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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Tiki History - The Hawaiian Cottage in Cherry Hill, NJ
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Tiki History - The Hawaiian Cottage in Cherry Hill, NJ
Sabu The Coconut Boy
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2789
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2003-07-10 12:53 pm   Permalink

Mug-collectors know this restaurant for the unique parrot-shaped mugs that turn up frequently on E-bay. But I didn't know what a great piece of Polynesian-Pop architecture resided in Cherry Hill, New Jersey until I began acquiring postcards from the Hawaiian Cottage.


Check out the cool pineapple and coconut-shaped domes on the roof. This restaurant existed from 1938-1978, thus spanning both the pre-tiki and tiki eras. The postcard reads:

"Hawaiian Cottage Restaurant". Route 38 - Delaware Township, P.O. Merchantville, NJ. Unexcelled Food in an Enchanting Atmosphere of the Paradise Isles of the Pacific"

Here's a view of the interior from 1966 (between 1960 and 1966 the name of the city changes from Merchantville to Cherry Hill):
]
"Authentic Hawaiian Music and Revue - Floor Show - Continuous Entertainment - Dancing - Continental and Polynesian Cuisine)"

Here is a souvenir photo-folder from the restaurant. I've been finding these frequently from Polynesian restaurants in the 1940s and 1950s, though this is my latest - dated at 1960. Were souvenir photos part of an earlier era? Or does anyone have evidence that they were offered in restaurants during the 1960s and 1970s as well?


I like this shot because it's candid and shows that leis were actually given to patrons every day, not just when staging photos for postcards. On the table you can see some nice air-brushed tropical plates, probably by the Syracuse or Jackson China company:

Beautiful air-brushed plates and cups show up all the time on E-bay, and you know they were used in tiki restaurants - but because they're unmarked, there's no way to tell which ones, except by these old photos and postcards. Here's the text from the postcard folder:

Hawaiian Cottage - A theater-restaurant - where the decor creates an atmosphere of the fascinating Paradise Isles of the Pacific. Polynesians perform exotic dances and sing ancient chants of the islands. while dining in this tropical setting, you receive the impression of actually being in Hawaii"

And finally here's a picture of the mug from Mike's mug gallery:


Mike also has this helpful text with the mug:

"From the Hawaiian Cottage restaurant in New Jersey. Located on Rt. 38 in South New Jersey, this restaurant and club was started by Michael and Mary Egidi in 1938. For 40 years is was a popular, family run place with a giant pineapple dome roof and a luau show and dancing. Unfortunately it burned down July 1, 1978 in an early morning fire, and was not rebuilt."

That's all the info I have right now, but I bet you anything that puamana has a menu from this place.

Sabu

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[ This Message was edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy on 2003-07-10 12:55 ]


 
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tikimug
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 01, 2002
Posts: 751
From: 1217 mi. North of the Mai Kai
Posted: 2003-07-10 1:55 pm   Permalink

Nice find Sabu! Here is a article I found it's from a few years ago it gives a little more background and info... Cool, under the pineapple was the gift shop.

I asked my mom about it, she remembers it. She said it was very popular with kids after the prom. It burnt down right before The Latin Casino nightclub closed down.

[ This Message was edited by: tikimug on 2003-07-10 14:06 ]


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puamana
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 02, 2002
Posts: 291
From: Seattle, WA
Posted: 2003-07-10 2:00 pm   Permalink

That's a great souvenir photograph & folder! The souvenir photos I have are all older,
as well, mostly from the '50's...maybe it was mostly from an earlier era.

Here's a menu, postcard, & matchcover from the Hawaiian Cottage. First up is a dinner menu:


The back has a nice old view of Hawaii:


The inside of the menu has a great illustration on the top, showing almost the same view as Sabu's photo folder:

It is a slightly different illustration ( both restaurant sign & arrow sign are in different places,
driveway is slightly curved on left, more details in trees,bulding view at slightly different angle, etc.)
which means that this view was illustrated twice, perhaps by the same artist ?

Also on the menu is just a small list of cocktails:

I wonder if there was a separate drink menu, and which one was served in the parrot mug...

Next up is a linen postcard from the Hawaiian Cottage, showing the bar area, complete
with thatched roof above the center of the bar, and it looks like thatched upper walls, also:


Also, here's a matchcover:


 
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puamana
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 02, 2002
Posts: 291
From: Seattle, WA
Posted: 2003-07-10 2:13 pm   Permalink

tikimug,
Thanks for posting that link to the great article. So that thatched roof in the middle of the bar on the postcard was where the bands played... I wonder if the postcard view was before the mural was painted... Great history, thanks !


