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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki MAI KAI LOUNGE Tecumseh MI. (image heavy), Tecumseh, MI (restaurant)
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MAI KAI LOUNGE Tecumseh MI. (image heavy), Tecumseh, MI (restaurant)
bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11242
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2007-11-11 10:01 am   Permalink

Cool find indeed. A real time warp. I love that there are STILL little Tiki hideaways like this to be discovered. I wish I could go there with a tripod and shoot the place with long time exposure to convey the atmosphere of it (this is not a critique of your pics, Trav!).

Those modernist shapes on the exterior walls are wonderful, I wonder what the paint job looked like originally...and if they ever had a menu...

Those Witco bar stools are classic designs. For 1971, the mixture of Witco and Orchids of Hawaii (the tall Tikis) is typical, that's what was available in that part of the country then...I don't think the lamps are O.A., Orchids had those exterior lamps...but neither offered those fishnet floats.....

Waitaminnit!...come to think of it, Chicago's JOHNSON PRODUCTS sold the floats, AND also Witco and Orchids products (see catalog cover in TIKI MODERN page 238)...I think we got the supplier!


 
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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1816
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2007-11-11 10:21 am   Permalink

Thanks for the info Bigbro. Here's some more pics. This one is as close to the actual lighting as I could get with my camera.

A close-up of one of the float lights

The last booth with bamboo forest behind



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tikibars
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 2024
From: Aku Hall, Chicago
Posted: 2007-11-11 10:37 am   Permalink

Oops, sorry for the goof there in TRT2.

As Tipsy/Dave says, holding back on info isn't my style, and if it was, I sure wouldn't have written a book like TRT/TRT2.

The Witco bar stools were not there when I visited.
Just the poles.

Seems unlikely that they JUST got the Witco, so I am not sure where they were hiding when I poked my head it.

Nice pics, Uncle Trav!

Good to know that this place is actually a bit more Tiki now than it was during my brief visit (which was a few years back).

[ This Message was edited by: tikibars 2007-11-15 14:37 ]


 
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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1771
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2007-11-11 1:59 pm   Permalink

Extraordinary find there, uncle trav! Just when I'd about given in to the thought that everything worthwhile had been uncovered, something like this pops up out of nowhere. And it looks pretty much unadulterated. Well, except for that NASCAR sign. Just quietly pull it down when they're not looking.

 
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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1816
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2007-11-11 2:40 pm   Permalink

Thanks guys. The NASCAR stuff kinda dulls the mood. The motel is only 20 minutes away from a NASCAR track. But no juke box that I saw. I think one or two signs here and there is not bad after 35 years.

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Tonga Trader
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jan 23, 2006
Posts: 100
From: Chicago
Posted: 2007-11-12 09:30 am   Permalink

Wow, I love it. I've passed within a few miles of this place many times. Can't wait to check it out on my next trip through.

TT


 
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aintnoblackmail
Member

Joined: Nov 07, 2007
Posts: 9
From: michigan
Posted: 2007-11-13 2:56 pm   Permalink

wow..... it looks like i definatly need to check this place out. i wrote it off after reading about it in trt, but i guess i shouldn't have been so quick to judge..and the best part- it's only 30 miles away (which for tiki in michigan, is not very far at all!)
by the way, i'm new to posting on the forums, any fellow michiganders out there?


 
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aloha.taboo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 08, 2006
Posts: 176
From: Grand Rapids, MI
Posted: 2007-11-13 3:50 pm   Permalink

Us Michigan folks should plan a get together at this place!!

 
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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1816
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2007-11-13 5:08 pm   Permalink

this place is fantastic guys. The owner let us in before the lounge opened for the day so I didn't get to have a drink and enjoy the "fullon tikiness" of the place. I believe the hours are 5pm until midnight but you may want to check the motel website to make sure http://www.tecumsehinn.com/ These are really nice folks and have done a great job keeping tiki alive in their motel. Thanks for looking at the pics.

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aloha.taboo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 08, 2006
Posts: 176
From: Grand Rapids, MI
Posted: 2007-11-13 5:20 pm   Permalink

Here's a big question: do they serve any mixed drinks that are worthwhile?

Or would we have to walk the bartender through making a decent drink?


 
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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1816
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2007-11-13 6:22 pm   Permalink

I think the lounge serves standard cocktails judging from the liquor selection. If you mean a classic Tiki cocktail, such as a Mai Tai they may not have all the ingredients on hand or the knowledge of exotic mixology to make the drink. I think if enough people start to frequent the lounge and make suggestions they may be open to the idea of stocking more and different types of mixes and liquors. Maybe a friendly chat with the bartender and a written out drink recipe could get the ball rolling IMHO. Thanks


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Kabuddhabuddha
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 20, 2007
Posts: 39
From: Sunny Southwest Florida
Posted: 2007-11-13 7:14 pm   Permalink

From what you have written Uncle Trav, I would agree that the owner as well as the staff would be open to all ideas. Other than atmosphere, the most important thing about a great Tiki experience is the beverage. Unfortunately, we don't live in the 60's anymore and the "beverage" is a lost art trying to make a comeback. The mixologists are going strong in the larger city's but I'm guessing that at the newly rediscovered Mai Kai Lounge, with it's proximity to the racetrack, well, beer wins. If we are able to create a larger influx of business for the owner, I don't see where learning how to make a traditional Mai Tai would be a problem. I'm all for a get together, since I'm in Florida, I'm jealous of you all being able to get there first. We are coming up in April, maybe we could start working on a small event during that time. Since the Mai Kai Lounge is in the hotel, accommodations would be easy. I'm wondering if we started making a firm plan, we could possibly get the owner involved and bring in an experienced bartender for a couple of days. From what you've said, he takes pride in his place and the fact that it's remained untouched. If he was made aware of how many people actually appreciate that and want to visit, it could end up being the place to go for all tikiphiles in a 3 state radius and a win win for everyone. Again, just want to say the pictures are amazing. Thanks for taking the time to go check it out.
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aintnoblackmail
Member

Joined: Nov 07, 2007
Posts: 9
From: michigan
Posted: 2007-11-13 9:13 pm   Permalink

a get together sounds great! my boyfriend is going to be in town the weekend of thanksgiving, and i dont know if it will be a very good weekend for a get together, but we are definatly itching to get out there and see what it's all about, so if nothing else i will be able to post my expirience. however, if anyone is up for meeting up that friday or saturday, by all means!

 
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teaKEY
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 09, 2004
Posts: 3666
From: The thumb !
Posted: 2007-11-14 08:00 am   Permalink

At first glance I thought that this was all in Uncle's basement and it was hard to believe that anyone could even pull that off without all of Tiki Central knowing about it long before completion.

Great find, you would never know from the outside. Would be cool to have a mini version down in the basement still. Michigan isn't dried up as much as believed. Will have to visit when in the area. -teaKEY
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Tipsy McStagger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3530
From: HELL
Posted: 2007-11-14 08:24 am   Permalink

uncle trav, thanks for doing the legwork and making us here at tiki central aware of this place....sure, it's been there for awhile and a anyone could have looked it up in a phone book to find it, but thanks to you posting all this info and pics, others are now able to backtrack and enjoy the place..just look at the positive posts from folks above to see how this has added to their michigan tiki experience as well as renewed interest and support for the places' owners.....i know that there is no rule that says you must post everything about any tiki that one discovers, but isn't it nice to share and let others come to their own conclusions about a tiki bar as opposed to deciding for them what will be worth their while??...hats off to you my friend, thanks again..i will visit this place as soon as i am out that way......

 
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