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Tiki Central Forums Home Tiki Bars Los Angeles Times (A subterranean Tiki haven in Echo Park)
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Los Angeles Times (A subterranean Tiki haven in Echo Park)
TraderJohn
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Mar 20, 2008
Posts: 88
From: Los Feliz
Posted: 2008-10-18 09:02 am   Permalink

http://www.latimes.com/features/home/la-hm-smartside18-2008oct18,0,7468934.story

Years of memorabilia collecting led Alan Smart and Michael Uhlenkott to turn their basement into an island shrine.
October 18, 2008


THERE'S AN underlying sense of levity and playfulness in the Echo Park house that Alan Smart and Michael Uhlenkott designed. Then there's the basement.

Head downstairs, turn right at the bottom of the steps and you enter Smart and Uhlenkott's re-creation of a 1950s tiki bar -- the HaleKahiki (or "Tahitian Room"), as they have dubbed it, which rivals the best Polynesian room you've seen.

"Michael and I have been going to swap meets, collecting Hawaiiana and surfing things for years," Smart says. "I figured, if you don't have a room for it, there's only so much you can collect."

Completed in 2006 after four months of construction, practically every surface of the HaleKahiki is covered with memorabilia. "We wanted old stuff, so we did our research to see how tiki bars were built in the old days," Smart says of the 1950s and '60s, when Polynesiana was popular in Southern California.

Beach signs and other artifacts are layered over block-printed and tapa-papered walls. Lauhala-style woven matting is overhead, between the ceiling joists. A faux roof made of bamboo and palm leaves is suspended above the bar; a raised platform at one end of the room accommodates vintage rattan seating in front of an exotic black-lighted volcano lagoon mural that Uhlenkott painted.


Artist John Bok created the bar's rattan panels and hammered rusty-tin-can edging (sealed in a clear resin). The bar top features tiles designed by Uhlenkott, inspired by traditional Marquesan patterns. Tiki Tony, a Camarillo artist, carved several palm-wood posts and skull poles.

Hawaiian music drifts through the space; the dim lighting and candles set the mood. Smart plays bartender, serving up vintage martini glasses full of fruity cocktails ("known to cause bigger hangovers than less sugary drinks," he warns).

This tiki shrine is a favorite party destination.

"It is used fairly often," Smart says. "I have friends who threaten to come over every week."

--

Debra Prinzing


[ This Message was edited by: TraderJohn 2008-10-18 09:05 ]


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Mr. NoNaMe
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 10, 2006
Posts: 1919
Posted: 2008-10-18 09:20 am   Permalink


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Murph
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jul 11, 2006
Posts: 719
From: SoCal
Posted: 2008-10-18 10:59 am   Permalink

Michael and Alan's bar was one of the featured bars on this year's LA Home Tiki Bar Tour.
This bar is simply amazing, words and pictures don't even come remotely close to describing what they have achieved in their basement.
The layering they have in this room will have you finding something new on every visit.
This Tiki room should be registered with the Polypop Preservation Society.







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Murph


WaikikiWomb

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PiPhiRho
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 1021
From: Redondo Beach
Posted: 2008-10-18 2:43 pm   Permalink

I had the great pleasure of experiencing this wonderful room at the Tiki Home Bar crawl earlier this year. The place is too awesome for mere words to describe. This is Tiki Heaven!


 
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Coco Joe
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 27, 2008
Posts: 721
From: Los Angeles
Posted: 2008-10-18 7:05 pm   Permalink

where do I sign up to be their friend? WOW!

 
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sparklegem
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 20, 2003
Posts: 209
From: The Living Conditioned Homes
Posted: 2008-10-18 8:21 pm   Permalink

Alan and Michael have the best, most amazing tiki bar that I have ever seen. They are the most gracious hosts and nicest people, too!

Thank you for posting the link to the article.


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11238
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-10-18 11:52 pm   Permalink

And WHOSE concoctions is Kevin Kidney looking forward to here?



No other's than the Beachbum's!



A blissful convergence of all the right elements in one place. This hideaway is indeed a classy example of classic Polynesian pop. The black light mural really works wonders and reminds one why so many places used to have them.


 
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tikipaka
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: May 31, 2006
Posts: 639
From: New York
Posted: 2008-10-19 02:51 am   Permalink

Quote:
where do I sign up to be their friend? WOW!



I'm with Coco Joe.. I guess then I'll have to figure out how to get to LA. Nice work guys, when you coming to my place and fixer up? I want one of everything in the place. Great artical, and now I'm going back to read that entire paper.


 
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tikitony
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 18, 2002
Posts: 860
From: Ventura, CA
Posted: 2008-10-19 09:24 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-10-18 09:20, Mr. NoNaMe wrote:





The article is great, it does a good job showing how their personality sculpted the whole house. Alene and I were lucky enough to get married at Alan's house this summer! I don't know what I was punching in that photo, but I learned from the great Crazy Al, always pose when a camera is near! I was also thankful that they included me in the article, because Alan and Michael are the real creative geniuses who put the tiki bar together, I just was able to add some driftwood touches here and there.
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Live like a Beachcomber!
www.TikiTony.com www.facebook.com/tikitonybeachcomber

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hiltiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Posts: 3155
From: Reseda, calif.
Posted: 2008-10-19 09:25 am   Permalink

I also had the pleasure of seeing this fabulous tiki bar. The entire house was interesting also, they had decorated the entire house with some of the most amazing Rancho California collections I have ever seen.

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11238
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-10-19 09:49 am   Permalink

Tony, I hope you're getting some business from the article mentioning your work and providing a link, that is great.
I am grateful that the BOT is mentioned as inspiration, too, as that is often dropped under the table, but of course it would have been more beneficial if they mentioned Tiki Modern. Yet I have to admit that that would be untrue, because this place is much more an example of a classic Tiki bar as shown in the BOT than a modernist or edge-of-good-taste Witco Tiki bar.


 
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GROG
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 21, 2006
Posts: 6915
From: Tujunga
Posted: 2008-10-19 10:51 am   Permalink

GROG want to go see this incredible bar!!!

 
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hiltiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Posts: 3155
From: Reseda, calif.
Posted: 2008-10-19 10:56 am   Permalink

Grog, if you get invited will you take me along?

 
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VampiressRN
  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 5795
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2008-10-19 6:42 pm   Permalink

Wow...that looks so awesome. Hope its open on the LA crawl next year...I'll break my neck to get on that tour!!! BEAUTIFUL

 
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PockyTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 28, 2006
Posts: 556
From: central MA
Posted: 2011-02-18 05:52 am   Permalink

stumbled on this while browsing Google for images of Tiki rooms and was urged by Hakalugi to post it here. Enjoy guys!

http://www.flipanimation.net/flippissue7.htm
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