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Chicago Tiki
ken_miller4
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 11
From: Cleveland, OH
Posted: 2002-05-24 1:41 pm   Permalink

The Missus and myself will be in Chicago a couple weekends over the summer and we're wondering what tiki haunts are still around in the Windy City. Is Hala Kahiki still around? Is the Chicago Trader Vic's still Polynesian or did it fall victim to some redecorating? Other good spots?

 
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midnite
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 1230
From: 37? 47' N, 122? 26' W
Posted: 2002-05-24 2:48 pm   Permalink

Just got back from Chicago last week, posted a bit about TV on another threads here at Tiki Central.

I do believe Hala Kahiki is still operating, but it was a bit of a haul for me to get there from downtown. I made up for it by visiting TV's several times. Seems mgmt there is making an effort to round up some more business.

The decor is a lot more "nautical" than other Tiki palaces, but it's TV. I always thought TV's should be more explorer/nautical/tiki motif. It's still a great place, a classic IMO.

Wed night: $4 Zombies! Thur: $4 Mai-Tai night. Mon/Tues also have specials on one cocktail, and Fri has an appetizer buffet. Do get here for some of the drinks at least. The Barkeeps at TV's are first-rate.


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11210
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2002-05-24 11:39 pm   Permalink

As always, for questions on American Tiki bars, the authoritative guide that lists all (if that is possible) Tiki outposts in all cities is the Tiki Bar Review Pages to be found on James Teitelbaum's website http://www.tydirium.net
Though not updated in a while (James is working on the book version) it should always be consulted first when traveling to other towns.
As for Chicago: When in Chicago, NEVER pass up going to the Hala Kahiki, and if it is the only thing you do in that town. It is the King Tut's tomb of Witco, and after the demise of the Kahiki it firmly sits on place two after the Mai Kai in my list of remaining Tiki Temples worth seeing.
Trader Vic's has gotten rid of it's last beachcomber lamps now, which gives a very empty feeling. The carved beams are the best thing left.
Chef Shangri La also has some fine late Witco artefacts, and better Mai Tais than the Hala Kahiki.


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kongtiki
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 26, 2002
Posts: 68
From: Chicago
Posted: 2002-05-29 08:59 am   Permalink

Although no longer "open for business" in the way summer tourists may enjoy, the Kona Kai at the Chicago O'Hare Marriott still exists and can be viewed on the sly by the determined visitor. The bar area was converted into a sushi joint a few years back, and the rest of it is still available to rent for wedding receptions and what not. Most weekends, you can wander in and crash a party, and on the weekdays when the sushi place is open, they'll pretty much let you roam around the rest of the place and check it out. It's certainly not as lively as the Hala Kahiki, but if you're looking to explore a full-on exotic environment, forgotten and empty but not yet fully gone, with waterfalls and tikis intact, it's worth a stop.

 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5059
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2002-05-29 11:30 am   Permalink

Amen! Hala Kahiki is IT! It will take about 20-30 minutes to drive there from downtown, but it is worth it. Get driving directions (to and from) off the Net before you go.

It is the ultimate I have seen. Awesome music, tikis galore, decor to die for. And the big bonus: next door they have a Hawaiianna store where you can buy everything from 4 foot tikis to hundreds of vintage shirts to mugs, key fobs. Everything. And the wait staff at the bar pick their clothes from the stock.

I agree with the review though. the bartender was pour. My drink was empty for a long time. I had to call the guy over. He was on the phone and just not interested. I was the only person at the bar for a long while . It was not that he was busy. The waitress was very nice. She is a blond and showed me around and encouraged pictures etc.

So take money to shop and have a damn good time. They are closed on Mondays I think. Call and be sure. they were closed the first night I tried which sucked. There was also 1.5 feet of snow so I could not get out to the gardens and see the other tikis.
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DaneTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 29, 2002
Posts: 113
From: Minneapolis, MN
Posted: 2002-05-29 2:34 pm   Permalink



[ This Message was edited by: DaneTiki 2009-08-30 19:37 ]


 
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tikifish
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2720
From: Toronto,Canada
Posted: 2002-05-29 2:55 pm   Permalink

I just realized, when I went to the Chicago Trader Vic's, I must have missed most of the restaurant! I sat in a little bar area with booths. I never knew there was more to the place, but judging from some posts, I guess there is!

I feel a little silly now.


 
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midnite
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 1230
From: 37? 47' N, 122? 26' W
Posted: 2002-05-29 5:38 pm   Permalink

Quote:

Hala Kahiki is located) is easily reachable for $3 or so on the Metra (Chicago's commuter rail system).
Frankly, while I like going to Trader Vic's, the atmosphere is too uptight. I went there with my girlfriend for dinner last winter, and accidently got seated in the main dining room, which is completely stuffy & un-Tiki.



