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Tiki Central Forums » » General Tiki » » Trader Vic's Bev Hills closing THIS TUESDAY???!!! . . .
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Trader Vic's Bev Hills closing THIS TUESDAY???!!! . . .
Dr.TikiMojo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 26, 2006
Posts: 457
From: Elk Grove, CA
Posted: 2007-05-03 02:05 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-05-02 18:38, Swamp Tiki wrote:
If they are fifty years old or older lets get them on the National Register. We can get a step ahead of development trends and raise local awareness before sh** hits the fan. Planning...Planning...Planning. Get ahead of them.

What cranks my ass is (when protective measures aren't in place) that they don't ask for the opinions of the "little people." Instead they rock our world with their fat-cat design schemes and then expect us to except it and live with it. Developers don't care about whats right for our communites only whats right for them. @#!!*@##!!!!

Swamp



Quote:

On 2007-05-02 23:38, bananabobs wrote:
Bottom line, like it or not, IT DOESN'T BELONG TO YOU. It belongs to them, they get to decide and I would go to arms to protect that right. I don't want them to close it but in the USA, we have freedoms and liberties and it is their choice.
Your last line about developers only want what's right for them...that is true of Planning departments in cities and counties.
I do not want to light you up and I understand the feelings, trust me, I wanted to take my daughter and her husband there in July.




First off....completely agreeing with everyone's anger, frustration and lack of power in a situation such as this and to address the above quotes:
http://www.nationaltrust.org/
Not to blow my own horn but I am a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, I live in an 1895 Queen Anne Victorian Home and live in a city that while they have Historically Registered Districts still manages to tear down and/or screw up historically important areas of the city.
The city/property owners hire developers and approve and disapprove plans for development.
If there's some new mall or crappy looking, generic building going up somewhere an architect designed it, someone approved it, it went before planning commissions where it had to be approved again....and most of those as a resident of a particular city you can sit in and put in your two cents.....believe me, my wife and I have been at many of ours and said a thing or two about what gets built or doesn't!
Finally, there are the pay offs, the look the other ways the contradictions to the rules....that's what makes all of this so difficult.

I had posted a different thread months ago....last year in fact about protecting our Historic Landmarks and encouraged people to join and support the National Trust...I gave up on the thread after I got so much heat and arguments instead of people just joining, educating themselves on what they can do in THEIR communities.
http://www.nationaltrust.org/
THIS was the sort of "protective measures" that SHOULD have been in place!


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Swamp Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 08, 2006
Posts: 158
From: The Shadowy Moss Draped South
Posted: 2007-05-03 04:02 am   Permalink

Sorry to offend, but I was a developer prior to switching sides who started protecting historic properties rather than bulldozing them and throwing up a new hotel, stripmall, fast-food joint, or filling station. If you are hip to saving eligible properties and initiating adaptive use measures to protect our treasured landscapes, I applaud you. In This situation, big money deals will be striking a historic landmark that failed to be recognized until it was too late. I work with planning departments and agree that some of the problem lies there, but most development activity centers around shark patrols and windshield land assessments to pinpoint sites to wedge in their grand ideas.

You may see a rosier picture than I or perhaps been lucky enough to be a part of a progressive organization...my disgust comes from seeing development trends that have been in place and gaining speed since the early 1970s.

Sorry that you couldn't get your family to TBBH prior to the closing. It was a great spot and you would have had a great evening.

Swamp

Quote:

On 2007-05-02 23:38, bananabobs wrote:
Quote:

On 2007-05-02 18:38, Swamp Tiki wrote:
Ohana:

Ironically, developers (large and small) live in a fantasy world far removed from our own. They genuinely believe that their ideas of urban development are bettering the world around them.

... We in the preservation field constantly push for the establishment of districts that are governed by zoning ordinances. This is the only way to keep these mis-guided souls in check. When protective measures are in place and part of public policy there isn't much they can do except buy off a politician...

