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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Is Hinky Dinks stuff really rare?
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Is Hinky Dinks stuff really rare?
aguazul
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Joined: Jul 17, 2012
Posts: 13
Posted: 2013-01-14 1:13 pm   Permalink

I picked up one of the Hinky Dink's menu as posted at a "warehouse sale" of Trader Vic's stuff, probably 10 years ago? I was told that they had a large amount of stuff from the various TV locations and were just liquidating some of it. The menu was free - they had stacks of them. I also got a "club", which is made of plaster and painted to look like old wood (they said this is how the replicated items for use in multiple TV locations), and the "Oscar" sign, which I was told was hung in one of the bathrooms.





 
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mrsmiley
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 3171
From: Las Vegas, NV
Posted: 2013-01-15 4:36 pm   Permalink

I only saw those Boating signs "Oscar" in the Last San Francisco Location (not Cosmo). I would love to see the Hinky Dinks menu-if they had stacks, could they have been reprints? Again Hinky Dinks closed in 1934 (ish).
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JONPAUL
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Joined: Jan 12, 2010
Posts: 134
From: Venice, California
Posted: 2013-01-16 6:10 pm   Permalink

From what I understand, the transition from Hinky Dink's proper to full blown Trader Vic's was a gradual one that began with one room in the back, officially dubbed "The Bamboo Room." Mr. Bergeron was referred to at this early stage as "Trader Vic, your host at Hinky Dink's." (see the 1938 Oakland Tribune article that Sabu posted HERE

This is further proven with a match cover I finally acquired just recently:


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TropicDrinkBoy
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Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 273
Posted: 2013-01-22 9:30 pm   Permalink

Very interesting on several levels! This and Sabu's post with the newspaper story about the Bamboo Room prove that the transition from "Hinky Dinks" to "Trader Vic's" was much more gradual than Trader Vic himself described in his "Frankly Speaking" autobiography.

On page 44 he writes "We decided that Hinky Dinks was a junky name and that the place should be named after someone we could tell a story about. My wife suggested "Trader Vic's" because I was always making a trade with someone. Fine, I became Trader Vic." On the next page he writes "So that starts Trader Vic's. We tore down the horse shoes and snowshoes and dear horns and deer heads and other paraphernalia of a hunting lodge and put up the tropical stuff. We bought a neon sign and we were in business. There was no fanfare about the opening. Just closed one day as Hinky Dinks selling sandwiches and opened the next day as Trader Vic's selling tropical drinks and Chinese food."

In addition I've read elsewhere that the name change took place in 1936 or 1937 but the newspaper story in Sabu's post clearly states that as of July 28, 1938 it was still called Hinky Dinks.



 
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TropicDrinkBoy
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Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 273
Posted: 2013-01-22 9:39 pm   Permalink

By the way, does anyone know why they still have several sets of walrus tusks hanging in the bar at the Emeryville Trader Vic's? They seem out of place among the tikis and other tropical items.

 
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TropicDrinkBoy
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Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 273
Posted: 2013-01-22 9:57 pm   Permalink

Here is what must be a very rare artifact from the Hink Dinks days. It was on display at the Palo Alto Trader Vic's:



It was sent to Vic by E.D. Lake, the commercial artist who drew the elevation that appears in all the early Hinky Dinks advertisements. He writes: "Vic, I ran across this in an old scrap book. It may be the only one left from the old days - in which case you might like to have it. I made the drawing for you when I was the art dept. at Western Waxed Paper - 63rd + Doyle."

I love the fact that it was created during the transition from Hinky Dinks to Trader Vic's as it states "Hinky Dinks famous Tropical Drinks". Also, in this case your host is "Vic Bergeron", not Trader Vic.


 
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TropicDrinkBoy
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Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 273
Posted: 2013-01-22 10:39 pm   Permalink

By the way Thomamas, thanks so much for posting the scan of the Hinky Dinks menu. By this time Hinky Dinks was far from being a dive with seven cognacs, 23 scotches, 4 gins, 16 "Bounded Whiskies" (Bonded?), 15 other whiskies, 6 champagnes and 30 some rums (not counting the tequila, Pim's (Pimm's) No. 1 Cup (which is gin based) and pisco which are all printed in the rum category. And don't forget the 31 liquors. That would count as a high end cocktail bar these days and this was during the Great Depression! How many other bars in the 1930's even had vodka and tequila on the menu.

