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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki JOHN-O's Zombie Road Trip...
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JOHN-O's Zombie Road Trip...
JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2690
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2013-01-23 7:23 pm   Permalink

And the world's greatest Tiki city is...

Portland, Oregon !!

So what makes the PDX so Tiki spectacular ?? I'll argue that it has more quality Tiki within a 3 mile radius than any other city. It all centers on what I dub the Portland Tiki Triangle...




1. The first point of that triangle is the Alibi Tiki Lounge...



Walking in I felt like I was transported to the early 1970's with the Alibi's dark interior, blood red vinyl booths and velvet curtains accentuating the Polynesian decor, and Al Green crooning from the speakers. For that sublime time machine experience, I'd place the Alibi in my all time top 3 Tiki visits. The trick to this place as I learned however is the timing. The Alibi has a big reputation for Karaoke 7 nights a week. The bartender I spoke with said it can get pretty loud and boisterous in the back room and they compensate in the main bar area with even louder music. When I visited in the mid-afternoon, it was really quiet with only a few local barflies and I felt fortunate to have the place pretty much to myself. The Alibi has a pretty comprehensive Tropical cocktail menu but honestly mixology is besides the point for this well preserved anomaly.





And just down the street is this classic mid-century signage...




2. The second point of the Tiki Triangle is the new Trader Vic's...



OK so for anyone who's written off the TV brand, they really should visit this place. No compromises here, this is classic TV-style done right for the 21st century. As for the cocktails, the drinks were consistent with what I've experienced at every other TV, i.e. the Zombie was pretty poor and the Navy Grog always good. One thing they really nailed here was the background music. I heard Exotica, Hapa Haole, Tijuana Brass, John Barry, "Blue Hawaii" Elvis, and a steel version of the Beatles' "All the Lonely People" !! I chatted with the GM, he was a big fan of the old Beverly Hills TV and this location reflects that appreciation.






3. The third point of the Tiki Triangle is Hale Pele...



AKA former Thatch bar. WOW !! This small place gets it SO right in so many regards. The atmosphere really encourages relaxation and quiet conversation while sipping on expertly mixed cocktails. Great background music here too, I heard Yma followed by Jimmie Rodgers ("Everyone Does it in Hawaii") followed by Eden Ahbez. And every so often a thunderstorm sound effect would add to the mood. Lots of great Tiki art, I think I recognized some of Lake Surfer's pieces.





Besides the Tiki Triangle here are some other interesting places that Portland has to offer.


4. Rum Club...



Portland is blowing up with New Cocktailian establishments, you could spend an entire vacation sampling all of its high-end alcoholic offerings. The Rum Club pays homage to Tikidom's favorite libation but most of the menu focuses on non-Tropical mixology.


5. Republic Cafe...



Mid-century Chop Suey joints serving Mai Tais are a vanishing breed so I was really happy to find this place. This is one of Portland's oldest bars dating back to 1922. Check out that vintage signage (unfortunately most of the neon is burnt out) and THIS is Tiki food !!...




6. Jamison Square...




This public park has a display of what the artist refers to as "Tiki totems". So is this a good example of combining a primitive aesthetic with modernism and a dash of whimsy (like our good pal Tiki Bob) or is it just really bad art ?? I dunno, you be the judge. Here's one person's hilarious
opinion on that.


7. Powell's Books...



A four story building of new and used books, this place boggles the mind. Why doesn't LA have a place like this ?? !! And when was the last time you saw a BOT in the wild ? And for only $27, that's less than half the price than you can find on Amazon for a used copy. And please file Tiki under the "Excess Culture" category, haha.


8. Voodoo Doughnuts...

Everyone said "JOHN-O, you MUST visit this place".

I didn't visit this place.

If they had a Tiki shaped donut, I might have. But they didn't. Donuts are not Tiki !!


The End.


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AceExplorer
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 992
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2013-01-23 7:29 pm   Permalink

Good post! I made it to Vic's last summer, but Hale Pele wasn't open yet.

Voodoo Donuts -- not tiki, but everyone said GO THERE. When I did go, the line was out the door and one full city block down the street. Truly insane and worth the wait, but is was with a group and you know how that can go. But I looked inside, took some photos of the long line, etc.

I will return...


 
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chrisandsarahb
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2009
Posts: 556
From: Cucamonga, CA
Posted: 2013-01-23 7:30 pm   Permalink

Awesome Travelogue John-O, I must visit this triangle. Cheers!

