||Solomon's Island Tiki Bar ==== Land of Bosko
Joined: Jul 27, 2002
From: D.C. / Virginia
|Posted: 2006-05-26 8:05 pm  Permalink|
Earlier today, I drove to Solomon's Island and Whites Sands, both located in Southern Maryland, to check the two tiki locations there (Vera's, and the Solomon Island Tiki Bar) Big changes have happened to both places. This post will focus entirely on the Solomon's Island Tiki Bar, another post will give the news about Vera's.
The Solomon's Island Tiki Bar was an open air tiki bar, and well known for its opening weekend party, when thousands of people would show up. I had vistedthe bar a few times, the mai-tais were red colored and too sweet, and pre-mixed and poured out of gallon jugs. The decor was OK, but the whole nearby boating scene made me equate the place with Buffet, and I could not then with a good conscience recommend the place.
My, how times have changed. Over the winter, major renovations were done on the bar and immediate surrounding area.
I'm not kidding when I can say that they could change the name of this place to the 'Land of Bosko' Believe it or not, there are probably over 100 different Bosko carvings now on site. It is still an 'open-to-the-elements' bar, but all of the Bosko makes the place look, well, much more like a real authentic tiki bar. I don't make a point of visiting too many open-air bars, but this might now be one of the best tiki-decor open bars in the country.
The first thing you will see, when driving or walking up the road, are the new signs - carved by Bosko. If you look underneath the roof, you will see various other of his carvings hanging from the support poles.
Some of the posts have a Bosko carving on each face of the pole.
The bar itself features many Bosko elements. There are 8 tiki posts providing roof support - all of them carved by Bosko.
A closeup of one of the tiki poles
At the left side of the bar, at the property line, is this Bosko decorated fence
And the walkway to the bathrooms has a really cool painted mural of Easter Island - the Bosko carvings on the door appear as if they are part of the landscape.
And that is only the beginning of the changes made. At the right-side of the bar, there used to be a driveway, which was used as a parking lot. This area was a former one-story motel. The new owners, who bought the bar in July 2005, closed this area off, imported palm trees and lots of sand, and even commissioned some giant Moai heads. This one here is 20 feet tall, and is viewable as you drive by the bar. This whole area was created to handle some of the crowds that the bar gets on summer weekend nights.
Further back is another, smaller Moai head. This photo gives you some sense of the former motel. Take a closer look, and you will see some a couple of red matted plaques, each with a 5 or 6 foot tall Bosko carving on it.
This side of the sanded area is quite impressive. There are 14 unique Bosko carvings all spaced out along this former motel-front. It was quite impressive in the daytime, and I was told even more so at night, when an individual spotlight highlights each one.
These carvings were simply wonderful. All 14 deserve to be seen, but I will share with you here 4 of my favorites. Also notice the wall backing - it is crushed bamboo, and that is new too.
On the other side of the former driveway is one of the most incredible tiki murals I have ever seen - and my favorite work that Bosko has ever done. You are seeing the whole wall - from the ground, to the eaves of the roof above
further up this wall are a couple of small stores. One selling cigars was not open, but this one, that sold Tiki Farm mugs, tiki shirts and sweatshirts, and other tiki items was open. The Moai head with the red hat was a good sized one, but it did have a bizarre neck.
And further along are a couple more bathrooms, with Bosko's interpretations of tiki man and tiki woman.
There were also two other outdoor hatched hut bars in this sanded area - closed when I was there.
I talked a bit with one of the managers of the place. He said that he studied and learned more about tiki in this past year than ever before, and I sensed that what he learned was good. The owners visited several carvers, and several carver's websites, and had rough sketches done by several designers in the area (most who offered a more commercial look), but they liked Bosko's ideas the best. Bosko flew out to take a look at the place, and the result is, as I've said above, the 'Land of Bosko' They do have plans to add a couple of A-frame structures, and I was shown some outlines for a new custom mug that was in design phase --- it looked very cool.
They are somewhat limited in what they can do in an open bar setting, that is closed for half of the year, that is often visited by large, sometimes rowdy crowds - thus, no glass floats will be seen on the premises. But the new owners definitely seem to be heading in the right direction, tiki-wise.
Now, the bad news.
The Solomon's Island Tiki Bar is going through some legal difficulties. Apparantly, all of the above work was done without the proper planning and zoning permits in place, and there has been some talk that the county could force them to remove all of the above renovations. I doubt this will happen, but there is a good chance that the big Moai heads, and all of the sand in the courtyard will have to go, and the driveway may reappear.
Also, some of the neighbors have complained about the large crowds, and they filed a petition to have the liquor license for the tiki bar pulled. I doubt this will happen, but one never knows. A couple of months ago, a major fire destroyed some historic buildings not too far from the tiki bar, and I can imagine that some long-time residents are mourning the loss of their formerly quiet, historic community - not to mention still getting used to a very popular tiki bar.
Drink-wise, not much seems to have changed yet, and this may not changed due to the volume of business. The red (not brown) mai-tais are still pre-mixed and poured from gallon jugs. The Kokomo drink, though, was quite tasty, with a brown color and a coconut rum and vanilla flavor.
There is no food served on the premises, although there are plans for a small restaurant to open adjacent to the bar area.
Overall, I was quite shocked to see how much things had changed. All in all, definite improvements have been made.
