||Tiki room at Young's Cafeteria in Moundsville, W.V.
Grand Member (5 years)
Joined: Aug 22, 2002
From: San Francisco
|Posted: 2006-08-05 10:40 pm  Permalink|
Fantastic! Thanks for making the pilgrimage, tikitommy (and for sharing your pics with Critiki, too!). What a neat find. Did you eat in the tiki room while you were there? Were you able to learn more about the story behind the tiki bar (i.e., when they built it, & what inspired it)?
Critiki - Ooga-Mooga - Humu Kon Tiki
Grand Member (8 years)
Joined: Jan 19, 2006
From: Arlingtron Virginia
|Posted: 2006-08-13 07:06 am  Permalink|
Wow! This place is near a couple of wild caves I have visited! Who wudda thunk it! I've got to get up there - it is "just down the road a piece" from my place (100 miles or so). Thanks for the pictures...
Joined: Aug 03, 2005
From: Lowell, Mass
|Posted: 2008-07-06 3:43 pm  Permalink|
Was out wandering today & it turns out that there was another tiki place in West Virginia. I bought a postcard from the Holiday Inn, Huntington. On the post card is a picture of the Ma-Kiki Club. The picture is tiny but the back of the card says: 3325 US. Highway 60 East for the address & The Ma-Kiki club Polynesian Food & Drinks. The card is postmarked 1969.
Sorry, I can't put a picture up right now but will try to do so at a later time.
Joined: Jun 07, 2007
|Posted: 2009-05-28 1:03 pm  Permalink|
What a great find! I know this is an older post, but my wife and I are going to be going towards that part of the state this summer and I was very glad to find out this info!
As for the (defunct) tiki bar in Huntington, WV: I can't provide a lot of info, but I do have a little bit I've gleaned from various sources. Apparently, that Holiday Inn was opened by a local businessman who also owned a Holiday Inn in the downtown area that was ancient Greek themed, complete with a volcano, waitresses in skimpy togas, and full "ruins" decor.
I have done a little Googling, and it appears that the location of the Holiday Inn with the tiki room is currently the site of a budget-priced chain motel that was recently renovated and reopened. Between its tenure as a tiki mecca and the new, bland motel it was an Executive Inn and Suites. Towards the end of the Executive era the building had fallen into serious disrepair and looked utterly abandoned and destined for total demolition. That particular area of town is "transitional", with a new Wal*mart and State Police barracks to one side and multiple strip clubs and a pawn shop on the other. There are several motels of various mid-century origin in that area almost all of which are in terrible, terrible shape. Even at its worst, the Executive was probably the safest (others are known havens for drug use/production/distribution, prostitution, and the occasional shooting).
When I moved to Huntington it was still situated in a very mid-century shape, with a low-slung motel building and attached (but architecturally distinct) bar/lounge. The bar was no longer tiki judging from the name, but it was obviously something that had been pretty impressive several decades past. The exterior was plain, and the sign was a newer cheap backlit number with a general title...possibly "Good Times Lounge"?
As part of the renovation, the bar area as well as some of the motel room were completely demolished and the remaining wing was completely refurbished, replacing the mid-century look with fresh stucco in various shades of beige. It's nothing exciting, just a clean, cheap place for business travelers and truckers. It's possible that further sleuthing could find out if any tiki decor remained at the time of the building's demise. I'd certainly like to see any pictures of it in its heyday!
At one time Huntington, WV had several very classy hotel bars. In addition to the tiki room and greek-themed affair, there was Hotel Prichard (formerly a favorite of visiting presidents, celebrities, and TV shows--now a low-rent apartment building with the elaborate ballrooms converted to office/residential space) and the very large local favorite The Hotel Frederick. The Frederick was home to a restaurant/bar known as the Elephant Walk, with elaborate elephant accents, heavy carved wooden doors, dark paneling, and a multitude of nautical artwork. The restaurant portion is now a CPA firm or law office, but the remaining bar area (with a smaller dining room and mostly intact decor) is on its most recent incarnation: 21 at The Frederick. It has a very "Rat Pack" feel, and the cuisine is loosely based on Italian fare. The hotel itself is mixed use, with remuddled floors serving as both offices and apartments that show a progression of remodeling over many decades. The newest owner is working on renovations that will "modernize" the hotel and allow it to be reopened as condos, with a possibility of limited hotel rooms. I'm sure there were many more!
An article in our local magazine (Huntington Quarterly) focused on the proprietor of the Greek and Tiki hotels some time in the past year or so, talking about how he had been a major part of the local Jewish culture and had a second career as a Sheriff (complete with custom tailored rhinestone cowboy style western uniform) later in life. I can't seem to find the article online, but I'll try to search through my stacks of magazines at home and see if I can find some more details.
I can confirm that the Greek-themed Holiday Inn still stands and is a popular attraction in town. Unfortunately, since the original opening, it went through a period as a Radison, eventually becoming the independent Pullman Plaza Hotel. There's still a bar and restaurant, but the decor is generic steakhouse with some homages to our local university football team (the steak house is a former Damon's that was rebranded as Bobby Pruett's Steakhouse--named after a former football coach in the area). It's a very nice hotel, but there is no apparent signs of its former theme. There are rumors that some Greek theming, including the volcano, may still exist in an area of the restaurant that has been blocked off with newer construction.
Sorry to go so far off-topic!