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Tiki Central Forums » » Home Tiki Bars » » Hula Sue's South Seas Hideaway
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Hula Sue's South Seas Hideaway
Mr. Pupu Pants
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 06, 2008
Posts: 337
From: Edmonds, WA
Posted: 2008-05-02 12:24 am   Permalink

Hi Everyone,
I've been a lurker on this site for over a year--admiring the many talented artists at work here. You guys are truly inspiring.
I've been planning to build a Tiki Room in my basement for quite some time and finally amassed most of the materials to do so. The working name for the room is 'Hula Sue's South Seas Club' (for my wife) and will be what we’re considering a part Enchanted Tiki room, part Hawaii 'simulator' and uh…part other stuff.
I was lucky enough to find (listed on Craigslist) a bamboo covered (interior) Chinese restaurant in Tacoma that was being renovated, and got a free truckload of whole and split bamboo poles. Felt just like hitting the lottery (you know, if the lottery gave a bunch of bamboo to the winner). I had to steel wool the old peeling varnish off of miles of poles but it was worth it. I found a great restaurant corner booth and some nice rattan and bamboo furniture on Craigslist as well.

I started by framing in walls over the concrete (following the weeks it took to clean the place out). The short flight of stairs down to the basement will be surrounded by lava cave entrance with bamboo railings that terminate in Tiki Pole newel posts. There will be fake windows behind the bar with a large, rear-lit photo backdrop (from panoramic pics I took on vacation) of our favorite Hawaiian beach (Tunnels Beach on Kauai) set back into the adjoining storage room for depth.
On the walls, I’ll be using a combination of bamboo, matting and Tapa and I’ve made some baseboard and trim inspired…er…ripped-off from the likes of the legendary Bamboo Ben and others on the site (I just love the way the wood looks when you torch and wire-brush it to get the weather-worn raised-grain look—like some of that woodwork in Fantasyland).

Anyway, I’m just getting started (and by that I mean I’m several months in) but I thought I would post and document my progress—and hopefully solicit some great input/ideas/inspiration from all of you. I’ve already learned much from many of you on this site.
John…er….I mean Mr. Pupu Pants

[ This Message was edited by: Mr. Pupu Pants 2009-06-18 15:43 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 1287
From: Andover, England
Posted: 2008-05-02 12:48 am   Permalink

Wow this looks like an amazing project. Good find on the bamboo poles. And the restaurant booth.
Looks like a great space to build your tiki room.

Keep them updates coming.


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54 house of bamboo
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Sep 28, 2006
Posts: 302
From: Cambridge UK
Posted: 2008-05-02 12:58 am   Permalink

I wish British houses had basement rooms...

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 09, 2004
Posts: 1096
From: The Haole Hut, London, UK
Posted: 2008-05-02 04:58 am   Permalink

I wish Austrian Houses didn't.
But more on topic, I really like the carved panels, keep us posted on the progress

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 14, 2004
Posts: 4284
From: Sydney, Australia
Posted: 2008-05-02 06:43 am   Permalink

Looking like you're off to a great start Cant wait to seeit progress

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Slacks Ferret
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 1339
From: Calgary
Posted: 2008-05-02 09:15 am   Permalink

Nice work so far, I can already tell this will be a great home tiki bar. It already looks better than some of the "completed" tiki bars I've seen.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 2244
From: seattle, wa
Posted: 2008-05-02 10:01 am   Permalink

i'm glad you've de-lurked! what an awesome motherload of bamboo!! we're in seattle ~ hope to meet up with you soon!!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 25, 2004
Posts: 1130
From: NYC Area
Posted: 2008-05-02 7:09 pm   Permalink

remember to take many progression pics and post as often as you can (with Mai Tai in hand)!

looks like good fun for good times!


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Mr&Mrs BPHoptiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 25, 2006
Posts: 128
From: Burbank,Ca.
Posted: 2008-05-02 7:15 pm   Permalink

Wonderful! I can tell this is going to be great tiki room. Did you use a router for the baseboards and trim? They look great! I’d like to do something similar.

Keep us posted. Aloha and welcome to TC.

Beautiful Tunnels Beach, Kauai.


