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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Mt. Fuji Inn / Mai Tai Lounge, Omaha, NE (restaurant)
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Mt. Fuji Inn / Mai Tai Lounge, Omaha, NE (restaurant)
SilverLine
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 02, 2004
Posts: 626
From: Kansas City
Posted: 2007-10-31 1:46 pm   Permalink

Name:Mt. Fuji Inn / Mai Tai Lounge
Type:restaurant
Street:7215 Blondo Street
City:Omaha
State:NE
Zip:68134
country:USA
Phone:(402) - 397 - 5049
Status:operational

Description:
The Mt Fuji Inn is a traditional Japanese restaurant. Below it, in the basement, is the Mai Tai Lounge; a small, Polynesian-style bar with five Tikis. The decor looks original to the early 70's (photos to follow), as are the drinks. The place has been around since 1967 and even had a mug embosed with their name available for a while. Their website is:
http://www.mtfujiinn.com

The rumor is that this may be it's last year of operation.




[ This Message was edited by: SilverLine 2007-10-31 14:27 ]


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SilverLine
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 02, 2004
Posts: 626
From: Kansas City
Posted: 2007-10-31 2:19 pm   Permalink

When my wife and I were in Omaha a few weeks ago we were surprised to find the Mt. Fuji Inn and Mai Tai lounge still in operation. There was nothing about it in Critiki and nothing here in Locating, so we figured it was long gone. Not true! We stumbled on it just as they were opening and Mike, the bartender/manager let me take some shots.

I've since read some fairly harsh reviews of the drinks and decor at the Mai Tai Lounge but I've got to say, I thought it was cool! Considering that the number of extant VINTAGE Tiki establishments in the Kansas-Missouri-Nebraska-Iowa area number exactly ONE and this is IT, the Mai Tai Lounge is a step into history we in the Midwest don't get to take often.


The exterior and entrance to the Lounge look pretty much unremodeled since opening 40 years ago.


The worn, vintage tiki door pulls are still there at the door at the bottom of the stairs.



Inside was VERY dark, but my flash fixed that! Are those Orchids of Hawaii light fixtures?


If you go down the interior stairs from the resturant, you pass this tiki as you enter the Mai Tai Lounge.

There used to be a huge fish tank with a shark in it behind the bar, probably visible upstairs as well. Now there are just these small fish tanks.


Mai Tai-Mike with one of the few remaining but damaged mugs (no longer available for sale).



As I said before, there is talk of closing the Mai Tai within the year. This would be a shame, IMHO. 40 years is a long run and there aren't many that can claim that kind of history. If you're in the neighborhood, stop in for a drink (while you can).

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[ This Message was edited by: SilverLine 2013-10-20 11:19 ]


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tikibars
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 2022
From: Aku Hall, Chicago
Posted: 2007-11-01 10:27 am   Permalink

From Tiki Road Trip 2:


"The Mai Tai Lounge is in the basement of Mt. Fuji Inn restaurant. The interior of the restaurant is interesting for its history: it was once a nightclub featuring a swimming pool in the center of the room, which was home to a dolphin and a young lady who would swim and frolic together. Patrons in the basement bar had a sub-aquatic view of the marine life via a series of glass panels behind the bar. In the early 1970s, the pool was drained and covered by a slightly raised platform, which is now a part of the main seating area of the restaurant.

Mt. Fuji Inn is still owned and operated by the Japanese widow of the original American owner, who died about twenty years ago. The family's service is friendly and attentive, with some staff having been on hand for decades. The food is on the good side of serviceable, but the sweet and sour chicken is far too sweet. The sesame chicken is far more enjoyable. The Mai Tai Lounge stays open a little later than the restaurant. A tiny section of the pool was left intact and turned into an aquarium (still viewed behind the bar). One will spot exactly two Tikis in the Mai Tai Lounge, both are wooden poles about four feet high. There are also three black velvet nudes on the walls, and while not Leetegs, they're fairly good renderings. A few Orchids of Hawaii lanterns hang from the ceiling. Modern rock plays on the jukebox. The place has that musty sort of basement smell, the result of decades of booze mixed with cigarette smoke that has nowhere to go. The Scorpion and the Mai Tai at the Mai Tai Lounge are indistinguishable, both are far too sweet (a running theme here?).

South of Blondo on 72nd, look for a fun neon sign on an authentic vintage diner - Bronco's Hamburgers - "Serve Yourself and $ave!". On Dodge Street, just east of 72nd, look for more classic neon on Wolf Brothers Western Store.




...looks like the velvets and the jukebox are both gone, but glad to see (I guess) that a few small new Tikis were added.

Every time I have visited this place, the drinks have been truly miserable.

But as the above poster points out, it is the only Tiki for several hundred miles, so let's hope they hang on.

Maybe some of the local 'ohana can help give them a facelift, like what those awesome cats and kittens in Portland are doing at The Alibi?


