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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki JOHN-O's Las Vegas (& Honolulu pg 8) Thread
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JOHN-O's Las Vegas (& Honolulu pg 8) Thread
christiki295
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Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3811
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2011-06-21 11:21 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-06-19 17:10, JOHN-O wrote:
Quote:

Did some miracle happen to reopen Atomic Liquors?


Nope... Unfortunately.




Atomic Liquor, one of Las Vegas's last remaining links to its Rat Pack Mondo Atomic past, has been closed since the beginning of the year (1/2011) !!

Stella Sobchick who ran the bar with her husband Joseph, passed away on Jan 15th at the age of 91. Joe passed away 3 months earlier also at 91 years. They had run the business for 55 years. I was glad to have met them one of the times they were both in the bar.

My understanding from talking to one of the bartenders at the El Cortez, is the Sobchick's son has no interest in running the place. Hopefully, he can lease out the bar to someone who understands its historic significance and will continue its legacy. In the meantime this is really really depressing news.

From yelp.


 
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Chuck Tatum is Tiki
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Joined: May 12, 2011
Posts: 1674
From: Southern Cailifornia
Posted: 2011-06-21 11:54 pm   Permalink

christiki295 if you go back 2 pages you can see John-O already posted this.......so.......2 to 0


Quote:

On 2011-01-17 20:43, JOHN-O wrote:
Back to Sin City...

I have some good news and bad news. First the bad news.

Atomic Liquor, one of Las Vegas's last remaining links to its Rat Pack Mondo Atomic past, has been closed since the beginning of the year !!



Stella Sobchick who ran the bar with her husband Joseph, passed away on Jan 15th at the age of 91. Joe passed away 3 months earlier also at 91 years. They had run the business for 55 years. I was glad to have met them one of the times they were both in the bar.

My understanding from talking to one of the bartenders at the El Cortez, is the Sobchick's son has no interest in running the place. Hopefully, he can lease out the bar to someone who understands its historic significance and will continue its legacy. In the meantime this is really really depressing news. I liked to think of the Atomic as the mid-century mirror image to Frankie's Tiki Room (much like the Aku Aku existed in primitive juxtaposition to the Stardust's original futuristic "cosmic ray" signage).




 
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christiki295
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Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3811
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2011-06-22 10:15 pm   Permalink

I'd love for a Las Vegas historical society to add a historical designation, but it is Las Vegas, where history does not stop redevelopment.

The best portion of the Atomic appears to be its signage, which is still visible, so that is all good. Let's hope that the new owner can find a way to turn a profit with the bar.


 
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christiki295
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Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3811
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2011-06-30 1:50 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-04-23 12:54, JOHN-O wrote:
Las Vegas Trip Report (Part 1)

Just several yards away, the following establishment caught my eye, "Hawaii Massage".

Cool, a Poly-Pop massage parlor !!



As I entered though that door, I asked the receptionist "Excuse me, do you have any Tiki here?" Her response was "Sure honey, but that costs extra." Totally baffled by that remark, I decided to leave and go get a stiff drink.




Lol!
I think some additional urban archeology is required!


 
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JOHN-O
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Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2682
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2011-07-08 10:49 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-05-26 19:02, JOHN-O wrote:
Polynesians invented Tiki and LOUNGE !!......

Credit Bigbro's "The Sound of Tiki" CD for bringing this significant Las Vegas (and Poly-Pop) fact back to light.

Now when you think of a classic Las Vegas lounge act, who first comes to mind? Well most people would say the Rat Pack but actually they played the "Big Room" (i.e. the Sands' Copa Room). For fans of the mid-century Las Vegas Swing sound, Louis Prima and Keely Smith would be the obvious choice. They were a popular fixture in the Sahara's Casbar Lounge, but they weren't the first to play that kind of venue.

Enter the Mary Kaye Trio.



