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Tiki Central Forums » » Collecting Tiki » » Don the Beachcomber - The Locations (Updated 01-24-17)
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Don the Beachcomber - The Locations (Updated 01-24-17)
Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4972
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2017-01-24 12:00 pm   Permalink

OK, I did some deeper digging on the Don the Beachcomber locations after going back and looking at Trad'r Bill’s menu with the list from the early 1980s. Here is what I found.



Excelsior, Minnesota – There was in fact a Don the Beachcomber located in Excelsior Minnesota. I found a few newspaper ads from 1982 that advertised it as “Don The Beachcomber’s Mai Tai”.








Now this seemed a little strange to me, as no other Don the Beachcomber included “Mai Tai” in the name. Why you might ask? Well, this DTB went into the former home of the Mai Tai restaurant as shown on these matchbox photos. You will note the same address at 687 Excelsior Blvd on Lake Minnetonka. This was back in the hermit crab days of the DTB corporation when they would simply take over an existing Tiki bar.









You can read more about the Mai Tai on this thread!
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=13459&forum=2&hilite=excelsior

Next up Peoria, Illinois. Yes Virginia, Don the Beachcomber played in Peoria! In 1983, a Don the Beachcomber operated in the Ramada Inn located in Peoria. It was a small place with only 90 seats. I found another article from 1982 describing the lounge in the Ramada Inn as a hodge-podge with a South Seas design and fountain in one area – another DTB takeover move.






West Lafayette, Indiana. This location has been listed on several menus and matchbooks. I confirmed a brief existence with two want ads for cooks from 1980. The first ad is from the Hilton Inn and the second one is from when the name changed to the Lafayette Inn.





I am officially kicking Seattle, Miami, Kendall (FL), and Memphis off the list as I can find no proof of their existence what-so-ever.

So, with the addition of the Denver Elitch Gardens, the Los Angeles Beachcomber Jr. and these new ones, the grand total number is up to 33 – see page 1 of the thread for the updated list.

DC


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hang10tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2010
Posts: 6415
From: Las Vegas
Posted: 2017-01-24 1:12 pm   Permalink

Strong work detective

 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4972
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 4 days ago; 07:21 am   Permalink

OK, another interesting newspaper archive find from the Don the Beachcomber history books. Found this article about a liquor license protest from 1938 in Hawaii for a new Don the Beach-Comber Café that was proposed in Waikiki.



Donn clearly had a desire to open up in Hawaii as far back as 1938 before he went off to Europe for WW II.

DC



 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4972
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: Yesterday; 4:40 pm   Permalink

Found a few more nuggets of Don the Beachcomber history. This article from 1947 documents Donn's attempts to build his first restaurant in Hawaii on the Ala Moana waterfront near the old tea house site. The building shown is the Tahitian Longhouse.





This next article indicates that the plans did not get approved due to issues related to the access roadway alignment so Donn hired Pete Wimberly to design his next attempt in the coconut grove on Kalakaua Avenue. This is an early artist rendering of what would later becomes Donn's thatched hut restaurants on Kalakaua.




And the rest is history.

DC


 
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hang10tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2010
Posts: 6415
From: Las Vegas
Posted: Yesterday; 8:21 pm   Permalink

U stud

 
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