Developers don't care about whats right for our communites only whats right for them. @#!!*@##!!!!
Swamp



Swamp,
Everyone is pissed that TV is closed, I think it SUCKS!
However, All developers?? Come on this is 2007, we can play better than that! I am a developer and everything you said is so false, perhaps for some but I take offense to your statements! ZONING ORDINANCES? Yeah that's a good idea, give the government something else to screw up.
Bottom line, like it or not, IT DOESN'T BELONG TO YOU. It belongs to them, they get to decide and I would go to arms to protect that right. I don't want them to close it but in the USA, we have freedoms and liberties and it is their choice.
Your last line about developers only want what's right for them...that is true of Planning departments in cities and counties.
I do not want to light you up and I understand the feelings, trust me, I wanted to take my daughter and her husband there in July.




[ This Message was edited by: Swamp Tiki 2007-05-03 04:04 ]


 
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Ojaitimo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 04, 2006
Posts: 1305
Posted: 2007-05-03 04:36 am   Permalink

[quote]
On 2007-04-30 23:19, Ojaitimo wrote:

We did, this was the usual response from various media. If they got Joe to believe the BS, the other media must have been easy for them to bamboozle.

I sent this to him today.



Dear Joe,

As of today Trader Vic's is closed in Beverly Hill's. Is this enough proof?

Tim Keenan Ojaitimo on Tiki Central

Barely Legal Radio <info@barelylegalradio.com> wrote:

(Quote)I've been hearing this rumor for 5 years and they deny it. Is there
proof that they are taking it out? (Quote)

I got this reply from Joe today

(Quote) I talked to them a couple weeks ago about having their wine guy come on the show. they were paranoid, secretive, and weird. That's when it sank in.

Nothing we can do about this kind of stuff. Private property. But It's just as tragic for me as it is for you. total disaster. (Quote)


 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3769
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2007-05-03 08:08 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-05-02 23:49, bananabobs wrote:
One last thought, it has kinda struck me funny that TV was where it was and that it lasted as long as it did. Lets face it, Tiki is some what lowbrow and most of us do not travel in the Beverly Hills Hilton crowd.(Most of those people think a "Pin-up" is what what their plastic surgeon does to your forehead.)
_________________



I have been there probably over a dozen times in the last couple of years and can attest there was no lack of patronage, either at the bar or the restaurant.

Merv Griffin, who I think is the owner, simply terminated or bought out the lease with TV so he would not have the preservation issue to demolish the property.


 
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PremEx
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 23, 2006
Posts: 279
From: Houston, Texas
Posted: 2007-05-03 08:32 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-05-03 08:08, christiki295 wrote:
Merv Griffin, who I think is the owner...



Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Merv relinquished all his ownership of the Beverly Hilton and Trader Vics, quite some time ago. From the official Press Release posted in this thread:

Quote:
Owned by entertainer, Merv Griffin from 1987 to 2003, Beny Alagem and Oasis West Realty LLC purchased the Beverly Hilton in late 2003.



Something tells me that if Merv were still the owner...Trader Vics would never have come into jeopardy like this. It was my understanding that it was one of his favorite restaurants even before he purchased the hotel.

[ This Message was edited by: PremEx 2007-05-03 08:33 ]


 
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Tom Slick
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 26, 2005
Posts: 1091
From: The Beaches of South Bay, SoCal
Posted: 2007-05-03 08:44 am   Permalink

You are right Premex, Merv no longer has anything to do with the Beverly Hilton, as it sold in 2003 to Beny Alagem and his butchers.

 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 4965
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2007-05-03 10:35 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-05-02 18:38, Swamp Tiki wrote:
Ohana:

Ironically, developers (large and small) live in a fantasy world far removed from our own. They genuinely believe that their ideas of urban development are bettering the world around them. They cannot understand that "old" can be a good thing. Developers see open lands or older properties as antiquated and lack-luster. We in the preservation field constantly push for the establishment of districts that are governed by zoning ordinances. This is the only way to keep these mis-guided souls in check. When protective measures are in place and part of public policy there isn't much they can do except buy off a politician...

