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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki TRADER VIC's Warehouse Sale
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TRADER VIC's Warehouse Sale
bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11196
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-03-03 12:35 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-03-03 12:20, Tipsy McStagger wrote:
oh yeah, i saw a report the other day on children throughout the U.S. and how infested they are with germs...YUCK!!



TOLD YOU! ....nothing but trouble!

Quote:

On 2008-03-03 12:20, Tipsy McStagger wrote:
... trader vics decided. "fuck it"...get rid of the shit and install all new product!"



As a matter of fact, I just saw their new CEO from Australia quoted on their website in those exact same words!



 
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hanford_lemoore
Proprietor

Joined: Mar 23, 2002
Posts: 1870
From: Tiki Central
Posted: 2008-03-03 12:50 pm   Permalink

I have a slightly different take on the reason for this sale. I got a full tour of the warehouse and saw the sections that were mostly off-limits (I say mostly because it seems like a lot of people made it back into those other sections). It was clear to me that the real use of the warehouse is to stock and supply the various TV locations with restaurant supplies -- plates, mugs, glassware, mai tai glasses, employee uniforms, etc. These are all things that turn over constantly. Plates break, mugs disappear, etc. This is the function of the warehouse. In comparison, the huge collection of tikis and vintage stuff just sits around the warehouse taking up lots of space and getting in the way. It's "dead stock". Now it's true that if they're getting rid of Tikis that is seems like in the future they won't have them on hand when they want to open a new location, but I truly don't think that influences their designs. If they want tikis, they'll get them, even if they're not in the warehouse. Likewise, as witnessed in Las Vegas, even when they DO have plenty of tikis in the warehouse it doesn't mean that they'll use them.



 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5058
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2008-03-03 12:57 pm   Permalink

I spoke with Sven Koch about opening costs and in particular, decorating costs. Indeed, they consider the cost of decor a very tiny thing. When the head chef is making $100k a year plus, well, let's just say that opening Trader Vic's is not a cheap thing and thes carvings, etc are a tiny part of the budget. $25k. So, they don't have much value to them. I'm sure they would much rather empty a warehouse and get it off the books.

And yes, the franchises own their decor. They own everything. The main things TV does for a franchise is train their top tier staff and supply them with consumables like mugs and rum, etc.
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midnite
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 1230
From: 37? 47' N, 122? 26' W
Posted: 2008-03-03 1:27 pm   Permalink

...the sections that were mostly off-limits (I say mostly because it seems like a lot of people made it back into those other sections).

I saw a couple of ne'er do wells rummaging through a box of "off limits" booty like a pair of scavenging hooligans. I even think there was photographic evidence of their shenanigans, good thing one of the warehouse girls 86'd their endeavor.

All the news that's fit to print,
scoop midnite



 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11196
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-03-03 1:37 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-03-03 12:57, Swanky wrote:
I spoke with Sven Koch about opening costs and in particular, decorating costs. Indeed, they consider the cost of decor a very tiny thing. When the head chef is making $100k a year plus, well, let's just say that opening Trader Vic's is not a cheap thing and thes carvings, etc are a tiny part of the budget. $25k. So, they don't have much value to them. I'm sure they would much rather empty a warehouse and get it off the books.



In other words: It's all GOOD, we ALL win! Well, or we think we do, the real winners seem to be the head chefs!


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11196
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-03-03 1:44 pm   Permalink

Midnite, have we successfully proven unworthy to ever find out what the REAL story and purpose of your find is?

 
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Psycho Tiki D
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 13, 2006
Posts: 1810
From: The river Styx, can you pay the toll?
Posted: 2008-03-03 3:29 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-03-03 13:44, bigbrotiki wrote:
Midnite, have we successfully proven unworthy to ever find out what the REAL story and purpose of your find is?



I have two words for that item "Senor Pico". Yes, in addition to the multitude of TV items, strewn amoungst the cornicopia of Trader Vic treasures were a few lowly Senor Pico items.

Midnite, sorry to blow your cover. OLE!

