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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Islander bar near Sacramento, CA
Islander bar near Sacramento, CA
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2989
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2004-08-19 11:38 am   Permalink

Last weekend I was visiting friends in Sacramento and they mentioned seeing an old bar out in the sticks north of Sacramento with a tiki in the signage. Naturally, I suggested we drive up there to investigate further. So, on Sunday we headed up Hwy. 45 to the town of Grimes (about an hour North. of Sacramento and 10 minutes East of I-5). The bar called the Islander sits on the main intersection in town. Unfortunately, it was closed. We asked some locals and they said it would probably open at around 4 or 5. I asked what it was like inside (tropical?) and they said it's just an average bar. We couldn't wait around for 3 hours so we left.

On Monday I called the bar and spoke with a grumpy woman on the phone who confirmed that it is not tropical or Polynesian inside. I asked her if the sign could have been originally at the Islander in Stockton and she the sign had been there when she started working at the bar over 20 years ago. Didn't the Islander close over 20 years ago? Perhaps the sign was taken from the Islander in Stockton when it closed.

(I posted this info in Locating Tiki as well.)

On Friday I got a chance to visit the Eastern Empire and have some delicious Chinese Food and a good Suffering Bastard in a surfer girl mug.

We also investigated a bar called the Pre-Flite Lounge that is located downtown near the Macy's mall complex at 513 L St. My Sacto friend said that in the 60s when the airport was just a couple of runways, people flying in an out of Sacramento would visit the travel agencies and airline offices (in a small indoor mall which is now a part of the larger mall built in the 90s) and then visit the bar to wait for a bus to take them to the airport.

If you start on L st. where Morton's of Chicago is located, go up the stairs and into the older section of the mall and look up to see some nice 60s styling in the oval-shaped ceiling openings. Go back outside and the bar is inside a building on the bottom floor, just below street level. We could see the front door to the bar inside but the doors to the building were locked on Sunday, and the bar was closed. The doors to the bar are 60s modern abstractly carved wood. There are also doors to the bar from the driveway that goes between the front building and the mall, which is where airline passengers got picked up at the bar to be whisked off to the airport in a pleasantly indebriated state.

If any Sacto or Modesto TC members feel like an adventure perhaps you could check out the Pre-Flite Lounge or the Islander in Grimes, because I'm real curious about what they look like inside.

I hope everyone had a great International Tiki Day. I wish I could have been at Al and Shelley's but I still enjoyed visiting with my old friends in Sac.

[ This Message was edited by: thejab 2006-07-26 15:28 ]

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Unga Bunga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 5859
From: CaliTikifornia
Posted: 2004-08-19 11:46 am   Permalink

That's a great find Jab.
I hope it looks better inside than out.
If that is the Stockton Islander sign, than a bunch of us TCers will get together some late night, and find a better home for that baby!

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Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3059
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2004-08-19 3:00 pm   Permalink

Based on that old postcard, I'm pretty sure that's not the Islander Stockton sign. The original was much bigger. Still, I've got a socket set and a crowbar....

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 11, 2003
Posts: 336
From: ripon: almond capital yet no orgeat
Posted: 2004-08-19 5:16 pm   Permalink

nice work thejab! i really question if that sign has been there all of this time. that place looks like a real hole in the wall...it couldnt possibly carry the name of "islander" now---could it?

here are my thoughts. first of all, there was an islander tavern in manteca. i have never seen a picture of it, but i do have a drink token from it. if this was their sign, though, it probably would have the word "tavern" on it as well.

as for the stockton islander theory, i think this is very possible that the sign may have been from there. true, it would not have been the main sign that was on pacific avenue. that sign, like martin said, was really really big and had different writing (the islander on it had a lower case "i"). but, if you look at the islander stamp on any of the islander mugs, the script is pretty dead on with this sign in grimes. this leads me to believe that this sign could have possibly been on the benjamin holt side of the restaurant, maybe above a back door that lead directly to the cocktail lounge at islander? we cannot see the back side on the postcard, annnd the islander was situated on the busy corner of pacific avenue and benjamin holt. and there must have been a back entrance somewhere...right?

now back to the real issue at hand. martin has a crow bar. im a pretty good look-out. who has a truck?

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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2989
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2006-07-26 3:26 pm   Permalink

I finally went to the Pre-Flight Lounge in Sacramento last Friday. My friend in Sacramento called the bar and confirmed their hours - they said they are open Mon-Fri and closed at 10:00. So we went there around 9:00 on Friday and walked right in. The bartender yelled "We're closed!" at us. Despite the fact that the sign on the door said they were open to 10:00, the door was not locked, and there were 2 customers seated at the bar. My money's obviously too good for them! I got a quick peek and left. The decor was OK - some cool hanging lamps in the 60s Spanish style, but far too many new beer signs and posters. Better to spend your time and money at the Back Door Lounge in Old Sac.

I fixed the picture links in this thread as well. And I linked to this thread from the following fascinating post:


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