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Trader Vic's, New York, NY (restaurant)
Trad'r Bill
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 14, 2008
Posts: 485
From: Hercules, CA
Posted: 2010-12-24 10:11 am   Permalink

I was the lucky winner of the Kennedy/Onassis photo... wu! I just received it yesterday.

I think they may have written the caption wrong: "Wearing a souvenir scarf..." That's not one of the typical TV scarfs, usually depicting the restaurants. JFK Jr. is holding something in his left hand, which could possibly be one of these scarfs all scrunched-up (technical term).

Or, was the scarf he's wearing one of those mysterious
Nassau, Bahammas clothing items? The world may never know.

Trad'r Bill


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donhonyc
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2010-12-27 06:20 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-12-20 17:57, Dustycajun wrote:
Saw this photo on ebay of John Kennedy junior and Aristotle Onassis leaving the New York Trader Vic's. Not a great photo, but the front facade of the building sure looks like it is protruding over the sidewalk more than the earlier photos I posted. Wonder if there was a remodel of the front?







This picture was not taken in the front of The Plaza, it is on the north side of the building that faces West 59th St./Central Park South. The overhang is the entrance to the Oak Room, which some of you may remember as the bar Cary Grant was abducted from in 'North By Northwest'.

I never saw the exterior of Trader Vic's at The Plaza. My one and only encounter with that location was probably around 1989 when my then girlfriend suggested we go over there. When we go to the interior entrance the gates were pulled shut and there was a notice that Vic's was closed indefinitely. It never opened again courtesy of Donald Trump, and needless to say I never got to go in. ((((((



 
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donhonyc
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2010-12-27 06:24 am   Permalink

On 2010-12-20 17:57, Dustycajun wrote:
Saw this photo on ebay of John Kennedy junior and Aristotle Onassis leaving the New York Trader Vic's. Not a great photo, but the front facade of the building sure looks like it is protruding over the sidewalk more than the earlier photos I posted. Wonder if there was a remodel of the front?






This picture was not taken in the front of The Plaza, it was taken on the north (left) side of the building that faces West 59th St./Central Park South. John Jr. and Onasis are walking east. The overhang in the background is the entrance to the Oak Room, which some of you may remember as the bar Cary Grant was abducted from in 'North By Northwest'.

I never saw the exterior of Trader Vic's at The Plaza. My one and only encounter with that location was probably around 1989 when my then girlfriend suggested we go over there. When we got to the interior entrance in the basement the gates were pulled shut and there was a notice that Vic's was closed indefinitely. It never opened again courtesy of Donald Trump, and needless to say I never got to go in.




[ This Message was edited by: donhonyc 2010-12-27 06:25 ]


 
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Urban Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 18, 2004
Posts: 527
From: The Tropical Isle of Manhattan
Posted: 2010-12-29 12:31 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-12-27 06:24, donhonyc wrote:
On 2010-12-20 17:57, Dustycajun wrote:
Saw this photo on ebay of John Kennedy junior and Aristotle Onassis leaving the New York Trader Vic's. Not a great photo, but the front facade of the building sure looks like it is protruding over the sidewalk more than the earlier photos I posted. Wonder if there was a remodel of the front?






This picture was not taken in the front of The Plaza, it was taken on the north (left) side of the building that faces West 59th St./Central Park South. John Jr. and Onasis are walking east. The overhang in the background is the entrance to the Oak Room, which some of you may remember as the bar Cary Grant was abducted from in 'North By Northwest'.

I never saw the exterior of Trader Vic's at The Plaza. My one and only encounter with that location was probably around 1989 when my then girlfriend suggested we go over there. When we got to the interior entrance in the basement the gates were pulled shut and there was a notice that Vic's was closed indefinitely. It never opened again courtesy of Donald Trump, and needless to say I never got to go in.