Of the "Rum Drinks from the Tropics" and "Hot Drinks" the Honolulu, Maui Fizz, Wahini, Doctor Funk's Son, Tortuga, Coffee Grog, Black Stripe, and Coffee Diablo (and probably some others) are Trader Vic's originals and are still on the menu at various Trader Vic's. I've had them all, except the Wahini, at the restaurants. Also, some of their bartenders will make "off the menu" Trader Vic's classics if it is not too busy.

I'm also impressed by the "Rum, The Inspiration of Great Deeds" essay on the back of the menu. It is similar in spirit to the 1947 "Rum, The Spirit of the Ages" essay on the back of more contemporary Trader Vic's cocktail menus. Of the two I prefer the "Spirit of the Ages" where he pays tribute to many of the great bartenders of the 30's and 40's from whom he learned much, including Donn Beach. Both are classic Trader Vic promotional copy but "The Spirit of the Ages" is the more heartfelt composition. God I love that guy!

[ This Message was edited by: TropicDrinkBoy 2013-01-22 22:48 ]

[ This Message was edited by: TropicDrinkBoy 2013-01-22 23:08 ]


 
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thomamas
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Joined: Apr 09, 2007
Posts: 43
Posted: 2013-01-23 3:44 pm   Permalink

I'm sure it does mean "bonded" but I'm pretty confident there's no such thing as a Canadian bottled in bond whiskey.

To address earlier comments, the menu I scanned also came from the warehouse sale. I'm unclear whether it's a reprint -- it doesn't look very new, but I think the background pattern is printed and I'd expect an original to be on a textured/colored stock. On the other hand, I can't imagine why Trader Vic's would have reprinted a quantity of these menus.


 
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The Blue Kahuna
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Joined: Jun 01, 2011
Posts: 365
From: Points East & West
Posted: 2013-01-23 4:31 pm   Permalink

Bonded whiskey meant the US government guaranteed the authenticity and that it was made and stored according to US standards/regulations. Was meant to assure the purchaser that the booze was unadulterated and safe to drink.

 
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TropicDrinkBoy
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Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 273
Posted: 2013-01-24 01:43 am   Permalink

Also, one of the standards specifies it has to be 100 proof.

 
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Dr. Coruba
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Joined: Jun 02, 2008
Posts: 168
Posted: 2013-01-26 09:29 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-01-23 15:44, thomamas wrote:
To address earlier comments, the menu I scanned also came from the warehouse sale. I'm unclear whether it's a reprint -- it doesn't look very new, but I think the background pattern is printed and I'd expect an original to be on a textured/colored stock. On the other hand, I can't imagine why Trader Vic's would have reprinted a quantity of these menus.


Thanks again for the scan! It is a real treat to see, even though it is extremely doubtful that this one, or the stacks of them this came from, are originals. The likelihood that so many menus from Hinky Dinks were kept for so long is very, very doubtful. I'm betting that they were reprints for the big 50th anniversary. A 50th is a huge milestone for any business (and especially a restaurant) and would have been the last one Trader Vic himself would be around for. Perhaps Vic himself was behind having the reprint done. It makes sense along with the other Hinky Dink/Trader Vic's items done in 1984 for the 50th.

In any case, even as a reprint, you have a grand souvenir from the history of Tiki. I wish I had been as fortunate to have gotten one.


 
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tikiskip
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Nov 26, 2005
Posts: 2781
Posted: 2013-01-26 10:10 am   Permalink

Nice stuff.
The Kahiki did the same thing as they too had plaster wall hangings
painted to look like wood.
But they had wood ones too.

Sounds like Hinky Dinks stuff is as rare as a fartless day at Honey Boo Boos house.
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 946
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2013-01-28 10:37 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-01-26 10:10, tikiskip wrote:
Sounds like Hinky Dinks stuff is as rare as a fartless day at Honey Boo Boos house.



20 years from now people are gonna be left scratching their heads wondering what that means. Ha...!!


 
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tikiskip
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Nov 26, 2005
Posts: 2781
Posted: 2013-01-28 7:33 pm   Permalink

"20 years from now people are gonna be left scratching their heads wondering what that means. Ha...!!"

Heck the way things are going in 20 years Honey Boo Boo will be President.


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White Devil
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Posted: 2013-06-28 10:43 am   Permalink

Quote:
Heck the way things are going in 20 years Honey Boo Boo will be President.



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