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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Bali Hai, Northport, NY (restaurant)
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Bali Hai, Northport, NY (restaurant)
tikisignartist
Member

Joined: Jul 26, 2004
Posts: 4
From: East Northport, NY
Posted: 2004-07-26 3:05 pm   Permalink

Name:Bali Hai
Type:restaurant
Street:Main Street (25A)
City:Northport
State:NY
Zip:11768?
country:USA
Phone:
Status:defunct

Description:
This once well-known Polynesian restaurant was a favorite of mine as a child. My parents took me there for birthdays to see the impressive hula shows. Great tiki mugs were given with certain drinks (many moai style are available online with the name and location on back), decent food, a large tiki sign with the name out front on a tall wood pole. This restaurant was replaced by an unremarkable New England style continental cuisine place \"Cow Harbor Inn\" sometime in the 80's or so- using the same structure (nothing remarkable from the outside as I recall, but a nice stepped brick entrance). This restaurant, of course, is now abandoned and the location is in danger of becoming a bank or drug store in the near future. One can drive past the Cow Harbor Inn and see it is neglected and waiting to be demolished.

As part of some local historical research on tiki within my community, I need to find ANY info and preferably photos anyone might have on the defunct Bali Hai. I would give more details if only I could remember, but it is VERY hard to find any info on this place! Can you help? I am having no luck so far with the local historical society but will keep at it...
Mahalo!



 
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donhonyc
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2004-07-26 11:10 pm   Permalink

Hey Tikisignartist-

I know the exact place you're talking about. My fiance' is from Northport, and just recently her Dad mentioned that the Bali Hai was there after he found out I was a Tiki freak. I've seen the building, and yeah 'unremarkable' is pretty accurate description of what it is now. If I hear or get my hands on any info, I'll be sure to post. Sounds like it was a cool place.


 
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henrytobin
Member

Joined: Nov 11, 2005
Posts: 1
Posted: 2005-11-11 11:47 am   Permalink

Hey tikisignartist,

Im sorry you weren't able to get any help from the Northport Historical Society and Museum last year when you were looking for a picture or info regarding the old Bali Hai. I am the Treasurer of the Society. We have a new Director, Rosemary Feeny (tele. 631-757-9859, 215 Main Street, Northport), and new researchers. Please try again. We do make copies of photos for a small fee; I know that we have at least one photo of the Bali Hai's tiki-style entrance. We also have photos of the building from the turn of the 19th-20th centuries. The core of the building is a 2-story house built circa 1790, it was Northport's earliest? general store and our first post office (1820). This is what all the controversy is about. By the way, Commerce Bank is the bank looking to demolish it; the Village is still hearing its application and a challenge is currently in court.

I just bought a pair of the Bali Hai's tiki mugs on eBay to donate to the Museum and that's what attracted me to this site.

Good luck with all things tiki!


 
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donhonyc
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2008-05-11 09:37 am   Permalink

Finally got a scanner so i'm sure I'll be posting postcard images in other topics, but to start here is what I believe to be a pretty rare postcard of the Bali Hai in Northport. Anything from this place is real hard to find. I can't believe I actually found this.




 
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tikiyaki
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 18, 2004
Posts: 2706
From: The Exotic Port of REDONDO BEACH, CA
Posted: 2008-05-11 09:57 am   Permalink

I grew up in Huntington and lived on L.I. for 31 years....Sadly, my parents never took me to this place...they just weren't TIKI at ALL...so I never knew about it, until I stumbled across this on Arkiva Tropica....



and these....










Looks like it was an amzing place. Pretty rare that you find anything Tiki that was on Long Island. Plenty of nautical, but not much Tiki. I guess it was more of a Pacific Ocean thing...

[ This Message was edited by: tikiyaki 2008-05-11 10:05 ]

[ This Message was edited by: tikiyaki 2008-05-11 10:06 ]


 
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donhonyc
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2008-05-11 10:35 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-05-11 09:57, tikiyaki wrote:
I grew up in Huntington and lived on L.I. for 31 years....Sadly, my parents never took me to this place...they just weren't TIKI at ALL...so I never knew about it, until I stumbled across this on Arkiva Tropica....




Sounds like the way I grew up in Ft. Lauderdale. The Mai Kai was always there but my parents never took me. They thought like most of the locals that it was a major tourist trap. Plus they probably thought that it was more of an 'adult' place. People in the 70s used to think like that. Any establishment with scantily clad ladies was not necessarily family entertainment. Luckily for me and the rest of us the Mai Kai still exists.

I'm in Northport once every month or so and I always go past the former Bali Hai location. The building has been shuttered for a few years now, and just sitting there crumbling. Its last incarnation was the 'Cow Harbor Inn'. I think the building is slated to be razed and they're going to put a Commerce Bank there or something. Jeez..can they make this world any more generic than it is already?

Thanks for posting the Arkiva stuff. That's a great web site. I forgot they had the Bali Hai stuff.

[ This Message was edited by: donhonyc 2008-05-11 10:38 ]


 
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tikisignartist
Member

Joined: Jul 26, 2004
Posts: 4
From: East Northport, NY
Posted: 2008-05-11 5:30 pm   Permalink

Wow, thank you so much everyone for the pics and the interest - the Arkiva stuff brought back a FLOOD of memories!
I only wish I had these pics when I was creating the signs in question back in '04. They are still SUPER cool to see and I am sure I will use them somewhere. My husband will definitely get a kick out of them too - he creates HUGE tikis out of wood that are actually furniture (email
bigkahunatiki@optonline.net for more info), and he's been hearing me talk about this place for years.