Uggh, I knew I shoulda looked into getting there that way. I was in Chicago and thought it was too, and not having a car figured no way I take the El that far. Dang it, I'll just have to return.

TV's is still a great room, especially the bar. I sat in the smoking section for dinner, which is weak on tiki. Mix in the history of TV and the great bartenders it's worth a visit. Especiially, hic!, on $4 Zombie night. That is wednesday for all interested.

There ain't much left "tiki-wise" anymore. So I say, visit TV and take what you can get. The televisions should go, as should the music, but that same affliction can be fond at Taboo Cove in Vegas.

Gotta go and plan my next trip to Chi now..let's see two Cubs games!


 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5059
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2002-05-30 06:49 am   Permalink

The Trader Vic's in Atlanta plays Hawaiian music, but it plays it at suck a low volume, you may not realize it's playing at all. I think Brian Eno designed their sound system during his Ambient phase.
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theARTFINK
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 02, 2002
Posts: 40
From: behind the green door
Posted: 2002-06-02 7:59 pm   Permalink

Yes the Hala Kahiki is a hip joint I've been a couple of times just dont take a cab there because you will never get one to come pick you up. we had to walk about 1/2 a mile to the bus stop in a blizzard. also the first time I went was on a sat. night and the place was packed. there was a line to the main door luckly we got there just before. and the other times i've been when they first opened and there was not many people there, you could actually hear the music, walk around and see everything ( witco out the yang! ) and the drinks were prepared better which is good. But if you are hungry, better hit the burger king down the street otherwise you'll be havin' pretzels for dinner.

 
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SlovakTiki
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jul 07, 2002
Posts: 96
From: Minneapolis, MN
Posted: 2002-09-03 8:00 pm   Permalink

[quote]
On 2002-05-29 14:34, DaneTiki wrote:
I just went down to Chi-town a couple of weeks ago and finally got to visit Hala Kahiki.
Dane,
I went to Chicago on August 17th.Wasn't the Hala Kahiki great? It totally satisfied my need for a Tiki fix.Unfortunately my girlfriend had to work so she couldn't come with me. It was especially unfortunate for her as she was the one who acccompanied me to Hawaii a couple years ago. She says "It would just make me long for the sunshine of Hawaii.".
Anyway, I wanted to ask you-when you were coming down I-90 from the north did you see that kiddie-park on the right side of the freeway? It was called Volcano World or something like that. It had a few little Tiki huts sitting next to the volcano.

Slovak
Addendum: You wrote that you took the metro to Hala kahiki so I assume you didn't drive to Chi-town. Anyway, the Volcano World thing looked kind of cool. I thought about stopping as I was just about to Chicago anyway. The sign for it had a Tiki face painted on it. I was wondering to myself if they might have a bar inside. I seriously doubt it though.

[ This Message was edited by: SlovakTiki on 2002-09-04 08:05 ]


 
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PolynesianPop
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2368
From: Corona, Ca
Posted: 2002-09-03 8:23 pm   Permalink

Does anyone here know if the Hala Kahiki still sells the old OMC Tall Fu Manchu's? I read somewhere that these were still being given away as the freebie with a certain drink. This particular patron said he was able to take home 2 - count 'em 2, of these mugs home after purchasing said drink.

I called there to see if I could purchase one but didn't want to dish out the cash for a the Orchids of Hawaii Fu Manchu knock-offs that are so prevalently used as the "take-home" these days. The person on the phone couldn't tell me because she wasn't sure what the difference was.

Anybody close to the Hala Kahiki to confirm this? These tall Fu Manchu's are different from the Orchids Fu Manchu's. They have a richer yellow color with smaller pupils and a more sinister facial smirk.

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Bartender, make mine a glass of WATAHHH!!!!!


 
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martiki
Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3058
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2002-09-04 1:56 pm   Permalink

I'm sorry that I'm not totally sure which kind, but there are definitely Fu's for sale in the Hala's gift shop. They do look like the one in your sig. gif., Pop. I'm sorry I can't be more specific. There were no stickers on the bottom, and they were $7.95

 
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PolynesianPop
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2368
From: Corona, Ca
Posted: 2002-09-04 3:32 pm   Permalink

Oh, okay. Well, the one in my signature is an OOH. They are probably selling the knock-off since OOH is out of business now. I'll have to post a picture of the Fu I'm talking about. I have one at home but it's marked Dr. Wong's in raised letters on the back instead. I believe the Hala Kahiki's Fu was marked with raised Chinese characters/letters on the back.

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Poly-Pop *



Bartender, make mine a glass of WATAHHH!!!!!


 
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DaneTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 29, 2002
Posts: 113
From: Minneapolis, MN
Posted: 2002-09-04 6:25 pm   Permalink




[ This Message was edited by: DaneTiki 2009-08-30 19:31 ]


 
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