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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki What exactly was tiki at Harvey's Lake Tahoe?
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What exactly was tiki at Harvey's Lake Tahoe?
Humuhumu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3691
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2005-01-12 5:24 pm   Permalink

One of the glaring omissions in Critiki is Harvey's Lake Tahoe... I haven't put it in there yet because of the life of me, I haven't been able to figure out what precisely was tiki about the place. I see the Sneaky Tiki mug and the bucket mug all over the damned place, but no mention of them actually coming from a tiki establishment within the Casino... were these mugs just a bandwagon idea for a souvenir (a la the "Andersen's Pea Soup" tiki mug)? Or was there a Polynesian lounge in there at some point? If so, what was it called? The "Sneaky Tiki?" Or was that the name of a drink? Or was that just something slapped on the side of that mug for the heck of it? (The bucket mug just says "Harvey's Lake Tahoe" if I remember correctly.)

I see those two mugs all the damned time in antique malls... it seems bizarre to me that there should be so many of those mugs that made it out there, and yet so little information about their genesis. I've searched TC and I find plenty of discussion of the mugs, but none about the place they came from. I'm sure it's one of those things that about a hundred of you out there know all about and can kindly fill me in on.

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mrsmiley
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 3193
From: Las Vegas, NV
Posted: 2005-01-12 5:42 pm   Permalink

From the vague information I have been told, the Sneaky Tiki was a tiki bar possibly on the top floor of Harvey's Lake Tahoe. It was around until maybe the mid-late 80's. I think. No matte4r what, there definately was a tiki bar at harveys and those mugs came from it.
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Geeky Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 15, 2002
Posts: 533
From: Las vegas
Posted: 2005-01-12 5:50 pm   Permalink

Yup, top floor at Harvey's in South Shore.

Had windows on three sides, dark blue/nvy/black carpeting with kinda generic fronds and flowers woven in - standar casino level wool carpeting.

Had low lighting and a selection of tiki drinks.

Some Polynesian appetizers and dishes from time to time, but nothing I would describe as having established any certain tradition.

Standard round, wood tables, with seating for four around them. Maybe one or two "rattan twig" seats - by that I mean only one or two 'rings' of rattan, with single rattan backs.

Had a smokey DJ area and a small parquet dance floor.

No tiki music, per se.

Maybe ten or so different tiki drinks on the menu, but they all kinda ended up being the same - pineappla juice, grenadine, and rum.

No distinctive swizzle sticks or cherry sticks that I can recall.

On the main hotel level, I seem to recall one concrete semi-tiki announcing the presence of the lounge.


 
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KAHAKA
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 03, 2003
Posts: 875
From: San Jose, CA
Posted: 2005-01-12 5:55 pm   Permalink

My parents went there a few times before I was born in the 70s. Growing up I used to drink milk from a Sneaky Tiki mug they got on a visit. In the few times that I've asked them about the place, they just said that it was at the top of Harvey's and that it was decorated Polynesian style with some tikis. I don't think they were really there to check out the decor at the time, and were probably inebriated before they even reached the top floor...

 
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tikicleen
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 11, 2003
Posts: 336
From: ripon: almond capital yet no orgeat
Posted: 2005-01-12 6:44 pm   Permalink

yep, there definitely was a tiki place at harvey's. it was at the tippy top of the place. to solve a little more of the mystery, im posting two menus from harvey's (as stolen from mike's site)






as you can sorta see in the menus, harvey's had four main mugs and bowl. the mugs were the bucket mug, the "sail with harvey's" hula girl mug, the sneaky tiki black w/orange paint mug, and the green sneaky tiki mug. the most uncommon vessel was the hula girl "sail with harvey's" bowl as seen here.


later on they got cheap and did a smaller hula girls bowl.

harvey's matchbook is hot pink with the sneaky tiki on it. it also had salt and pepper shakers in the likeness of the sneaky tiki. the swizzle was green and had the sneaky tiki perched on top. i have all of these but i am currently experiencing a big case of the lazys to go take pictures of them. i think some of these items can be found on mike's site.

anyone have a postcard of the place?


 
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Alnshely
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 974
From: Oceanside CA
Posted: 2005-01-12 7:01 pm   Permalink

Ahh, Lake Tahoe my old stomping ground, where Lady Luck meets Mother Nature. The Restaurant on top of Harvey's was called the Top of the wheel. The Bar was the Sneaky Tiki. Judging from the number of Mugs it had to be one of the most successful Tiki places of all time.


Haveys Bucket, the Logo is a wagon wheel and cow skull, hence, the top of the wheel

1967 Nevada magazine

Add on back of Mag





Sail with Harvey's
Shelley says it closed about 1990, she had drinks there. Michelle, ask her about her "story", it's hot. The bar is now somewhat generic, but, very posh. The view is outstanding. the restaurant is a little nautical, not much, and pricey. For six years I searched in vain for those cool salt and peppers (Bot pg 180). There is not one thrift store in northern Nevada I have not searched with a fine tooth comb.
Mahalo,
Al




[ This Message was edited by: Alnshely on 2005-01-12 19:17 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11605
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2005-01-12 7:39 pm   Permalink

Top of the Wheel it was called. The "Sneaky Tiki" name was lifted from Tiki Bob's, of course. This is really a Bamboo Ben question, since granduncle Eli outfitted the place. From what I remember seeing in Ben's archive, it was quite elaborately decked out with Beachcomber and Tiki decor. According to Leroy Schmaltz, it closed/went bland? when the joint was firebombed by a disgruntled employee (with 151 Rum? )

These are merely distant echoes in my overloaded Tiki brain, but easily checked at the sources, Ben and O.A.


