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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Luau Hut, Washington, DC (Restaurant)
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Luau Hut, Washington, DC (Restaurant)
TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2009-06-07 4:23 pm   Permalink

I forgot to add this to the last post.

This is another of the Luau Hut mugs made by OMC that I have:



Mahalo!!
TabooDan

[ This Message was edited by: TabooDan 2009-06-24 16:21 ]


 
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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1776
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2009-06-08 05:19 am   Permalink

Great post guys. And yet another mug.



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rupe33
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 08, 2004
Posts: 319
From: DC Metro Area (MD)
Posted: 2009-06-10 12:45 pm   Permalink

My friend who identified the building for me is a local blogger in Silver Spring. He dug up this advertisement at the Silver Spring Historical Society. It appears to be from the November 17, 1968, edition of The Washington Post:



He may be blogging about it soon; I'll share his post with his permission once it's made.

Cheers!
~Rupe


 
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TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2009-06-10 4:56 pm   Permalink

Hey Rupe, Cool Ad!!

"Tender as Butter"!!
I love that!

Mahalo,
TabooDan


 
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JackLord
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 18, 2006
Posts: 160
From: Washington, DC
Posted: 2009-06-15 09:55 am   Permalink

Here is another menu from the Luau Hut:

http://www.arkivatropika.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?item_id=261

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rupe33
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 08, 2004
Posts: 319
From: DC Metro Area (MD)
Posted: 2009-06-15 6:59 pm   Permalink

My friend at the Silver Spring Singular blog has done some further research and gotten some further details about people behind the Luau Hut. If you're following this topic, it's pretty interesting:
http://www.silverspringsingular.com/2009/06/lost-silver-spring-luau-hut.html



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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2954
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2009-06-15 8:38 pm   Permalink

that was an excellent blog post by your friend, rupe... i wonder if they would allow it to be reposted here for posterity...?

 
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rupe33
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 08, 2004
Posts: 319
From: DC Metro Area (MD)
Posted: 2009-06-16 11:21 am   Permalink

With his permission and for posterity, here's the article from the "Silver Spring Singular" blog about the SS location of the Luau Hut.

originally posted here, with photos:
http://www.silverspringsingular.com/2009/06/lost-silver-spring-luau-hut.html

Have you ever wondered about this bright yellow, vaguely Asian-looking edifice on Ramsey Street that seems so incongruous with the drab gray transportation-related structures that encircle it? The building now sits boarded up and vacant, having most recently served as the home of the Caribbean Style Restaurant and Lounge, the proprietors of which are likely responsible for the building's current bright orange-yellow livery. You may recall that street outside was the scene of a 5:30 AM shooting last year, an event which I suspect may have been at least partially responsible for the restaurant's demise.

For many years, beginning in the mid-1960's, this building served as the home of the Luau Hut, which I assume had to have been Silver Spring's only tiki bar.

The Luau Hut was born when a group of employees from the Washington Trader Vic's held a party at Moon Kim's Ramsey Avenue Korean restaurant, the Moon Garden. Among the guests was Paul Malonson, a Trader Vic's maitre d', who suggested to Kim that she expand the cuisine and transform the the restaurant into Polynesian-themed restaurant and bar. In 1964, the restaurant began to serve pan-Asian and Polynesian cuisine while serving up a variety of strong, rum-based Polynesian cocktails. Malonson and Kim, who were married in married in 1965, eventually opened up a second Luau Hut location on F near Union Station in the building that is now The Irish Times.

Along with being a restaurateur, Kim, who recently passed away, was a talented singer who attended Juilliard and even put out three rock albums (!) on the RCA label. Eventually, the popularity of her singing led her to perform three sets a night at the Luau Hut.

Side note: According to a 1966 Washington Post article, Silver Spring had itself a bit of a live music scene back in the 60's. Most entertainers in Silver Spring appear to have been pianists, though a big attraction at the time was dance music performances by the Kenny Duca Duo at the Villa Rosa Restaurant. According to the article, "Duca [was] one of the county's foremost exponents of the cordovox, an accordion with attachments that give it half a dozen sounds." Those last two sentences right there just undid all the hard work two seasons of Mad Men has done to make the 60's seem cool.

The Luau Hut served up a variety of drinks bearing fabulous names such as "Virgin's Downfall", with the highlight of the bunch being the Zombie, the only drink on the menu restricted to two per customer. (Whatever bar ends up being Zombie Walk HQ this year needs to learn how to prepare these.) You could choose to get you drink in a "tiki tumbler", which was yours to take home as a souvenir. Many of these mugs from the Luau Hut are still floating around out there, and I've scoured the internet for photos of the different varieties the restaurant offered. (See the slideshow at bottom of post.)