...
What cranks my ass is (when protective measures aren't in place) that they don't ask for the opinions of the "little people." Instead they rock our world with their fat-cat design schemes and then expect us to except it and live with it. Developers don't care about whats right for our communites only whats right for them. @#!!*@##!!!!

Swamp



What? That's the sort of fringe talk that makes places close their doors early to avoid having to deal with this absurdity. If these developers are so off their rocker, we will see their new plans stay empty as no one buys the condos. Yeah right. They will make a killing!

These arguments are ridiculous. And many of the things that are done in the name of preservation are anti-business. Is the Mai Kai on the register of historic places? No. They would fight that tooth and nail.

No one seems to be looking at this situation rightly. You own the Beverly Hills Trader Vic's franchise. It cost you many millions to buy. Every month, you are losing many thousands of dollars because business is slow. The property is, luckily, very valuable. There is a board meeting and an offer is made and you decide that it is time to stop the losses by selling. Maybe the previous owner used the place to offset a lot of capital gains they had. Maybe the property has remained becuase it was used as a tax shelter and has always been waiting for a buy out to make it worth dumping for another loser investment. Check the records. Did it change owners every 5 years? The IRS won't let you keep a losing investment forever...

Stop harshing on Trader Vic's. It is the last chain out there and the only ones widely serving a real good tropical drink.

The attitude here is exactly why they closed the doors quietly.


 
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Dr.TikiMojo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 26, 2006
Posts: 457
From: Elk Grove, CA
Posted: 2007-05-03 11:36 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-05-03 10:35, Swanky wrote:

These arguments are ridiculous. And many of the things that are done in the name of preservation are anti-business. Is the Mai Kai on the register of historic places? No. They would fight that tooth and nail.

No one seems to be looking at this situation rightly. You own the Beverly Hills Trader Vic's franchise. It cost you many millions to buy. Every month, you are losing many thousands of dollars because business is slow. The property is, luckily, very valuable. There is a board meeting and an offer is made and you decide that it is time to stop the losses by selling. Maybe the previous owner used the place to offset a lot of capital gains they had. Maybe the property has remained becuase it was used as a tax shelter and has always been waiting for a buy out to make it worth dumping for another loser investment. Check the records. Did it change owners every 5 years? The IRS won't let you keep a losing investment forever...




Quote:

On 2007-05-03 08:08, christiki295 wrote:
I have been there probably over a dozen times in the last couple of years and can attest there was no lack of patronage, either at the bar or the restaurant.




NOPE the Mai Kai is not on the National Register of Historic Places......that was where I decided to quit posting on my thread....after listening to the same people who whine about losing their historic Tiki locations then turn around and say in complete ignorance "but we KNOW the family that owns the Mai Kai and if they want to sell and make a few bucks after all their years of hard work then what right do we have to take that from them!"
That's where the problems started!
Number one just because a property is Historically Registered not only does it NOT prevent someone from selling it and making a profit it just protects the property from being torn down or changed without approval and EVEN THEN that doesn't stop the wrecking ball....I can't tell you how many Historic sites around the San Francisco Bay Area have met their makers due to new updating of earthquake codes!

The closure/sale of Trader Vic's Beverly Hills was simply about greed and making more money in the short term....no one was "losing" any money there.

A Historically Protected site pretty much helps the little guys, (the public), to at least stand up to the BIG Guys....City Developers, Walmart, Walgreens, Hotel Chains and so on, long enough to have a say in what they can and can't do with a protected property.....often times chasing them away for easier pickings!

I would say that if the over all attitude persists we can say good bye to the Mai Kai within the next few years!

Here are some other Historically Significant designs that as time and tastes changed people just saw fit to bulldoze them and put in more houses on less land.....it bugs me to no end!

