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Tiki Central Forums Collecting Tiki Don the Beachcomber - The Locations (Updated 11-22-10)
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Don the Beachcomber - The Locations (Updated 11-22-10)
Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4351
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-12-29 4:12 pm   Permalink

I just got one of the Don the Beachcomber menus featuring Don's Leeteg painting on the cover. The seller said it came from the Santa Barbara restaurant, which is pretty cool because that's where I'm from - hell I might have even used that one in the early 80's.






The menu has a nice little story on the history of Don the Beachcomber.




And a write up on Rum.



Now this is interesting....

The Don the Beachcomber in Santa Barbara was located in the upstairs restaurant at the Santa Barbara Inn. Here are some matchbooks posted previously by Tiki Kate.



I used to go the Santa Barbara Don the Beachcomber's when I got out of college from UCSB, but never remembered what the restaurant was before DTB moved in. Well, I saw this menu on ebay that was old stock from the Tahitian restaurants in Pasadena and Studio City that was reused for a restaurant called the Oceania Room located in the Santa Barbara Inn!




The inside of the menu is the same as the Tahitian menu only with the name Oceania added.






During the 1970's and 80's era of expansion, the DTB chain was known for moving into Tiki restaurants that closed (Tonga Lei - Malibu, Trader Vic's - Denver, Trade Winds - Oxnard, etc.). I'm thinking that the DTB chain moved into the Oceania Room at the Santa Barbara Inn. How cool is that!

DC



[ This Message was edited by: Dustycajun 2011-01-08 07:01 ]


 
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Bora Boris
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2588
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2010-12-30 08:42 am   Permalink

And the tradition continues with the Huntington / Sunset Beach Don's moving into the old Sam's Seafood, I've dubbed that procedure "Hermit Crabbing" where a new restaurant moves into the abandoned shell of another.

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11193
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-12-30 4:05 pm   Permalink

Very interesting observation about the Getty Beachcombers hermit-crabbing prior Polynesian palaces!
Now I wanna know more about the Oceania Room though! Why did it use the Tahitian menu? Was it a short-lived venue? I had never heard of it before. Maybe mentioned in a Santa Barbara Inn brochure, or in some restaurant write-ups?


 
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artsnyder
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jan 20, 2009
Posts: 31
From: Los Angeles/Las Vegas
Posted: 2011-01-01 9:56 pm   Permalink

There was a second Don the Beachcomber in Las Vegas. I was owner of Royal Star at The Venetian (1999-2006)and Noodle Asia (1999-) in The Venetian Hotel when, in 2003 I obtained the American rights to the name "Don the Beachcomber" from the US Patent and Copyright Office. In 2004 we opened our Bar in Royal Star as Don the Beachcomber in 2004, and operated it there until 2006, when we sold the lease. I have a number of pictures of the site, and a lot of our matchbooks, which I will be pleased to give (one per request) to collectors.
Of course after searching high and wide in Las Vegas and Los Angeles for a suitable site for re-opening Don the Beachcomber in the 20th Anniversary of its close in Hollywood, we came across Sam's Seafood in Huntington Beach (which we sometimes locate variously in Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, and Surf City, USA) and have poured all that we are and have into re-establishing it as the prime tiki palace in America. If you haven't seen it, you should. Even better, if you are in Portland, or St.Louis, or Providence or Atlanta, and have an urge to be the owner of your own Don the Beachcomber and the money to undertake it. Marisol,Ltd. the owner of the rights to the name in the United States (except Hawaii), is ready to consider applicants for licenses of the name.
artsnyder@donthebeachcomber.com



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TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2011-01-02 12:08 pm   Permalink

I saw two of these different colored small 3" shell shaped dishes sell on ebay:



The seller didn't have too much information on them but said they were from Don the Beachcomber in Hollywood. Haven't seen these before but they looked pretty cool. Too bad I got outbid



Hopefully someone on here won them and they found out more about these dishes or can post some better pic's.

TabooDan


 
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Phillip Roberts
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 09, 2003
Posts: 1603
From: OAHU/Seattle
Posted: 2011-01-18 4:34 pm   Permalink

Aloha,

"...A Noggin full of rum and 15 days to pay!"



Gotta love the Beachcomber's style!! This comes courtesy of the
Hoagy Carmichael archive at Indiana University. Card #4! I suppose it comes from the second Hollywood location when Don had a little more cash! I searched his coorespondence and can't find any mention... A search of Hawaii did pop up an interesting series of letters expressing interest of investing in Kahoolawe on a tourism venture though!