Does anyone know of any tikiesque establishments in the works for the Long Island area?
I keep hearing rumors through some of our connections but nothing definite.

Hey and by the way - who remembers Lake Tung Ting? In Centerport - a chinese restaurant on the lake that was recently razed - I stopped by some time ago to look in the abandoned building. Its demise was unfortunate as the inside could have so easily been remodeled into a Tiki paradise.


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seafoamer
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 05, 2008
Posts: 55
From: ma
Posted: 2008-08-11 7:18 pm   Permalink

Here is a photo (with my crappy camera) of a Bali Hai napkin. The napkin is in one of my mother's scrapbooks. You can see (from my mom's writing) that on 11/9/1968 she and my dad (then fiance) went there either before or after going to see the movie Camelot. At the time my mom lived in West Hempstead & my dad lived in Bethpage.




_________________


[ This Message was edited by: seafoamer 2008-08-11 19:19 ]


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Tiki-Kate
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 21, 2003
Posts: 1700
From: Yucaipa, CA
Posted: 2009-11-01 08:43 am   Permalink

Matchbook


_________________


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donhonyc
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2010-03-28 07:46 am   Permalink

Drove by the former location of the Bali Hai yesterday. The original building is now gone and a TD Bank is being built in its place. Sorry I don't have any pictures, but what's there to see?

 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4245
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-04-04 10:04 am   Permalink

Finally got one of those great Bali Hai postcards, also saw this matchbook on ebay with a different design and font.




DC


 
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Tea Monster
Member

Joined: Feb 21, 2013
Posts: 1
Posted: 2013-02-21 05:38 am   Permalink

I'm sad to hear that they tore the place down.

I grew up in Long Island and I was taken here for Birthdays every year for all the time we lived here. I remember the embarresment of being taken up on the stage for 'hula lessons' .

Thanks donhonyc and tikiyaki for posting the pics! I remember there was an artificial stream leading between the rails seen in the postcard, and I recall that the bridge had lights on it. There was live entertainment (late '60s/ early '70s) Polynesian music and hula dancing. I think there was a fire dancer as well, but I might have that memory confused with somewhere else.

I remember we always had the pau pau platter. They used to give out these plastic leis, (which didn't look anything like the ones on the menu!), and we always loved them.

I remember that there was a huge clam shell (can't remember if it was 'real' or not) in the lobby, which was used as a wishing well.

Thanks all for bringing back so many cool memories.

[ This Message was edited by: Tea Monster 2013-02-21 05:40 ]


 
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Micky54
Member

Joined: Oct 17, 2013
Posts: 1
Posted: 2013-10-17 6:08 pm   Permalink

Enjoying a night out at the Bali Hai in Northport, LI 1972 Me & my now husband Paris, My sister Joann and her now husband Charlie & my Mom & Dad Jean & Ralph.
These are some of the Tiki glasses I have from the restaurant and I also have the Menu. We always had such fun there, great memories.
Michele







 
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scope
Member

Joined: Dec 31, 2013
Posts: 1
Posted: 2013-12-31 7:51 pm   Permalink

I lived in East Northport from 1957 (10 years old) till 1971. I worked part-time at the Bali Hai as a dishwasher, than busboy than waiter on and off from 1964 to 1968 while attending college. A Filipino who name was Albert was the manager. He was always trying to lure a waitress up to the second floor "office" to put the moves on her. The owners last name was Gater. He was a short white round elderly male ( looked like Alfred Hitchcock). He also owned a steak house called the Gateaway Restaurant located on Jericho Turnpike. He occasionally visited the Bali Hai, pulling up to the kitchen door in the back of the restaurant in his new Cadillac convertible always accompanied by young, very young women.
Most of the employees were either all or part Filipino, Hawaiian, Asian or Polynesian. I was one of the few white employees. I loved the atmosphere in the main dining room and the live entertainment. I recall they once had a world famous flaming knife dancer perform. I saw him several years later performing on tv and at Disney World.
I visited that area in 2004 for a 40 th Northport high school reunion. At that time the building was still standing but boarded up. It appeared to have more recently been a regular American food restaurant.
I heard that what finally did the Bali Hai in was that one New Year's Eve they way over booked and as the crowd grew outside a fight broke out that eventually grew outside and spilled inside. in the process a lot of furniture was destroyed inside and out including the large statutes, lights and ponds both inside and outside the building. I heard the restaurant never reopened after that.


 
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Ragbag Comics
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 24, 2009
Posts: 132
From: Chicago
Posted: 2014-05-27 2:37 pm   Permalink

A friend of mine from Northport who knows I'm a major nerd for all things Tiki spotted this
guy at a local hardware store over the weekend, claiming to be from the Bali Hai...



This was the first I'd heard of the restaurant, so I can't say if that's true or not, but if someone lives in the area, I can see if I can get the exact store... maybe someone will recognize it?

Looking over the photos and info in this thread, it sounds like the Bali Hai was quite a fantastic place way back when!

--Pete


 
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