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Tiki Central Forums » » Locating Tiki » » Dobbs House Luau , Dallas, TX (restaurant)
Dobbs House Luau , Dallas, TX (restaurant)
Unkle John
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 22, 2003
Posts: 1217
From: Middle-of-the-Ocean, TX
Posted: 2007-07-06 08:01 am   Permalink

Name:Dobbs House Luau
Type:restaurant
Street:8008 Cedar Springs Rd
City:Dallas
State:TX
Zip:75235
country:USA
Phone:(214) 742-8200
Status:defunct

Description:
Located in the northwest corner of the mezzanine of Love Field Airport was the Dobbs House Luau Room, a tropical-themed full-service restaurant that remained a Dallas favorite until it closed in 1974.

All other info is unknown and would appreciate any input, stories, or photos.



 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5273
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2007-07-06 08:10 am   Permalink


Thanks to Mimi at Arkiva Tropika

The Dobb's family ran the concessions/food for airlines and bought The Luau from the Dinklers of hotel fame in Atlanta. They then opened Dobb's House Luaus in various airport hub locations to service airlines. They often were BYOB, allowing partons to have a locker to keep their own booze as they provided mixers. I bet this was mostly for airline personnel.
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Kenike
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 24, 2003
Posts: 1206
From: McKinney, TX
Posted: 2009-01-01 6:37 pm   Permalink

In October, 1958, Dobbs House Inc. announced plans to redecorate and re-equip the 2nd floor main dining room at Dallas Love Field’s newest terminal. The plan was for a “Polynesian dining experience,” as no name for the restaurant had been chosen. By the end of that month, décor had already begun to arrive.

Manager Thomas Martin told the Dallas Morning News, “We’ve got wooden carved Easter Island statues, real native spears, dugout canoes and other things on the way. There will be an elaborate pool with a stone bridge going across it. We’ll have a waterfall, native huts – we are buying all authentic things, not trying to make an imitation.”

Henry Rose, former employee of Don The Beachcomber and Trader Vic’s, arrived from Honolulu as a consultant. The News also reported that Rose’s grandparents were “the last Occidental aids to Hawaii’s last reigning monarch, King Kamehameha.” I guess no one at the Dallas Morning News bothered to do a fact check on that claim.




The rest of the article:

“Ching Lee, an alumnus chef from Trader Vic’s, has installed his round bottom pans in the Dobbs House kitchen and is testing his recipes on Texas appetites.

“We had to change the stoves – Ching Lee’s pans wouldn’t sit on flat stoves,” said Martin.

“When will the plush terminal’s Polynesian restaurant start serving fancy island fare to the wafted strains of steel guitars and the muffled chant of soft voiced warriors?

“Christmas is our target date,” said Martin. “By the way,” he added, “Polynesian Room is just a working name. We haven’t decided what to call it yet.”

The restaurant opened in what seems like record time – the last week of November, 1958. Less than 2 months after it was announced.

“The Dallas Luau opened for business this week, though decorators were still completing the sumptious setting. There is seating for 300 at the tables of glistening monkeypod wood. There are massive carvings of Polynesian gods – Akua, the war god, and Tiki from Bora Bora among them. Native spears and knives are displayed in the straw of a decorative portico; likewise, there are native dugouts and drums, ornately carved shields and screens, and a bulkhead covered with a near-extinct native Hawaiian tapa. There are even specimens of the thorny Porcupine fish and waterfalls."

Bill Wong (from the Outrigger in Denver) was brought in to help train the kitchen staff.

“Wong is coaching the chefs in Dallas to prepare Polynesian delicacies for the Dobbs House Luau at Love Field. Wong has been operating the Outrigger Room in Denver. When he finishes up his stint at Dallas’ Dobbs House, setting the menu and training the staff, he’ll perform a similar mission in Miami.”





1967 magazine ad:




1969 magazine ad:



In January 1974, DFW airport opened between Dallas and Fort Worth, and business at Love Field dropped dramatically. To help keep the terminal open, part of it was turned into a family entertainment center called “Llove” and the Luau was turned into a caberet and dance club.

The Llove concept only lasted a few years. Office space currently occupies the location of the Luau.


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[ This Message was edited by: Kenike 2010-11-22 12:35 ]


 
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Bora Boris
Mr. Unreasonable

Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2617
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2009-01-01 7:56 pm   Permalink

Great work as usual Kenike!

 
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TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 660
From: AB, Canada
Posted: 2009-01-02 07:09 am   Permalink

Nice one Kenike!!
Great to see those pictures and old ad's!!