[ This Message was edited by: donhonyc 2010-12-27 06:25 ]



You're right that the picture was not taken in front of the Plaza, but it was taken in front of the entrance to Trader Vic's, which was on 59th street, just to the left of the Oak Bar. I was fortunate enought to go there in the late 70s. Up until a few years ago, there was still a brass plate next to the "siamese" fire hose connection that said Trader Vic's on it next to the old entrance to TV..


 
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Dustycajun
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Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4350
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-06-02 4:15 pm   Permalink

I got lucky and found one of the postcards that show the outside and inside of the Trader Vic's at the Savoy. Here are some close up scans.





Very nice photos of this Poly Pop powerhouse.

DC


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4350
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2012-06-18 11:41 pm   Permalink

The funny looking Tiki in the Plaza ad.



DC


 
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Pittsburgh pauly
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Joined: Jan 31, 2010
Posts: 393
From: Pittsburgh
Posted: 2012-06-19 1:55 pm   Permalink


"In New York they always stay at the St. Regis Hotel on Fifth Avenue. Every Sunday afternoon they have people in for tea – champagne tea. Then Dalí takes everyone to dinner at Trader Vic’s. He’s very generous. There are never less than twenty people – all the starving young beauties and transvestites in town. I’m never sure whether Dalí copied transvestites from me or I copied transvestites from Dalí. Gala is always the last one to arrive at dinner. She makes a dramatic entrance on the arm of a teenage boy with long blond hair who played the lead in Jesus Christ Superstar somewhere, once. […] When Gala enters the room, Dalí stands up, snaps his fingers, calls for silence, waves his gold sceptre and announces ‘Gala! Y Jesús Cristu Superstar!’ Everybody claps. It’s like being with royalty or circus people. That’s why I like being with Dalí – because it’s not like being with an artist. "
Andy Warhol, Andy Warhol’s Exposures, 1979
_________________


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Pittsburgh pauly
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Joined: Jan 31, 2010
Posts: 393
From: Pittsburgh
Posted: 2012-06-19 1:59 pm   Permalink

"Shelly Fremont, wife of Vincent Fremont, Warhol’s video producer and business manager, used to collect Trader Vic’s tiki bar glassware and store it in her husband’s office at The Factory. One day, when Vincent asked her to thin out her collection to free up space, she started tossing items out. “Every time Shelly put something in the garbage, Warhol would pick it out and put it in a Time Capsule,” Wrbican says."
-Matt Wrbican, Archivist, The Andy Warhol Museum, from a Carnegie Magazine article Spring 2012
_________________


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tikilongbeach
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Joined: Aug 05, 2011
Posts: 1352
From: Long Beach, CA via Dallas, TX
Posted: 2013-11-04 09:55 am   Permalink

Eater NY posted this article about Trader Vic's. A few credits were given to TC and Critiki.

http://ny.eater.com/archives/2013/10/trader_vics_1.php


Remembering Trader Vic's, New York's Favorite Tiki Bar
Wednesday, October 30, 2013, by Greg Morabito

