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Tiki Central Forums » » General Tiki » » Maryland's "Polynesia on the Patuxent"
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Maryland's "Polynesia on the Patuxent"
Sabina
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Apr 08, 2002
Posts: 372
From: The Lounge of the Seven Pleasures!
Posted: 2003-01-05 03:39 am   Permalink


I did a little more digging on "Vera's white sands" mentioned briefly on the tiki bar review pages-
http://home.earthlink.net/~tikibars/tiki/tikilist.html

I hadn't seen these two articles before-

Polynesia on the Patuxent
from 1999
http://www.bayweekly.com/year99/issue7_26/bites7_26.html


Summer’s Last Fruit
Vera's banana trees
http://www.bayweekly.com/year00/issue8_37/earth8_37.html


Come May, we need to check and see if Vera's is still around- if it is, it sounds like a TC pilgrimage is in definite order!

She's kept the Tiki torches burning and been a destination for boats traveling up the Patuxent for decades.

(An an aside, Jack Sherwood's book, "Maryland's Vanishing Lives" is a definite read for anyone interested in watermen and the Chesapeake Bay, and a vanishing way of life.)


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johntiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2002
Posts: 1525
From: MD
Posted: 2003-01-06 10:25 pm   Permalink

Sabina,

God do I hope it is still there! It sounds like a great place - this is a definite road trip!!






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tikibars
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 2024
From: Aku Hall, Chicago
Posted: 2003-01-07 2:09 pm   Permalink

Somewhat expanded text on Vera's from Tiki Road Trip...


Vera's White Sands Restaurant, Lusby (near Solomon's Island), MD (410) 586-1182

On the way to Solomon's Island, you will pass Maryland's greatest contribution to the Tiki lifestyle. Vera's is a waterfront bar filled with room after room of authentic Polynesian kitsch. They offer all of the classic Tropical Drinks plus a few of Vera’s own creations. Vera is an attractive older woman who presides over the bar in a muumuu, often with champagne cocktail in hand. Look for the giant Tikis and Moai out front.

Vera's is located in the town of White Sands in Calvert County about ten miles north of Solomon's Island. It is only open during the summer. Take Solomon's Island Rd. to Solomon's Island, and just before Calvert Cliffs you will pass a small sign stating "Vera's White Sands" with an arrow pointing right.






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Sabina
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Apr 08, 2002
Posts: 372
From: The Lounge of the Seven Pleasures!
Posted: 2003-01-07 3:40 pm   Permalink


Many thanks, James! The more detail, the better!

I'm thinking Vera's may be particularly significant in that it's a Tiki establishment founded by a woman- and known in connection to it's leading lady- something we don't seem to stumble across very often. (A major research topic just waiting to be further explored!)

Looking out my window at all the recent snow, waiting 'til May feels like FOREVER!



 
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johntiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2002
Posts: 1525
From: MD
Posted: 2003-01-07 5:41 pm   Permalink

I wonder if it's too early to make reservations now????? The more I hear about the place the more I want to go - we might be on to a true Maryland tiki experience!!




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powerofthetiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 11, 2002
Posts: 131
From: Baltimore
Posted: 2003-01-10 6:57 pm   Permalink

Here is a picture from the reopening of the TIKI BAR in Solomons Island 2001. They reopen in mid April every year

TIKI BAR 2001



___________________________________

Carroll



[ This Message was edited by: powerofthetiki on 2003-01-10 18:59 ]


 
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Shipwreckjoey
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 29, 2002
Posts: 1794
From: San Diego, CA
Posted: 2003-01-10 11:29 pm   Permalink

Sabina & powerofthetiki,

Thanks for the cool pics & info on the Maryland Polynesian & tiki scene. I might be crazy, but wouldn't it be cool if John Waters did a tiki bar shockumentary movie shot on location in his home town of Baltimore! Hell, I wouldn't might shelling out $8.50 to see that!

Shaka bra


 
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powerofthetiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 11, 2002
Posts: 131
From: Baltimore
Posted: 2003-01-12 10:39 am   Permalink

Yes the White Sands. I had forgoten about that place. I lived in Calvert Cliffs for a year and a half while working at Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant. We spent a many a night in that place. At the time 1982 That was the only bar in a 30 mile stretch. It would be nice to go back and see the place sober. It is a nice place to spend the weekend. You have the Chesapeake Bay, Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons Island and a whole lot more. Ok everyone here is a chance for a TIKI PARTY WEEKEND . So who is up for it.

____________________________

Carroll




[ This Message was edited by: powerofthetiki on 2003-01-12 10:41 ]


 
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Sabina
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Apr 08, 2002
Posts: 372
From: The Lounge of the Seven Pleasures!
Posted: 2003-01-12 11:57 am   Permalink



Thought I'd pull a few bits about Vera's from "Maryland's Vanishing Lives". There's a wonderful black and white picture of Vera and two pages of text- I'll pull out just a couple small parts-


"Aloha and welcome to a Polynesian fantasy in a South Seas setting, where frozen cocktails are served with swizzle sticks that pop open to form paper umbrellas. Unsuspecting boaters navigating historic St. Leonard Creek, off the Patuxent River, come upon a hillside of banana trees and feel as if they've slipped into some kind of Bermuda Triangle.

The restaurant's thatched rood has been replaced, but the interior still has a reed ceiling held up by bamboo poles and is crowed with ornate chairs and tables, marble statuary, carved Polynesian figures, ponderous antiques, Oriental umbrellas hanging from the ceiling, curiosities, bric-a-brac, peacock feathers- and cozy nooks from romantic dining.

