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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki South Pacific, Newton, MA (restaurant)
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South Pacific, Newton, MA (restaurant)
The Granite Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 02, 2005
Posts: 812
From: Nashua, NH
Posted: 2007-02-19 11:50 pm   Permalink

Name:South Pacific
Type:restaurant
Street:1152 Beacon St
City:Newton
State:MA
Zip:02461
country:USA
Phone:(617) 332-7250
Status:operational

Description:
Chinese/Polynesian Restaurant with bamboo, murals, some tikis, and mugs.



 
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The Granite Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 02, 2005
Posts: 812
From: Nashua, NH
Posted: 2007-02-20 12:44 am   Permalink

I was tipped off about this place by sputnikmoss who found an old mug from there.

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=22988&forum=5&8

My wife works not too far from here so I picked her up after work and we set off to find hidden treasure!

Hidden treasure is exactly what we found in an unassuming strip mall smack dab in Newton, MA!





From the outside, you'd never ever guess that there was cool stuff within, with the possible exception of the very beat up, but clearly old and funky sign.







And again, when you walk through the door, it's like a tale of two restaurants, the right side (not pictured here) looks like any nondescript 80s strip mall restaurant, for a split second, my heart sank like a stone.

But then I looked to the left, beyond the front desk and small lounge area that seemed to be decorated at the same time as the right half of the restaurant, and I saw bamboo, lots of it.

Then the murals and lamps caught my attention, and the back room.

We were seated and got our colorful menus, and as soon as the waiter came over, I asked if the drinks were served in Tiki mugs. There was a slight language barrier (which I always consider a good sign) and he thought I was asking for a specific drink that wasn't on the menu and he assured me that the bar tender could make anything, once we straightened all that out, he told us, "yes, the drinks are served in tiki mugs, but no, they had none for sale" (then he told me I could just get one at the restaurant supply place in Boston, which gave me a chuckle on the inside a little)

I sat facing a nice mural, and directly above my head was a kind of A-frame overhang that stylistically divided the two parts of the restaurant. Over my head to the right was a Shell Lamp. In front of me and to the right, over a good size table where 3 couples were seated (so I couldn't just snap pictures like a madman) was the only other Tiki lamp I saw.












The food was traditional New England Chinese Food and very tasty! I liked everything, though we only got pretty standard appetizers. The drinks were good and strong but also tasty. I ordered a Fogcutter (Because the mug pictured next to it was the kind that spunikmoss found so very far away) but when it came, there was no name on it and it was actually in a different mug than the picture. I don't remember what my wife Kate had, but she liked it very much.










I'm always afraid to be very obvious with my camera, so my pics didn't all come out as nice as I wanted. I did use the flash now and then which got me the best results, but I didn't want to risk someone telling me to stop.

Once we ordered, I got up and looked around the corner into the back room. This was the highlight!

A longer room, with 3 Shell Lamps down the middle and beautiful, colorful Polynesian murals on all walls. Here in New England, we just don't see this kind of thing very often anymore. I was in heaven.



















At the far end of the long room, there was doorway (leading to the ladies room sign and an exit)that had two Tiki poles on either side.







I really loved this place, and will definitely go back again!

I think that back room would be great for a New England Tikifile get together, although parking seemed limited (it being basically in a small strip mall).

I recommend South Pacific in Newton, MA!!!!



[ This Message was edited by: The Granite Tiki 2007-03-16 13:39 ]


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pappythesailor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 1564
From: Mass.
Posted: 2007-02-20 02:30 am   Permalink

Dang, Granite! How did we miss this place? Looks like a winner to me. Gets you thinking that maybe there's more places like this. Nice job reporting and with the pics.

 
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Suffering Bastard of Stumptown
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 09, 2005
Posts: 648
From: PDX
Posted: 2007-02-20 05:42 am   Permalink

Hell Yes!

Ok, after we have my party, we should schedule a time for us all to go there and take over the joint.

..sbim


 
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jpmartdog
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 27, 2005
Posts: 650
From: Amesbury, Mass
Posted: 2007-02-20 07:49 am   Permalink

WOW! We need to get there soon, as a group! and give it a big Tiki Central yahoooo!
Now I'm starving for Pu-pu too! Good Job Granite!

Can't wait to see those murals! Love the Bamboo and the wood!

[ This Message was edited by: jpmartdog 2007-02-20 07:50 ]


 
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sputnikmoss
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2007
Posts: 281
From: Portland OR
Posted: 2007-02-20 09:39 am   Permalink

Wow!!

Thanks for the quick report and great pix. I am so happy this place is still open and has some cool stuff. It makes me wonder how many other places are lurking under the cover of the dreaded strip mall! I am still shocked that this discovery all hinged on a mug found 3000 miles away. Ok Eastcoasters now it's your turn, go find a clue for us out here in the West.


 
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The Granite Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 02, 2005
Posts: 812
From: Nashua, NH
Posted: 2007-02-20 12:34 pm   Permalink

I'm eating left over crab rangoon for breakfast!!

pappythesailor put it best "Gets you thinking that maybe there's more places like this"

There must be!!!! And we've got a job to do, finding them, and documenting them for history, and hopefully saving a few along the way by eating and drinking there a lot!


