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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Mystery Photo 1959 Tiki Bar
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Mystery Photo 1959 Tiki Bar
Limbo Lizard
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 663
From: Aboard the 'Leaky Tiki', Dallas
Posted: 2008-08-16 3:33 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-08-16 09:13, DJ Terence Gunn wrote:
...located at 546 Grant Avenue in San Francisco. (542 would be to the left of 544, as one looks at the photo.)...


I almost hope I'm wrong, but I think you have that backwards.
The address numbers increase as you move to the left of 544 (or, north). At least that's how it works on the Google Maps view.
The address on the yellow sign of our target says "540" and "Lisa Jewelry Co." 544 would be the store immediately to the left of it.
I know it would be really cool if he was standing in front of The Place, and it had a Polynesian mural, and we had some sort of beat/tiki tie-in. But I don't think it's The Place. Address is wrong. It would be on the other side of 544. But I definitely think AlienTiki has the right place.
Tilt the Google picture down and look at the granite curb (perfect match) and the sidewalk. In 1959, that tilted over signpost sticks up from broken concrete in the sidewalk. The Google pic shows darker concrete where that same spot was later repaired.
I'd be delighted to find I'm wrong, if someone finds a picture of The Place in 1959.


 
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Tiki Shaker
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jun 28, 2008
Posts: 702
From: Menifee, CA
Posted: 2008-08-16 3:50 pm   Permalink

So far I have only found a photo of the inside of "The Place"

It's titled [Crowd gathering around a man reading from a novel by D. H. Lawrence at The Place bar]
"SOAPBOX EXPOUNDING AT 'THE PLACE'--A necktie's hard to come by in Bohemia."
1957 Sept. 26.



No signs of polynesia in that pic.


 
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DJ Terence Gunn
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 20, 2005
Posts: 250
Posted: 2008-08-16 3:59 pm   Permalink

Damn! And here I was all excited that I may have solved the mystery -- at least the place -- with help from previous info, but I sit corrected. Yes, the address is 442 Grant Avenue, which -- according to a San Francisco's Metrobot site -- is currently home to Forever Happhy Visa Service. This would mean that The Place would be on the other side of that boutique (544); and that really sucks. 'Course, the facade probably is very bland, considering it was a bohemian hangout.

Okay then. I'm going back to my initial proposal (before anyone else did, so I get credit remember:) that the mystery place was a jewelry store.

Boy! This is, indeed, fun though! I made a mistake but unearthed something that I never knew in the process.


 
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Tipsy McStagger
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Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3493
From: HELL
Posted: 2008-08-16 4:15 pm   Permalink

maybe...but before we can say with any certainty, we must first find out if the city changed the addresses at all within the past 40 years..until we know this, we cannot rely on the address placement of the photo and it's relation to current day google pics ....

..and as for this......it's actor james brolin from one of his earlier movies.....










..okay..it's not.....but it sure looks like him!!

[ This Message was edited by: Tipsy McStagger 2008-08-16 16:18 ]


 
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Heath
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 31, 2005
Posts: 608
From: Suburban San Diego (The Drawer)
Posted: 2008-08-16 4:37 pm   Permalink

I'm really enjoying following this thread, but this photo has broght up another mystery...

Could the man expounding from the soapbox in this picture...




Be this man?



There is a resemblance.

Back to the original subject:
I haven't been able to get a definite answer from anyone that might know if it's in San Diego. No-one I know remembers the facade anywhere around downtown. And if it was here, the part of downtown that has the slight hills has been "revitalized".
I'll keep trying though.
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DJ Terence Gunn
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Joined: Jun 20, 2005
Posts: 250
Posted: 2008-08-16 4:39 pm   Permalink

I was thinking about that, too, that we can't completely rely on the street address info of today in comparison to those of many years ago; too many things change, alter, and vanish altogether.

If the mystery photo isn't of The Place, and it is something else, the reason I don't think it is a bar (and I could be wrong, of course) is because:

#1. In 1959, Polynesian bars were usually attached to Polynesian restaurants or in hotels (some both), and this little store looks too small to be a restaurant.

#2. The alcoves displaying jewelry. Why would a bar display jewelry?

#3. There were loads of jewelry stores in this very area of 1959.

#4. If this mystery place was, in fact, a tiki bar of somekind, why does nobody know about it on this website? Why hasn't it been documented in Tiki News or some other publication? Wouldn't Otto have known of it? Sven? Etc.? After all, if it IS a tiki bar, it must've been privately owned, short-lived, and therefore somewhat special.

Anyway, a few things to think about. And yes, AlienTiki is the one who came up with the Grant Avenue proposal before anyone else did. The street number, however, was in the initial post by sputnik. I came up with The Place proposal (even if I was mistaken). This is collective sleuthing.


 
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Tiki Shaker
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jun 28, 2008
Posts: 702
From: Menifee, CA
Posted: 2008-08-16 4:43 pm   Permalink

I would be surprised if the place in the photo was a jewelry store. Would they really only display their goods in two tiny windows? And have a door decorated with bamboo? As for that being a necklace in the window, I disagree. Take a look at the man's eyes. Now look at the size of his eyes compared to the size of the "necklace" in the window behind him. That would make the beads/shells or whatever that is used to make it about the size of marshmallows.... or, in my humble opinion - flowers. I do believe that is a Lei in the window.

Now for the 2 white things in front of the black square type thing below the Lei. I think the black square is a reflection. And the two white things? 2 asian statues or mugs similar to the Geisha mugs.