 
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modchick65
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 30, 2003
Posts: 52
From: chez groovara, philadelphia, pa
Posted: 2003-07-11 10:17 pm   Permalink

Hey,

This is really cool - thanks for posting it Sabu! I live right across the bridge from Cherry Hill, NJ, and, one of these days, I'm going to have to head over and see what remains of the building. The big pineapple is totally sublime, but I'm pretty sure it's all gone.

FYI for anyone that's interested -- there's actually a vintage drive-in hamburger stand (with carhops) on Route 38 in approximately the same vicinity (Weber's Root Beer). It's got the original sputnik on the roof, and the people who own it take really good care of it. A lot of times, you'll pull up and the parking lot will be filled with vintage cars, and, a few times, there has even been a really campy Elvis impersonator standing by the road. It's awesome. I just wish the Tiki restaurant also still remained...



 
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2789
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2003-07-12 07:46 am   Permalink

Puamana,

Thanks for posting all that stuff. And here I thought you only had the menu! I especially like the old linen postcard because it shows just how far the interior evolved. Great job!

Sabu


 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 4966
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2003-07-15 7:26 pm   Permalink

Maybe these are those plates?
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tiki.head
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 07, 2002
Posts: 92
From: Medford, NJ
Posted: 2003-07-15 7:53 pm   Permalink

I live about fifteen minutes from where this used to be. Not a sign of it now, though, the road is now a big long series of strip malls from Philadelphia to the hinterlands of New Jersey. Thanks for posting this, it's good to know such a landmark was once so close.
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tikimug
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 01, 2002
Posts: 751
From: 1217 mi. North of the Mai Kai
Posted: 2003-07-15 10:16 pm   Permalink

From what I understand there is an Olive Garden there now.... sorry to bring such bad news.
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abrado
Member

Joined: Mar 15, 2004
Posts: 1
Posted: 2004-03-15 9:16 pm   Permalink

Indeed, the land is now just an Olive Garden. I live exactly 3 minutes away from there. My brother had trash picked a souvenir picture from a house around the corner from us and I have been interested ever since. Now this area is just a bunch of stores.

 
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ekman spiral
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Mar 22, 2004
Posts: 31
From: mystic island NJ
Posted: 2004-03-23 9:15 pm   Permalink

uggh.. yes the area has gone downhill quickly.. i still don't understand why everyone puts up with the horrible rapid overdevelopment of these strip malls.. they need to be stripped from the earth is more like it..

 
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lesliemchenryschott
Member

Joined: Aug 31, 2005
Posts: 1
From: Merchantville, NJ
Posted: 2005-08-31 1:15 pm   Permalink

Ironically, I am about to make settlement on the house the the owners of the hawaiin cottage had built in 1955. I was doing some reasearch on the building and came across this site. The house it just as kitschy as the pineapple shaped restaurant! Also, have been stumbling across some artifacts from the hawaiin cottage in a few vintage shops and thrift stores in the south jersey area. Fun!

 
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Unga Bunga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 5792
From: CaliTikifornia
Posted: 2005-08-31 1:48 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-08-31 13:15, lesliemchenryschott wrote:
Ironically, I am about to make settlement on the house the the owners of the hawaiin cottage had built in 1955. I was doing some reasearch on the building and came across this site. The house it just as kitschy as the pineapple shaped restaurant! Also, have been stumbling across some artifacts from the hawaiin cottage in a few vintage shops and thrift stores in the south jersey area. Fun!


Congrats on the house and welcome to Tiki Central!
What do you plan to do with the house(renovate, restore, etc.)may I ask?
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puamana
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 02, 2002
Posts: 291
From: Seattle, WA
Posted: 2005-09-05 11:07 am   Permalink

Here's another postcard from the Hawaiian Cottage:



 
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bananabobs
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 16, 2003
Posts: 824
Posted: 2005-09-05 11:01 pm   Permalink


Those were the days, When Women wore pearls with their dresses and a coat and tie was standard fare. Even a hanky in the coat pocket. He looks as if he is afraid someone from work will see him. Dang I was born too late. A simpler time, a sweeter time, holding hands.

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[ This Message was edited by: bananabobs 2005-09-05 23:04 ]


 
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