Vera Freeman, who does not discuss her age ("What's the point?" she asks), lives next door to her restaurant and marina in "Vera's Villa", her own version of an all white Taj Mahal with a swimming pool in the middle of her marble-floored living room."


and


""I love being surrounded by all these beautiful objects," she says pointing out the object's d'art (labeled "The Freeman Collection") that she has assembled during decades of compulsive shopping trips to exotic ports on formal cruise ships such as Cunard's QE2, on which she is a regular.

This trip to Never-Never Veraland started when she left her native Montana for Hollywood sometime before World War II. But instead of finding fame and stardom as a chorus girl, she fell in love with the wealthy "Doc" Freeman, known then as the "Optometrist to the stars." Eventually, they left Hollywood for the cruising life aboard large, crewed motor yachts- all of them named the "White Sands". During one of these cruises in the early 1950's they discovered, and fell in love with, beautiful St. Leonard Creek. They bought hundreds of acres, filled in a shoreline with tons of white sand (all long since washed away), opened a private marina and clubhouse, and called it the White Sands Yacht Club."



The full length article, is well worth the read- lots more detail, (particularly about her magical evening appearances to the sound of a gong!) but the above is sort of a feel for the place and a little of the history. Apparently Vera's was once a serious destination for the Yachting set.

Finally, here's another set of pictures of her marina dock and home-
http://www.his.com/~vann/KrgStuff/Summer01/summer01-3.htm from the Creek.


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johntiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2002
Posts: 1525
From: MD
Posted: 2003-01-13 08:47 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2003-01-10 23:29, Shipwreckjoey wrote:

Thanks for the cool pics & info on the Maryland Polynesian & tiki scene. I might be crazy, but wouldn't it be cool if John Waters did a tiki bar shockumentary movie shot on location in his home town of Baltimore! Hell, I wouldn't might shelling out $8.50 to see that!

Shaka bra



The only problem with John Waters doing a tiki shockumentary is that it would cost millions in dollars just to construct sets. There is no tiki in Baltimore and if there is I haven't found it. The only known tiki bar in Baltimore was demolished with the Emerson Hotel in the early to mid 70's. Besides if Waters did a movie about tiki we'd probably have to endure a scene with an overweight crossdresser eating a piece of dog excrement. Waters would probably stick with what he knows best - pink flamingos and Highlandtown low-lifes - the guy is an embarrasement to Baltimore!




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jtiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 06, 2002
Posts: 109
Posted: 2003-01-13 08:54 am   Permalink

We may be headed down to Calvert County this weekend, so I have the following querstions:

Is Vera's the same as the infamous Solomon's Tiki Bar or are they different places?

Is either open at this time of year?

(I assume directions can be found in this posting)

thnaks

jtiki


 
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johntiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2002
Posts: 1525
From: MD
Posted: 2003-01-13 09:05 am   Permalink

Vera's is not the same as the Solomon's Island tiki bar and neither are open this time of year. I've heard first hand accounts of the fiasco that takes place on the opening day at Solomon's Island and one of the articles Sabina posted about Vera's mentions that Vera's is open from May until September. But hey, if you're driving by Vera's we'd all love to know if they're gonna re-open this summer!!




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jtiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 06, 2002
Posts: 109
Posted: 2003-01-13 09:35 am   Permalink

well, the phone number posted above still works - but the message is a little open ended.

 
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Sabina
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Apr 08, 2002
Posts: 372
From: The Lounge of the Seven Pleasures!
Posted: 2003-01-13 11:28 am   Permalink


From what I've been able to gather the Tiki bar reopens the 3rd Friday in April- early in the afternoon. They usually place an ad in the local paper and word just spreads.

That said, considering the scene that ensues (roughly 4000 partying people and their boats and thier cars all trying to pile into this tiny community) and the parking nightmare etc (apparently there's a shuttle running from an outlying parking lot in), I'm not sure opening day would be such a great idea.

It's just not quite my Tiki Scene- but hey, if it's anyone elses- by all means, have at it!

The other thing to know is that many of the local residents hate the tiki bar opening in part due to trash left on their lawns, etc. I read the whole thing ends up costing the county like $6,000! Locals also complain it's pretty much the only time DC area folks come out to see Solomons, most of them are partying pretty hard at the time, and not supporting any of the rest of the area economy. (Which is then complicated further by the fact that some of the motels refuse to rent to Tiki bar opening folks!) Suffice it to say, there are some underlying hostilities.

Word has gotten out about the opening event, particularly through the Navy and folks stationed down there, so now people drive in from multiple states away just for this thing!

It seems to be a major event in the Maryland boating community- people stock thier own boats and get a slip as early as the week before.

Personally, instead, I'd suggest an early afternoon Tiki bar trip, perhaps on a Saturday early in May after Vera's has opened, and a late afternoon (just pre-sunset on) over at Vera's.


 
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Sabina
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Apr 08, 2002
Posts: 372
From: The Lounge of the Seven Pleasures!
Posted: 2003-01-13 11:44 am   Permalink


Directions to Vera's are up above in the thread.


From the Tiki bar review pages-
http://home.earthlink.net/~tikibars/tiki/tikisolo.html
Directions to the Tiki bar-

Take maryland Route 2-4 south, all the way to the bottom of the state. Watch for signs to Solomons Island. When you finally get to a bridge that goes over the Patuxent River to St. Mary's County, signs will point you away from the bridge. Follow them. Do not cross the bridge. Rt 2 exits to the right before the bridge to go to Solomons. After a few curves, you can't miss the Tiki Bar on your right.

Island Manor Motel, 77 Charles Street, Solomons Island, MD
410-326-4075


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