FEATURES | MUSIC | BOOKS | DRINKS | FORUMS | GAMES | LINKS | ABOUT


advertise on Tiki Central

Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop
  [Edit Profile]  [Edit Preferences]  [Search] [Sign Up]
[Personal Messages]  [Member List]  [Help/FAQ]  [Rules]  [Login]
Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Don the Beachcomber (Maui) is closing!!!
Goto page ( 1 | 2 | 3 Next Page )
Don the Beachcomber (Maui) is closing!!!
thejp2000
Member

Joined: Jul 24, 2004
Posts: 2
From: Oakland, CA
Posted: 2006-07-13 12:17 am   Permalink

My wife and I just got back from our honeymoon on Maui. We stayed at the Royal Lahaina, and so we visited Don the Beachcomber's every day for free Mai Tais. We were very distressed to learn from Luke (the trusty bartender) that Don the Beachcomber's is going to be closing. Has anyone else heard about this?

The Royal Lahaina is going through some massive remodeling (which started while we were there -- every morning at 8:00 am -- ugh), and apparently within the next two years, the entire property is going to be restructured and many of the buildings around the complex are going to be razed, including Don the Beachcomber's. (They're also going to do away with the Luau -- from what I gather, one of the most popular on Maui.)

I really think it's a shame. Obviously the bar could use a little work (it's like a refrigerator in there at all times, and it's dark as a cave even in the daytime), but I think it's got tons of potential. They've got a lot of wonderful vintage stuff in there. We'll hate to see it go (especially since we've got some great honeymoon memories from there).


 
View Profile of thejp2000 Send a personal message to thejp2000      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
pappythesailor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 1564
From: Mass.
Posted: 2006-07-13 08:40 am   Permalink

...stupid world...

 
View Profile of pappythesailor Send a personal message to pappythesailor  Goto the website of pappythesailor     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
sungod
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 07, 2003
Posts: 219
From: Tampa Bay/New Port Richey
Posted: 2006-07-13 09:55 am   Permalink

Just got back from there myself. Stayed from the 12th of June to the 23rd. The wife and I celebrating our 10th year. Did you get to enjoy your nightly mai tai? We stayed in one of the beach side cottages so the construction work did not bother us. It is a shame that the only thing left will be the tower. Hopefully they will keep the buffet breakfast, one of the best in Maui.Did not know that the luau was leaving but did hear from one of the clerks that they were having a hard time keeping male dancers.

 
View Profile of sungod Send a personal message to sungod  Email sungod Goto the website of sungod     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
sungod
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 07, 2003
Posts: 219
From: Tampa Bay/New Port Richey
Posted: 2006-07-13 10:29 am   Permalink



 
View Profile of sungod Send a personal message to sungod  Email sungod Goto the website of sungod     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
sungod
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 07, 2003
Posts: 219
From: Tampa Bay/New Port Richey
Posted: 2006-07-13 10:35 am   Permalink



Much better!


 
View Profile of sungod Send a personal message to sungod  Email sungod Goto the website of sungod     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
sungod
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 07, 2003
Posts: 219
From: Tampa Bay/New Port Richey
Posted: 2006-07-13 10:37 am   Permalink



 
View Profile of sungod Send a personal message to sungod  Email sungod Goto the website of sungod     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
sungod
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 07, 2003
Posts: 219
From: Tampa Bay/New Port Richey
Posted: 2006-07-13 10:39 am   Permalink



 
View Profile of sungod Send a personal message to sungod  Email sungod Goto the website of sungod     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Rum Numb Davey
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 17, 2005
Posts: 204
From: Phoenix, AZ
Posted: 2006-07-26 11:55 am   Permalink

We were going to go in Feb 07. Anyone know exactly when it is closing?

Total bummer!
_________________
Just finished a bottle of Havana Club Anejo 3 Anos, which was excellantly suited for many rum cocktails!


