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Tiki Central Forums Collecting Tiki Waitoma Grotto - Holly, MI
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Waitoma Grotto - Holly, MI
tikifish
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2720
From: Toronto,Canada
Posted: 2002-11-26 2:37 pm   Permalink

Does anyone know anything about the Waitoma Grotto in Holly, Michigan? It no longer exists, but I have a cool drinks menu, featuring "Mr Foo" and other great cocktails all in illustrated mugs.

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11250
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2002-11-26 8:38 pm   Permalink

Wow, no, never heard of it, sounds really cool by the name of it, another Tiki power point on the map of America...I wonder if one would connect all of the Tiki Lounge points on the map of America, a Tiki mask design would emerge..!

 
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tikifish
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2720
From: Toronto,Canada
Posted: 2002-11-27 05:56 am   Permalink

I got the menu ages ago - more to get the address off it and hunt it down - but of course it's probably been gone since the 60's.. the phone number has letters in it. I'll post a pic of the menu later...

 
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tikifish
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2720
From: Toronto,Canada
Posted: 2002-11-27 2:58 pm   Permalink


What's on the menu? Zombie, Waikiki Cocktail, Tahitian Punch, Tropical Nite, Wahini Cocktail, Kava Bowl, Honolulu, Scorpion, Fog Cutter, Daiquiri Royal, Rum Swizzle, Navy Grog, Mahu Kona, Mister Foo, Tonight or Never, Luau Punch, Derby Daiquiri, White Orchid, Princess Opikaa, Mai Tai, Missionary Upset, Hawaiian Gardens Special, Planters Punch, Tiki Cocktail, Pinapple Bowl.



Th inclusion of the 'Hawaiian Gardens Special' on the menu makes me wonder - was the restaurant named Hawaiian Gardens, and 'Waitoma Grotto' just the name of the bar inside? Just a thought.


 
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tikifish
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2720
From: Toronto,Canada
Posted: 2002-11-27 3:00 pm   Permalink

Aha... now that I re-read the back, the title "The Wonderful Story of Hawaiian Gardens Talking Volcano" seems to confirm this. Why didn't I notice it before? I guess I just took the cover at face value. Not a very exciting cover though! But remember -
"ASK YOUR WAITRESS TO LET YOU SEE AND HEAR MAUNA LOA ERUPT"


 
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2793
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2002-11-27 3:17 pm   Permalink

Tikifish,

I've got 4 postcards of the Hawaiian Gardens, showing some of the various rooms. I'll try to post photos soon. The guy who sold them to me said that they closed down the Hawaiian Gardens complex as recently as a year or two ago. China from the restaurant, (with a tiki logo), has been showing up at local swapmeets. He's going to try to get me some plates and a cup & saucer.

Sabu


 
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tikifish
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2720
From: Toronto,Canada
Posted: 2002-11-27 3:18 pm   Permalink

The saga continues! There is a mobile home park called Hawaiian Gardens just down the street from where the Waitoma Grotto Lounge was. It is nestled on the shores of beautiful Mauna Loa Lake.

http://www.cic-inc.net/hawaiiangardens.ivnu

This gets more and more intriguing! Now I just have to figure out where Holly is in relation to Oak Park, where I will be this weekend...

If it's not too far, could possibly make the pilgrimage, inbetween rounds of tofurky.


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tikifish
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2720
From: Toronto,Canada
Posted: 2002-11-27 3:20 pm   Permalink

Aha! I have seen that China on Ebay, from dealers in the Detroit area. now it's all coming together.

It REALLY REALLY hurts to know that it just closed down, and I could have gone if I had only known about it. OUCH!


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11250
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2002-11-27 6:51 pm   Permalink

Yah yah! Now I see! The back of my Hawaiian Gardens Resort Motel Postcard showing the interior of The Polynesian Longhouse sez:

...other restaurants adjoining are the Banyan Court, Kahili Room, AND THE WAITOMA GROTTO LOUNGE!

Bingo Jane-o, together with a complete Hawaiian themed mobile home park with lake, this might be a previously neglected Pol pop power place. I bet the same family developed that housing development!

Sabu, do you have an exterior? Did they have a cool sign?

Jane, go there and find the old natives!


 
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tikifish
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2720
From: Toronto,Canada
Posted: 2002-11-27 7:25 pm   Permalink

It's a date. I just found out that Holly is on the way to Frankenmuth, MI (home of the largest Christmas Store in the world) where we were planning to go anyway. Theyre both nort of Detroit off the I-75.