 
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Tiki Shaker
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jun 28, 2008
Posts: 702
From: Menifee, CA
Posted: 2008-08-16 4:48 pm   Permalink

Damn Heath, I haven't laughed that hard in forever. I completely expect them to bring up the fact that he taught Kerouac how to write in the next commercial!

 
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seafoamer
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 05, 2008
Posts: 54
From: ma
Posted: 2008-08-16 5:21 pm   Permalink

You can spend all day browsing the pictures on this site: http://sfpl.org/librarylocations/sfhistory/browse.htm
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DJ Terence Gunn
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 20, 2005
Posts: 250
Posted: 2008-08-16 5:22 pm   Permalink

A lei IS a necklace. A string of flowers, sure, but still a necklace (or a wreath). But I understand your point, regarding the scale of the necklace/lei compared to the man, and I agree. They're probably white silk flower leis. However, the place may have sold Hawaiian curios, clothes, jewelry, etc. The bamboo door fits in with the aesthetics of the Polynesian mural. As far as what's below the leis, they could possibly be statues of somekind, as well. Two porcelain dolphins, perhaps? The place could've been a South Pacific art gallery of some kind, as well. The mid-20th Century Art Movement was popular in this particular area.

In any case, I think we all want this place to BE a Polynesian-themed bar/restaurant, but we really don't know at this point. I still think it's too small to have incorporated cooking facilities within.

Anyone know of any small, stand alone, foodless, tiki bars in late 1950s California? I'm not referring to this one, but any one. And if there is/was/were, would the establishment been legally permitted to sell hard alcohol without the sale of food back then?

[ This Message was edited by: DJ Terence Gunn 2008-08-16 17:29 ]


 
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Tipsy McStagger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3493
From: HELL
Posted: 2008-08-16 6:16 pm   Permalink

..how about tiki ti??..no food, small bar, stand alone building, been there forever....



also, look closely at the close up of the leis in the window.....i agree there is a reflection.....but there is also something distinct and dark behind the leis....looks like a sea turtle shell with the leis draped over it.....or is that a small face in the center of the leis's??? a maori face with shell eyes?? a turtles head??


..this guy is linked to the travel industry.......that's my gut feeling..i'll bet this place is a travel agency of some sort that his company was associated with....this particular store or branch dealt with south seas travel which was becoming very popular about that time.....

[ This Message was edited by: Tipsy McStagger 2008-08-16 18:24 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Tipsy McStagger 2008-08-16 18:26 ]


 
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DJ Terence Gunn
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 20, 2005
Posts: 250
Posted: 2008-08-16 8:07 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-08-16 18:16, Tipsy McStagger wrote:
..how about tiki ti??..no food, small bar, stand alone building, been there forever....



Thanks! Interesting. Been there since 1961. They legally can allow smoking currently, as there are only two employees and both are the owners. I like that. And cash only. Safter to pay with cash. I like that, too.

So, does the state of California allow liquor to be served in bars without the sale of food? Each state is different. In Washington State a certain amount of sales must come from food, otherwise, no liquor licence.

In any case, the mystery location could definitely be a bar, a tiki tavern, if no food sales were necessary. It could've been a travel agency of sorts, too. However, it doesn't give any kind of indication that it would be a travel agency, which would be bad for business. And the sign above definitely looks more like a sign a tavern would have. It really looks more like a bar, or an art gallery, or a jewlery store. Did Hawaiian Airlines or Pan America have any travel agency stores that may have resembled this? Anyone know?

I'm wondering, too, if perhaps the mural was a fabric or the like put up in the windows, rather than a direct painting.


 
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Limbo Lizard
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 663
From: Aboard the 'Leaky Tiki', Dallas
Posted: 2008-08-16 9:01 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-08-16 16:48, Tiki Shaker wrote:
Damn Heath, I haven't laughed that hard in forever. I completely expect them to bring up the fact that he taught Kerouac how to write in the next commercial!


Or, how about he taught Kerouac how to type.


 
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Tiki Shaker
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jun 28, 2008
Posts: 702
From: Menifee, CA
Posted: 2008-08-17 12:21 am   Permalink

No, it looks nothing like the Tiki-Ti. And yes, there are plenty of bars here that serve booze without serving food.

As for it being painted or not, I would say yes, it is painted. If you look at the bottom of the mural, just above the dark tile you can see the outline/shapes of decorative tile that have been painted over.


 
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Tipsy McStagger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3493
From: HELL
Posted: 2008-08-17 05:01 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-08-17 00:21, Tiki Shaker wrote:
No, it looks nothing like the Tiki-Ti. And yes, there are plenty of bars here that serve booze without serving food.

As for it being painted or not, I would say yes, it is painted. If you look at the bottom of the mural, just above the dark tile you can see the outline/shapes of decorative tile that have been painted over.





.the question was not if it looked like tiki ti.....anyone can see it doesn't.... the question was in regards to there being any other stand alone bars from that time period in california.


..and it was never a question of it being painted or not....we are all in agreement there....the question was in regards to it being painted on a wooden facade or glass..personally i said wood because painted window glass is a liability for any business.(plus, they would have had to cut the glass around the chinese tiles at the bottom...what business would bother with that??).....suppose someone leans against it thinking it's solid or some dope tries to post a bill by stapling it to the glass.(yes people are that stupid sometimes).....i suppose some einstein here will explain that the moulding around the little windows is painted on and not actual molding, which is what it is-three dimensional moulding framing the little window...


..I'm sorry ...i'm grumpy...it's early in the a.m.....haven't had my morning coffee and i'm on the way out the door to the flea market.....

[ This Message was edited by: Tipsy McStagger 2008-08-17 05:07 ]


 
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