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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Mystery Photo 1959 Tiki Bar
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Mystery Photo 1959 Tiki Bar
dogbytes
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 2241
From: seattle, wa
Posted: 2008-08-15 6:09 pm   Permalink

i've got my mom & dad working on this mystery: dad says its a bar on Grant Ave in SF, and will get more info, they grew up in chinatown..

 
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DJ Terence Gunn
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 20, 2005
Posts: 250
Posted: 2008-08-15 8:50 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-08-15 18:09, dogbytes wrote:
i've got my mom & dad working on this mystery: dad says its a bar on Grant Ave in SF, and will get more info, they grew up in chinatown..



I think your dad is right, Elecia. Could that bar possibly be the following (though it seems rather an odd description, considering the Polynesian mural. 'Course, it would make it even more fascinating if it were, indeed, the following):

'Traveling down Grant Avenue, you will find "The Place" at 546 Grant for Stop 9. This was an underground Bohemian hangout from the 40s to the 60s. It was a center for showing underground painters (e.g. Wally Hedrick projected early liquid-light shows on the walls, and paintings by Robert LaVigne and Jy Defco hung here). "The Place" was managed by Knute Stiles and Leo Krikorian, both Black Mountain College alumni. What started as Dada Night evolved in the late 50s into Blabbermouth Night, an open social forum.'



 
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dogbytes
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 2241
From: seattle, wa
Posted: 2008-08-15 8:51 pm   Permalink

i'll be in SF on Aug 25, and i'll recon for us (unfortunately, another funeral.. geez)


 
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DJ Terence Gunn
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 20, 2005
Posts: 250
Posted: 2008-08-15 9:04 pm   Permalink

Actually, if the mystery place is the old bohemian hangout, 'The Place', then the Polynesian Mural painted on the walls/glass facade makes perfect sense, as it displayed artists. Perhaps at the time of the photograph Eugene Savage or some similar artist was displaying his or her talents? In any case, I wonder if the above sign actually says 'The Place', rather than the suspected '...Room'. Perhaps Sputnik can look at the slide again at home?

 
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AlienTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 08, 2005
Posts: 424
From: MAUI No Ka'oi
Posted: 2008-08-16 02:41 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-08-15 14:00, AlienTiki wrote:
544 Grant ave San Francisco Chinatown. Jewelry stores are in that location still today.

I could be wrong but take a look at some of the old doors. they look the same as the green door in the photo(window the same size and locations in center of the door.) Also in the photo you can see some green Chinese ceramic tiles under the clothing store's window. makes me think it's china town.

Google it. check out the yellow door at 550 grant.

[ This Message was edited by: AlienTiki 2008-08-15 14:02 ]



It took me about five minutes to find the place on google. The google earth thingy kicks ass. Mystery solved


 
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tikigreg
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1136
From: ClubTiki
Posted: 2008-08-16 06:34 am   Permalink

Amazing! And if you're still not convinced it's the same place, click and drag the Google Street View map to point up to the top of the building. The top has the same blocky trim on the facade as seen in the 1959 picture.

Good joerb guys!


 
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twitch
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 12, 2006
Posts: 423
From: Vacant lot where T. Vic's, Van. was
Posted: 2008-08-16 07:20 am   Permalink

Hmmm, I dunno - are we talking about the store with the 'Grand Opening..." banner @ #540? The side-door looks the same but...
Aw, damn - I'd elaborate, but once again TC has made me late for work!!!


 
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dogbytes
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 2241
From: seattle, wa
Posted: 2008-08-16 07:34 am   Permalink

from my mom: who's 80, from memory!!

Hi Elicia: Can't say that I know who that gentleman is. Only that the store front is located on 544 Grant Ave. My Father's store is Peking Bazaar on 486 Grant Ave (cross street is Pine street.) This store front is 544 Grant Ave on the middle of the block (cross street is California Street where St. Mary's Church sits.)

i'll get pix next week, i'll be there for a memorial for my cousin-in-law


 
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tikigreg
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1136
From: ClubTiki
Posted: 2008-08-16 07:40 am   Permalink

Pix would be cool, but the Google Street View shows its the same place.

