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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Trader Vic's, Dallas, TX (restaurant)
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Trader Vic's, Dallas, TX (restaurant)
Grand Kahu
Grand Member (2 years)  

Joined: Jul 31, 2006
Posts: 176
From: Dallas, TX
Posted: 2010-01-24 6:38 pm   Permalink

Hanging them upside down would not change the swing from in to out (but hanging them inside out would), but yes, one would have to change the mortises to reverse the hinges.

I have to agree something is lost in the restaurant in its separation from the bar, but so much of it seems about the challenges of a fine dining restaurant at that price point (the white tablecloth restaurant, as you note). Dallas has lots of excellent restaurants at their old price point - and for that level, everything has to click well. It's not just about the quality of the menu. I do think a more casual menu would far much better IF it were both good and unique enough to draw attention and customers.

Big ifs in a difficult market.
GK
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Kenike
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 24, 2003
Posts: 1204
From: McKinney, TX
Posted: 2010-01-25 2:30 pm   Permalink

They can't be closed...you can now buy gift certificates cheap!

On second thought, maybe that's why.

http://www.restaurant.com/microsite.asp?rid=367764



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Kenike
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 24, 2003
Posts: 1204
From: McKinney, TX
Posted: 2010-01-26 6:27 pm   Permalink

I think it's time to move on to Phase II of the Dallas Trader Vic's story...and that is preserving it's memory.

I've amassed a whole bunch of pictures, ads, newspaper articles, internal correspondences and some just plain strange paper ephemera from the "old" Trader Vic's that opened in 1967 and closed in 1989. It's amazing what seemingly useless paper people leave lying around in a box in a closet can resurface 30+ years later and give us new insight into the whole story...

(some of these news articles may be hard to read...try magnifying your computer screen)

So let's start with the very first mention of Trader Vic's coming to Dallas. This is a newspaper article from August, 1964.



But construction didn't actually begin for over a year. The ground breaking ceremony was announced in this article from 10/22/65. Vic himself attended this event. This was, after all, going to be the BIGGEST Hilton Inn, and Trader Vic's was putting at least half a million into their newest restaurant. Of course he's gonna be there...



AND, interestingly enough, there ALREADY WAS a locally owned "Trader Vic's" in Dallas that had been in operation since 1962, but not the Polynesian Vic's. In May of 1967, a month after the new Trader Vic's in Dallas opened, they had to stop using the name.



Here once again is the original Dallas Trader Vic's, complete with the Barney West moai out front.



Truly a sight in Dallas. At this time Dallas also had Ports O'Call across town and also Dobbs House Luau at the airport not far from Trader Vic's. 67-74 was definitely the heyday of Dallas tiki, and Trader Vic's stood at the top.


[ This Message was edited by: Kenike 2010-08-31 16:10 ]


 
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ZuluMagoo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 26, 2002
Posts: 468
From: Denver, CO
Posted: 2010-01-26 7:47 pm   Permalink

Fantastic research and documentation Kenike!

Thanks for the excellent work.


Zulu


 
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Kenike
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 24, 2003
Posts: 1204
From: McKinney, TX
Posted: 2010-01-27 06:59 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-01-26 19:47, ZuluMagoo wrote:
Fantastic research and documentation Kenike!

Thanks for the excellent work.


Zulu



Thanks very much Zulu. I'm certainly glad you visited when you did. They closed 8 days later.

[ This Message was edited by: Kenike 2010-08-31 16:11 ]


 
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Limbo Lizard
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 683
From: Aboard the 'Leaky Tiki', Dallas
Posted: 2010-01-27 09:15 am   Permalink

1974 ad, from the Sunday newspaper weekend guide:


Was re-reading the May, 2005 article from the Dallas Business Journal, about the plans to reopen Trader Vic's
Trader Vic's set for Dallas revival

Alas, note the opinion of Matthew Mabel (a local restaurant management consultant):

Quote:
Matthew Mabel, president of Surrender Inc., is skeptical that Trader Vic's will be able to sustain a successful volume of diners in a market he calls "the hotbed for proving every restaurant in America."

"Trader Vic's is a dated concept that works well in hotel concepts around the world," Mabel said. "While it will probably have an initial retro/kitsch appeal, it is going to be a stretch in the Dallas dining market.

"There are so many aggressive concepts coming, and '60s nostalgia does not run rampant among the dining-out crowd."


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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11088
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-01-27 09:38 am   Permalink

Wow, what an opulent repast! I especially like that they offer LOG !!! http://www.snotr.com/video/228

Oh, and in those first buffet photos: I would have gingerly served myself with all those table top Barney West Tikis!


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Kenike
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 24, 2003
Posts: 1204
From: McKinney, TX
Posted: 2010-01-27 09:46 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-01-27 09:38, bigbrotiki wrote:
Wow, what an opulent repast! I especially like that they offer LOG !!! http://www.snotr.com/video/228



Yeah, what's the deal with all the logs? There's a wood fire oven nearby...maybe they needed extra table filler? Not enough bananas?