Mary Kaye, her brother Norman, and (non-sibling) Frank Ross were Las Vegas' first official "lounge act". Mary Kaye ("Ka'aihue") and Norman grew up in St. Louis, Missouri but were both of Hawaiian descent. Mary's father was Hawaiian Hapa Haole performer Johnny Ukelele (who Mary and Norman toured with) and her grandfather was Prince Kuhio, brother of Queen Liliuokalani. That's two generations of Hawaiian "royalty" !!

In the "Sound of Tiki" liner notes, Bigbro writes:

"In 1950, her trio's engagement at the New Frontier Casino's main showroom in Las Vegas was coming to an end, but the owner wanted to keep them on. Mary suggested to add a small stage in the bar and call it a 'Lounge'."

The rest is history.

Here's some additional facts that I got in a fascinating book "Cult Vegas" by Mike Weatherford.

- "Norman remembers that chorus girls from neighboring hotels 'would bring the whole line in,' and with the girls came the boys. The trio employed a versatile arsenal to keep the regulars entertained. 'We never did the same act twice,' Mary says. 'We could put any song anywhere. They came back night after night, because they never knew what we were going to do, and we didn't either.'"

- "Mary's progressive guitar playing and their complex vocal harmonies - often compared to the Hi-Lo's - gave the trio the ability to tackle almost any song. But the secret weapon turned out to be Ross' comedy..."

- "Frank Ross was probably the inventor of what they call lounge comedy today... He's the guy who started the whole concept of tumult comedy, of not having routines and jokes... Even the gents who eventually became known as the Rat Pack took a cue from Ross. They used to sit and watch the lounge shows, and started to incorporate spontaneity in the main-room set..."

- "The Mary Kaye Trio soon had all the hotels rethinking their lounges, booking larger and louder outfits to play small stages that had been designed for organists or piano trios...The pump was primed..."


Here's my favorite YouTube clip of the trio. Not Vegas, but it's taken from the movie "Bop Girl Goes Calypso" they appeared in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThhM75nKomA

And you know the whole Tiki/Exotica/Latin connection that's been popular here as of late, here's Mary Kaye performing a Latin number.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9edra7yQFnE

This is a Nevada KNPR radio discussion that followed Mary Kaye's death in Feb 2007. It's pretty comprehensive.

http://www.myspace.com/marykayetrio/music-player?sindex=-1.0&shuffle=false&amix=false&pmix=false&plid=19837&artid=12577907&sseed=0&ptype=3&stime=8.333&ap=1&rpeat=fals

It's too bad there's no recorded footage of them playing in a Vegas lounge, but that can probably be said for all the Vegas lounge acts. Oh, to have today's portable technology back then.

Bigbro summarizes it like this:

"Mary Kaye personifies the convergence of American mid-century modernism and Polynesian history... To be descended from Hawaiian royalty and originating from the Las Vegas Lounge tradition clearly makes Mary and her brother, Norman Kaye, inhabitants of the cosmos of Tiki Modern."


So the next time you're enjoying Rat Pack-era Frank, Dino, and/or Sammy, remember the children of "Tiki" were doing it first !!



Any Mary Kaye Trio fans out there ??

If so you'll be happy to hear that the following albums are now available via digital download. I'm pretty sure this is the first time this music has been available since its mid-century vinyl release. I got mine off of iTunes.







[ This Message was edited by: JOHN-O 2011-07-08 22:59 ]


 
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Chuck Tatum is Tiki
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Joined: May 12, 2011
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From: Southern Cailifornia
Posted: 2011-07-08 11:44 pm   Permalink

Is there a connection to one of my favorites "Peggy Lee"

 
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Limbo Lizard
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Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 683
From: Aboard the 'Leaky Tiki', Dallas
Posted: 2011-07-09 8:07 pm   Permalink

Here's another angle on Atomic Liquor, from June 27:

Here's a couple of shots through the window:




Sad...
_________________
"The rum's the thing..."