 
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nui 'umi 'umi
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 21, 2011
Posts: 1059
From: La Mirada Atoll
Posted: 2013-01-23 7:38 pm   Permalink

Well John-0, There you go again. Outstanding as usual. Mahalo for all the enjoyment that you bring-mo betta then most travelogues.
David


 
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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6012
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2013-01-23 9:19 pm   Permalink

Nailed it!

 
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lucas vigor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 12, 2004
Posts: 3985
From: SOCAL
Posted: 2013-01-23 9:30 pm   Permalink

Amazing!

 
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hang10tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2010
Posts: 3831
From: Las Vegas
Posted: 2013-01-23 9:32 pm   Permalink

We hit the "triangle" every time we are in the area...

 
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bigtikidude
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 8875
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2013-01-23 11:42 pm   Permalink

Good work John O,
thanks

I really Need to get back up to Portland.
It's been about 5 years since I was there.
I went to the Alibi and Thatch.

Vics and the new Hale Pele is calling me.

Jeff(btd)




[ This Message was edited by: bigtikidude 2013-01-23 23:49 ]


 
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Luckydesigns
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 15, 2002
Posts: 2176
From: Costa Mesa
Posted: 2013-01-24 11:31 am   Permalink

Another great post, John-O! You've given me a reason to go to Portland now!

Like I said at the Tiki marketplace, "John-O, you've been everywhere!" to which he replied, "I've never been to CHINA!"
I don't know why I still find that so funny....
_________________
Spike
www.facebook.com/thehulagirls
www.thehulagirlsmusic.com



 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2690
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2013-01-24 6:59 pm   Permalink

Actually I've never been to the Foundation Bar (Milwaukee), Kon-Tiki (Tucson), or Chef Shangri-La (Chicago). These are all places high on my Tiki "To Do" list.

Also I've never been to the Enchanted Tiki Room despite having visited Disneyland since the age of 6.

Edit - Or New York Tiki... Otto's Shrunken Head and Painkiller. Someday !! And I meant Foundation BAR not Room, I always get the name mixed up with the place in Vegas.

[ This Message was edited by: JOHN-O 2013-01-25 10:46 ]


 
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lunavideogames
Grand Member (2 years)  

Joined: May 09, 2012
Posts: 1126
From: San Diego
Posted: 2013-01-24 7:04 pm   Permalink

You will like the Foundation Bar.

[ This Message was edited by: Lunavideogames 2013-01-24 21:18 ]


 
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Bora Boris
Mr. Unreasonable

Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2574
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2013-01-24 7:56 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-01-23 19:23, JOHN-O wrote:

8. Voodoo Doughnuts...

Everyone said "JOHN-O, you MUST visit this place".

I didn't visit this place.

If they had a Tiki shaped donut, I might have. But they didn't. Donuts are not Tiki !!



Here's the logo Tiki from the 2007 Tiki Kon as done by event sponsor
Voodoo Doughnut.



My apologies John-O, you were saying?


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lucas vigor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 12, 2004
Posts: 3985
From: SOCAL
Posted: 2013-01-24 8:56 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-01-24 18:59, JOHN-O wrote:
Actually I've never been to the Foundation Room (Milwaukee), Kon-Tiki (Tucson), or Chef Shangri-La (Chicago). These are all places high on my Tiki "To Do" list.

Also I've never been to the Enchanted Tiki Room despite having visited Disneyland since the age of 6.

Edit - Or New York Tiki... Otto's Shrunken Head and Painkiller. Someday !!

[ This Message was edited by: JOHN-O 2013-01-24 19:18 ]



In order:

Train around Disneyland
Enchanted Tiki Room
Purchase dole whip
jungle boat cruise
Indiana Jones and the temple of doom
Pirates of the carribean
haunted mansion
splash mountain
thunder mountain
alice and wonderland
Matterhorn
small world
finding nemo
Monorail round trip
space mountain
star tours
Great moments with Mr. Lincoln


That's the best classic disney day, all planned out for you!



great moments with mr. lincoln


 
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TropicDrinkBoy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 273
Posted: 2013-01-24 9:14 pm   Permalink

The Foundation Bar in Milwaukee is a great place. Lake Tiki has done a great job with the carvings and the owners have filled it with lots of classic tiki bar ambiance. The drinks are very good and are inexpensive, at least by bay area standards. It's one of those small Midwest neighborhood bars but this one transports you to tiki wonderland the moment you step through the door. It's not a dive bar but it is near a dive neighborhood!

 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2690
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2013-01-24 10:48 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-01-24 19:56, Bora Boris wrote:

Here's the logo Tiki from the 2007 Tiki Kon as done by event sponsor...

My apologies John-O, you were saying?


I stand corrected.

Donuts ARE Tiki !!


 
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