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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Events » » Other Events » » New Chicago Trader Vic's TV announcement - Feb. 7
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New Chicago Trader Vic's TV announcement - Feb. 7
thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2006-01-27 11:01 am   Permalink

This news just came off the wire from Otto Von Stroheim:

Quote:
Trader Vics is reopening in Chicago and they are announcing it live on TV (that’s television) on Feb 7

They are looking for a fire dancer in Chicago to be part of the festivities
Interested parties should email Otto von Stroheim immediately
otto@tikinews.com

The new restaurant will inherit most of the décor from the original Chicago location



I have no further details but will post them here as soon as I know more.


 
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2006-01-27 11:04 am   Permalink

Just to verify, the announcement will be on February 7 on TV, but the restaurant will not be opening on that date.

 
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tikibars
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 2024
From: Aku Hall, Chicago
Posted: 2006-01-27 11:08 am   Permalink

Scott Zuziak, owner of Tiki Terrace, has won national competitions as a fire dancer.

I'll tell him to get in touch.



 
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aloha.taboo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 08, 2006
Posts: 176
From: Grand Rapids, MI
Posted: 2006-02-03 03:39 am   Permalink

From today's Chicago Tribune:

Quote:
Hula dancing at Harry Caray's

By Phil Vettel
Published February 3, 2006

Harry Caray favored tropical-print shirts, so perhaps Tuesday's event won't seem so odd after all.

Harry Caray's restaurant at 33 W. Kinzie St. will go Polynesian--for a couple of hours, anyway--complete with Tahitian dances, hula dancing and a Samoan fire knife dance. Bartenders in Hawaiian shirts and leis will offer mai tais, and the lunch menu will be augmented with dishes such as Polynesian spare ribs and steak teriyaki.

All this is to recognize that the Harry Caray's Restaurant Group is developing a new Trader Vic's restaurant in Chicago, replacing the old Palmer House Hilton location that closed at the end of 2005. The new Trader Vic's isn't expected to open until 2007, but in the meantime, Harry Caray's will be safeguarding the tiki torch (there will be a torch-passing ceremony by Trader Vic's President and CEO Hans Richter) and Trader Vic's mai tai recipe.

The menu additions will be available for one day only, but until the new Trader Vic's opens, the signature mai tais will be available at all three Harry Caray's locations--surely the only places on Earth where one can order a mai tai and Chicken Vesuvio.




 
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tikibars
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 2024
From: Aku Hall, Chicago
Posted: 2006-02-03 11:42 am   Permalink

I posted the following yesterday, at this thread:
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=18251&forum=4&1

I'll make a post on that thread pointing people here for the discussion from now on.


(posted February 02):

No foolin': event at Trader Vic's CHICAGO, this Tues, February 7, 2006!


Whaaaaaa?

Yes, you heard this correctly!

I got a phone call from the head of marketing for Harry Caray's yesterday.

There is going to be a Trader Vic's event this coming Tuesday, February 7, 2006 in Chicago!

Here's the deal:

The Harry Caray's venture is going to happen.
They are investing in a new Trader Vic's in Chicago, and want to have it open before 2007.

In order to keep the Trader Vic's torches burning in the windy city, the current Harry Caray's restaurant is going to serve the original Trader Vic's mai tai (and a few other menu items), for a limited time only, until the new TVs is built.

I asked my contact specifically, and she assured me that they would be following the 1944 mai tai recipe to a 't'.

Hans Richter (worldwide CEO of Trader Vic's) is going to be in Chicago on Tuesday afternoon for a special event / ceremony that will announce the new Trader Vic's to the media, and serve up the first mai tai in Chicago for five whole weeks (believe me folks, it has seemed like an eternity ALREADY).

There will be an article about the event in the Tribune tomorrow (Friday).

Thre are only two caveats here:

The event is at Harry Caray's on Tuesday... at NOON (12:30, more precisely).
I know this counts a lot of you out, but anyone who can make it down there for lunch, let's try to represent.

