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Tiki Central Forums Collecting Tiki Tiki Restaurants - The Not-So-Big Ten
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Tiki Restaurants - The Not-So-Big Ten
Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4078
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-01-11 10:39 am   Permalink

This is a follow-up to the thread started by Bora Boris titled: "Tiki Restaurants - The Big Nine". As some of you may recall, Bora Boris required a signature mug (no commons allowed), a near impossible to find swizzle stick, and a rare plate or bowl to become part of this elite club. Being just an everyday tiki paper collector, I could not make it into this aristocratic group. So I decided to start a new club called "The Not-So-Big-Ten" Tiki Restaurants.

The club rules are simple; all you need for entry is a menu, a matchbook and a postcard for admittance. Oh, and by the way, none of the "Big Nine" are allowed (see list on BB's thread)!

I am going to start with 6 top contenders.

The Tahitian Restaurant in Studio City and Pasadena








Bali Hai in San Diego








The Luau Restaurant in Miami Beach








The Islander in Los Angeles








The Outrigger in Monterey







Trader Dicks, Sparks Nevada







Will post some more not-so-big top tens later.

DC


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11004
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-01-12 1:27 pm   Permalink

Nice work, DC, vintage images is what started this all, many newbies don't recognize that nowadays.

 
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TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2009-01-14 10:34 pm   Permalink

Wow, quite the thread this could turn out to be. If it's not in the top ten in that other thread, this ones open game!!

Well, since I do believe some of the not so well known and outside the US Tiki temples are over looked, I will submit two that rate up there with the top ten but are just not from the US. The decor was outstanding, the menus were extensive and the drinks were right up there with the best!
I guess one of the things going against these restaurants for being a little more talked about, compared and discussed more frequently here on TC is that there is little information about them and the characters behind these temples. Hopefully we can find out more as time goes on.

My first is the Waldorf Hotel in Vancouver BC, with it's three (plus!) spectacular rooms!
The Tahitian Lounge:



The Tahitian Lounge Menu featuring the Tahitian Drummer Velvet painting by Leeteg:



Rare Feature Matchbook from The Waldorf:



Sven always says that the biggest Tiki temples made sure there was a logo Tiki or image that was used in the restaurants advertisements, menus, mugs or whatever to create that connection between the image and the restaurant.
In the Waldorf's case, it was the velvet painting done by Leeteg of the Tahitian Drummer! The image appeared on their Menus, coasters, a unique stir stix, matchbooks and probably other items yet to be discovered. They even used the design of the drum in the painting to make their bar stools!!

My other Restaurant has got to be the chain of Polynesian Restaurants called, The Beachcomber, which were across central and the West coast of Canada.
There were several locations and not just the two or three that have been discussed on here before.
There were actually at least 6 locations that I have been able to find and from what has been seen, all were very well decorated and were truly great examples of classic Tiki temples! They too had their logo Tiki!

I am showing the more popular Edmonton, Alberta, location for this shot. Compare this postcard to Kon Tiki or any other well known Tiki Restaurant and they share very close details and styles and all the Tiki splendor!



Their dinner and drink menu is long and skinny did not fit on my scanner (and I don't have time right now to hunt one down online) so I am showing their card insert menu cover which has a cool image of their logo Tiki and name.



Next image is of The Beachcomber's more common matchbook:



Still a cool one and interesting to find with different addresses on them.

That's it for now!

Mahalo, TabooDan








 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4078
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-01-14 11:03 pm   Permalink

TabooDan,

Thanks for the great post! The Leetag menu and matchbook from the Waldorf are absolutely awesome. The details on the drum are amazing, first time I have seen these two items.

I was going to post the Beachcomber in a follow-up, glad you got that in. Here is the long menu that matches the matchbook.



Lets get some more locations going!

DC


 
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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1707
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2009-01-15 04:21 am   Permalink

Opened in 1969 in Kalamazoo Mi. The Tur Mai Kai was an oasis of Tiki between Chicago and Detroit. The interior was designed by Oceanic Arts to resemble a Polynesian village. Though not known nationwide the Tur Mai Kai was an important part of Michigan Tiki history. Thanks for the great thread.
menu cover.

menu back graphic.










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[ This Message was edited by: uncle trav 2009-01-15 04:22 ]


 
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Slacks Ferret
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 1234
From: Calgary
Posted: 2009-01-15 10:05 am   Permalink

Great thread. I'd be sad if it had to end at only ten.

