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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Mauna Loa Lounge, Mayfair Hotel, Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, Canada (restaurant)
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Mauna Loa Lounge, Mayfair Hotel, Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, Canada (restaurant)
TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2008-02-20 11:15 pm   Permalink

Name:Mauna Loa Lounge, Mayfair Hotel
Type:restaurant
Street:
City:Portage La Prairie, Manitoba
State:
Zip:
country:Canada
Phone:
Status:defunct

Description:
This place has been mentioned very briefly in a few posts but didn't really have too much information out there. Here's some information I have collected so far.

The Mauna Loa Lounge was located in the Mayfair Hotel located in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, Canada (Which is basically above North Dakota). I am not sure of the opening date but it does seem to be early the sixties but can not confirm this yet. I can tell you that the Hotel burned down along with the Mauna Loa Lounge in 1969.
The Mauna Loa Lounge seemed to be a pretty authentic Tiki/Polynesian establishment. There was lot's of bamboo, sea grass matting on the ceiling along with glass floats, tropical themed wall murals, plastic plants, tapa cloth, various weapons and carved masks lined the walls. It looks as though there may have been a waterfall or pond as well but can't be sure yet.

The Mauna Loa Lounge, along with the Mayfair Hotel, was owned and operated by a local entrepreneur named George Hill who also had a few other (More to come on this in a minute) businesses. George Hill was the son of a prominent Portage druggist who was quite successful.

I have seen very few things from this location of the Mauna Loa but I will share what I have here. The following is the only postcard I have ever seen so far and it really does show a great shot of the Lounge and what it looked like. This postcard is dated July of 1965, just four years before it burnt down.



It sure would be interesting to see the rest of this place. Especially since this shot shows some pretty cool decor. I wonder what the bar area looked like??
The following is a matchbook cover from the Mayfair Hotel featuring the Mauna Loa Lounge (From the collection of Mimi Payne).



You can see the logo Tiki on the matchbook. This is the same Tiki holding the bamboo cup with straw and garnish that is on their hard to find stir stix.

I guess in this case you're not finding too many items from here because it's existence was wiped out by fire. Sometimes when a Restaurant closes, you'll find that they sell off the items or one day, years later, a bunch of stuff turns up somewhere and alot more things get circulated. But maybe in this case, most items were probably destroyed or not worth saving in the fire. I still gotta find out about what happened at the end of the Mauna Loa. Like I got nothing else to do!!!

An interesting point about this location of the Mauna Loa is it's connection to Mexico City's Restaurant, The Mauna Loa. On the back of the above postcard, it reads "When in Mexico City For Exotic Food & Floor Show, Visit The Original Mauna Loa 172 Hamburgo".

Okay, now remember back in the beginning I said the 'owners other businesses'? Well, George Hill is not really popular for his Hotel or the Mauna Loa Lounge, he is known for his type of glass work. In the 1950's or early 1960's, George started a glass manufacturing company called Seetusee. Seetusee was a glassware manufactured in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. It was inspired by Mexican painting on glass but was perfected by George Hill and a partner, Foss Giffin.

Kind of interesting how he lives and works very far from Mexico City but does Mexican inspired glass art and also has a Lounge that has the same name and is completely Polynesian inspired just like the location in Mexico City?? Even the postcard from his Lounge tells you to go visit the Mauna Loa in Mexico!

Kind of going out on a limb here but I would have to say that George went down to Mexico and saw some of the art that was being done down there and decided to bring it up North. Maybe on his repeated trips down South, fell in love with what he saw at the Mauna Loa and being the business entrepreneur that he was, decided to open a lounge of the same name and atmosphere here in Canada. Just a hunch but I would say I am on the right track.
Now I just gotta get this theory ironed out and cemented down for yah!!

One more bit of information I have found is on the glassware itself. All Seetusee pieces are unique as they were hand painted, cured and carefully sealed with a pigskin backing with a distinctive finish of gold paint that sets them apart from Mexican pieces. The colors are mixed, exciting and vibrant and have stood the test of time. Each of the huge variety of shapes are identified by a number (with or without an 'M' prefix) stamped on the pigskin backing. The brand (Seetusee by Mayfair Glass) is also named on the backing, either in the form of a stamp or via a sticker label. I do not collect glass art but I have been told that these designs are very beautiful and are becoming quite collectible.