And the other is my general trepidation (and yes, disdain) for sports bars in general. We are going to have to trust in the TV's head honchos to make sure that the new Chicago TV's is 100% like a Trader Vic's... and 0% like a Harry Caray's. I am glad that Harry Caray's has, errr... "stepped up to the plate" and are the hereoes making sure that TV's stays in Chicago. But: they can put their cash into it, and keep all of their entitled profits, but let's keep the televisions and football and lite beer out, ok?

See you for the mai tais and food specials on Tuesday at noon.



As an addendum, this Phil Vettel is the same guy who did the long piece on Tiki for thw Trib back in 2003. He's a good guy.

[ This Message was edited by: tikibars 2006-02-03 12:43 ]


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tikibars
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 2024
From: Aku Hall, Chicago
Posted: 2006-02-03 12:31 pm   Permalink

The offiical press release from my Caray's contact:



TRADER VIC'S CHICAGO PASSES
THE TIKI TORCH TO HARRY CARAY'S RESTAURANT

WHAT: Trader Vic's Day
WHERE: Harry Caray's Restaurant, 33 West Kinzie Street, Chicago
WHEN: Tuesday, February 7, 2006 at 12:30pm

After a 48-year run in the lower level of the Palmer House Hilton, Trader Vic's Chicago closed on December 31st, 2005. With two other Chicago icons, Marshall Field's and The Berghoff, slated to close in 2006, Harry Caray's Restaurant Group is proud to be keeping the spirit of Trader Vic's alive in Chicago until we find a new home for this legendary eatery in 2007.

On Tuesday, February 7th the President & CEO of Trader Vic's, Hans Richter, is flying in from San Francisco to ceremonially pass the Trader Vic's Tiki Torch to Harry Caray's to hold until the opening of the new Trader Vic's in Chicago, sometime next year. Along with the Tiki Torch, the famous Trader Vic's Mai Tai will be passed on to Harry's for safe-keeping and will be featured at all three Harry Caray's locations (Chicago, Rosemont & Midway Airport). Bartenders from Trader Vic's have trained the bartenders at Harry's in the exact formulation to ensure that Trader Vic's legions of loyal customers can continue to enjoy this celebrated cocktail until Trader Vic's Chicago reopens.

At 12:30pm on the 7th, Richter will pass the Tiki Torch to Harry Caray's widow Dutchie Caray at Harry Caray's Chicago. WCKG radio legend and Trader Vic's biggest fan, Steve Dahl, will act as Master of Ceremonies as we celebrate this day. Entertainment will include Tahitian dances, hula dancing and a Samoan fire knife dance.

Seva Afe: The Samoan Fire Knife Dance (pronounced Seeva Ah-Fay, "Seva" meaning Dance, "Afe" meaning Fire)this show-stopping warrior dance comes from the Island of Samoa and incorporates acrobatic dance with fast twirling fire knives and fire eating.
Hula Dancing in this graceful, centuries-old form of dance, dancers use hand and arm gestures interpretively while foot motifs are continuously repeated at a constant pace.
Tahitian Dancing with Live Drum Performance this is the most sensual of the South Pacific dances. The dance blends beauty and rhythm to fast-paced drumbeats with the movements of the dancers incorporating fast and aggressive hip movement.

For this day only, Harry Caray's will feature selections from Trader Vic's Fusion Pacific menu, including BBQ Pork Spare Ribs, Trio of Tartare (Scallops Opihi, Tuna Poke and Salmon Lomi Lomi) and New York Steak Teriyaki with Steamed White Rice and Sautéed Baby Bok Choy. The restaurant will be decorated in a Polynesian-inspired theme with Tikis, fresh flowers and other tropical motifs. Bartenders and cocktail waitresses will wear Hawaiian shirts and orchid lei's.




 
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Tiki Flange
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 27, 2003
Posts: 148
From: Chicago NW Suburbs
Posted: 2006-02-07 11:46 am   Permalink

Bah, and I'm reading this at 1:45 PM about 10 blocks away! Hope it came off well.

James keep July 1st open if you can, I'll email details later.

Later,

Flange!