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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 6166
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2008-05-02 8:39 pm   Permalink

Welcome to TC...love the user name. Yep...you are well on your way to a fabulous lounge...your lurking served you well. All your plans sound great and you are lucky to have such a roomy basement. Keep up the great work.
"Oh waiter, another cocktail please!!!"

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 31, 2007
Posts: 126
From: Lockhart, TX
Posted: 2008-05-03 05:12 am   Permalink

Looks awesome! I love some of your Craigslist finds. God Bless Craigslist!

Please keep us posted with regular photo updates.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 12, 2002
Posts: 7930
From: Huntikington Beach
Posted: 2008-05-03 07:20 am   Permalink


On 2008-05-02 00:24, Mr. Pupu Pants wrote:

Anyway, I’m just getting started (and by that I mean I’m several months in)

Mr PuPu,

Need it done in 10 days?


Bamboo Ben
Tiki Bars I've designed/built. Zombie Village SF, TikiCat, Royal Hawaiian, Kona Club, Frankie's Tiki Room, Pacific Seas, Don the Beachcomber,Forbidden Island, Kon Tiki Tucson, Ti

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 29, 2004
Posts: 2094
From: San Pedro, CA
Posted: 2008-05-03 11:13 am   Permalink

great progress shots, great spot, awesome collection of pieces. Yours is definately one to watch. This is going to be nice!

have fun with it!!! (looks like you already are!)

OMG! I'm on Instagram!

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Mr. Pupu Pants
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 06, 2008
Posts: 337
From: Edmonds, WA
Posted: 2008-05-03 2:44 pm   Permalink

Thank you all very much for the nice comments. I've had so much fun working on this and it's nice to be able to share it with like-minded, encouraging folks like you. It's been kind of like building my own little piece of Disneyland--which is what I've day-dreamed about since I was a kid. Wow, I sound like a sap.
MrsHopTiki-I did use a router for the 'carving' in the panels so I'm a big cheater
It's so cool to think that you can take a regular old 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 and carve some lines into it, burn it, scrape it and stain it and end up with something that looks good.

Bamboo Ben--I'm not worthy

Hey, I found a cool thing on Ebay the other day that will work for something I've been planning. I want to have singing tiki heads built into columns like the Enchanted Tiki room and I found these to use as the mechanisms. I bought 4 of them for $10.00 each.

They have an aux input for running a microphone or audio line feed so the 'faces' can 'sing' along with whatever you want. I'll mount mechanisms inside the columns behind the carved tiki faces and attach a lightweight faux-wood lower lips/mouth. When I play Enchanted tiki room songs or anything else they'll flap their mouths and sing right along.
I'll post more pics soon. Thanks again for the kind words!

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Joined: May 28, 2007
Posts: 6
From: Coconut Creek, FL
Posted: 2008-05-03 5:53 pm   Permalink

Wow, that is going to be one sweet retreat!

I feel you're a kindred spirit Pupu. Disneyland is a worthy inspiration (or Disney World as it's called round my parts).

I don't have a basement or spare room to convert into my theme park, so I'm using what little backyard I have. I can see you are working along the same lines as I am in your project - it's the details that make up the whole. Coincidentally, we had a party today in the backyard and my friend who is a great woodsmith gave me a nice compliment (without even knowing my affinity for Disney). He said "from every angle you always see something new, just like at Disneyworld."

It's easy to see that you will achieve the same effect in time. I've been at my backyard for lots of weekends for going on 2 years now, and am maybe 50% done (although when your outside it's easy to work for a couple hours and then admire your handiwork from the hammock for the next six). When people tell me I could do this kind of thing for a living I say: "yeah, just find me someone who can wait 5 years for a finished project." When I hired a tile guy to do my pool tiles and pavers, and he and his crew came in and finished in 8 or 9 days I remember thinking: "What fun is that? I could have had a good six months of laying tile!"

My guess is that as soon as you "finish," you'll have to start "updating." At least that's what I'll need to do - I know I won't be able to go cold turkey!

Anyway, don't rush it - the journey is almost all the fun!

And one more thing, more pics!

[ This Message was edited by: etohliver 2008-05-03 17:58 ]

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