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Tiki Central Forums » » General Tiki » » Tiki Archaeology: Moon Islander, South Titusville, Florida
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Tiki Archaeology: Moon Islander, South Titusville, Florida
TikiTomD
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 695
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2011-04-24 10:09 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-04-20 10:35, bigbrotiki wrote:
Hey Brian, I just heard there is a new Tiki bar coming to Ormond Beach, no other info though. I wonder how Julian's and the Aku Tiki Inn are doing...



Sven, my beach house is only about 15 miles north of Ormond Beach, Florida, so I frequently take the scenic route back towards work on Hwy A1A south from Flagler Beach to Port Orange. Julian's, the Aku Tiki Inn and the Hawaiian Inn are all still open and are recognizable from their heritage photos. I remember attending a pretty good Polynesian show at the Hawaiian Inn decades ago. Even the Makai, shown on page 263 of Tiki Modern, still lives on as a dated beach lodge. My new bride and I spent our honeymoon night at the Makai forty-one years ago when it was quite a bit newer (and so were we). In 2006, we snapped these photos passing by...




Been a bit busy with rocket launches lately, but when I get a break, perhaps I can check out some of these a bit more. BTW, Pete & Debi, a really nice TC couple I met at Hukilau 2010, also live in the area and recommended the Caffeine Bistro and Wine Bar on Granada Avenue. Don't believe it serves tiki drinks, but it features a number of Shag prints on its walls.

Quote:
On 2011-04-23 20:24, Big Kahuna wrote:
Not much of a contribution, but I've got a swizzle from this joint.



As Boris and howlinowl observed, quite a unique find, Big Kahuna... never knew the Moon Islander had its own custom swizzle sticks... thank you.

-Tom



[ This Message was edited by: TikiTomD 2011-04-24 10:11 ]


 
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Big Kahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2007
Posts: 2482
From: SoMass
Posted: 2011-04-24 11:03 am   Permalink

Just for the record, I found that swizzle in an antique mall in Vermont!

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11588
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-04-24 2:37 pm   Permalink

Thanks for the Makai pics, Tom, it is great to see the Tiki sign all fixed up again, after it had been destroyed by that bad hurricane. When I travelled the area in 2005 to photograph the various hotels for Tiki Modern, it was down, or I would have shown a close up of it. All I had was that carved piece of wood in the lobby.

Judging by this 80s brochure photo of the lobby, the Makai also sported some Witco decor (note "Female Dancer" ...and spear!) once, which by the time of my visit was non-existent:



But the picture suggest that there might have been more Tiki stuff around the place at one point - do you remember any of that?
I am sure you had nothing better to do on your honeymoon than marvel at the burned wood Tikis in the place!


 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 695
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2011-04-25 6:14 pm   Permalink

Sven, you’re certainly right about my honeymoon focus being on other than tiki adornments; however, the Makai’s exotic appearance is what singled it out to us among the many beachfront lodges in the area. I recall nothing specific regarding the interior, other than it reinforced the exotic atmosphere suggested by the exterior...

I noticed that Uncle Trav established a separate thread for the Makai in the Locating Tiki forum back in 2009, and I’d like to direct your attention to it for an observation regarding the Witco décor in your photo:

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=32776&forum=2&6

-Tom


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howlinowl
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Joined: Jul 20, 2008
Posts: 295
From: Port Saint Lucie, FL
Posted: 2011-05-04 08:59 am   Permalink

Found time to go to the Moon Garden site. Unfortunatly, I couldn't get onto the property...had a fence up. Didn't bother taking any pics, either the pad's been pulled up or the overgrowth is blocking the view of it from the fence.

howlinowl


 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 695
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2011-05-09 11:43 am   Permalink

Concerning the incident of the unchewable steak (see page 4 of this thread), I had assumed that charges had been dropped against the customer by the Moon Islander's owner after some reflection, based on the lack of a follow-up story in the local newspaper, but I had assumed wrongly, as this article from a newspaper on the opposite coast of Florida makes clear...

Sarasota Journal July 14, 1970


Mr. Moon apparently stuck to some inscrutable business principle in this case, as I doubt the menu carried an explicit warning on the steaks...

Every business has its bad days, and prevailing memories (including my own) of the Moon Islander are positive on its decor, food and drink. There's a Facebook group "You know you're from Titusville when..." that has several threads of recollection on the Moon Islander, lamenting that there's no longer its equal
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&gid=2211667953. Representative comments...