 
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tikibars
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 2024
From: Aku Hall, Chicago
Posted: 2006-02-07 3:14 pm   Permalink

Here's the scoop:

Hans Richter of Trader Vic's, and Harry Caray's widow did a little ceremony on the sidewalk outside of the restaurant at 12:30. A guy named Chris did a brief sSamoan fire knife dance afterwards. There were about 20 people there watching - ABC news, a half dozen photographers, local DJ Steve Dahl, and yours truly, representing for the ohana.

Then things moved indoors to the bar area of Harry Caray's. Richter and Dahl gave short speeches, two girls did a total of three hula dances, and then there were press photo ops with Richter, Dahl, the various Caray's investors, and the hula girls.

The mai tais were served in the standard TVs mai tai glass, with a special inscription around the top edge of the glass - it said something to the effect of "passing the torch - 2006". Obsessive collectors will want to score this variation soon, before the new TVs opens.

It was a pretty good approximation on the drink, but as the bartenders were new at making it, they haven't quite nailed it yet. I am sure they will.

Richter said two interesting things - first, they definitely do not have a location yet, but they are actively searching and want to open ASAP. The other was that (I will paraphrase him) tradition and history are important, and with the recent near-simultaneous losses of Marshall Fields, the Berghoff, Trader Vic's and other Chicago institutions, "part of the city dies with these traditions". He is concerned about keeping these traditions alive.

Afterwards, I cornered three of the investors and had a nice chat with them. Two guys and a woman, all of them very nice. They were interested in hearing about the Tiki culture, which was news to them. They had no idea about us - until today! They seemed really interested as I told them about Hukilau and Oasis, Tiki News, BOT, TC, Tabu Tiki Night, and of course set them up with a copy of TRT.

I told them point-blank that a lot of people have been concerned that the new Trader Vic's would end up some sort of Tiki Bar-sports bar hybrid, as I waved my hand at the THIRTEEN televisions surrounding us in the bar, and all of the neon Lite beer signs.

The main fella was agahst, and as he made a circle with his index finger and thumb (representing a zero), he told me, emphatically, that there would be "zero percent" sports bar/Harry Caray's influence on the new Trader Vic's.

His compadre chimed in with an opinion supporting what Richter said about history, and then went on to say that they felt that a sports bar is a sports bar and a tiki bar is a tiki bar. They get the difference. Then the gal they were with (also one of the owners) started asking me what makes a great tiki bar... well, don't ask me that qestion unless you have some time to kill! But she listened intently.

They had a good laugh when I told them stories about some of Steve Crane's famous girlfriends/wives, Trader Vic telling people he lost his leg to a shark (it was really polio), and some other stuff, just trying to give them a sense of history in a colorful way - I think they're on our team, and I have a good feeling about the new Vic's.

Over and out!







 
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BambooLodge
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 09, 2003
Posts: 555
From: Just up the road from Chef Shangri-La
Posted: 2006-02-07 4:29 pm   Permalink

This from todays Steve Dahl Show...
2:34 Steve was at Harry Caray's today for the passing of the Trader VIc's Tiki Torch. ABC was there as well as some newspaper people. Wendy was also in attendance.
2:35 Steve doesn't like being at an event where not everyone there wants him to be there. Half the people at Harry Caray's were just there to eat lunch.
2:37 Wendy had a Mai-Tai and it really gave her a buzz. That's the original recipe so it's definitely going to knock you down.
2:38 Steve was going to give Wendy a ride home but she got ouf there early. She had to leave because she wanted another Mai-Tai and a cigarette and knew both were a bad idea.
2:41 Hans Richter from Trader Vic's will be coming in today. He's a bigger Trader VIc's expert than Steve.
2:43 Steve did sort of have a weird experience with one of the guys at the event. He had made a joke during his MCing about how he thought it'd be cool to cash in his frequent flyer miles and drink his way through every Trader Vic's in the world. Now that he's not drinking though he thought about eating an egg roll at every Trader Vic's.
2:44 Afterwards a guy who was about 30 came up to Steve and told him that he actually flew around the world hitting every Trader Vic's and trying a Mai-Tai then wrote a book about it.
2:45 The guy was from Chicago but he had no idea who Steve was. Then he started to think that maybe he's let the brand slip a little bit. How could a guy who's from here and wrote a book about Trader Vic's not know who Steve is?...
Here is the link
http://dahl.com/show_logs/2006/02/07.asp





_________________
BaMbOoLoDgE...where the South Pacific meets the Great White North!


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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2006-02-07 4:47 pm   Permalink

JT, thanks for the update. Things sound good for the new Trader Vic's! But I'm bummed out because I didn't know the Berghoff closed! I also didn't know Marshall Fields closed either. When I went to the Exotica event in 2003, we walked to all those places from the Burnham Hotel, in addition to Trader Vic's. Now what's left in the neighborhood?