Later in the day I visited the nearby Vera's Restaurant, a great vintage exotic tiki place - only to learn that big changes were happening there too. Read about it here
[ This Message was edited by: ikitnrev 2006-05-26 21:36 ]
Grand Member (first year)
Joined: Mar 25, 2002
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
|Posted: 2006-05-26 8:21 pm  Permalink|
Wow! That's some great Bosko work! Thanks for sharing Vern. It must be great at night.
Joined: Mar 25, 2002
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
|Posted: 2006-05-26 8:47 pm  Permalink|
Tres cool! Thank you so much for recording this. Bosko is such a modest guy, we might have never known about it otherwise. I didn't. I really like the same panels and the mural you dig, too. I wonder if they have to worry about vandalism the way you described the place.
It is encouraging to see owners invest into Tiki art without HAVING to do it, they really seem to love it.
[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2006-05-26 20:50 ]
Joined: Mar 27, 2002
From: Honolulu Lounge,Lewes, DE
|Posted: 2006-05-27 03:28 am  Permalink|
Great post, Vern. Thanks for sharing this.
Joined: Oct 01, 2003
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
|Posted: 2006-05-27 04:30 am  Permalink|
wow, that blows my mind.
Joined: Jun 10, 2004
From: Reseda, calif.
|Posted: 2006-05-29 07:45 am  Permalink|
wow.... how interesting is that. Thanks for sharing, great pictures. The place kind of looks surreal.
Joined: Apr 01, 2002
From: Fort Lauderdale, FL
|Posted: 2006-05-29 09:52 am  Permalink|
Great post Vern - so glad to see so much of Bosko! Someone should throw a REAL Tiki party here - what a treat that would be!
Yee-Haw & Aloha,
The Most Authentic Tiki Event in the World and the Official Event Honoring the Mai-Kai est. 1956
Joined: May 15, 2004
|Posted: 2006-05-29 11:02 am  Permalink|
I love it when they delineate "...and three FAKE easter island head..."
imagine being prevented from making any improvements.
On your own business.
as Bill Maher sez: america isn't the land of the free, we are just a little free-er than most other countries.
"Illegitimi Non Carborundum"
don't let the man get you down!
Joined: Jan 19, 2006
From: Arlingtron Virginia
|Posted: 2006-05-30 10:55 am  Permalink|
Hey Vern! We'll have to make a trip down there at night Soon! Thanks for the posting and updates!
Joined: Apr 09, 2003
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
|Posted: 2006-05-30 6:02 pm  Permalink|
So that is what the place looked like. I went there after a buddy of mine's wedding, in my pre-tiki days.
I was not so out of it that I can not remember how incredible it was to be in an alfresco tiki bar, with the ocean breeze and salty ocean smell (Well, actually I was, but I remember anyway).
Joined: Sep 14, 2004
From: Sydney, Australia
|Posted: 2006-05-30 8:06 pm  Permalink|
That carved Bosko mural is way cool
Grand Member (first year)
Joined: Mar 11, 2006
From: Eastern Shores of Western Civilization
|Posted: 2006-06-17 11:42 am  Permalink|
I wanted to share some Tiki Bar pic's snapped up late Thursday 15 June, on Solomon's Island. Chokest mahaloz to ikitnrev and rupe33 for thier posts!
Not much detail, but here's my update:
-Nobody was around to talk at 2:00pm. I was on business travel, so with five/ten minutes I ran through taking snaps paparazzi-style. The nice wide shots of the bar, BOSKO EVERYWHERE!...as previously reported.
Snap! Click! Pop!... Moai, palms and sand. I shot quick details, as the TV producer I was working for yelled, "...we needed to get to our next location!"
So sadly, I left like a kid locked out of Disneyland.
The sand, palms and big centre Moai are gone from the paved parking area...but everything looks pretty cool to me. To see what historically was an open cornerstand & roadway bar near the marinas, has a classy tiki look now!! Big question?...Will the Bosko's survive the summer fun of drunken mischief and mayhem???
BarView ceiling #2
Motel-Lot Moai (behind bar)
Water Closets with plywood coconut palm??? CcheeezZ!
Tiki vendi-booth and Bosko war canoe mural
Bosko warrior waka taua
That's it for now tikiphiles...I'll be on location in Solomon's Island for a video production in mid-July.
I will do my best to take more photo's of 'Tiki Bar, Solomon's Island' and what will be the newly reopened 'Vera's White Sands Beach Club'!!!
Okole Maluna & a Flip-flOp-flipPp....
Joined: Mar 28, 2002
From: behind a cluttered desk
|Posted: 2006-07-20 2:53 pm  Permalink|
The mug shown below features the Solomon's Island Tiki Logo designed by Bosko. The mug was sculpted by Squid. They do have these for sale currently at their bar for $10.95. In the next few weeks, you'll be able to order them online directly through Solomon's Island Tiki Bar at www.tikibarsolomons.com.
Joined: Mar 25, 2002
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
|Posted: 2006-07-20 11:13 pm  Permalink|
That is NICE! Love the peanut texture on the mug, and that mask, reminiscent of the Steve Crane classic....but a better design!
Joined: Nov 09, 2004
From: The thumb !
|Posted: 2006-07-23 3:08 pm  Permalink|
Love that mug and I found the Tikifarm MySpace and thier background has that mug on there and other ones that I have never seen before. Hey and thanks fro sharing about this bar. I like when Bosko and bar work together.