PTD

[ This Message was edited by: Psycho Tiki D 2008-03-03 15:30 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11196
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-03-03 4:01 pm   Permalink

Gracias, PTD! ...So Midnite is working on getting a foot in the door of the NEXT collector's craze, eh?.....American MEXICAN restaurants! But we have caught on to his plan, hehehe....

So amigo, do not speak of Senor Pico as "lowly"....eet eez the next big thing --together with Witco Conquistador style!




 
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Psycho Tiki D
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 13, 2006
Posts: 1810
From: The river Styx, can you pay the toll?
Posted: 2008-03-03 6:22 pm   Permalink

Taking Tipsy's poo factor into consideration, I made sure I sterilized this before placing it in the bedroom.

This is the other pole I purchased. Originally planned on putting this in the living room, but with the new floors, it was a hair too tall and I didn't have the heart to cut it down...








This is a banner my buddy moondog426 made me in honor of the Trader Vic's warehouse sale. Thanks!

Can't wait until tiki hammer gets home!

PTD


 
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Mai Tai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 21, 2004
Posts: 1436
From: Exotic Isle of Alameda
Posted: 2008-03-04 09:53 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-03-03 13:27, midnite_tiki wrote:
I saw a couple of ne'er do wells rummaging through a box of "off limits" booty like a pair of scavenging hooligans. I even think there was photographic evidence of their shenanigans, good thing one of the warehouse girls 86'd their endeavor.



Here they are, caught red handed! Looking through boxes of awards plaques from the office. No official TC Tiki Day declaration from Mayor Gavin Newsome, though.


Here are my pics from the Trader Vic's warehouse sale. Ray and I managed to hit the sale on four separate days, but he's a bigger geek than I am because he went twice on one day!

Saturday February 23rd
Lots of cool vintage fish floats and lamps hanging from the warehouse rafters. Fairly frantic frenzy of tiki buyers had Michelie and Kier frazzled. People are stunned and amazed at all of the fantastic merchandise available for sale, and are literally walking around speechless, bumping into each other! Check out the cool bottle on the left that Otto scored, and the giant fish float right above Otto that I scored, and that Ray risked life and limb in retrieving for me. There was a lot of physical suffering for the tiki gods on this sale.


Cool Turtle.


Some of the schwag we scored.


Anyone remember this from the 2007 tiki crawl? The San Francisco Trader Vic's served us Mai Tais in this vessel, (or one just like it - the debate goes on) as their Mai Tai boat. So, they would not sell the Mai Tai boat, but as it turns out, Eve Bergeron confirmed that it's not really a Mai Tai boat at all - it's a giant food serving tray that they pack full of ice, and use to serve fresh fruit, shrimp, etc. Once she confirmed that, it almost became available for sale, but alas, the chef at the Emeryville TV claimed it for their banquet room. Oh well, I tried to get it, believe me, I really tried. Like almost banned from the warehouse tried.


Psycho Tiki D and Alohacurrent drive off with a car full of schwag. They'll be back.


We fill Dr. Von Zombie's SUV with so much booty, that we forgot to save a space for Ray, and had to do a little last minute re-arranging.



Papua New Guinea masks from the San Francisco Trader Vic's. Cool board carvings too!


Here's a Mai Tai boat that was available for sale.


Loading Ray's tiki from the New York TV into Casa de Mai Tai, where it is taking a little rest for now.



Ray and his prom date. I think it was the "Enchantment Under The Sea" theme.


After all the heavy lifting was completed, we celebrated with club sandwiches. This one's from Jim's Coffee Shop in Alameda, and so far is in the lead in The Amazing Club Sandwich Race.


And then we went to Mark Holt's place, freshly renovated by Bamboo Ben. And there was much rejoicing.




Monday February 25th
There's still quite a bit of stuff still available. I'm guessing that the really big storm that hit on Saturday night might have kept people away on Sunday? For me, Monday turns out to be one of my favorite days of the warehouse sale. There's literally just a handful of us, and there is no buying frenzy, so Kier and Michelie fill us in on a lot of the history of the various items. Also, we aren't in shock and wandering around aimlessly in a tiki daze anymore, so we are able to absorb and appreciate the setting and the information better. We had such a good time that day that Ray showed up twice.