 
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RevBambooBen
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 12, 2002
Posts: 7928
From: Huntikington Beach
Posted: 2005-01-12 10:48 pm   Permalink

a Bamboo Ben question, since granduncle Eli outfitted the place.
------------------------------------------

"Granduncle?" Sven, you have lost your mind!

"GRANDFATHER!!!! ELI not ELY, Hedley!!!!"

Ha! Just messin wit you Sven-ster.

We blame the past on translation matters.

Sven is a bro!

I remember sitting on his 1 couch (or was it the floor) many moons ago with a few artists who have made it these days. Who would've known that night who the Art God was going to choose. We know. The few that were there. It all went down at Svens pad.

Harveys "Top of the Wheel" it was 'big time' back then.

Have some Tiki Mug Shelves (with history) coming up soon that will house the Harveys mugs just perfecly.

Net Tiki gets one and so do Al & Shelly.(I have not forgotton. Just a design issue) The rest will go here TC then to EBay.

After Harveys, there will be Trader Dicks/ Nugget, Steve Cranes Luau and a few more........Mug shelves that is.

Sven- Hefe Doupple Bock with a chaser of Underberg!! Score!!





 
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Humuhumu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3691
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2005-01-13 03:25 am   Permalink

Good god, I love you people.


 
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cynfulcynner
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1799
From: Ocean Beach, San Francisco
Posted: 2005-01-13 10:17 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-01-12 19:39, bigbrotiki wrote:
According to Leroy Schmaltz, it closed/went bland? when the joint was firebombed by a disgruntled employee (with 151 Rum? )



FIREBOMBED?!? oh my.


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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 3074
From: Columbus, Ohiya
Posted: 2005-01-13 10:20 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-01-13 10:17, cynfulcynner wrote:
Quote:

On 2005-01-12 19:39, bigbrotiki wrote:
According to Leroy Schmaltz, it closed/went bland? when the joint was firebombed by a disgruntled employee (with 151 Rum? )



FIREBOMBED?!? oh my.




is 'firebomb' the name of a drink? if not, it should be.
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Geeky Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 15, 2002
Posts: 533
From: Las vegas
Posted: 2005-01-13 10:24 am   Permalink

The bomb was a regular old bomb - if there is such a thing - that was detonated on a lower floor.

The Tiki bar bombed on it's own.

The bombing was late August, 1980.

I used to have a T-shirt that read, "I got bombed at Harvey's."


 
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cynfulcynner
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1799
From: Ocean Beach, San Francisco
Posted: 2005-01-13 11:05 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-01-13 10:20, Johnny Dollar wrote:
is 'firebomb' the name of a drink? if not, it should be.



How about a Molotov Cocktail?


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cynfulcynner
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1799
From: Ocean Beach, San Francisco
Posted: 2005-01-13 11:10 am   Permalink


If you Google "harvey's lake tahoe bomb" you will find a number of sites about the bombing. It was a 1000-pound bomb disgiused as a copier, and was part of an extortion plot!
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Hakalugi
Site Administrator

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 3452
From: Redondo Beach, CA
Posted: 2005-01-13 11:29 am   Permalink

Here's the short version from: http://members.xoom.virgilio.it/all42day/history/h4aug/h4aug26.html

August 26, 1980 -
Extortionist's 450-kg bomb destroys casino-
Workers at Harvey's Resort and Casino in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, discover a 450-kg bomb disguised as a copy machine in an executive suite. A ransom note attached to device demands $3 million to be paid in return for instructions on how to defuse the bomb. As experts from the bomb squad examined the complex, handmade explosive containing a control box with 28 switches, the hotel is evacuated and the adjoining streets shut down. However, the nearby casino remains open to the gamblers so addicted that they are willing to gamble their lives.
The extortionist demands that a helicopter fly $3 million in cash to an area south of the Lake Tahoe airport where a strobe light would give further coded instructions. But when the FBI violate the ransom instructions by contacting the helicopter by radio, the plan goes awry and the bomb squad is left to dismantle the bomb. From the Sahara Tahoe Hotel, experts try to do it with robots. But he bomb explodes, demolishing the hotel. Luckily, none of the gamblers are killed.
After remaining at large for nearly a year, the four perpetrators were arrested by FBI agents in 1981. John Waldo Birges, who had lost a large amount of money at the casino in the months before the bomb exploded, orchestrated the plan with the help from his girlfriend, Ella Williams, and two other men. His sons later testified that he stole the TNT from a construction site. Birges was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Harvey's Resort and Casino was eventually rebuilt.


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