Eichler Homes, the company run by Joseph Eichler from 1949 to 1966, built more than 10,000 homes in the San Francisco area and about 900 in Southern California.

http://totheweb.com/eichler/

Googie architecture was born of the post-WWII car-culture and thrived in the 1950s and 1960s. Bold angles, colorful signs, plate glass, sweeping cantilevered roofs and pop-culture imagery captured the attention of drivers on adjacent streets.

http://www.spaceagecity.com/googie/


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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 4965
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2007-05-03 1:03 pm   Permalink

What you are talking about is a property rights issue. Historical protection means that the owner of a property no longer has the free right to change that property. This is good if you want to see a building remain looking as it has for historical and or sentimental reasons. But it sucks if you own the property and you really feel like the way it looks is a negative and you'd like to change it. It also stinks if you simply want to replace the old windows with something modern and then find out you don't get to pick, someone else decides what windows you can replace them with.

It would also prevent the owners of the Mai Kai, the original family still, from ever remodeling the place they built. It would mean someone else decided how the building should look.

There are a lot of good reasons to do this. Maintaining the character of a neighborhood is important. But it is a tricky balancing act. And putting a place on a historic register against the wishes of the owner is obviously a conflict.

I am for it in most regards. Regrettably, most conservancies don't recognize anything under 100 years old as valuable around here.
_________________

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Kon-Tiki Viking
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 20, 2004
Posts: 91
From: Somewhere Beyond The Sea
Posted: 2007-05-03 4:32 pm   Permalink

Read most of the entries on this topic but I still don't know if the old Trader Vic's bar crew will be mixing at this new poolside bar - if they're not and all you get is the usual bland , sugarery "tropical" cocktails that most bars do then what's the point of going ?
In the end though, it's sad that, like most developers, the new owners of the Beverly Hilton have no idea whatsoever of the cultural importance of the building's they destroy. Trader Vic's had only a small footprint on the overall Hilton layout and it wouldn't have required much imagination to have incorporated TV's into the new development but property developers aren't exactly known for their imagination I guess (just look at some of the eyesore malls thrown up all across Southern California in the last twenty years.)
And picking up on another point made earlier on the thread, I don't think the new owners' nationality has anything to do with their destroying of an American cultural landmark. Back in the UK there was the great Beachcomber Bar at the Mayfair Hotel (possibly one of the greatest Tiki bars in Western Europe) which was gutted by it's UK owners in the mid-1980s to make way for a bland conference centre. Property developers and corporations worldwide don't really give a damn about "cultural landmark's" or popular culture in general.


 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3769
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2007-05-03 6:23 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-05-02 18:38, Swamp Tiki wrote:
Ohana:

Ironically, developers (large and small) live in a fantasy world far removed from our own. They genuinely believe that their ideas of urban development are bettering the world around them. They cannot understand that "old" can be a good thing. Developers see open lands or older properties as antiquated and lack-luster.



Excellent idea. It is probably the best tool against such development.


 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3769
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2007-05-03 6:27 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-05-02 17:12, Humuhumu wrote:
I've shared my thoughts on the current direction of Trader Vic's in a lengthy post on my blog:

Trader Vic’s Becomes Trader Meh

Those press releases are so blase as to be infuriating. I do feel for them -- I'm sure they didn't want to be banished to the pool. But their "nothing's really changing!" attitude, combined with their lackluster efforts with the new locations... they're just so far from the Trader Vic's I want to support.





True, how the deal occurred would be more telling: whether their lease ran out; whether they allowed themselves to be bought out, etc.
However, this TV location was doomed because of the land was so ripe for development - just like Sams in Huntington Beach.

I don't blame TV for letting it happen. However, I do hope they attempt to leverage their good business will by relocating elsewhere in the area. Otherwise, I will have grounds for ill feelings.