 
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tikibars
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 2024
From: Aku Hall, Chicago
Posted: 2006-02-07 10:57 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-02-07 16:29, BambooLodge wrote:
This from todays Steve Dahl Show...
2:43 Steve did sort of have a weird experience with one of the guys at the event. He had made a joke during his MCing about how he thought it'd be cool to cash in his frequent flyer miles and drink his way through every Trader Vic's in the world. Now that he's not drinking though he thought about eating an egg roll at every Trader Vic's.
2:44 Afterwards a guy who was about 30 came up to Steve and told him that he actually flew around the world hitting every Trader Vic's and trying a Mai-Tai then wrote a book about it.
2:45 The guy was from Chicago but he had no idea who Steve was. Then he started to think that maybe he's let the brand slip a little bit. How could a guy who's from here and wrote a book about Trader Vic's not know who Steve is?...



Thanks for posting this, Bamboo.

This is freakin' hilarious.

For the record, I didn't say that I'd *flown* to them all, but I guess he is allowed some creative license while on the air.

I don't listen to much radio, but now that I've met the guy, maybe I will start listening to his show once in a while, knowing that he's such a Tiki guy.


Anyway, Jab, to clarify something further:

Berghoff has a few more weeks, but it'll be kaput by spring.

Marshall Fields was sold to Macy's, and is going to be a Macy's any day, if it isn't already. A movement is gaining momentum to presure Macy's to leave it as Marshal Fields (the angle being: they'll collect all the cash either way, and Fields is a tourist destination, where Macy's isn't, so they'd make more cash as Fields than Macy's, AND keep all the preservationists happy).

Seeing that Berghoff, Fields, and Vic's were all within a few blocks of each other, it's a sad time for the Chicago loop...






 
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2006-02-08 10:39 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-02-07 22:57, tikibars wrote:

Berghoff has a few more weeks, but it'll be kaput by spring.




Well put. How do you say "F%*K!" in German?


 
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mrsmiley
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 3172
From: Las Vegas, NV
Posted: 2006-02-08 11:26 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-02-08 10:39, thejab wrote:
Quote:

On 2006-02-07 22:57, tikibars wrote:

Berghoff has a few more weeks, but it'll be kaput by spring.




Well put. How do you say "F%*K!" in German?


The Berghoff is closing?!?! That flew under The Jab's radar!


 
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martiki
Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3058
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2006-02-08 12:52 pm   Permalink

Really, really sucks about the Berghoff.

Good news from the investors, though!


 
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reedalong
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 27, 2004
Posts: 61
From: Chicago, IL
Posted: 2006-02-08 1:24 pm   Permalink

I couldn't get off work to go to the afternoon event yesterday but my wife and I went to Harry Caray's around 5:30 to score a Mai Tai and see what was left of the earlier festivities. The staff was still dressed in aloha shirts and leis and President Richter was still hanging out at the bar and chatting up various guys in suits. Our first Mai Tai was okay but not quite right (I think it was under-shaken), the second was very very very close to the last Mai Tai I had at Trader Vic's in December.

So glad to hear that the sports bar influence will be absent from the new T.V.'s, because as the happy hour crowd started to arrive at Harry Caray's it became increasingly difficult to fantasize we were in polynesia...

One other thought: the servers seemed to be really pushing the Mai Tais, which made me think that perhaps this little Harry Caray detour will be a good recruiting tool for T.V. - they are definitely reaching a different clientele and this new sports bar clientele was willing to try (and enjoy) a Mai Tai if offered to them by a cute waitress.


 
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