 
View Profile of Rum Numb Davey Send a personal message to Rum Numb Davey  Email Rum Numb Davey Goto the website of Rum Numb Davey     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Matt Reese
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 09, 2005
Posts: 1153
From: San Diego
Posted: 2006-07-26 2:35 pm   Permalink

Been there and loved it. We need some contact person in Maui so we can mail our disapproval. When will all this devastation of the tiki world end? I don't want to sound like a hippie but it seems like there are enough of us here to make some kind of impact.

 
View Profile of Matt Reese Send a personal message to Matt Reese  Email Matt Reese     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
PremEx
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 23, 2006
Posts: 290
From: Houston, Texas
Posted: 2006-08-23 11:19 pm   Permalink

I used to drink and dine at this Don's at the Royal Lahaina Resort several times a year for many years during the 1970's and perhaps even into the 80's. It was a fantastic full Don The Beachcomber restaurant and bar serving mainly Cantonese food with a Polynesian/Hawaiian flair. Like the original Don's in Hollywood. It was a first class restaurant and very popular in those days.

Many years ago I visited the Royal Lahaina as sort of a "for old times sake" tour, and was surprised how little had changed at this property. The old "Foxy Lady" disco had been turned into banquet space, but that was no loss. The big loss was that Don The Beachcomber was closed and I was told gone for good. Peaked inside through a side door and most of the furniture and Tiki stuff was gone and it was being used for storage...mainly for the adjacent Luau. A very sad sight.

Fast Forward to today when I decided to visit the RL again and was surprised to see the wooden letters "Don The Beachcomber" back up. But I didn't think it would actually be operating again!

Well...it was and it wasn't. It's now just a hallow shell of it's former glory. Mainly a cocktail lounge only. The original bar is still there, but the old wood floors, much of the Tiki, and much of the furnishings are gone. Some of the old booths are still in there, but most of the seating is just tables and chairs.

There is some Tiki still in place however, as the photos in one of the previous posts show. But it's nothing like it used to be. Gone was all the great Tiki ceramic glassware and bowls and huge tropical drink menu from the original Don days. A short pre-mixed menu of a handful of standards is all that is served. Pretzels if you ask for them are all there is to eat. No more great Pupu platters. No more full dinners served in a wonderful tropical setting with live Luau music drifting in.

As we sat there sipping one of those yellow/brown premixed Mai Tais from nice bartender Brandon...the "Premier" Luau guests were brought in by bus and filled the place and a long line formed for drinks.

So while it was rather sad to see this once great and proud Tiki Bar and restaurant turned into such a state...it was still great to see her being used again...even if she's just using the old Don The Beachcomber name and not much else.

Regarding it's closing...all the plans that are on display certainly show this building being demolished and replaced by new buildings and facilities. And the Front Desk staff said it would be bulldozed. But in talking to barkeep Brandon...he said that he heard that they might keep this building and so there might be some hope for keeping it in some form or another.

It was kinda funny that when I reminisced about the 1970's to him and how grand the place used to be...Brandon laughed and told us that when his parents heard he would be working there...they mentioned that they used to dine and drink there all the time when they were dating and after they married and how funny it was that their son now would be working at that very bar!

As for the current state of hotel renovations go...the entire tower is now closed and being renovated. All the guests are currently staying in the old cottages scattered throughout the grounds. Very few guests staying there during this phase of construction. Those cottages will be a thing of the past too...as new hotel buildings will soon replace them.

This was such a first class hotel in the 1960's and some of the 70's. It was sad to see her become so tarnished over the years. But it looks like she'll be shining again after all the improvements. Just hope that Don's is still there after all is said and done.

[ This Message was edited by: PremEx 2006-08-23 23:23 ]


 
View Profile of PremEx Send a personal message to PremEx      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
PremEx
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 23, 2006
Posts: 290
From: Houston, Texas
Posted: 2006-08-26 4:46 pm   Permalink

To compliment sungod's photos above...here are my own photos of a couple of days ago that I just uploaded, of Don The Beachcomber, Maui.

