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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Luau Hut, Washington, DC (Restaurant)
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Luau Hut, Washington, DC (Restaurant)
LuauHut
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 27, 2010
Posts: 13
Posted: 2010-02-28 06:27 am   Permalink

Quote:

I find the bandname: Kim Tsoy and the Sauce - to be so cool, and so representative of the 60's. Is your brother still around?

A quick google search found some references to a band called 'Kim Tsoy and the Sauce-O-Mania' playing at the Showcase Lounge, at a place called Moonbeam's International Health Club, in Kissimmee, Florida. Was that your brother?




Yes, that was him. One of the businesses that my mother and her husband opened a few years after they came back to the US from the Bahamas was Moonbeam International, which was a combination restaurant, nightclub, health club, and beauty salon (!) This business followed more of a traditional approach - no Polynesian theme or look. Once they came back to the states, the restaurants they had all were more steak and seafood kinds of places. They toyed with the idea of opening a Polynesian restaurant near Disney World, but things didn't work out.

My brother still plays on weekends around Central Florida - because he is one of very few performers who can play everything from an old bossa nova and Elvis, to country and rock, he is popular with clubs that cater to an "older" but still active crowd. His band goes by the name Kim and the Cadillacs.


 
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rupe33
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 08, 2004
Posts: 318
From: DC Metro Area (MD)
Posted: 2010-03-01 07:55 am   Permalink

Another blog entry from Silver Spring Singular:
http://www.silverspringsingular.com/2010/02/flickr-find-silver-spring-in-late-70s.html

Scroll down to the 3rd photo from the bottom - the red white and blue bus... look past the bus and ye will see the Luau Hut! He's added an enlargement just under that previous photo so you can see the sign.

Here's a link to the original photo on Flickr, if you'd like to see a larger version:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidwilson1949/4206984531/


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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11090
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-03-01 1:15 pm   Permalink

Moon Kim's Daughter, welcome on TC. Do you Have any photos of the interiors of the restaurants? I am especially curious about the inside of the Island House in the Bahamas, it was such a great looking building!

 
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JackLord
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 18, 2006
Posts: 157
From: Washington, DC
Posted: 2010-03-05 12:31 pm   Permalink

Welcome to TC.

My mom says she visited the LH back in the day. Is it true that Elvin Hayes, former Washington Bullet and Hall of Famer, used to go there?

As the others said, anything you can post would be appreciated. Its sad that DC is now a Tiki Free Zone.


 
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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2953
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2010-03-06 04:24 am   Permalink

agreed, welcome, and thank you for sharing your experiences and knowledge with us! there seems to be a whole lot of curiosity about the luau hut - since their tiki mugs were marked with the name of the restaurant, i'd say there is worldwide recognition, at least of the name of the restaurant!

 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4241
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-03-06 08:33 am   Permalink

Moon Kim's Daughter (aka Luau Hut),

Do you have any information about the origin of the rather unique green Luau Hut mug with the petroglyph style design?
Matchbook:


DC


 
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LuauHut
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 27, 2010
Posts: 13
Posted: 2010-03-06 4:01 pm   Permalink

Thanks to everyone for making me feel so welcome! My younger sister was nice enough to bring over some old photo albums, and I found lots of Luau Hut and Island Lobster House photos, menus, newspaper articles, etc. that I hope you will enjoy! It will take me a while to scan them, so I appreciate your patience...

For those who were curious about what the interior of the Luau Huts looked like, the best pictures I found were on a postcard:

I will scan and post some additional interior shots soon.

When the Luau Hut Silver Spring opened in the mid-60s, this is what the exterior looked like:

Very different from the fluorescent gold that the building has been recently! The big parking garage behind the current building was built when the Metro station was built - prior to that it was a simple metered parking lot.

This photo is a closer view of the rope lettering of the Luau Hut sign - that is my mother, Moon Kim, on the right:


More to come...



 
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LuauHut
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 27, 2010
Posts: 13
Posted: 2010-03-06 4:08 pm   Permalink

Quote:


My mom says she visited the LH back in the day. Is it true that Elvin Hayes, former Washington Bullet and Hall of Famer, used to go there?




As I remember, I do believe that Elvin Hayes did dine at the Luau Hut, but I don't remember which location...in its heyday, the restaurants attracted many famous people...


 
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LuauHut
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 27, 2010
Posts: 13
Posted: 2010-03-06 4:16 pm   Permalink

Quote:


Do you have any information about the origin of the rather unique green Luau Hut mug with the petroglyph style design?




I seem to recall my mother telling me years ago that she had someone hand draw the design that you are referring to, and I always assumed that it was an original design, but I don't know for sure...that design was heavily used when the Silver Spring and Capitol Hill locations first opened, but gradually disappeared in their marketing pieces.


 
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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2953
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2010-03-07 04:23 am   Permalink

wow, this stuff is great! if we could get higher-resolution images of each of the postcards, that would be amazing!

here is a little then-and-now comparison, courtesy of info from luauhut and google maps street view.



 
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JackLord
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 18, 2006
Posts: 157
From: Washington, DC
Posted: 2010-03-07 5:47 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-03-06 16:08, LuauHut wrote:
Quote:


My mom says she visited the LH back in the day. Is it true that Elvin Hayes, former Washington Bullet and Hall of Famer, used to go there?




As I remember, I do believe that Elvin Hayes did dine at the Luau Hut, but I don't remember which location...in its heyday, the restaurants attracted many famous people...



Very cool. I cannot comprehend why my parents did not bring me except that I was a very meat & potatoes kid when it came to cuisine. That has thankfully changed.

I have two LH mugs. Love em. Thanks for answering our questions.


 
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LuauHut
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 27, 2010
Posts: 13
Posted: 2010-03-08 06:07 am   Permalink

Hi everyone - here are a few more interior shots of the Luau Hut Silver Spring in its heyday, showing the decor and what people wore:

The hostesses first wore Asian attire, but over the years transitioned to a more "tropical" outfit.











As you can see, there was lots of attention to detail - the ceiling, walls, and doors were literally covered with designs - carvings, bamboo, and greenery everywhere! My favorite was a blowfish light, one of many things that hung from the ceiling. I remember that they even used the plastic leis to form designs that were attached to the walls.

This next image doesn't show any decor, but rather it is a picture taken of two hostesses handling the waiting area on the first floor of the restaurant. It gives you an idea of how packed it was on the weekends!


This last photo below is a very early one of my mother, who used to sing a few nights a week when the restaurant first opened. She had a beautiful voice that stayed with her all her life - a natural talent first discovered when she was a teen in Korea. She sang in numerous languages, anything from opera to contemporary - she was even signed to RCA and recorded a couple of records in the late 50s!



Also, as requested, I tried to upload a high resolution version of the previous postcard but the file size was just too big, so here is one where the image is hopefully a little sharper:



Next time I will upload some photos of the other restaurants...


 
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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2953
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2010-03-08 06:53 am   Permalink

really beautiful, thanks luauhut - reminds us that tiki wasn't just about the decor, it was the environment and the people enjoying it!

it makes me kind of sad, though... i wish i or someone local had the money to re-open the luau hut at that location!


 
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JackLord
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 18, 2006
Posts: 157
From: Washington, DC
Posted: 2010-03-08 08:45 am   Permalink

Thanks indeed. Looks like a great place. Love the photos- amazing how folks were uniformly dressed to the nines back then.

 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4241
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-03-08 11:21 am   Permalink

Luau Hut,

Thanks so much for sharing your family photos and memories with us. Those are great scenes of the restaurant. It was really quite a hot spot back in the day.

DC


 
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