I would be very interested in seeing some of this glassware. I wonder if anything was done for the Mauna Loa specifically?? It would only make sense to me as they probably served alot of drinks in that Lounge and they had to serve them in something!!

Mahalo, TabooDan





[ This Message was edited by: TabooDan 2008-07-15 21:19 ]


 
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Sweet Daddy Tiki
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Joined: Jul 20, 2003
Posts: 1072
From: Edmonton
Posted: 2008-02-21 12:36 am   Permalink

Hey Dan. Good detective work once again. I'm familiar with Seetusee pieces (though I never knew what they were called) because a friend told me about it when we came across some in Value Village one day (I think her mom used to collect it). As you say, the colours are quite vibrant - almost psychedelic. We mocked this stuff because we thought it was weird and kind of gross that it was dishware made from pigskin. How strange that it has a connection to tiki. I occasionally run across pieces in thrift stores and antique malls, and I'm sure if you keep your eyes open you will too. All the pieces that I've seen have been serving bowls, plates, platters, candy dishes, that kind of thing - I don't think they did anything you could serve a drink in. I'd say it's more decorative than actually functional - something you'd display in your china cabinet rather than use every day.

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[ This Message was edited by: Sweet Daddy Tiki 2008-02-21 00:44 ]


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Slacks Ferret
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Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 1268
From: Calgary
Posted: 2008-02-21 12:03 pm   Permalink

I'm pretty sure these salt and pepper shakers are from this location.



They look like grey Trader Vic's S & P's

Sorry for the photo, It's the best I could do while at work. I'll add better photos of them later.
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11206
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-02-21 3:38 pm   Permalink

Another fine job at Tiki archeology, Dan. I like your theory of George Hill being inspired by the Mexico City Mauna Loa, we have a precedent for that in the Aku Tiki Room in Illinois, which was inspired by the OTHER grand scale Mexican Tiki haven, the Aku Tiki in Acapulco:
"The current owner, Glen Andris, purchased the building in 1953. Shortly afterwards, Glen began his annual winter trips to Acapulco. When there, he would visit a tiki bar which provided the inspiration for the Tiki Room, which was added to the Andris-Waunee Farm in 1967."

It can be easily surmised how inspirational the Mexico City Mauna Loa must have been by viewing its interior:



Another thing that points at inspiration coming from other restaurants is that the matchbook's logo Tiki concept (not the Tiki!) is clearly taken from the Stephen Crane Kon Tiki Montreal menu cover: The way of holding the bamboo mug and its typeface are very similar.

PS: Can you make out what the carpet pattern is supposed to portray? Is it just foliage, or abstract shapes?

[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2008-02-21 15:40 ]


 
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TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2008-02-21 4:58 pm   Permalink

Thanks for the posts guys!! I thought this would be a cool one as I hadn't seen anything on here before.

I don't know if I have seen too much of that glassware but I probably walked right by it. I usually don't pick up things that are wrapped in skin!

Slacks Ferret, if you have a shot of those S&P's please post them on here! I think I have actually seen a set of those marked Mauna Loa before now that you mention it! Maybe they are from this Mauna Loa. In the picture below, the tables only have the standard restaurant glass S&P's on them which is too bad.

Bigbrotiki, Below is a closeup scan of that crazy carpet. It looks like it is just abstract shapes. Maybe they couldn't get any foliage type and these colors worked for them. Kind of a crazy style!!



The next picture is just one of the lower back of the postcard as this is where it refers to the Mexico City Mauna Loa location.



This next picture is just a close up of the top left side of the postcard. Don't ask me what that buck-toothed mask is hanging on the top left side! You can see the wall mural in this shot and also one of the wall masks and other decor.



The next picture is a close up of the right side of card. I like this view as you can see more tapa cloth, masks, spears, plastic palm leaves and other foliage, dark rattan chairs and a few great glass floats!



You're right (Bigbrotiki) about the design of the matchbook being quite similar to the Kon Tiki menu. I thought the same thing when I saw the letters on the bamboo piece. I have the stir stix and I will scan it and add it to the post when I grab it.
The style of Tiki used on the stir stix reminds me of the Tiki stir stix used at the Mauna Loa in Mexico City. You know, the white one with the round head on it? If you look at the Mexico City picture above (Bigbro's post), you can see this style of Tiki up the stairs on the very left of the picture beside the dark colored Tiki. Maybe this was another influence? Hopefully....more to come!

