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Tiki Central Forums » » Locating Tiki » » Pago Pago Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge, Tucson, AZ (restaurant)
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Pago Pago Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge, Tucson, AZ (restaurant)
Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 5017
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2014-05-28 11:04 am   Permalink

A Frame,

That Pago Pago lamp looks inspirational!!



The Tropics menu was not the only image "borrowed" by Bob and Homer for the Pago Pago. They also appropriated this Trader Vic's menu rather unabashedly!




DC


 
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2050
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2014-05-28 11:46 am   Permalink

Interesting note on the "borrowing" of artwork from others. I'm thinking that this was done back then because they didn't have access to an "internet" full of material like we have today. So both inspiration for, and creation of, materials was done by plagiarism more frequently back then than it is today. Getting away with doing it was probably also much easier, and I'm guessing that the copyright laws weren't as strong back then either.
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 5017
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2014-12-16 4:24 pm   Permalink

A few different match-covers I spotted from the Pago Pago in Tuscon with some nice graphics.







Interesting to note the address on the matchbox was listed as 2201 Miracle Mile - which was a name given to the main drag streets of Oracle Road, Miracle Mile and Drachman Street.

Also found a nice old photo of the exterior and the sign.



DC


 
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rconnelly
Member

Joined: Apr 05, 2015
Posts: 1
Posted: 2015-04-05 1:30 pm   Permalink

Help!

I am doing research about retro restaurants in Tucson and came across this forum. I would love to actually talk with someone who worked at the Pago Pago or Aku Aku or any other Dean Short Restaurant. in person, by email or phone.


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 5017
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2016-07-15 10:59 am   Permalink

The Pago Pago became the Aku Aku in 1966 as evidenced by this newspaper ad. It was a sister restaurant to the Kon Tiki in Tucson.



DC


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 5017
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2016-07-15 5:32 pm   Permalink

New year's eve celebration in 1966



The one year anniversary of the Aku Aku from 1967.



Then fire strikes in 1967, doing significant damage to the building.




An all to familiar story.

DC


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 5017
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2017-03-24 3:53 pm   Permalink

A little more history on the original Pago Pago building and its transformation over time. As discussed above, it became the Aku Aku which was owned by famous Tucson restaurateur Dean Short (he also owned the Kon Tiki). In 1968, Short reopened the burned out Aku Aku under the new name of Ports o Call. It was billed as a mix of Nautical and Polynesian styles.



In 1980 Short sold the restaurant to Chul Chung and it became Bali Hai, retaining its Polynesian decorations.





Nice Tiki devolution statement in the article: As hokey as it may sound, its actually pretty nice Tiki with toned down Gilligan's Island Muzak.





It only lasted a few years. In 1982 Dean Short bought it back from Chung and it became a Rib place called 22 Hundred.



What’s really amazing is that the bones of the old building can still be seen on Google Street view, albeit with a modern stucco twist. The street changed names from Miracle Mile to Oracle in 1987.




Now, if we could just pull of a Tiki Bob's - Pagan Idol historical morph one more time!


DC


 
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TikiTeddie
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Mar 02, 2017
Posts: 41
From: Montreal, Quebec
Posted: 2017-03-25 06:28 am   Permalink

Incredible, it seems Mr. Short copied both of Steve Crane's names - Kon Tiki and also Ports o Call. I wonder how this worked out as I was under the impression that Steve Crane had to either get original permission or pay some royalty to use the Kon Tiki name, and one would think he would have registered the Ports O Call name. Maybe in Arizona there was different copyright laws...but it seems an obvious attempt to play off the success of Mr. Cranes restaurants even though there was no connection that I know of between the two men.

 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 5017
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2017-03-29 08:33 am   Permalink

A little more early history on the Pago Pago. It opened on May 5, 1949 and was owned by Bob and Homer. They even used Sugies Tropic's monkeys for the newspaper ad. Interesting that the roadway was called Oracle and not Miracle Mile Strip.



At some point Phil Kessler bought it from Bob and homer.








Phil sold it to AG Bleakley in 1954.



Around 1966 Dean Short took it over and introduced the Mystery Girl serving the Mystery Drink. Wonder where he got that idea from?



Short changed the name to the Aku Aku in October of 1966.



DC


 
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