 
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Tipsy McStagger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3490
From: HELL
Posted: 2008-08-16 08:26 am   Permalink



..even though this may be the famed beatnik hangout, i wouldn't put too much stock in what the sign above the door says...beatniks weren't real hip on advertising their hangout to possible squares that might wander in off the street...hence the "underground" aspect .....so i doubt the sign said "the place" on it....the sign was probably for whatever business it was before (or after) the beatniks left.....none the less, it's all the same building...



the part of the sign that refered to "room" probably had more to do with rooms for rent than a bamboo room.....a beatnik flop house indeed!!

[ This Message was edited by: Tipsy McStagger 2008-08-16 08:28 ]


 
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DJ Terence Gunn
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 20, 2005
Posts: 250
Posted: 2008-08-16 09:13 am   Permalink

Regardless of whatever the sign above says, the mystery photo IS of 'The Place', legendary beatnik bar and hangout of the 1950s, located at 546 Grant Avenue in San Francisco. (542 would be to the left of 544, as one looks at the photo.)

http://www.hotelboheme.com/sanfran/tour.html

http://www.emptymirrorbooks.com/books/blabbermouth1957.html

Mystery solved.


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DJ Terence Gunn
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 20, 2005
Posts: 250
Posted: 2008-08-16 09:59 am   Permalink

The bar opened in 1953. The building the tiny bar was located in was sold by the landlord -- an Italian ex-Mafia from Chicago -- in 1960; and as the owners, Knute Stiles and Leo Krikorian, didn't have a lease, the bar closed.

It could be possible that the man/men in the photos may have been connected in some way, or knew some, or even were some, of the famous Beat poets of the 1950s. Then again, maybe not.

In any case, that photo is really something else! That was THE PLACE, literally, for the Beats of San Francisco to meet. (The other was Vesuvios.) I bet one would be hard-pressed to find many photos of 'The Place' now-a-days, without going through some kind of photo compendium or film footage of the Beat life in San Francisco. And it is far more interesting than some little rinky-dink Tiki bar! Wow!

Perhaps now we should do some sleuthing to find out who the man and men are in the photos? 'Course, that really could be a waste of time. Comparing photos of some of the more popular Beat poets of the 1950s with these chaps may be a quick way to at least realise or eliminate the possibility.


 
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Tiki Shaker
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jun 28, 2008
Posts: 702
From: Menifee, CA
Posted: 2008-08-16 10:44 am   Permalink

Anybody close to Berkeley? I found this

"The Beach
This exceptional documentary portrays the history of San Francisco's North Beach in the 1950s, focusing on the artists, writers, and "Beat" hipsters who made "The Beach" legendary. The artists who came to The Beach rejected conformity, complacency, and mainstream morality. "The Place", Vesuvio's, and a galaxy of bars, coffee houses, and studios were their hangouts. They loved poetry, jazz, and jug wine, and they presaged a profound change in American cultural attitudes. 57 min. Video/C 4665"

At this site.

http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC/BeatGen.html

The movie might have photos of the outside of "The Place"

And check out the mention of it in this article.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,868906,00.html


[ This Message was edited by: Tiki Shaker 2008-08-16 10:48 ]


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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11003
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-08-16 11:08 am   Permalink

Perhaps foremost L.A. Beatnik archeologist BC-Dada can identify the guy...but he doesn't look that "beatnik" to me, more like a beatnik tourist, or maybe the photo was taken before this joint became a beatnik hang out. Then again, some of the most hardcore beats didn't look the part.
Great to have the locale mystery solved, Yay Elicia!


 
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AlienTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 08, 2005
Posts: 424
From: MAUI No Ka'oi
Posted: 2008-08-16 2:28 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-08-16 11:08, bigbrotiki wrote:

Great to have the locale mystery solved, Yay Elicia!



I posted the Grant ave address. mystery solved, Yay ME....


No need for accolades though. I saw this thread and everyone struggling with the mystery and it was my pleasure.


 
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