In 1934, a budding 32-year-old restaurateur named Victor Jules Bergeron, Jr. opened Hinky Dink's, a tiny "beer and beans parlor" across the street from his family's grocery store in Oakland, California. Over the course of three years, Hinky Dink's morphed into a Polynesian-themed bar with potent rum-based cocktails and a menu of pseudo-Chinese food.
This revamp was partly inspired by a visit Bergeron paid to Don the Beachcomber, a popular South Seas-inspired bar in Hollywood. Bergeron described his first visit to Don the Beachcomber: "I felt I could do it better. I had never been out of the country but I ate in Chinese restaurants every night." After traveling through the Caribbean for inspiration, Bergeron made some tweaks and changed the name of his bar to Trader Vic's.
The bar was a massive hit. Over the next two decades, Bergeron expanded Trader Vic's to Seattle, San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Chicago, and Hawaii. And in 1958, the restaurateur opened a location of his bar in the Savoy-Plaza, a luxury hotel on Fifth Avenue and 58th Street.
Like all the other branches around the globe, the New York location of Trader Vic's had clam shell lights, war clubs, carved masks, and Japanese fishing floats hanging from the ceilings, which were covered with wooden palm leaves. The food menu was a mix of inauthentic Chinese and Indonesian fare, plus a few American and European dishes, and the beverage list was full of potent rum-based concoctions.
Bergeron is credited with inventing the Mai Tai, a mixture of light and dark rum, orange Curaçao, Orgeat syrup, and lime juice. After adding this to the Trader Vic's menu in 1944, versions of this drink quickly started popping up on cocktail lists around the country. Other big-name cocktail gurus, including Bergeron's friendly rival Don the Beachcomber, also claimed to have invented the drink. But in the late '70s, Bergeron told the Times: "There has been a lot of conversation over the beginning of the Mai Tai, and I want to get the record straight — I originated the Mai Tai. Anybody who says I didn't create this drink is a real stinker."
Other popular rum-based drinks included the Samoan Fog Cutter, Zombie, Suffering Bastard, Navg Grog, and Doctor Funk of Tahiti. Guests could also order cocktails for two and four people, like the Rum Keg, Kava Bowl, Scorpion, and Trader Vic's Rum Cup. One page of the cocktail menu had a message from Bergeron: "It is my pleasure to offer you these drinks. Some I have gathered at their origin and others are my own concoctions."
Although the service was shaky on one of his visits, New York Times critic Craig Claiborne loved the food at Trader Vic's:
As a main course, a specialty known as Mandarin Kau Kau and barbecued filet of beef were chosen. The first dish consisted of an assortment of items, such as fried rice, bits of pineapple, pork and tomato in a sweet-sour sauce and asparagus. The asparagus was cut diagonally into wafer thin slices and cooked briefly in the Oriental style. This fare was highly palatable.
The barbecued beef was outstanding in both tenderness and flavor. It was obviously cooked in one of the special Chinese ovens that are a feature of the new restaurant. A delicate smoke flavor was apparent.
Claiborne tried the Doctor Funk of Tahiti, but he did not comment on whether or not he enjoyed the drink. He did note, however, that, "One may choose a fairly decent Bordeaux table wine for as little as $2.50."
When the Savoy-Plaza closed in 1965 to make way for the General Motors Building, Trader Vic's moved across the street to the basement of The Plaza Hotel. The design and menus were similar to the original New York location, and the restaurant now had an entrance right on West 59th Street, facing Central Park. In the lobby, guests were also treated to the sight of an outrigger canoe used in the Marlon Brando film Mutiny on the Bounty.
During its heyday in the late '60s and early '70s, Trader Vic's was a popular hangout for prep school kids and their parents. In 2005, entrainment writer Nikki Finke remembered her experiences at Trader Vic's:
When I was growing up, my gang's local diner was Trader Vic's at the Plaza. A typical evening out meant going to the Paris Theater, across 58th Street, to see an art movie and then inside the hotel for a pu pu platter. (It would be years before I realized that most films didn't have subtitles, or that this restaurant served entrees.) I can attest that Trader Vic's was the ideal setting for a first date between two sophisticated teenagers. There was so much loopy Polynesian tiki décor to make fun of that we never ran out of conversation.
The restaurant hummed along in the basement of The Plaza through the '70s and '80s, losing some of its luster with each passing year.
In 1982, Gael Greene filed a report from a revisit:
Trader Vic's played to our Polynesian fantasies. Wasn't there a time when its dim nooks and rum-drenched Molotov cocktails made deep-fried island tidbits seem delightful? Or was I ever that innocent? Does anyone know or care that Trader Vic's still exists, duskily dim, in the netherworld of The Plaza? Stopping by on evening for a seance with passed memories, it was a shock to discover that the house had no gardenias to float in our Scorpion...no bowl in which to serve this volatile brew ($16.50 for four)...wait, farwell-to-the-sinking chip confession: no pen to sign the check. "We're out of pens," the waitress confided, and borrowed mine.
Victor Bergeron Jr. passed away in 1984 at the age of 81. He published eight books in his lifetime, and operated 27 restaurants around the globe. Seven years later, Donald Trump purchased The Plaza Hotel for $360 million, and decided to shutter Trader Vic's. Following the announcement, President Richard Nixon told the Times: "My entire family will be very sorry to see it close...It was always our daughters' favorite restaurant, and it quickly became mine too.'' Now the space beneath The Plaza houses Todd English's food court.
New York saw a slight tiki bar resurgence almost 30 years after the shuttering of Trader Vic's with the 2010 openings of Painkiller, Lani Kai, and The Hurricane Club. The first two restaurants closed after less than three years, and The Hurricane Club recently tweaked its menu and focus so that it's now a steakhouse with a Polynesian theme. Sam Sifton gave a nod to Vic's in his one star review of The Hurricane Club:
Remember Trader Vic's in the Plaza Hotel, all dark wood and sweet drinks, steel guitar and Polynesian dreams? Donald Trump closed the restaurant in 1993 when he bought the hotel, calling it "tacky," but it had 25 years under its grass skirt before that day. Trader Vic's served pu pu platters and mai tais to generations of New Yorkers delighted to dream of the South Pacific and all its naked, willing charms.
And in a post about the tiki bar resurgence of 2010, an Eater commenter shared this fond memory of the bar:
I used to go there in the '70s with a friend for after work cocktails. She preferred their Scorpion which had a real gardenia floating in it. (I think it was called a Scorpion, either way, the flower part is real.) Once, while we were waiting for a cab on CPS after a few, my friend's underwear fell off, right there in the street, with her arm up hailing a cab. She cooly said "Oops," picked them up, and off we went. Ah, the '70s.
For those that want a recreate a piece of the Trader Vic's experience at home, head to Brooks of Sheffield's blog Lost City for Bergeron's famous Mai Tai recipe.

