postcards. None are really "Wow, amazing!" interiors. But I love that place. It is so much the epitome of Polynesian pop, in that it could not hold a candle to the big hotel-backed Tiki temples in terms of fully blown out Tiki art and decor, but the owners seemed so filled with their mission to bring Tiki to the area and its people.

That missionary fervor that comes through in their menu texts and in that great brochure really shows how Tiki fever inspired individuals to recreate Tiki style wherever, with what ever means they had at their disposal. They just conjured up the spirit of Tiki with their concepts and menu poetry. The fact that all that enthusiasm turned into a run down, boarded up, AAA Rehab motel just makes the story so much more poignant. But we can rest assured that some good times were had at the place.


 
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bwana-rob
Member

Joined: Jan 16, 2007
Posts: 3
Posted: 2009-01-08 11:39 am   Permalink

I appreciate the matchbook cover with address and the photo of the grotto rock wall. I love that wall....

Last year I went driving around the area just east of Holly where the Hawaiian named streets were and could find neither hide nor hair of the building (I was looking for a conspicuous dome).

I mapquested the address from the matchbook. The overlayed satellite photos seem to show a large lot with a bulldozed region clear of buildings, but you can still see the outlines of what was once there. So its probably demolished. I go through the area occasionally, and will snap a photo of the lot to post anything that remains if interested. Lest anyone want to waste an afternoon going to search for the place when it doesn't exist anymore.
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