 
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Unkle John
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 22, 2003
Posts: 1217
From: Middle-of-the-Ocean, TX
Posted: 2009-01-02 08:33 am   Permalink

Kenike, again you have out done yourself.
I think we should all buy him a drink the next time we gather.
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11582
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-01-02 10:35 am   Permalink

Wow! Great stuff. What happened to those two BIG Tikis, I wonder. And why can they not be seen in the postcard shot...
The recent well-researched posts here inspired me to finally put up the story of this hometown favorite:

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=30866&forum=2&start=last&


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Hakalugi
Site Administrator

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 3412
From: Redondo Beach, CA
Posted: 2009-01-02 11:03 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-01-01 18:37, Kenike wrote:
...
“We had to change the stoves – Ching Lee’s pans wouldn’t sit on flat stoves,” said Martin.




Instead of buying new pans, they replaced the stoves?


This move either indicates a dedication to cooking perfection or an expensive blunder catering to an inflexible chef. Or some sort of publicity stunt.


 
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Bora Boris
Mr. Unreasonable

Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2617
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2009-01-02 11:49 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-01-01 18:37, Kenike wrote:

“Ching Lee, an alumnus chef from Trader Vic’s, has installed his round bottom pans in the Dobbs House kitchen and is testing his recipes on Texas appetites.

“We had to change the stoves – Ching Lee’s pans wouldn’t sit on flat stoves,” said Martin.

Bill Wong (from the Outrigger in Denver) was brought in to help train the kitchen staff.

“Wong is coaching the chefs in Dallas to prepare Polynesian delicacies for the Dobbs House Luau at Love Field. Wong has been operating the Outrigger Room in Denver. When he finishes up his stint at Dallas’ Dobbs House, setting the menu and training the staff, he’ll perform a similar mission in Miami.”




Sounds like maybe there were too many cooks in the kitchen.


 
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Limbo Lizard
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 776
From: Aboard the 'Leaky Tiki', Dallas
Posted: 2009-01-02 11:56 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-01-02 11:03, Hakalugi wrote:

Instead of buying new pans, they replaced the stoves?


This move either indicates a dedication to cooking perfection or an expensive blunder catering to an inflexible chef. Or some sort of publicity stunt.



Clearly, his "pans" were the now-familiar round-bottomed woks. (In 1958, who would have known what a wok was?) The shape is essential to how it is used. It was probably easier to customize the stoves to support a wok over the burners, than to re-work the whole menu/cooking style.

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[ This Message was edited by: Limbo Lizard 2009-01-02 11:57 ]


 
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Limbo Lizard
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 776
From: Aboard the 'Leaky Tiki', Dallas
Posted: 2009-01-02 12:13 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-01-01 18:37, Kenike wrote:
1967 magazine ad:




1969 magazine ad:





Ah, nothing suggests, "exotic Polynesian" or "authentic South Seas atmosphere" quite like those big blonde beehives!

The "Llove Entertainment Complex" coincided with my high school years. I went there on dates, or with a group of friends, numerous times. IIRC, along with the dance club, it had a roller and an ice skating rink, movie screens, and bowling alley, among other things.
I think we'd have thought it was more cool to take dates to the restaurant it replaced, though.

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[ This Message was edited by: Limbo Lizard 2009-01-02 12:29 ]


 
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Kenike
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 24, 2003
Posts: 1206
From: McKinney, TX
Posted: 2009-01-02 2:10 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-01-02 11:49, Bora Boris wrote:
Quote:

On 2009-01-01 18:37, Kenike wrote:

“Ching Lee, an alumnus chef from Trader Vic’s, has installed his round bottom pans in the Dobbs House kitchen and is testing his recipes on Texas appetites.

“We had to change the stoves – Ching Lee’s pans wouldn’t sit on flat stoves,” said Martin.

Bill Wong (from the Outrigger in Denver) was brought in to help train the kitchen staff.

“Wong is coaching the chefs in Dallas to prepare Polynesian delicacies for the Dobbs House Luau at Love Field. Wong has been operating the Outrigger Room in Denver. When he finishes up his stint at Dallas’ Dobbs House, setting the menu and training the staff, he’ll perform a similar mission in Miami.”




Sounds like maybe there were too many cooks in the kitchen.



If I had to guess I'd say Wong was brought in to replace Lee for some reason. No explanation is given in the article. I'm sure they never thought anyone would dig up both articles and compare them side by side.

Quote:
The News also reported that Rose’s grandparents were “the last Occidental aids to Hawaii’s last reigning monarch, King Kamehameha.”



That King Kamehameha thing has me dumbfounded. If they meant Kamehameha I, that would be impossible. Kamehameha V died in 1872, but was not Hawaii's last reigning monarch. Queen Liliuokalani was deposed in 1893, so that might be possible. Still, anyone who read that article in 1958 and knew anything about Hawaiian history must have thought it was a joke.


 
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Grand Kahu
Grand Member (2 years)  

Joined: Jul 31, 2006
Posts: 188
From: Dallas, TX
Posted: 2009-01-04 12:14 pm   Permalink

Wow, who knew Dallas was once such a tikifest?

I'm just getting back into TC after a long absence from the board, but look forward to more TexasTikiTalk.

GK


 
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