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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Interview with Kern Mattei of the Mai Kai
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Interview with Kern Mattei of the Mai Kai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11594
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-01-03 08:17 am   Permalink

Echoing Tim's opening sentiment , I still would like to ad that GLOSSY paint poses a problem. If you look at those "Trader Vic's Emeryville carvings?" in "Collecting Tiki", not only are they painted wrong, but the glossy shine makes them look cheap:

...even a "glaze" like this might be too much...

Now I have no idea what concrete casts need as paint to begin with, that must be a challenge in its own right. I assume they need to be sealed somehow, but can a matte coat be applied to that then afterwards?

I realize that, essentially, these casts simply are NOT wood, and will behave in their own way....

Hey, I think they all should be turned into ANCIENT STONE SCULPTURES instead!

[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2008-01-03 08:32 ]

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The Mayor Of Exotica
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 09, 2005
Posts: 400
From: Boston
Posted: 2008-01-03 08:27 am   Permalink

To all those who have researched, carved, cast, painted, taken pix, and otherwise lent elbow grease, a most heartfelt thank you is in order.

I just want to say, you are the people who embody the adage, "support your local tiki bar." The work you are doing is invaluable, and I am confident in saying, without having spoken to them, that the owners and mgmt of the Mai Kai are most appreciative of your efforts. Even the debate here, regardless of the tone or perspective, has contributed to the consensus of a group of people and provided information, opinion, and encouragement, all of which is helpful too.

In light of this, to tie into the mug situation, there is a lot of work that goes into maintaining such a large establishment which falls outside the normal available resources. Tikis and tiki mugs are not exactly common items on a large market. There is a lot of personal initiative required to make up for short resources, and the fact that it is coming from a supportive community is a rare and beautiful thing.

This is the difference between the independent model and the large corporate model. I think you people know where I am going next. Unencumbered by a corporate central office that answers to shareholders and executives, the local Tiki Bar model is better able to improvise, to respond to changes in availability or lack of resources, and the more personal touch seems to be more conducive to the more loyal following. Support your LOCAL tiki bar!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2003
Posts: 2158
From: www.crazedmugs.com
Posted: 2008-01-03 09:15 am   Permalink

Just remember - you each owe Will a drink - he likes Rum Barrels - whenever you get back to the Mai Kai.
Hukilau should be a breeze for you, Will.

Heck, I think the painters deserve one from each of us, too!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 09, 2006
Posts: 161
Posted: 2008-01-04 04:50 am   Permalink

Gosh Guys,


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 01, 2006
Posts: 532
From: San Diego
Posted: 2008-01-09 7:47 pm   Permalink

Wow Will! I just found this thread and it looks like you've been busy!

It was so great hearing your stories during the Hukilau, and as pablus says, your love for the Mai Kai really shines though with all the hard work you've been doing.

I also have to say how impressed I am with your new painting help! I was excited about Hukilau before this thread, but now I just can't wait to get there! I have a feeling the gardens at the Mai Kai are going to feel completely different now.

I'd love to help paint if my schedule works out - that painting party looked incredible. I'm dying to see those molds too - that one guy with the little tangs on his chest looks great - was he a mold??


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 03, 2007
Posts: 196
Posted: 2008-01-11 3:46 pm   Permalink


On 2008-01-09 19:47, mieko wrote:
... I have a feeling the gardens at the Mai Kai
are going to feel completely different now.

hopefully NOT !

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 24, 2003
Posts: 1207
From: McKinney, TX
Posted: 2008-01-14 01:11 am   Permalink


On 2007-08-31 22:14, pablus wrote:
More news.

The Mai Kai has been sold.

To Dave Levy. He is the natural progression of this place and has good plans for it.

I recently heard the Mai Kai is for sale again. Anyone have any info?

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