Here's the Luau Hut's cocktail menu from 1968:

(click to enlarge)

The restaurant's trademark image was that of the hula girl, who appeared partially nude on the restaurant's mugs and menus, but more modestly clothed for appearances in newspaper ads. Can you imagine the scandal today if a respectable MoCo restaurant had the audacity to put a topless chick on the cover of their menu?

In the 70's, the Silver Spring Luau Hut was apparently a favorite haunt of Bullets star and NBA Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes. This would be kind of like Gilbert Arenas hanging out at McGinty's on weekends, but in an alternate reality where the Wizards were good and people gave a damn.

Eventually the popularity of Tiki Bars fizzled out, and like many similar establishments nationwide, the Silver Spring Luau Hut faded into oblivion.

Somewhat surprisingly, the structure appears to have survived unscathed through the long period where the county felt that areas surrounding Metro stations were only good for parking garages. I'd love to lease the space and bring back the Luau Hut with the slightly-modified moniker "Luau the Hutt". The hula girl on my custom-designed mugs would be clothed in a Polynesian interpretation of Princess Leia's metal bikini and I'd use them to serve secret new cocktail recipes such as the "Thermal Detonator". You'd always get your way when holding a Thermal Detonator.

Here's a slideshow of Luau Hut related images that I've culled from the Internet and collected in a Flickr Set. These primarily came from from online tiki resources Arkiva Tropika and Tiki Room. (A few of the images I've enhanced a bit through the magic of Photoshop.)

- end -
Note: most of the images from the article are already posted in this thread or on Arkiva Tropika.


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MrBaliHai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 01, 2002
Posts: 799
Posted: 2009-06-16 12:05 pm   Permalink

Here's a Luau Hut mug I found in Silver Spring a while back.


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[ This Message was edited by: MrBaliHai 2009-06-16 12:06 ]


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TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2009-07-21 3:02 pm   Permalink

If someone is trying to see some of the different items from the Luau Hut, I recently saw this brown colored Luau Hut Double sided Tiki Mug and thought I would add it here:



TabooDan


 
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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1776
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2009-10-09 06:20 am   Permalink

Another mug from my collection.



_________________
"Anyone who has ever seen them is thereafter haunted as if by a feverish dream" Karl Woermann


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11126
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-10-10 06:38 am   Permalink

Wow, that's becoming quite a collection! The Luau Hut is apparently up there in terms of having had one of the largest varieties of Tiki mugs!

Being jet-lagged and up early, I had nothing better to do than follow the links on this thread . The Luau Hut's proprietor Moon Kim had an amazing life: Several careers, tons of children, you have to read her obituary!:

http://www.thebahamasweekly.com/publish/grand-bahama-community-events/Child_Care_Fund_Raiser_Passes_On.shtml

Marveling at how much one can do in a lifetime, one paragraph rang a bell:

"In the 1960s she pursued a new passion, opening the first of what would become a long line of successful restaurants in Maryland, Florida, and the Bahamas. The Malonsons relocated to Freeport, Grand Bahama in the early 1970s and established several successful enterprises, including the Island Lobster House and Bahamas International Realty."

Being an A-frame fan, I remembered this Sabu/Mimi discovery a while back:

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=16708&forum=2

Unfortunately, that link is a blue question mark casualty now, but because of the beautiful building, I saved the images :





That building always struck me as so mainland Tiki in style, and now we know why: It's heritage can be traced back to 1964 Maryland, and the Washington Trader Vic's (where Kim Moon's husband hailed from). Now I want to know what restaurant they had in Florida!


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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4265
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-10-10 08:07 am   Permalink

Great research there Bigbro. I have that Island House postcard I never thought that it would somehow be connected to mainland American Tiki.

Here is another menu.



And Mug




DC


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11126
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-10-10 10:32 am   Permalink

Ha, that menu graphic must be the first time I ever saw the combination of a Tiki and Ninja sword. When did Martial Arts film become popular in the U.S.?

 
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Bora Boris
Mr. Unreasonable

Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2571
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2009-10-10 10:58 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-10-10 10:32, bigbrotiki wrote:
When did Martial Arts film become popular in the U.S.?


Mid Seventies, Enter the Dragon was released shortly after Bruce Lee died in 1973, then people realized that he was someone special and couldn't get enough Martial Arts.

Carl Douglas' "Kung Fu Fighting" was a #1 Billboard Hit in December 1974.

1974's James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun is also filled with Martial Arts.

I also want to know what restaurant the Kim's had in Florida!
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