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Tiki Central Forums » » Locating Tiki » » Mai Kai, Fort Lauderdale, FL (restaurant)

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Mai Kai, Fort Lauderdale, FL (restaurant)
Hurricane Hayward
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1527
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2014-01-02 01:19 am   Permalink

Some highlights of last weekend's festivities:

The Novarays rocked a packed Molokai bar on Friday night, and I got a sneak peak of the prototype for the new 2014 cocktail menu, the first total redesign in decades:


I'll be posting a full preview of the new menu on The Atomic Grog and will share some more images here.

On Saturday, the bar was nearly full at 1:30 p.m. for an early happy hour and some very special events. We adjourned to the dining room, where Angel Vega was honored for his 50 years of service:


After thanking The Mai-Kai staff and his wife, Angel said: "I believe that we have the best customers in the world, and that's what keeps me working. One customer asked me: 'Are you going to go for a few more years?' And I said I feel like Tom Brady when he won the Super Bowl. Let's go for 10 and take if from there."

Pia Dahlquist then spoke about the recent historic designation by the city of Oakland Park, adding: "Next, we are going to the state, and we are going for national recognition. When we get there, we're having a big party." She then showed off the new drink menu, which should be ready within a couple weeks. Afterwards, we were able to compare it to the original 1956 menu:



Gaspar Gonzalez of Common Machine then took the stage to introduce his film, "Plastic Paradise: A Swingin’ Trip Through America’s Polynesian Obsession," which has been appearing on PBS stations across the country since September. Of the 30 interviews in the film, about 20 were shot at The Mai-Kai, he said. The film will premiere on KCET in Los Angeles in prime time on Jan. 28, he said, and hopefully air in March or April in New York.

The film got a very respectful response, but the crowd broke out in laughter at several points when the late Ron Licudine, son of original Mai-Kai mixologist Mariano Licudine, shared stories from The Mai-Kai's early days. He talked about how the drink the Impatient Virgin was inspired by a family member ("cousin Virginia in the Philippines") and marveled at the popularity of his dad's drinks ("that's a lot of drinking, that's a lot of rum").

In honor of Ron and Mariano, we kept the tradition alive as the party continued well into the evening:




 
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