Mahalo, TabooDan


[ This Message was edited by: TabooDan 2008-07-15 21:27 ]


 
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uncle trav
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Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1800
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2008-02-24 05:47 am   Permalink

Here's a matchbook from the Mauna Loa Hamburgo location in Mexico city. This location is long gone but TRT 2 says the location on San Jeronimo is still running. Thanks








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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11206
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-02-24 11:57 am   Permalink

DANG! ....Dan, forgive me for maybe veering off this thread too much, but something JUST clicked for me. And the "Dang" is for it happening too late for inclusion on page 79 (the Mauna Loa menu/swizzle) of Tiki Modern:

The logo Tiki of the Mexico City Mauna Loa is not just ANY Marquesan Tiki, as I foolishly assumed so far, but it is based on THE most influential Tiki in 20th Century art! PICASSO'S favorite Tiki (!):



... which he acquired as early as 1912 (!), as one of the first primitive carvings in his possession! Here is the photo of his pal Apollinaire with the Tiki in Picasso's studio that I showed in The BOT:



...and here is the man himself in the 1950s adoring his muse!:



Arrrr...how could I, Mr. "Recognize-any-Tiki-anywhere", miss that for so long? Thanks for posting that matchbook, Trav, that made it click for me.


 
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TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2008-02-25 5:50 pm   Permalink

Good one!! I would say that's it, bang on!!
Below is the Stir Stix from the Mexico City Mauna Loa that we were discussing. It too has the 'X' style carving on the stomach just like the Picasso one and probably the one at the Mauna Loa.



In the postcard that Bigbro posted (previous post), you can make out the same styled Tiki on the left above, the staircase. Here is the same picture in color.



It is a bit hard to see but you can make out the shape and style.

[ This Message was edited by: TabooDan 2008-07-15 21:32 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11206
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-02-27 12:45 am   Permalink

That carving seems to be the least "Picasso Tiki" look-alike, though:



And I have the swizzle stick, but never made the connection....



...because some key elements are different: Shape of the head, the mouth, the hands, etc. The rendering on the matchbook and menu is still the closest to the original, the swizzle and the carving must have been derived from those. That makes sense:

Often, the architect's office did not only design the restaurant, but their graphic artists also designed the logo and menu for the project. These artists usually used Oceanic Art books for reference. I wonder where that designer found Picasso's Tiki, in what book...and if he referenced it knowingly.


 
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TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2008-03-02 2:34 pm   Permalink

Okay, here is the last thing I have on the Mauna Loa in Manitoba. This is the hard to find stir stix:



A pretty cool stix with the same logo as their matchbook. Maybe their is a menu out there somewhere.



Hopefully, someone else has a collectible from here or maybe some more information. Mahalo! TabooDan





[ This Message was edited by: TabooDan 2008-07-15 21:34 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11206
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-03-02 4:05 pm   Permalink

Dats a damn cool swizzle stick, never seen that before. Thanks.

 
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Slacks Ferret
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Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 1268
From: Calgary
Posted: 2008-03-27 9:41 pm   Permalink

Here's a better look at those S & P shakers:



Please pardon the rotated-ness. I've gtried to fix it and it ain't happening...Anyway, I think these could be from the Manitoba Mauna Loa.


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11206
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-03-28 1:26 pm   Permalink

As another little side trip: The evolution of a menu cover

The original drink-holding concept:


...inspired the Mauna Loa:


...and the Tiki Ti:


...and Bosko (and me):



 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11206
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-06-29 06:35 am   Permalink

Dear TC Moderators, I am bumming about some of the images posted here lately reducing themselves down to thumbnail size. It interrupts the narrative flow of threads like the above. As a visual person and frequent image uploader, it would be frustrating to find my work reduced like that just after a couple of weeks/months. Luckily it has not happened to me, but why IS it happening, and how can it be prevented? I know those lost blue question mark images have to be replaced by the original posters, but can these mini ones be fixed to full size again?

 
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GatorRob
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Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1771
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2008-06-29 08:28 am   Permalink

Sven, the images in this thread that have been reduced to thumbnail size are hosted on shutterfly.com, not on Tiki Central. So the problem is with shutterfly or that person's shutterfly account.

 
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