 
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Limbo Lizard
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Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 683
From: Aboard the 'Leaky Tiki', Dallas
Posted: 2011-07-09 9:04 pm   Permalink

Saw a sign for this place at the Mirage, as we were heading down the Strip. Thought it sounded promising, so I had to check it out:

Alas, instead of the dark mystery and exotic menace of, say, a Frankie's, it was "a clean, well-lighted place". Sort of the "if a hospital had a bar" look. Cigar aroma, sports, a surprisingly small selection of rums for a "Rhumbar", many flavored vodkas, no tiki...

... or was there? What's that on the bar back, along with the glassware?

I probably should have asked, What, ahem, do you do with those Mai-Kai Bowls,... but I was afraid it just might be too depressing.


_________________
"The rum's the thing..."


 
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Chuck Tatum is Tiki
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Joined: May 12, 2011
Posts: 1674
From: Southern Cailifornia
Posted: 2011-07-09 9:17 pm   Permalink

Stopped by this place the last time I was in Vegas,The bartender seemed happy to see us (we were dressed in Hawaiian shirts) but just ended up at "Frankie's" most of the time.

 
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christiki295
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Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3811
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2011-07-12 10:17 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-01-17 20:43, JOHN-O wrote:
Back to Sin City...

I have some good news and bad news. First the bad news.

Atomic Liquor, one of Las Vegas's last remaining links to its Rat Pack Mondo Atomic past, has been closed since the beginning of the year !!





Fremont Street is an amazing collection of 1950s motels, some of which are even still open for business.
Unfortunately, few, if any tourists, stay there, despite being walking distance from the El Cortez, the Fremont Experience and a few clubs/video parlors, etc.

Such motels include the Blue Angel:


and Fergusons


Ferguson's is listed for @1.6 million, reduced from $2.5 million.
http://lasvegascommercialproperty.blogspot.com

Seems like a lot considering the lack of development, but then the South Beach area of
Miami Beach was the same and look at it now.




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christiki295
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Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3811
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2011-07-17 09:34 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-11-12 12:11, JOHN-O wrote:
The mermaid at the Silverton Casino does exist !!

Are mermaids considered part of classic Tiki-style ?






I saw her too!
She blew bubble kisses at my son.

While I would not say they are classic Tiki-style, they are a welcome addition.

[ This Message was edited by: christiki295 2011-07-17 09:36 ]


 
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christiki295
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Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3811
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2011-07-19 07:26 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-07-12 22:17, christiki295 wrote:

Fremont Street is an amazing collection of 1950s motels, some of which are even still open for business.
Unfortunately, few, if any tourists, stay there, despite being walking distance from the El Cortez, the Fremont Experience and a few clubs/video parlors, etc.

Such motels include the Blue Angel:





A writer recently spent a week at the Blue Angel. One of his subjects, a man approaching his senior years, who landed at the Blue Angel after being kicked out of the house by his wife, describes the Blue Angel as a "safe harbor" with a "guardian angel."

While Las Vegas is a town which all too often sees its guests arrive full of excitement, only to leave with empty pockets - or worse, huge & debilitating debt, it is ironic that the Blue Angel offers salvation - and a second chance - to him and others in the book:





 
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Chuck Tatum is Tiki
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Joined: May 12, 2011
Posts: 1674
From: Southern Cailifornia
Posted: 2011-07-19 10:29 am   Permalink

But does it have Bedbugs?

 
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christiki295
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Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3811
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2011-07-19 12:35 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-07-19 10:29, Chuck Tatum is Tiki wrote:
But does it have Bedbugs?



I think now guests either rent the rooms by the hour, or by the week,
judging by repeated trips down Fremont.

In either event, I doubt bed bugs are a huge issue.


 
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Tiki Trav
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Joined: Sep 25, 2006
Posts: 639
From: NSW Central Coast, Australia
Posted: 2012-03-20 01:44 am   Permalink

We met with the owner (estate) in dec 2011/jan 2012 and would have purchased the Atomic but we just could not raise the funds.. was actually pretty cheap, will post more inside pics soon

 
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