Hanford checks out some of the signal flag bathroom plaques from the San Francisco location, and discovers that his signal flags clash. To keep the plaques from disappearing by prying hands, they had been heavily epoxied onto the bamboo backing, and the TV folks found it was much easier to just remove the entire backing from the wall for this sale than to remove each individual plaque.


Hanford finds a new home for this tiki.


We get to take a peek through a binder that has cataloged all of the art work done by none other than Vic Bergeron. Here is a piece that will forever end the argument that owls are not tiki.


Setting sail for Christmas Island.


Decisions, decisions. After much pacing and wringing of hands, Ray eventually chooses the tiki third from the right, and I choose the one on the far right. Getting them home, let alone just moving them from that spot, is an entirely different story, however.


Did someone say Senor Pico? Here's a bunch of their wares, with the base of the cool chicken bong in the background.


Wednesday February 27th
Am I really going back for the third time? Lordy, help me! My pocket book has taken a fairly strong beating by this point, and is begging for mercy. Coco Loco isn't too thrilled that I'm going back, until she remembers some cool items that she wanted - then it's okay! Turns out, there is still a ton of cool stuff left. Uh oh. Today is the day to pick up the small stuff that we might have forgotten about, like Mama Gruber or parrot swizzles, or so we tell ourselves. Then Ray snags a cool large orange globe lamp, and I score another large fish float, and a cool tiny one that has been pre-drilled for a light - so much for small stuff! Kier and Michelie have also unearthed a few other things, like that great drum. I am really tempted to unwrap some of those 8 foot tikis laying against the wall still in their packaging, but don't have the blueberries to do it.

The warehouse staff has moved our tikis out to the front of the loading dock for us.


Two of the best sports on the planet, Michelie and Kier, along with their antagonizer. Note the giant blueberry in his hand.


Then it's back to Alameda, where we check out the club sandwich at Tillie's - sadly, a little dry. We then hit Forbidden Island, for the Rum 201 class with Ed Hamilton.


Friday, February 29th
My fourth trip. Ray's fifth. I think we now officially have a problem. Coco Loco needs the big car today, so that forces me to pick Ray up in the Miata. "That's okay," I tell myself and him, "it will keep us from buying too much stuff." Later on at lunchtime, Ray and I get lost in the 'hood, and wander around the streets of Richmond with the top down - definitely a memorable experience.

Friday is a slow day for the most part. There are actually quite a few people buying stuff when we arrive, but we scare them off quickly. We're basically going to see if there's anything new that has been unpackaged and that we may have missed, and also to hopefully load up our tikis if Mark Holt shows up with the TikiTastic Express van. Surprisingly, a lot of the smaller merchandise available for sale has been thinned out. Either people bought a bunch of stuff on Thursday, or I'm guessing that they made merchandise available to their franchises. I was going to score a vintage fish float lamp for Polynesiac, but I was suprised to see that they were all gone - sorry, Jim! There was still a lot of large stuff available on Friday, though, as Psycho Tiki D's pic's show in his posts above.

Psyco Tiki D and I can wait no longer, and tear into the wrapped tikis like it was Christmas morning.


Here's the drum, now with a picture of Trader Vic playing it. Ray has a meltdown until they break the news to him that it's not the same drum, and offer proof that the rope around the drum head is wrapped around 6 or more times, and the drum in the picture has the rope only wrapping around 4 times. Ray is crushed.


Here's a close up of the pic. Is that Barry Goldwater on the left? And who is the groovy guy on the right, Bruce Woodbury's dad?


TikiHula scores one of the big tikis that was behind the bar at the San Francisco Trader Vic's.


Getting it into the car is a more difficult proposition than expected, and TikiHula has to shed blood to appease the tiki gods. Hey, no one ever said that this warehouse sale was gonna be easy. I forwarned everyone earlier that there was a lot of pain and suffering to the tiki gods for this sale.


Here's a last minute purchase that's loaded into the SUV.


