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Tiki Central Forums » » General Tiki » » Dallas Trader Vic's Final Demise
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Dallas Trader Vic's Final Demise
WikiTikiTavi
Member

Joined: Mar 27, 2003
Posts: 4
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2004-12-29 3:11 pm   Permalink

From D Magazine - January '05 Issue

The Tiki Has Been Found!
The old Trader Vic’s landmark surfaces—sort of—with the sale of Hotel Santa Fe.
by Tim Rogers


TREASURE HUNTERS: The 14-foot statue is in an “undisclosed location.” Posing with their trophy (from left to right) are Kip Sowden, Jon Dooley of Behringer Harvard Funds, and Jeff Berry.
In 2000, after standing guard in front of the old Trader Vic’s on Mockingbird Lane for more than 30 years, the giant tiki vanished. Another piece of our history had been erased, and sadness settled over the city like a wet palm frond.

But now the tiki has returned, having survived an arduous, lawsuit-littered journey. And it could be yours.

Joe Hunt was the man who took the tiki. As a kid, his father used to take him to Trader Vic’s. So the local financial consultant offered to buy it from the Hotel Santa Fe for $2,400. But then things got weird. The hotel—which was owned by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s organization and which was part of his plan to establish peace on earth through transcendental meditation—backed out of the deal. Hunt sued. The Maharishi’s people never showed up in court. And a judge awarded the tiki to Hunt, who carted it off to a friend’s warehouse in Ennis.

But then the hotel sued Hunt, and Hunt was forced to return the tiki to the hotel’s heavies in May 2003. But the statue never made it to its rightful post, and its whereabouts remained a mystery to all but a few of the Maharishi’s operatives.

Leap forward to November 2004, when the dilapidated hotel changed ownership. Realty America Group and Behringer Harvard Funds, two Dallas firms, bought the place from the Maharishi Global Development Fund. Soon, an $80 million redevelopment of the property will begin. But the plans do not include the tiki.

Jeff Berry, one of the principal owners of Realty America, says the contents of Trader Vic’s will likely be auctioned off, with proceeds going to charity. That includes the tiki, which Berry says will remain in an “undisclosed location” until the auction. He himself didn’t know the details of the location until after the sale of the hotel had gone through.

“I didn’t know where the undisclosed location was,” he says. “And then I stumbled across this huge piece of wood and said, ‘I guess this is it.’” Berry says the tiki was surrounded by empty beer cans, and he quickly brought Kip Sowden, the firm’s other principal, to see it.

The two Highland Park High School grads had fond memories of the totem and rejoiced to be back in its company. Says Sowden, “We looked for a big scorpion glass that we could put umbrellas in and have a drink to celebrate.”



[ This Message was edited by: WikiTikiTavi on 2004-12-30 10:19 ]

[ This Message was edited by: WikiTikiTavi on 2004-12-30 10:20 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11003
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2004-12-29 9:40 pm   Permalink

Good info, thank you. Trials of a Tiki, tiz tiz. Is there a way to see the photo?

So, Jeff "Beachbum" Berry has the Dallas Trader Vic's Tiki now...interesting...and he's gonna auction off the contents of the restaurant...
(hee hee, that's how rumours get started )


 
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WikiTikiTavi
Member

Joined: Mar 27, 2003
Posts: 4
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2004-12-30 10:24 am   Permalink

Here you go Big Bro! The picture has been added to the article.

 
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mrsmiley
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 3170
From: Las Vegas, NV
Posted: 2004-12-30 10:39 am   Permalink

Funny picture--very "Raiders of the Lost Arc"/archeological feel to it!

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11003
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2004-12-30 11:06 am   Permalink

Wow, look at that beaute! A Barney West Moai no doubt. And I wouldn't kick one of those Marquesan guys off my doorstep either.
But the prices are probably absurd by now, with all that interest...whose fault is that again!?

[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki on 2004-12-30 11:07 ]


 
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Kenike
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 24, 2003
Posts: 1204
From: McKinney, TX
Posted: 2004-12-30 1:24 pm   Permalink

If anyone gets word of when the auction will take place PLEASE POST!! I'll be watching the Dallas paper.

 
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Talkie-Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 05, 2002
Posts: 193
From: Hendersonville. N.C
Posted: 2004-12-31 10:52 pm   Permalink

Hey I am A Highland Park high school graduate. I remember when I was in high school and going to Richland Comm college seeing and touching it. I used to scheme about how to steal it! I would love to have it! Or at least someone in Tiki central community owned it. It was part of my youth and what really got me into tikis in the first place!


 
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hazmania
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Dec 29, 2003
Posts: 35
From: Dallas, Texas
Posted: 2005-01-01 7:46 pm   Permalink

I have been snooping around the property since its' sale was announced in the Dallas Morning News business section to Kimpton Properties in San Francisco. I never got anywhere with the remaining staff, though. I was actually hoping that the "artifacts" (and there is a decent amount above and beyond the big statue)would be used in a new incarnation of a proposed reataurant in the same space. Please post any notice of these auctions.

 
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2005-06-26 11:07 am   Permalink

I found the pics I took in May '99 of the moai. I found this completely by accident, and at the time I didn't even know Trader Vic's was located here. As you can see that the hotel (the Hilltop Inn) was closed.




 
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Maori_man
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 23, 2003
Posts: 190
From: Portland, Oregon
Posted: 2005-06-26 5:26 pm   Permalink

Anybody else think this pic looks "doctored". It has a kinda surreal photoshop feel to it. Maybe it's just me.... and I haven't been drinking yet today.....

 
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2005-06-27 10:30 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-06-26 17:26, Maori_man wrote:
Anybody else think this pic looks "doctored". It has a kinda surreal photoshop feel to it. Maybe it's just me.... and I haven't been drinking yet today.....



You know me! I wouldn't do that. Perhaps because they're from prints I scanned at fairly low resolution. If you don't believe me ask mrsmiley. He saw the pictures back when I took them.

Have a drink, man!


 
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Maori_man
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 23, 2003
Posts: 190
From: Portland, Oregon
Posted: 2005-06-27 1:46 pm   Permalink

Jab - not pointing any fingers here man - I totally believe you but I am not talking about your pics. I meant the one at the top of the thread with the hardy adventurers. Where are the shadows man? The Shadows........ These guys are not in possesion of any shadows, none on the floor, none on the WHITE backdrop - vampires? ...... man I do need a drink.......

[ This Message was edited by: Maori_man on 2005-06-27 13:50 ]


 
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2005-06-27 1:58 pm   Permalink

OK, no hard feelings Maori man.

But I can see shadows on the white backdrop from the two tikis on the left (look between the 1st. and 2nd. people from the left) so it looks legit to me.

You've been working to hard! The NW tiki crawl planning must have been hard work!


 
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BONBONVIC
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 123
From: Los Angeles, CA
Posted: 2005-06-29 08:46 am   Permalink

More Dallas Trader Vic info:

http://dallas.bizjournals.com/dallas/stories/2005/05/30/story6.html

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Traitor Vic
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 02, 2003
Posts: 428
From: Greenville, SC
Posted: 2005-06-29 10:33 pm   Permalink

Very cool article, BonBonVic! Wow! Looks as if things are gonna go well in Dallas pretty soon. Might I suggest that each and every person who has access to that area set the goal of proving Matthew Mabel, of Surrender, Inc., to be an idiot.

 
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