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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Chin Tiki, Detroit, MI (restaurant)
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Chin Tiki, Detroit, MI (restaurant)
Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4275
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-03-06 5:21 pm   Permalink

Bigbro and Tipsy,

Thanks for the Chin Tiki photos and discussion. Another tiki temple meets the wrecking ball, sad day indeed.

Here are a few more relics from the glory days.











Hoist a mai tai in honor of the Chin Tiki tonight.

DC


 
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Tipsy McStagger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3516
From: HELL
Posted: 2009-03-06 5:26 pm   Permalink



bamboolodge and i are going out to hala kahiki to do just that, tonight!!.......hoist a few mai tai's for the chin'
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Chub
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 26, 2005
Posts: 264
From: Detroit, MI but now in sunny Los Angeles
Posted: 2009-03-06 9:22 pm   Permalink

Just because the Witco and best furniture was taken out a few years ago, it still is a crime the Chin Tiki is going down the way it is. I offered to buy the building from Mr. Chin just before he signed the deal for the 8mile movie deal, he wasn't interested in selling for what ever reason. So yes, I'm having a hard time seeing the Chin Tiki turned into a surface parking lot. Call me crazy! It troubles me greatly to see any original Tiki establishment destroyed, but this one extra heartbreaking to me. It definitely would be still standing and operating had Mr. Chin sold it to me and my business partner.

RIP Chin Tiki


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ZuluMagoo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 26, 2002
Posts: 469
From: Denver, CO
Posted: 2009-03-06 9:52 pm   Permalink

A little Chin Tiki History.

Here is a shot of Helen Fujiwara (center). She was the hostess at the Chin Tiki. She later married famed tiki restaurant interior deisgner George Nakashima.






After George left Stephen Crane Associates (designing all of the wonderfull Kon Tiki Restaurants with Florian Gabriel), he was in Detroit working on plans for the Mauna Loa (the grand Detroit tiki temple). He spent many evenings at the Chin Tiki, maybe to draw inspiration for the Mauna Loa, or maybe because of Helen. As a result of his time at the Chin Tiki, they started dating and were later married.





Aloha, Helen and George! (RIP)


 
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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1782
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2009-03-07 04:20 am   Permalink

I am sad indeed and a bit pissed off in my own way. Michigan has lost so much in so many ways over the years and more so as of late. One hit after another and we haven't even reached the bottom yet. It is a great tribute to places such as Chin Tiki that we have people here to save the images and memories of the past and keep them alive. Thanks to everyone here for posting and keep up the good work.

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"Anyone who has ever seen them is thereafter haunted as if by a feverish dream" Karl Woermann


 
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ZuluMagoo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 26, 2002
Posts: 469
From: Denver, CO
Posted: 2009-03-07 07:59 am   Permalink

A little more backstory.

Before Helen moved to Detroit and started working at the Chin Tiki, she was an entertainer in Chinatown in San Francisco in the 1940s. She was one of the Wongettes that performed at the Sky Room in the heart of Chinatown.


















 
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Tipsy McStagger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3516
From: HELL
Posted: 2009-03-07 3:26 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-03-06 21:22, Chub wrote:
Just because the Witco and best furniture was taken out a few years ago, it still is a crime the Chin Tiki is going down the way it is. I offered to buy the building from Mr. Chin just before he signed the deal for the 8mile movie deal, he wasn't interested in selling for what ever reason. So yes, I'm having a hard time seeing the Chin Tiki turned into a surface parking lot. Call me crazy! It troubles me greatly to see any original Tiki establishment destroyed, but this one extra heartbreaking to me. It definitely would be still standing and operating had Mr. Chin sold it to me and my business partner.

RIP Chin Tiki







....he probably wasn't interested in the money offer....if you had a million bucks (which, i believe is what walgreen's offered), you would have been able to save the kahiki....if you offered the same to chin's he probably would have taken it.....i don't know what he sold it for off hand...

there are plenty of tiki temples left that need saving...hala kahiki, for instance, is only waiting for the right offer and the place is as good as sold....it's days are numbered.....the mai kai seems to waver from time to time over to sell or not......and there has to be some other smaller old tiki haunts ready for new owners all over the place.....in fact, where were you when the aku tiki was being sold??...you could have had that place for a song......i know it was in a desolate location but no more desolate than downtown detroit.....you would have had a tough go of it either way, but i think your chances would have been better with aku tiki......detroit just isn't going to rebound for a very long time.....if at all.

it's painful to lose a piece of history like chins, and it sounds like your heart is in the right place.....now the trick is getting your checkbook to be in the same place too.



 
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Chub
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 26, 2005
Posts: 264
From: Detroit, MI but now in sunny Los Angeles
Posted: 2009-03-07 10:16 pm   Permalink

Tipsy, why don't you just let me mourn a little without the attitude from you, ok? This was a place I lived very near by, loved, and seriously tried to buy for years. You don't know my situation or the Chin's situation financially or otherwise. You yourself even admit you don't know what kind of money they sold it for. It all doesn't matter now that it's gone. Anyways, thanks for being such a downer buddy.

Proud to be from Detroit,
Chub
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sneakyjack
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 25, 2004
Posts: 1036
From: NYC Area
Posted: 2009-03-08 07:15 am   Permalink

Well we all knew the day would come. I think someone in the area should go grab a few pieces of "rubble" or brick just to save "a piece" Chin's.

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Tipsy McStagger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3516
From: HELL
Posted: 2009-03-08 07:40 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-03-07 22:16, Chub wrote:
Tipsy, why don't you just let me mourn a little without the attitude from you, ok? This was a place I lived very near by, loved, and seriously tried to buy for years. You don't know my situation or the Chin's situation financially or otherwise. You yourself even admit you don't know what kind of money they sold it for. It all doesn't matter now that it's gone. Anyways, thanks for being such a downer buddy.

Proud to be from Detroit,
Chub





sorry...i just call em' as i see em'......reality isn't always pleasant which tends to make me a real bummer to most folks.....i'll keep my yap shut on this topic from now on.....happy mourning to you ......and when those clouds lift (and they will) i hope you will continue your efforts to save and promote vintage tiki in that corner of the tiki world.....





 
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Chub
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 26, 2005
Posts: 264
From: Detroit, MI but now in sunny Los Angeles
Posted: 2009-03-08 1:32 pm   Permalink

These pics just in from http://fadeddetroit.blogspot.com


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tikiyaki
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 18, 2004
Posts: 2707
From: The Exotic Port of REDONDO BEACH, CA
Posted: 2009-03-09 12:14 am   Permalink

Tiki De-evolution.

Very Sad.


 
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teaKEY
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 09, 2004
Posts: 3664
From: The thumb !
Posted: 2009-03-10 07:06 am   Permalink

I hope they saved the good parts that you can see from the outside. The second picture looks horrible.
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detroitking
Member

Joined: Mar 10, 2009
Posts: 1
Posted: 2009-03-10 07:10 am   Permalink

Does anyone have a Chin Tiki menu or any other novelty items they want to sell?

 
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Tipsy McStagger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3516
From: HELL
Posted: 2009-03-10 1:24 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-03-10 07:10, detroitking wrote:
Does anyone have a Chin Tiki menu or any other novelty items they want to sell?




talk to nancy from
www.catsmeowdetroit.com

she has a couple items on ebay right now...i think one is a chin tiki menu....anyway, she's a chin tiki historian of sorts and may be able to help you out...


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