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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Dobb's House Luau - Memphis, Memphis, TN (restaurant)
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Dobb's House Luau - Memphis, Memphis, TN (restaurant)
Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4252
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-07-03 10:06 am   Permalink

Found this picture of the lounge singers at the Dobb's House Luau Restaurant in Memphis in the Memphis Magazine.




The author, Vance Lauderdale, also posted this picture that he originally thought was from the Dobb's House Luau but his reader indicated it was not.... so it's a mystery.



Anybody (Swanky) got and idea of where this might be from??

DC


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4252
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-07-03 10:21 am   Permalink

Well now that I look at the mystery photo and compare it to my postcard I think that is the Dobb's House Luau after all. Look at the floor.



Will have to emial Vance.


DC


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4252
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-11-12 4:09 pm   Permalink

Here is one of those great Ford Times renderings of the Dobb's House Luau restaurant in Memphis. Great details, the even showed the menu's correctly.



A pool of water from which a flame erupts and a twenty-five foot Easter Island idol are a few of the spectacular decorative features of this Polynesian-style restaurant..."


The story line sound cool - a 25-footer!

DC


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4252
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2012-08-12 12:20 pm   Permalink

Swanky,

Here is an interesting matchbook I have. It appears that the Dobb's House Luau in Memphis operated under different ownership after the Dobb's House chain left.






Looks to be the 1970's by the font.

DC


 
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Vince Martini
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 277
From: Iki Pohaku, Arkansas
Posted: 2013-05-20 12:30 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-10-30 22:14, donhonyc wrote:
I wonder if Elvis ever considered going here. It was literally 15 minutes away from Graceland.



3135 Poplar is not 'just 15 minutes' from Graceland. It is like 30 minutes from Graceland.

I ate at the Luau in Memphis in 1977. It was a pretty popular spot then and I remember the Moai outside the closed restaurant when I went to school in Memphis in late 1982. I have pictures of the old moai...somewhere. If and when I can find them, I will post them to this thread.


 
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Vince Martini
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 277
From: Iki Pohaku, Arkansas
Posted: 2013-05-20 12:34 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-07-03 10:06, Dustycajun wrote:
Found this picture of the lounge singers at the Dobb's House Luau Restaurant in Memphis in the Memphis Magazine.




The author, Vance Lauderdale, also posted this picture that he originally thought was from the Dobb's House Luau but his reader indicated it was not.... so it's a mystery.



Anybody (Swanky) got and idea of where this might be from??

DC



This second pic is from The Harbor House, which was in Midtown on Watkins Avenue...close to the Sears office building...not too far from Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College).


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11106
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2013-05-20 02:21 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-05-20 00:30, Vince Martini wrote:
I ate at the Luau in Memphis in 1977. It was a pretty popular spot then and I remember the Moai outside the closed restaurant when I went to school in Memphis in late 1982. I have pictures of the old moai...somewhere. If and when I can find them, I will post them to this thread.



Vince, is it that huge Moai you are talking about? Any luck with coming across those pics?



 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4252
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2013-12-30 3:24 pm   Permalink

Vince,

Hope you can find the pictures one of these days. I found this ad online showing the exterior of the Memphis Luau Restaurant.




What a great looking exterior with the Tiki, A-Frame entrance and that awesome outrigger sign. Would really be nice to see a photo or two.

Also found this interior photo that was credited to the Memphis Luau.



DC


 
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CleoTiki
Member

Joined: Jan 02, 2014
Posts: 3
From: Atlanta
Posted: 2014-01-02 3:52 pm   Permalink

There's a great website for Atlanta History called the Atlanta Time Machine.

They have a postcard of the interior of the Dinkler Luau. Looks very much like a TV.

See here:
http://www.atlantatimemachine.com/misc/dobbs.htm

But also click on the radio jingle at the top for a vintage radio ad for the Atlanta Luau, it was the one on "Sound of Tiki."

It says here too that the Atlanta Luau as the model for about seven other locations throughout the SE, including Memphis.

Also click the link to the Atlanta Tiki Retaurant Ads. Some great vintage ads. Apparently at some point the "Atlanta Luau" became the "Atlanta Tiki."

They also have several ads with pics of the old Atlanta Trader Engs.



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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5016
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2014-01-03 07:22 am   Permalink

HERE is my post about the history of the Luau.

That link will keep the Dinkler's here in this thread where they belong.

Quote:
I'll have to make a new entry, as, what I just found out is concerning the Atlanta Luau.

I just got off the phone with Carling Dinkler III. His father was the one who built the Luau in Atlanta. He thinks it was in 1955-56. He said his Dad had a passion for the restaurant business though he owned all the hotels through Carling Sr. It was Jr who had the hotel restaurants brought in house and run by the Dinklers. He had this secret idea up his sleeve for a long time and had been to New York and Chicago and inspired by Trader Vic's he built the Luau across from the Piedmont Hosptial in Midtown Atlanta. He said it was a very modern structure and very new and innovative. Nothing like it in the lazy southern city of Atlanta. People were lined up to get in. They won awards for their food and they brought a lot of the crew from Chicago's Trader Vic's down to work there. He said it was designed by a New Orleans architectural firm of Curtis - Davis, who also designed the Superdome. He says Arthur Davis is deceased, but Buster Curtis is still around. The head of the Luau died recently, but he is contacting the widow to see if she has any scrapbooks or anything. He does not.

He said there were moats inside and you had to cross bridges to get to your table. They had a "Chopsticks Club" and they would burn your name into bamboo and when you came in to eat, they put the bamboo on a rack out front so people knew you were in the restaurant.

It was his Dad that put the Surf Rider in the Nashville Dinkler and he said also the Saint Charles in New Orleans had a Polynesian restaurant.

The Luau was a great business, as we all know, due to the gross profit margin of cheap rum drinks sold at high prices. The Luau was open for only two years when they sold it at great profit to the Dobb's. They used it as a sort of blueprint to open all the other Dobb's House Luaus around airports where they were located. That was in 1959 he thinks. That doesn't jive with the 2 years and opening in 1955. But it narrows things down a bit if someone in Atlanta hits the library archives to research it.


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