Quote:

On 2010-01-27 09:38, bigbrotiki wrote:
Oh, and in those first buffet photos: I would have gingerly served myself with all those table top Barney West Tikis!



Didn't realize those were Barney West. Wow.

[ This Message was edited by: Kenike 2010-01-31 16:45 ]


 
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Kenike
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 24, 2003
Posts: 1204
From: McKinney, TX
Posted: 2010-01-27 09:52 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-01-27 09:15, Limbo Lizard wrote:

Alas, note the opinion of Matthew Mabel (a local restaurant management consultant):

Quote:
Matthew Mabel, president of Surrender Inc., is skeptical that Trader Vic's will be able to sustain a successful volume of diners in a market he calls "the hotbed for proving every restaurant in America."

"Trader Vic's is a dated concept that works well in hotel concepts around the world," Mabel said. "While it will probably have an initial retro/kitsch appeal, it is going to be a stretch in the Dallas dining market.

"There are so many aggressive concepts coming, and '60s nostalgia does not run rampant among the dining-out crowd."






But they never played up the 60's nostalgia angle. They tried to be just like everybody else and still failed. Who knows if it would have worked? I think if they really tried to set themselves apart from everybody else they would have been more successful...instead they did the opposite. I can drink beer and watch football and listen to disco ANYWHERE. Who knows how long it would have lasted? Longer than 2 years and 9 months perhaps?

Thanks for pulling out that quote. Puts things in perspective now.
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TxTikiGirl
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 42
From: Dallas, Tx
Posted: 2010-02-02 07:51 am   Permalink

Trader Vic's Dallas isn't listed as a location on the main Trader Vic's website. Just sayin'

 
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TxTikiGirl
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 42
From: Dallas, Tx
Posted: 2010-02-02 08:47 am   Permalink

....and when are we going to loot the place?

 
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Kenike
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 24, 2003
Posts: 1204
From: McKinney, TX
Posted: 2010-02-03 3:29 pm   Permalink

A buffet pic....they were proud of 'em!



Date unknown on this one, too. Judging from the haircuts of the guys in the back, late 70's maybe?

This appears to have been taken at an unfinished part of a building where it looks like temporary shuttle stops were set up....just a guess...but if it's right I hope they moved the table before the busses came. Maybe it was a job fair? "Service Station" sounds very generic for a place of business.

The two suits on the far left are drinking out of coconut mugs and hanging out by the hot dishes. The ice sculpture is back as well as the tikis (Barney West?). The rum barrel on the right is being used to dispense red sauce as can be seen by the sauce someone spilled on the side of it.

Another opulent spread. Sadly missing is the tapa table skirt and another serving of log!





On second thought, that might be the tapa table skirt spread around the plant. I can see the steam rising from the crab rangoon...or maybe they are egg rolls. Hard to tell.



[ This Message was edited by: Kenike 2010-08-31 16:11 ]


 
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Const Tiki
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 16, 2007
Posts: 35
From: Portland, Oregon
Posted: 2010-02-08 8:20 pm   Permalink

With all the problems at Trader Vic's in Bellevue, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and now (possibly) Dallas, I wonder what the TV in Atlanta is doing right? They seem to have weathered every economic downturn and change in taste. And since they opened in the late 1970's, they are able to do so without relying on the glory days of the 50's and 60's. Or are they in trouble too?

 
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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1770
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2010-02-09 09:29 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-02-08 20:20, Const Tiki wrote:
With all the problems at Trader Vic's in Bellevue, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and now (possibly) Dallas, I wonder what the TV in Atlanta is doing right? They seem to have weathered every economic downturn and change in taste. And since they opened in the late 1970's, they are able to do so without relying on the glory days of the 50's and 60's. Or are they in trouble too?


Shhhh.... don't jinx them! The Atlanta TV is located in a hotel in downtown whose clientele are primarily business travelers and convention goers. So a lot of money flows through there. The times I've been there though were holidays and weekends and we pretty much had the place to ourselves. The well-preserved decor, quality drinks and food and even appropriate music tell me that it is well managed and the management understands how all the pieces come together to form the whole experience. And they haven't messed with it.


 
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Bohemiann
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Apr 29, 2004
Posts: 444
From: Sarasota, Fla.
Posted: 2010-02-09 09:38 am   Permalink

I agree with Rob! I love ATL !I get there a few times a year and it is one of my Favs! The bar area is a bit small when it gets busy so I try and get there early and grab my best perch for people watching. I think it has what it takes to make it...LOCATION. I am normally attending a convention or trade show. I AM one of THOSE...Professional Conventioneers with an endless affinity and I spend my meager stimulus package at Trader Vics!

BTW.... Sorry to take him Dallas but, Thanks for Shane, He is great !
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[ This Message was edited by: Bohemiann 2010-02-09 09:40 ]


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