 
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Dr.TikiMojo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 26, 2006
Posts: 457
From: Elk Grove, CA
Posted: 2007-05-03 7:03 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-05-03 13:03, Swanky wrote:
What you are talking about is a property rights issue. Historical protection means that the owner of a property no longer has the free right to change that property. This is good if you want to see a building remain looking as it has for historical and or sentimental reasons. But it sucks if you own the property and you really feel like the way it looks is a negative and you'd like to change it. It also stinks if you simply want to replace the old windows with something modern and then find out you don't get to pick, someone else decides what windows you can replace them with.

It would also prevent the owners of the Mai Kai, the original family still, from ever remodeling the place they built. It would mean someone else decided how the building should look.

There are a lot of good reasons to do this. Maintaining the character of a neighborhood is important. But it is a tricky balancing act. And putting a place on a historic register against the wishes of the owner is obviously a conflict.

I am for it in most regards. Regrettably, most conservancies don't recognize anything under 100 years old as valuable around here.




Swanky....you are 100% correct!
In most cases after 50 plus years the property is no longer owned by the original builder/designer/owner usually a descendant if it is still "in the family". And living in a Historically Registered neighborhood I am completely FOR the idea that after a certain period of time, or historical significance that a property SHOULD be under the protection of a government agency for future generations...isn't this exactly what all the bitchin' here is about?

And please, let's not bring up "WINDOWS"....unless anyone else here LIVES IN A HISTORICALLY REGISTERED HOME I don't know if you understand just how much I understand the pros and cons of this!

I've wanted to replace my windows for years....They average 60"x75" (this was before most people even had electricity), and NO TWO WINDOWS ARE THE EXACT SAME MEASUREMENT.....this was a time when people were building everything CUSTOM on the job site....for me as a historical property owner I can't use vinyl windows, (wouldn't want to), no aluminum, steel, or fiberglass...they have to be custom wood framed, double hung windows.....and the VERY THING I WANT TO REPLACE THEM FOR .....DOUBLE PANE GLASS....the city fights me for.....regardless of the fact that I get no tax benefits for up keeping a historical property and it would cost me over $1,000 PER WINDOW X 22 PLUS WINDOWS FOR A TOTAL OVER $22,000 FOR FREAKIN' WINDOWS....while a new home can replace every window in the house and a sliding glass door for around $6,500....still I have doubled my money in 3 years and I CAN ALWAYS MOVE if I want to.

After 50 plus years and an income generating business please do not try to tell me that the owners of the Mai Kai or any other established business that's a Historical Landmark is unable to sell their business for a profit!

The very reason why there is a National Trust for Historic Preservation in this country and all over the UK when I traveled there was because cities, property owners, and developers all called historic properties just "old buildings" and felt it was time for a change.....if you want to side with the land owners who want to make a quick buck well I can think of a lot of historically significant sites "sitting" on valuable property that we should start tearing down.

Wow! I'm sorry! Suddenly I feel like I'm arguing against the property owners of the Hilton/Trader Vic's.

Maybe we should start a splinter group...instead of the "Urban Archaeologist" looking at what's now past we should start a group of 'URBAN PRESERVATIONISTS'!


 
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Uggamug
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 03, 2007
Posts: 17
From: under a rock
Posted: 2007-05-03 9:37 pm   Permalink

Bummer, it's a real tragedy that TV's has been taken from us. But I suspect that the bottom line was the bottom line! Those tiki businesses that show a solid profit are less likely to meet an untimely demise than the most hallowed halls of "Tiki-dom" that are in the red. So c'mon, boys and girls, let's get out there and have a cold tropical drink... after all, it's for a good cause!

 
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tikibars
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 2022
From: Aku Hall, Chicago
Posted: 2007-05-03 9:53 pm   Permalink

Tiki Ti is owned by a family.
Hala Kahiki is owned by a family.
Omni Hut is owned by a family.
Mai Kai is owned by a family.

All of these families directly own, operate, and are present day to day in these businesses.

Now let's compare this to the situation at hand...

'nuff said.




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