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[ This Message was edited by: tikibars 2010-08-01 21:03 ]


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Tiki Cowboy
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Dec 08, 2007
Posts: 18
From: Melbourne, Florida
Posted: 2008-07-19 08:13 am   Permalink

Finally made it to the Mt Fuji Inn... great place Mike the bartender is doing his best to hang on to whats left.... for the mid west... its great!!! if you are in the area stop in..
Drinks were great!!
Thanks Mike


 
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WestADad
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Mar 31, 2009
Posts: 745
From: Tornado Alley
Posted: 2009-03-31 06:18 am   Permalink

Hi, new member here. Just getting into Tiki culture also. Wanted to let everyone know that Mt. Fuji Inn is still alive and kicking as of March 21st 2009. Although Mike the Bartender is still all gloom and doom about the place closing. I hope they hang around for a few more years. My March trip was enjoyable. The drinks and dinner were good.

[ This Message was edited by: WestADad 2009-03-31 06:19 ]

[ This Message was edited by: WestADad 2009-03-31 07:08 ]


 
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fnord_2005
Member

Joined: May 19, 2009
Posts: 3
From: Lincoln, NE
Posted: 2009-05-19 6:43 pm   Permalink

I'm gonna be going here in the next week or two... Is anything left of the place? From what I've read, the velvets are gone, the pictures look like they've given up trying... Is it still worth it? I guess I'm gonna go anyway but I just wondered if anyone had been recently, and if so, what they thought.

(UPDATE) Okay, I went there on Saturday and, I'm not gonna lie, the food was pretty good. Not the best I've ever had but for a mom and pop (it really is) joint, the food's good. Downstairs... needs a facelift. A new coat of paint on the door would make the Mai Tai Lounge a lot more inviting to newcomers and some new vinyl on the chairs would really be all it takes. The joint's not too bad for Omaha tiki. Yes, Mike's grumpy - rightfully so - but get him talking and he's a funny dude and so is everyone else. There was a pretty decent mix of young and old folks there and with the word spreading amongst Omaha tikiphiles this place could rock once again (so in other words start hanging out at the only spot you got, kids!). They're proud of the place, but mostly what it used to be. If the Mt Fuji Mai Tai Lounge turned hip again you think Mike would put a smile on his face again? I bet so. And maybe they could get some more mugs going for the patrons (ask them about the guy that used to make the mugs and what happened to him). It wouldn't take much, kids. Get this place back up to speed!

[ This Message was edited by: fnord_2005 2009-05-25 10:55 ]


 
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fnord_2005
Member

Joined: May 19, 2009
Posts: 3
From: Lincoln, NE
Posted: 2009-05-25 10:57 am   Permalink

...

 
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intoxer
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 25, 2009
Posts: 20
Posted: 2009-05-25 6:00 pm   Permalink

I live in Omaha, and visit there a few times a month. I hadn't heard about the closing, but it is always busy. I will see what news I can come up with for everyone!

 
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intoxer
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 25, 2009
Posts: 20
Posted: 2009-06-26 06:38 am   Permalink

I will be at the Mai Tai tonight from about 8pm, if anyone is around, please come out!!

 
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intoxer
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 25, 2009
Posts: 20
Posted: 2009-06-27 06:38 am   Permalink

Last night the waitress assured me that the Mai Tai was NOT closing anytime soon.

 
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Potato.
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 09, 2010
Posts: 91
From: Lincoln, NE
Posted: 2010-07-06 6:12 pm   Permalink

Still trying to get a meet-up going for Mt. Fuji and we great plans/midwesterners.

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=36829&forum=1&15

Looking for a date we can actually set to get there and rock this place again. There has to be more than just a handful of us...


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Potato.
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 09, 2010
Posts: 91
From: Lincoln, NE
Posted: 2010-07-27 1:30 pm   Permalink

Hopefully looking at Sept. 25, 2010 for a Mt Fuji Meet-Up for Mid-Western tikiphiles.
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SilverLine
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 02, 2004
Posts: 626
From: Kansas City
Posted: 2010-07-27 6:50 pm   Permalink

Sept. 25 looks do-able for us! Hopefully it works for everybody else.



 
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Potato.
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 09, 2010
Posts: 91
From: Lincoln, NE
Posted: 2010-08-03 2:11 pm   Permalink

Here's an official event page! Let's do it!

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=37385&forum=4&start=last&0
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SilverLine
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 02, 2004
Posts: 626
From: Kansas City
Posted: 2011-04-30 06:37 am   Permalink

We were in Omaha yesterday for a quick visit and had to take the opportunity to visit the Mai Tai Lounge and eat at the Mt. Fuji Inn. Last time we were there we ordered off the Cantonese side of the menu; this time we went with Japanese offerings. Delicious!! Of course, Mai Tai Mike was downstairs tending bar and the Zombies flowed! In all, everything was wonderful, as we've come to expect from this iconic establishment!





BTW, we found the Moai mug at a local antique store just before going to dinner!



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[ This Message was edited by: SilverLine 2013-10-20 11:19 ]


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