I wonder when and what other Hollywood stars Donn issued these to and how many are out there waiting to be documented? I want one, bad...it's a holy grail to me!

In my book Waikiki Tiki, I documented an autographed 1946 (78 RPM) record album & Christmas present (I own) sent to Phil and Alice Harris from Don and Sunny. That would have been the first Xmas since opening his first Waikiki location...

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[ This Message was edited by: Phillip Roberts 2011-01-18 16:35 ]


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arriano
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2006
Posts: 1290
From: Dog Patch - San Diego
Posted: 2011-05-01 09:51 am   Permalink

Story about Don the Beachcomber in today's L.A. Times

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[ Edited by: Bora Boris - Fixed Link. - 2011-05-01 10:23 ]


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mrsmiley
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 3172
From: Las Vegas, NV
Posted: 2011-05-16 8:53 pm   Permalink

HI, I have good news and bad news! The good news is the Don The Beachcomber restaurant space STILL EXISTS in Las Vegas.
The bad news is it is in the Sahara Hotel casino and the Sahara closed today at 2pm and may never reopen!
A friend took some pictures. I will see if I can get him to post them-or ask him if I can post them.
How sad to think that Vintage Tiki still existed in Las Vegas and it was right under our noses!
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Trad'r Bill
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 14, 2008
Posts: 485
From: Hercules, CA
Posted: 2011-05-30 4:28 pm   Permalink

mrsmiley - lets see those pics! Although the Sahara DTB was low on decor, I'd still like to see what it looked like now... what was left after all this time?



I have no new info about the locations, but here are some great pics I came across of the original Waikiki location - dated 1954:



Closeup of entrance:



It looks like DTB and Blair's of Hawaii had a partnership at this time:



Fern tikis and what looks like bird cages:



Outside room:



...and a shot of the International Marketplace:



closeup of the sign:



and finally a shot of the IMP treehouse during Donn's time:


Enjoy,
-Trad'r Bill



 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11193
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-05-30 10:33 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-05-16 20:53, mrsmiley wrote:
How sad to think that Vintage Tiki still existed in Las Vegas and it was right under our noses!



There couldn't have been much of anything Tiki left in there. All the Tikis that were at the entrance and the Tiki poles along the walls were returned to Oceanic Arts more than 15 years ago when the place closed. What might have still been there could have been those weird 70s looking leaf gazebo roofs, but with their purple color scheme they were an un-Polynesian oddity to begin with.


 
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Phillip Roberts
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 09, 2003
Posts: 1603
From: OAHU/Seattle
Posted: 2011-06-01 11:06 pm   Permalink

Aloha,

Great stuff Trader Bill. The cages contained mynah birds.


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4351
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-06-02 08:56 am   Permalink

Phillip,

I agree, great new photos from Trad'r Bill. For those that don't know what Blair's was:



Here is a brochure that sold on ebay recently.




They made a variety of wood products



Including Tikis of different sizes.




DC


 
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Trad'r Bill
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 14, 2008
Posts: 485
From: Hercules, CA
Posted: 2011-06-02 10:48 am   Permalink

Cool Blair's brochure DC, thanks for posting that.

Phillip, thanks for reminding me about the mynah bird... this must have been where they kept the famous bird that was trained to blurt out: "Give me a beer, stupid." Classic!


 
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Phillip Roberts
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 09, 2003
Posts: 1603
From: OAHU/Seattle
Posted: 2011-06-02 4:51 pm   Permalink

Aloha,

There were quite a few mynah birds kept by the Beachcomber... You can see some of them in Waikiki Tiki around 33* pages in with Governor Bill Quinn (opposite the tourist carrying the Tiki).

*And, yes I know there are no page numbers except on the ones with text. A fact my 6 year old nephew reminds me constantly. It's an ART BOOK.
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Available now from
Bess Press Hawaii.

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JONPAUL
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 12, 2010
Posts: 134
From: Venice, California
Posted: 2011-06-03 12:49 pm   Permalink

This one's for DC (sorry about the wait, brutha!):
More recent 35mm transparency finds...
Don the Beachcomber, Santa Barbara!



Notice the salt & pepper shakers on the table and the OA decorations.



Check out the guy on the right of the buffet!



Yeah, a large part of the shot is in silhouette, but it provides photographic proof that the location was indeed at the Santa Barbara Inn, right across from the water.

Okole Maluna!
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