YES!

So, I've got my camera, and I'll head out there and see what we can find.


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11250
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2002-11-27 8:42 pm   Permalink

Is Frankenmuth the stepmother of Frankenstein?
Will you go and sell Tiki X-mas ornaments at the World's largest Christmas store?


 
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tikifish
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2720
From: Toronto,Canada
Posted: 2002-11-27 9:04 pm   Permalink

I have not made any Tiki Ornaments yet this year! I have been so busy making ads with monkeys in them (the clients keep nixing any fez-centric executions though) that I have had no time as of yet. No worries, they are coming.

As for Frankenmuth, how could you NOT make a pildrimage to the worlds largest Xmas store? They have glass taco ornaments for Christ's sake!

I am very juiced about the Holly tiki community though. I hope there's something left there to see... at least the longhouse or something. An open restaurant would be too much to hope for I guess. Cross your fingers (if they arent wrapped oround a frosty Leilani at this point in time).


 
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2793
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2002-11-28 1:14 pm   Permalink

Ok, Here are my postcards of the HAWAIIAN GARDENS on 4501 Grange Hall Road, Holly MI.
The postcards are all dated April 6, 1962. First the exterior:

"Huki Lau Restaurant - 290 seats. Polynesian Longhouse - 110 seats. Kahili Room - 200 seats. Waitoma Cocktail Lounge - 120 seats. 40 Air-Conditioned Deluxe Motel Units. Swimming Pool. Year-Round Restaurants and Resort that Spells Friendliness, Hospitality and good times."


Here's some details of the Moaii on the roof (Which look like Barney West carvings, what with those topknots):


Here's the KAHILI ROOM inside the geodesic dome. "A beautiful dining room of 250 seats. At regularly stated times authentic Hawaiian Luaus are served. This room is available for private parties or for group meetings."


And THE BANYAN COURT: "Enchantment! A delightful setting compounded of many bewitching island details. The beauties, wonders and easy atmosphere of the Banyan Court insure added pleasure to your Polynesian or American food. All amid the perfume and color of tropical trees and foliage, the haunting melodies of island music, lanterns, and carpeting the color of grass-in-the-sun. The Tahitian Room, Samoan Room, and Hawaiian Room are all available for private parties. 250 seats."


And finally, THE POLYNESIAN LONGHOUSE: "Here each item of food is an idividual creation cooked especially for you. The dishes are varied and utilize the best efforts of our experienced native chefs, using their original recipes. Choice and rare ingredients make the finest in Polynesian and Cantonese cuisine. Various dishes of chicken, pork, beef, lobster and shrimp, with Chines vegetables, rare spices from the East provide new taste treats. 110 seats. Other restaurants adjoining are the Banyan Court, Kahili Room, and the Waitoma Grotto Lounge."

It's always fun to play "spot-the-tiki" in these old postcards. Here's a couple of closeups from the image above. I think I see a couple more tikis in the doorway at the rear, but they're just a little too blurry to show.


I also dug-up my old e-mail from the man who sold me these postcards. I had mis-remembered slightly. In August of this year he said that he had just heard that the property had been sold at auction. So possibly it hasn't been razed yet. He also said that after the tiki restaurant, it was used as a rehab center, but for the past several years it had lain abandoned. Because of the stint as a rehab center I don't hold great hopes for you finding old tikis there, but who knows? Maybe some of those roof-moai survived.

Sabu


[ This Message was edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy on 2002-11-28 13:15 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy on 2004-12-03 17:48 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11250
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2002-11-29 12:15 pm   Permalink

Wow, that looks so bad it's good, especially the exterior. I bet they built the geodesic dome inspired by Henry Kaiser's Hawaiian Village venue.

Tikifish, if you find it, take photos even if there are only REMNANTS, in retrospect Iregret not having done that enough, it is important and telling urban archeology.

Hey, Hanford, the type and boxsize of my posting page changed, I don't like it, can one change that?


 
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tikifish
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2720
From: Toronto,Canada
Posted: 2002-12-01 4:18 pm   Permalink

Yep, I found it, and I documented it! I wanted to be first with the scoop that it was a delapidated rehab centre - makes for good ironic copy - but I'll just have to settle for being the first on board with the amazing 'after' photos.

Coming soon... gimme a few minutes to download and all that....


 
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