_________________
-Lori


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icebaer69
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 03, 2007
Posts: 194
Posted: 2014-01-23 5:35 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-07-13 07:10, icebaer69 wrote:
what exactly is in the plaza´s tradervics location today ?
does anybody have pictures ?



today (2014) i found this answer from "UNOwen" (2012)
regarding my question from 2009 (!) in my pms ...
hadn´t logged in for a long time

=>

"...
UNOwen
Posted: 2012-07-01 10:28
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Even though you posted that question(what's in the Trader Vic's Plaza Hotel location now?) several years ago, the answer is (STILL) the same: NOTHING.

Donald Trump - the KING of tacky, tasteless, BULLSHIT, got rid of the ONE THING that made going to The Plaza FUN: TRADER VIC'S. He didn't want TV to get the money, so he put in his 'own' Tiki place - I think it was called Tahiti, or something like that. I went there a couple of times as that, and NO ONE was ever there.

Ever.

Now, when it was Trader Vic's - THAT was a blast.

Our drinking laws at the time, were '18 and over' to drink, and, this being NYC, well - a lot of times, they (and every other place) let it slide.

I'd been going to TV - first for my (and my mom's) birthday. We're born 3 days apart. We'd go there from the time I was 13 or so (shhh!), and, she only had some 'white wine spritzer' (such a nasty drink! Especially at TV's!), while I drank Zombie-after-Zombie. And, I was always fine.

The staff knew me so well (I was there at least once-a-week), they always called me by name, as soon as I got down there, and, always had my regular favorite spot waiting.

Now, the only TV's I can go to, is when I'm on the 'left coast;' The Beverly Hills Hilton TV.

I PRAY to the all-mighty Tiki-God to PLEASE, PLEASE!!! BRING BACK OUR TRADER VIC'S TO NYC!!!!
..."

[ This Message was edited by: icebaer69 2014-01-23 17:37 ]


 
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