 
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Tikisgrl
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 03, 2005
Posts: 866
From: Lowell, Mass
Posted: 2007-02-20 3:38 pm   Permalink

Well I'm all for exploration... However since I don't drink I can only be a scout! I did finally go to Tahiti in Dedham... beautiful doors... was a little excited when I saw those... Not a tiki in sight... just a beautiful mural & a beheaded Vishnu!

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11153
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2007-02-20 6:16 pm   Permalink

Good one, Congrats! As is told in the Book of Tiki, Chapter 17:
"..daring expeditions to remote sites (around the corner from your wife's work?) have been occasioned by the cryptic inscriptions (please post pic!) found on these ceramics....


 
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sputnikmoss
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2007
Posts: 281
From: Portland OR
Posted: 2007-02-20 7:20 pm   Permalink

edited to repair picture links





Here ya go Bigbro!


[ This Message was edited by: sputnikmoss 2007-07-12 13:06 ]


 
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Sneakytiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2003
Posts: 1795
From: Boise, Idaho
Posted: 2007-02-21 03:02 am   Permalink

Wow! These kind of posts are few and far between lately,. Great detective work sputnik moss and granite!

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11153
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2007-02-21 11:29 am   Permalink

Yes, a really spectacular mural find! Even if this place might be from the 70s, its murals have a timeless vintage quality.
While artifacts like carvings, mugs, menus and sometimes lamps might survive the abolition of a Tiki temple, murals and dioramas are usually irrevocably destroyed, and the cost of them today is often prohibitive for new Tiki Bar owners.

And since it is difficult to reproduce that vintage style, the only other way would be to go for NEW Tiki art, done by contemporary Tiki revival artists. That can work out, ....or not. And even then: My friend Moritz R (BOT cover artist) did some wonderful wall art in the hallway and stage room of the Tabou Tiki in Berlin (for free), and now that that is closed and will be dismantled, it will all disappear.

My new book will have a full double page dedicated to the history of fake Polynesian scenery. Enjoy the existing ones that are still there, where ever you can find them. Fine murals still in situ that come to mind are at the Waldorf in Vancouver, and Damon's in Glendale.

For the "Polynesian murals in odd places" thread I would like to submit this example:

I had to leave straight from the Hukilau this year to a job in Germany, which made for quite a culture shock-
This is what I came from:


Rum tasting with Swanky, Al, the King, and Otto in the back office of the Mai Kai


...and the Mai Kai dancers, so we are talking Polynesian Pop immersion! Then...

..I get off the plane and am being driven straight to a location scout in some Hotel at some lake in deep Southern Bavaria, so THIS was the change of scenery for me from one day to another:


But then, at that hotel's interior swimming pool, I come upon....THIS !:


I swear that stuff just follows me around! This huge tile mural was done in the 70s by a female artist, and is an indication of how, up until then, the Polynesian motif stood for fun and leisure in the hotel industry worlwide.



 
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jpmartdog
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 27, 2005
Posts: 650
From: Amesbury, Mass
Posted: 2007-02-21 3:23 pm   Permalink

bigbroTiki - you said a mouthful! As a mural artist who has painted nearly one hundred murals over the last decade in restaurants, you hit the nail on the head. When renovating a restaurant decor or a restaurant space, the mural is one of the first things to be white washed or thrown in the dumpster. Can't tell you how many of my murals have eventually been torn down or painted over. It is usually due to the simple fact that the new owner has a different use or concept in mind. I now urge all mural buyers to go for artwork on panels or canvas that can someday be removed and preserved. Sure it's not a mural in the traditional "fresco" style, but these days businesses/restaurants come and go quickly.

I wonder if the artist of this mural was "known". The style is beautiful, with a meticulous use of foreground details to create the illusion of depth in each panel. I will immediately try to research the painter of these murals. As you say, the style is of an amazingly vintage design. This is a very cool find! It is so funny how some of these small restaurants, especially in our area, just don't recognize what they have on their walls... but alas decor alone, doesn't translate into cash flow.

And by the way, bigbroTiki - if you are going to include polynesian decor/dioramas - you must check out the Kowloon. You probably already have!



[ This Message was edited by: jpmartdog 2007-02-21 17:08 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11153
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2007-02-21 4:52 pm   Permalink

Great! So we do seem to have a member here who could do the style justice, good to know!

Another great mural that I forgot to mention is the huge mural at Julian's in (or nearby) Daytona Beach, Florida. Does anybody have photos of that?

And here is a fine example of the behind-the-bar diorama at the original Kona Kai in Philadelphia:



It was painted on panels of glass, which were spaced apart for 3-Dimensionality, and thus could be lit individually, allowing for dimming from day to dusk to night lighting effects. Note the shutters for authentic foreground! Also see it on page 141 in the BOT, in the rendering and the postcard.

Somebody should open a seperate "Polynesian mural (and diorama)" thread in General Tiki, so members can shoot and document them for posterity! (Don't wanna derail this one too much ).


 
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Ojaitimo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 04, 2006
Posts: 1317
Posted: 2007-02-21 7:23 pm   Permalink

Great photos of this place. Thanks for sharing this and the effort. Great urban archeology.

 
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