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Tiki Central Forums » » General Tiki » » Kansas City: The Tropics - was it tiki?
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Kansas City: The Tropics - was it tiki?
tikijackalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 823
From: KS/MO
Posted: 2004-10-21 9:13 pm   Permalink

Would any of you Kansas City folks know about a defunct lounge called "The Tropics" that used to be in the Hotel Phillips, downtown? I found a broken hula girl swizzle from the place last week in a flea market, which started me searching. A web search revealed this postcard, which is also offered as a print from amazon.com.


According to it's website, the Phillips is a 1931 art deco hotel noted for an "11-foot golden sculpture in our lobby representing Dawn, the winged goddess of the stars." It underwent rennovation in 2001, by which time The Tropics was probably long-gone.

I emailed a representative of the hotel, who was polite, but came up with no further pictures of The Tropics and no opening or closing dates. Google does not reveal much, either.

Would anyone know if KC lost a tiki bar or just a tropics-themed lounge? The address is: 106 West 12th St, Kansas City, MO 64105 (corner of 12th and Baltimore).


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11238
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2004-10-21 10:40 pm   Permalink

Wellllll, according to the Polynesian Pop Evolution Chart on p.46 of the BOT, this place would definetely be classified as Pre-Tiki. I can't see any in the postcard, either.
If it existed into the 50s/60s, it might have been updated. OA might know.


 
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tikijackalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 823
From: KS/MO
Posted: 2004-10-22 03:07 am   Permalink

Yeah, probably pre-tiki in establishment, but the swizzle is plastic, so, statistically, would that indicate post-war, probably the 1950's or later? This made me curious about swizzle history so I (hopefully) just started a discussion about that.
Btw, I'm 240 miles from my copy of BoT with it's timeline...too bad there aren't paperback-sized versions of it, Tiki Road Trip and Tiki Quest. I'd love to have the tiki reference trilogy in versions kinder to one's luggage space.


 
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Unga Bunga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 5821
From: CaliTikifornia
Posted: 2004-10-22 03:33 am   Permalink

Sven,
Can't tell you again how cool it is to have you as an active member here.


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11238
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2004-10-22 11:31 pm   Permalink

Oh well, thank you Unga!
Well, TC is my Tiki life line, invaluable especially while I am in the foreign legion here, it makes me feel connected, and needed!

Germany is coming around to Tiki too, the Tabou Tiki Room is buzzing, I did a radio interview for Berlin's Radio MultiKulti, and hopefully there will be an article in the glossy Hamburg magazine "MARE", a beautiful bi-monthly that deals exclusively with Ocean related cultural themes.
I will return home on the 30th, by the way, in time to have Halloweeen with my son. Guess where I'll be on Wednesday eve! (it has two Ts in the name)

Quote:

On 2004-10-22 03:07, tikijackalope wrote:
...too bad there aren't paperback-sized versions of it, Tiki Road Trip and Tiki Quest. I'd love to have the tiki reference trilogy in versions kinder to one's luggage space.



Ha, but the Tiki Icon is ON the way! On Monday I am expecting the first sample. It will be, as mentioned before, a Reader's Digest of the BOT, a small travelsized paperback. I did have to edit out a certain amount, for example the Evoluton chart did not make it, but it will be good for a quick visual fix. It should be in the stores sometime in November, it will be called "Tiki Style", the price should be ten bucks.

In a funny development, related to my earlier posts about American Puritanism, OLD NAVY has asked Taschen to remove all nudity from the Icon for their stores. I will decide on alternate images once I have the specs. So there will be a "censored" Old Navy imprint version of the Tiki Icon. But they will also put out greeting cards with BOT images, which is cool. I am assuming that this will be for the spring season though.

I should propose to them what Trader Vic's did for a while with their classic menu cover in the 80s:
Photoshop bikini tops on the girls tatas!

[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki on 2004-10-22 23:35 ]


 
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kctiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 22, 2003
Posts: 439
From: Kansas City
Posted: 2004-10-24 08:19 am   Permalink

I found (sort of) a matchbook from The Tropics. It's in a display at Kansas City's Union Station. The display features misc. items that workers left behind the walls when it was being constructed and during various renovations over the years. So that doesn't help pin down a date.

The matchbook says, "The Tropics" and something like, "A Tropical Hideaway". It has a picture of a palm tree and a monkey.


 
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Kailuageoff
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 27, 2002
Posts: 1504
From: Honolulu Lounge,Lewes, DE
Posted: 2004-10-25 10:20 am   Permalink

There seem to have been a lot of places called the Tropics. There was one in Reno, Chicago, Ormond Beach, Fla. and one in Miami. Seems like I've seen matchbooks and postcards for other restaurants/bars called The Tropics on the west coast and in Dayton, Ohio and New York. Perhaps there was common ownership involved in some of these places similar to Trader Vics and Don the Beachcomber. This topic is definitely worthy of more research. Good luck.
KG

[ This Message was edited by: kailuageoff on 2004-10-26 12:32 ]


 
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Tiki Shaker
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jun 28, 2008
Posts: 706
From: Menifee, CA
Posted: 2009-04-20 5:31 pm   Permalink

Images from matchbook.










 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4396
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-04-20 6:18 pm   Permalink

Pre Tiki

Here is the postcard with the nice murals.



DC


 
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Bambú Yoo-hoo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 28, 2009
Posts: 101
From: The Nairobi Room, Umgawa Reef Motel
Posted: 2009-04-20 11:30 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-10-21 21:13, tikijackalope wrote:
Would any of you Kansas City folks know about a defunct lounge called "The Tropics" that used to be in the Hotel Phillips, downtown?...Would anyone know if KC lost a tiki bar or just a tropics-themed lounge? The address is: 106 West 12th St, Kansas City, MO 64105 (corner of 12th and Baltimore).



I was born in KC and grew up there during the 40's and 50's...

Although the hotels Phillips, Aladdin, Muehlbach, etc. were very nice -- 12th Street in general?? Ummm, not so much! I hung out as a J.D. kid at Miller's Recreation & Snooker Hall -- a below sidewalk level walk-down pool hall at 12th & Grand Avenue next to the Penny Arcade.

Anyway, here's a 1950's
Souvenir drink menu mailer from The Tropics at Hotel Phillips.(credits/kudos: © 2006 Mimi Payne/Site design by Humuhumu)

...And a b&w photo of The Phillips as I remember it during those years.


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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4396
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-01-21 10:20 pm   Permalink

Here is another monkey-style matchbook from the Tropics.




DC


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4396
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-02-16 11:45 am   Permalink

Another pre-tiki matchbook from the Tropics on ebay.




They had another Mexican themed Cabana cocktail lounge as well.



DC


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4396
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-06-15 9:42 pm   Permalink

Spotted this nice menu from the Tropics circa 1941. Some very nice pre-Poly Pop imagery and drink selections.









DC


 
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SilverLine
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 02, 2004
Posts: 631
From: Kansas City
Posted: 2010-08-09 12:44 pm   Permalink



Came across this postcard today. One I've never seen before. It has a nice view (unfortunately black & white) of the murals. Maybe not tiki, maybe pre-tiki? But ya know, in those days, who cared?
_________________

Classic Silver Line Boats

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WestADad
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2009
Posts: 745
From: Tornado Alley
Posted: 2010-08-09 12:50 pm   Permalink

Looks tiki to me, but probably pre-tiki. I think I see some fish floats at almost the top center of the picture.

Cool!

Chris
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