Quote:

Andre Breemen: Yes, had many of those huge drinks that came with 4 straws and you shared them!!
April 3, 2010 at 6:14am

Rick Mixson: I liked The Suffering Bastard drink
April 3, 2010 at 11:13am

Lila Carter: OMG they had the best & strong alcohol drinks. They were served in coconuts and pineapples, etc.
April 15, 2010 at 3:11am

Lin Herz: I loved the Moon Islander. Wonderful food and great atmosphere. And it was so pretty. Loved the coy pond that meandered through the place. There is certainly no place as nice there now.
April 22, 2010 at 8:37pm



-Tom


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Kapn.K
Member

Joined: Aug 05, 2011
Posts: 2
Posted: 2011-08-05 11:29 am   Permalink

I was born and raised here. I don't think I ever went but my parents went, often. They would bring me the drink umbrellas which I loved playing with. It was the coolest looking place. Especially at night. They had colored floods on the trees like you used to see all over south Florida.
Steve


 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 695
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2011-09-03 6:45 pm   Permalink

I thought that I had exhausted the newspaper archives on the subject of the Moon Islander, but happily came across a couple more articles to flesh out this memorable Space Coast tiki palace. The following article indicates that my prior estimate of the opening date needs to be revised to 1965, several years earlier than previously inferred from the archives. So now the evidence is that the Moon Islander operated from 1965 to 1982, approximately 17 years.

We also find that there were two main dining rooms, the Canton Room and the Polynesian Room, and that it was a favorite of aerospace workers (underscoring, Sven, your hoped for tie-in to the space program)...

Florida Today October 19, 1979











This article adds just a bit to the interior visualization...

Florida Today April 30, 1969





-Tom
_________________


 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 695
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2011-09-04 03:20 am   Permalink

Finally, a tribute article to Moon Lueg, the late proprietor of the Moon Islander. In this you can see the extraordinarily long hours and effort it took to make his business a success. Mr. Moon was devoted to business, family and friends. His employees thought him fair and held him in high regard. He created a tiki palace that many current and former Space Coast residents fondly recall for its exotic atmosphere and decor, good and strong tropical drinks, and excellent food, save for the occasional tough steak . You can see it reflected in comments posted here, as well as on Facebook and Flickr.

I wonder if Moon ever got to take that longed-for vacation in Germany...

Florida Today April 11, 1971












-Tom


 
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howlinowl
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 20, 2008
Posts: 295
From: Port Saint Lucie, FL
Posted: 2011-09-04 04:52 am   Permalink

Moon Garden closed in '64 and Moon Islander opened in '65. It's a pretty safe bet that the cooking and refrigeration equipment, plus the decor (at least in the Canton room) probably came from the the Moon Garden.

howlinowl


 
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shambie
Member

Joined: Sep 21, 2011
Posts: 1
Posted: 2011-09-21 10:44 am   Permalink

You should've asked me. I went to the Moon Islander frequently as a child. I LOVED the place. It was actually kind of a fine-dining sort of restaurant. they had a koi pond that ran all around the dining room (we'd call it a planter now, but they used it for the fish), strolling musicians, and my favorite thing was the HUGE gardenia bushes out front that always seemed to be blooming. I wish I could tell you more about the decor, but as a child, these are the things that stuck out for me.

 
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birdonfire
Member

Joined: Mar 27, 2012
Posts: 1
Posted: 2012-03-27 06:30 am   Permalink

Hi everyone, I came upon this post online and had to join in.. I lived in Titusville during the mid 60's. The Moon Islander was my favorite restaurant and I remember it well. The place was impressive for being south of town. The building had an erupting volcano on one side and koi pond with a bridge over to the waterfall by the front door.. the decor inside was very mixed, with live bamboo, glittering mosaics, Japanese lanterns, mirrors,and the fish swam in tanks that were between the tables and set low to the floor. The food was Polynesian and I recall the sweet and sour tempura shrimp as my favorite. Sadly the place no longer exists. I wish I had some pictures.. To this day when I listen to my Martin Denny CDs I remember it. Aloha

 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 695
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-03-27 5:10 pm   Permalink

Shambie and birdonfire, thank you for sharing your remembrances of the Moon Islander. I scarcely ever talk to anyone who lived in the Titusville area at the time who doesn't have fond memories of that long-extinct but never forgotten Polynesian palace. The food, the drink, the decor, the characters (for me, Uncle Louie) remain a vivid memory of that time in my life. We never really knew what we had 'till we lost it. It's a bittersweet memory...

-Tom


 
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ynnek4
Member

Joined: Apr 10, 2012
Posts: 1
Posted: 2012-04-10 3:33 pm   Permalink

new member here.

i live about 3-4 miles from the old moon garden and what appears to be moon's "compound" on old dixie. i was always fascinated with this building. i moved out of the area some years ago but relocated back and sadly the building was gone.

does anyone know where moon's fort pierce farms where?

thanks.

[ This Message was edited by: ynnek4 2012-04-10 15:34 ]


 
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howlinowl
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 20, 2008
Posts: 295
From: Port Saint Lucie, FL
Posted: 2014-06-14 8:58 pm   Permalink

Been a while, figured I'd do a little web-searching on Moon and his restaurants and see if anything new popped up.

Found a PDF of "The Voice" from 2-1-63 with an article and photos of Moon's family celebrating the Chinese New Year at the Moon Garden, their chinese restaurant in Fort Pierce.

http://library.stu.edu/ulma/va/3005/1963/02-01-1963.pdf





This was before the tragic auto accident that claimed the life of Ida Lueg....that preceded the closing of Moon Garden. The article mentions that Ida and some of her siblings were in New York at the time.

howlinowl


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