Looking down the length of the windows:



The bar with barkeep Brandon:



Some of the old booths:



Tiki near entrance:



Tiki doorhandle:



More Tiki:



Tiki just lying on the floor:



"Premier" Luau guests line up for their comp pre-luau drinks:



 
View Profile of PremEx Send a personal message to PremEx      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
tikibars
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 2024
From: Aku Hall, Chicago
Posted: 2006-12-01 12:23 am   Permalink

The manager of the Big Island location told me (in September) that the Royal Lahaina is undergoing a major renovation into 2007, but that no less than $5 million was being slated for a huge and major Don the Beachcomber location.

If you've seen the one on Big Island, you probably have a clue what we're in for.

A nice effort, but you can bet that the A-frame roof and all vintageness will be gone.


_________________
- James T.
My new book is "Destination: Cocktails": www.destinationcocktails.com.
Get "Big Stone Head: Easter Island and Pop Culture" at: www.bigstonehead.com.
See www.tydirium.net for Tiki Road Trip, global travelogues, and more!


 
View Profile of tikibars Send a personal message to tikibars  Email tikibars Goto the website of tikibars     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Dr.TikiMojo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 26, 2006
Posts: 465
From: Elk Grove, CA
Posted: 2006-12-01 10:55 pm   Permalink

While my wife and I still haven't finalized our Hawaii plans it now looks like we'll have to make part of our trip to Maui before DTBC's closes for good!

Remember this link?
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=21792&forum=1&34
Hawaii is a Part of the US and should still be a part of the Historical Preservation rules.

I don't know the date that this location was established but with the Historical Importance of Don the BeachComber it would give us leverage.


 View Profile of Dr.TikiMojo Send a personal message to Dr.TikiMojo  Email Dr.TikiMojo Goto the website of Dr.TikiMojo     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3817
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2006-12-03 10:50 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-12-01 00:23, tikibars wrote:
The manager of the Big Island location told me (in September) that the Royal Lahaina is undergoing a major renovation into 2007, but that no less than $5 million was being slated for a huge and major Don the Beachcomber location.




I'll be checking out both locations in early January.
I'll see if I can find out anything more.


 
View Profile of christiki295 Send a personal message to christiki295  Email christiki295     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
TikiJosh
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 01, 2005
Posts: 735
Posted: 2007-08-13 1:45 pm   Permalink

The Missus and I were on Maui this past April, and were able to stop by the Royal Lahaina. The Don the Beachcomber building looks better than it does in photos. The A-frame is awesome.
The bar inside was dead! They currently use it as a lounge for VIP luau guests. You pay extra for your luau ticket and rather than have to stand in line, you get to go get a drink. Not a bad deal, I guess.
The carpet or flooring or whatever was probably in there at one point was gone and the booths were in pretty bad shape. Tears in the seats and whatnot. The lauhala matting on the ceiling was in pretty bad shape too. There was a kitchen area in the back of the building that was not being used.
The drinks were served in clear plastic cups, but you could opt for a tiki mug (one of the tiki farm artist four pack mugs-- the newer ones with the brown glaze) for like $10. I got a Kalifornia Ku. Not too bad.
We chatted with the bartender (who was pretty nice) and asked about the plans for the building.
He said the same thing that James said. They're going to do a huge expansion on the property, and they're going to build a new DTB that will be something more like what the Royal Kona has on the Big Island. It'll be closer to the water so people get an ocean view. I didn't get an actual price tag, but I guess they're making it pretty massive.
They're going to raze the building that currently exists. Really sad considering it's such an excellent piece of architecture.
All of this should be happening in the next year or two, according to the bartender we talked to.

_________________


 
View Profile of TikiJosh Send a personal message to TikiJosh      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Goto page ( 1 | 2 | 3 Next Page )
U-Moderate:
  
v1.5

[ About Tiki Central | Contact Tiki Central | Advertise on Tiki Central ]
(c) 2000-2014 Tikiroom.com (tm), Tiki Central (tm)

Credits & copyright infomation