Then it's back to Sacramento for those Menehunes. Ray and I hope they use their magic powers to keep that giant Marquesan tiki from SF Vic's from falling out of the back of their SUV.


Then the TikiTastic Express shows up, and financial carnage begins! For example, those two bad boys sitting on either side of the loading dock.


And this 12 foot tall Ku too!


The folks at Trader Vic's express their gratitude to Mark by presenting him with a special gift. Eve Bergeron has unearthed a crate of rum that's been sitting in the warehouse since the 1960's, and presents a bottle of it to Mark.


Here's a close up of the bottle. It's "Flaming Rum", which was used to ignite fire in the volcano bowls, etc.


The rest of my pics are a documentation of the new business that Mark, Ray, and I have formed: The Tiki Moving Co.



First stop, the Conga Lounge!


Second stop, Forbidden Island.


Last stop, Casa de Mai Tai, where we unloaded 3 tikis.



The last one was so heavy, that it required all three of us to move it.



This last group of photos I like to call "When Tikis Take Over Your House."

Tikis in my dining room. Ray owns the two on the left, mine is the extremeley heavy one on the right.


Trader Vic's warehouse schwag scattered in my living room. I can spot a Trader Vic's bar stool, and on the coffee table I see a fogcutter mug, port and starboard mugs, coconut mugs still in their boxes, various restaurant ware, and some Mama Gruber swizzles and Christmas Menehunes, to name a few things. And a very tired TikiTastic.


Three more bar stools from San Francisco, one small and two large fish floats, giant clam shells, and a bag of ceramics, including a helmet shell mug, and menehune compote, and a pig mug. Oh, and Ray's NY tiki in the background, with his two other tikis as well, under safe lock and key here at Casa de Mai Tai, until he is ready to pick them up. Until then, they are mine. Mine, mine mine! (Just kidding, Ray. He knows where I live, and I understand he is fairly handy with a flaming rum molotov cocktail!).


So, wow, what a week! After a week of going to the warehouse, and then moving tikis all Friday evening, then moving furniture all weekend, along with various other tiki shenanigans, I am spent! My back is still a little sore, but my knees and shoulders are feeling better - more pain and suffering to the tiki gods. But I would do it all again in a heartbeat. Although my pocket book is stinging, my only regret is not having more money to partake in more of the amazing merchandise that the good folks at Trader Vic's made available for sale to us. Many thanks again to Kier, Michelie, and Eve, who were good enough sports to tolerate my shenanigans for more than a few days, and again to Eve for hopping into the van to help us load all those tikis! Talk about great customer service! Hats off to Mark Holt as well, for helping us move all of those tikis. It was indeed a week for the ages, tiki wise. I'm still floating on Cloud 9!!! Cheers!

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rugbymatt
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2005
Posts: 1203
From: Sacramento
Posted: 2008-03-04 10:12 am   Permalink

Anything still left out there, now that I am in town? My timing on this business trip sucked.
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5058
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2008-03-04 10:45 am   Permalink


Hmm... Yep, looks like TC folks are in action here...


 
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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1771
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2008-03-04 10:59 am   Permalink



Stop it!! Stop it!! Stop, stop, STOP!! I cannot take reading this thread anymore. Far too painful to watch all this pillaging and not be one of the pillagers!

You will all burn in h...

... or because you have now emptied out your 401Ks for this sale, you will all declare bankruptcy sometime within the next year and will have to liquidate and we'll get some of those spoils at bargain prices! Yeah, that's it. I'm waiting.


 
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Mike the Headhunter
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 24, 2004
Posts: 190
From: Wastelands of western NC
Posted: 2008-03-04 8:48 pm   Permalink

I can't help but agree with GatorRob, this thread is nothing but depressing. We're just on the wrong coast at the wrong time. Oh well hopefully this sale is over and we can let them box it all up raiders of the lost ark style never to be sold again.
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martiki
Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3058
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2008-03-04 9:25 pm   Permalink

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/05/us/05tiki.html?ex=1362373200&en=df96c4f7a9cbbba2&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

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