 
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TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2009-01-15 4:43 pm   Permalink

Here's two more that haven't made it in the "Top" lists yet.

The Tonga Room at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.
Gotta be on this list!!



Menu Cover. One of several different ones they used throughout the years.



Matchcover.



One of my favorite postcards from the Tonga Room.



And the next for me has gotta be the Hawaii Kai that was over in New York.



This is the inside of their cool menu with the drinks and their mugs showing. The front cover is the same as the matchbook below.





One of their very well decorated rooms. This shot is from the larger 4 Picture postcard.

Mahalo, TabooDan



[ This Message was edited by: TabooDan 2009-01-15 19:52 ]


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4078
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-01-15 4:56 pm   Permalink

A big thanks to TabooDan and Uncle Trav for those outstanding entries. As I stated previously, that is the first time I have seen the Leeteg menu and matchbook from the Tahitian Lounge at the Waldorf. I would love to see a picture of one of the bar stools designed to look like the drum on the menu/matchbook.

I have never seen that postcard or matchbook from the Tur Mai Kai before either. I need to find those! I always wondered about the name "Tur Mai Kai". Now the mystery is solved - the owners name shown on the matchbook is Turmy Lum!

Here is another entry for consideration in the Not-So-Big Ten club.

These are from The Islands restaurant in Phoenix.

The menu graphics are outstanding and match the Tikis that were located in front of the restaurant.



The Tikis are shown on the postcard.


I wonder why they didn't use that image on the matchbook?





And to answer Slacks Ferret, my hope is to get as many entries on here as possible then I, as the creator and ruler of this post, will select the top ten (OK I may take a little input)!

DC


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4078
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-01-15 5:06 pm   Permalink

TabooDan - You are the first disqualification for the Kona Kai!!! As I stated in the begining of the post, no Big Nine allowed. Here is the list from BB's thread:

[quote]
On 2008-11-26 19:13, Bora Boris wrote:
The Big Nine*

1. Don The Beachcomber
2. Trader Vic's
3. Steve Crane and Associates (The Luau, Kon Tiki, Kon Tiki Ports, Ports O'Call)
4. Mai-Kai
5. Kahiki
6. Kona Kai
7. Mauna Loa
8. Pub Tiki
9. Aku Aku




Gotta check the rules before you play the game.

DC


 
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TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2009-01-15 5:17 pm   Permalink

Hey DC, this is a cool post so thanks for starting it!
Ask and you shall receive:







Took these shots in 2007. There is one in a private collection that I have seen and it is very, very cool.
The ones in these photos have been re-done several times now as the original paint, rope and vinyl has all been replaced. The originals had the same color drums, Manila rope, and brown leather tops which matched the seat cushions on the chairs at the tables.
You can see a bit of the stools in the original postcard bottom left side.

Mahalo!! TabooDan


 
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TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2009-01-15 5:19 pm   Permalink

Crapola!!!! Now what??? I am kicked out of this thread??
I probably should Edit my post egh?? That way this post stays on line. Sorry about that!

Funny too, as I did go through all this before I posted but that was yesterday.
What a difference a day makes!!





[ This Message was edited by: TabooDan 2009-01-15 18:20 ]


 
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LuvTiki
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jul 08, 2006
Posts: 18
Posted: 2009-01-15 6:19 pm   Permalink

Crap -- is a postcard a must?? How about a picture of ourselves in the place instead? I could turn it into a postcard . . .

Dina



 
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Sweet Daddy Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 20, 2003
Posts: 1063
From: Edmonton
Posted: 2009-01-15 6:35 pm   Permalink

Dan, that photo of the Edmonton Beachcomber isn't from a postcard - it's a promotional shot. There are postcards from the Winnipeg Beachcomber but I've never seen one from the Edmonton location.
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Because crap doesn't buy itself.

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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4078
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-01-15 7:26 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-01-15 17:19, TabooDan wrote:
Crapola!!!! Now what??? I am kicked out of this thread??
I probably should Edit my post egh??



No worries TabooDan, you are not kicked off the thread. I would appreciate an edit of your post though. Was trying to see what places were out there outside of The Big Nine. Thanks for the photos of the drum stools, coool.

So, to repeat, no Big Nine and you need a menu, matchbook, and postcard.



DC



[ This Message was edited by: dustycajun 2009-01-15 19:34 ]


 
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TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2009-01-15 10:24 pm   Permalink

Okay, edited that post and removed the Kona Kai.
Don't know how I missed that one!

Lets get this back on track!!


 
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