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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki An open letter to Tiki Central from Martin/Martiki
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An open letter to Tiki Central from Martin/Martiki
Mai Tai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 21, 2004
Posts: 1437
From: Exotic Isle of Alameda
Posted: 2009-02-17 6:57 pm   Permalink

I am truly stunned and shocked. My heart goes out to you. Not only did you create something out of nothing, you created an establishment that not only qualifies as one of the top 25 bars in the country/world, but also can be argued as one of, if not the best Tiki Bar ever. This strikes a big blow for all of us. It has been an honor to imbibe some of the finest elixirs expertly crafted by you and your fantastic staff. And in hindsight, it was great to be able to hang out with all of the out of towners this past weekend. It was indeed an exceptionally great weekend, and even though we didn't know it, a great way to ride out the end of an era. Sigh, Alameda is never going to be the same again.

Can I hear a Huzzah for the classiest act alive, Mr. Martin Cate?

"It's Mai Tai. It's out of this world." - Victor Jules Bergeron Jr.

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Molokai Mike
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 26, 2003
Posts: 511
From: the birthplace of the Mai Tai
Posted: 2009-02-17 7:37 pm   Permalink

Despite our differences, like in any partnership, it was always a pleasure working with Martiki. I learned a lot from him and stepping into your shoes will be a challenge indeed.

I'd like to let all on Tiki Central know that NOTHING at Forbidden Island will change!! The drinks you've come to love and dream about over the years will remain, as will all the incredible rums that can be found nowhere else!!

Forbidden Island was created, by Martiki and I, with Tiki Central in mind. This is your bar and will forever be. Our managers Jim and Susan and our incredibly talented bar staff will take great care of you any time you frequent. The tasty specials and awesome events you all look forward to will continue. I ask for your continued support moving forward.

Martiki will be missed and we are sad to see him go. At the same time, I assure you that the Forbidden Island you've all come to love and adore will not wither away. Together, we will reach new heights.

[ This Message was edited by: Conga Mike 2009-02-17 19:46 ]

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Site Administrator

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 3434
From: Redondo Beach, CA
Posted: 2009-02-17 8:01 pm   Permalink

Martin, I wish you all the best. Thanks for helping make Forbidden Island the stellar benchmark of Tiki bars (or of all bars for that matter). Now it's time for you to publish a book of all of your F.I. drink recipes!

[ This Message was edited by: Hakalugi 2009-02-17 20:15 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 11, 2003
Posts: 620
From: Tropical Bixby Knolls LBC
Posted: 2009-02-17 8:03 pm   Permalink

Damn! If I could count the times Martin helped me find my way out the door or gave me a "lookie loo" during numerous "Rum Blamed" hookups.....You poured the Volcano Bowls ...( 3!!!!!) when Yvette and I went on our first date....2 years later and we're still at it....Thanks for the memories dude!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 02, 2002
Posts: 2765
From: The Coast of Kauai
Posted: 2009-02-17 8:05 pm   Permalink

At a loss for words here... Martin I can only imagine how it must feel to leave F.I. after pouring your heart and soul, along with some tasty cocktails, into building such an outstanding establishment and world class bar. I am saddened too hear this news, yet know that you will be bounce back with the same Martiki panache that never disappoints or falters.

I am sure the Congas an the F.I staff will do everything in their vast repertoire to keep F.I. up to the stellar standards that has made it world famous and continue to raise the bar of excellence. Maybe it's time to take a vacation over to Kauai and let me by you a drink or least crack a can of budweiser for you.

malamapono a hui hou

Stoke & Flow

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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 16, 2006
Posts: 2345
From: Home of the best rum collection in NC
Posted: 2009-02-17 8:17 pm   Permalink

But where will I get a perfect sazerac now?!?

I know Mike says nothing at FI will change, but the best thing about FI already has.

Best wishes to you Martin. The rest will be in a PM once I've processed the shock.

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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: May 30, 2007
Posts: 109
From: Kailua Kona, HI
Posted: 2009-02-17 8:36 pm   Permalink

Dear Martin,

We lived in Alameda when you opened your doors to us. We have compared every Tiki bar we entered, to yours. We had no idea how high you set the bar, but every visit to FI made us so happy. I even took my now wife to Hawaii because of the tropical paradise you portrayed (I surprised her at FI with the invitation to Hawaii, thanks to the help of Thayer and your staff) and I proposed to her, only to return home to FI where you made us a congratulatory Fugu For Two with your masterful hands. These are big moments in our life! -- and you were involved and they've made our lives richer by far. Please know we are thankful for everything you have done for us and the Tiki community. I know where ever Pele takes you it is because that is where you are needed...thanks again for all the Tiki you have brought to both of us!!!

Brice & Lisa Ginardi

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 29, 2004
Posts: 2094
From: San Pedro, CA
Posted: 2009-02-17 8:49 pm   Permalink

Martin, you're the tops! I'm sad to hear you are leaving FI (to me - knowing you were there - made FI a very friendly establishment). I also know FI will continue, but it won't be the same.

Here's to wherever your creativity takes you next! And if it happens to be another bar/restaurant-let us know!!!! Best of luck!

OMG! I'm on Instagram!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3691
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2009-02-17 9:09 pm   Permalink

Three years ago, three creative, talented, productive people found that the best configuration of their abilities was to create Forbidden Island. I don't need to tell you what happened after that -- the clouds parted, the angels sang, life has been lovely.

Now, three years later, it makes total sense that these three creative, talented and productive people would find that the best configuration of their abilities is a bit different, and that the time is right for Martin to move on.

I'm so excited for Martin. I have no idea what the future holds, but come on, we all know it's going to be great. The guy is Midas without the downside.

And I'm also very happy to know that Forbidden Island is in very capable and experienced hands. I look forward to raising my glass in tribute to Martin tomorrow (It'll be like the Ray toast at Tiki-Ti! Only he's still alive!).

Warmest alohas and wishes all around, I know the future holds great things. And massive mahalos for creating the best damn tiki bar in half a century.


Critiki - Critiki News - Ooga-Mooga

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 12, 2002
Posts: 7918
From: Huntikington Beach
Posted: 2009-02-17 9:44 pm   Permalink

I heard through the rumvine

that Martin is now a nurse

and will be taking care of


Your rock Martin!

Keep up the good work!


Bamboo Ben
Tiki Bars I've designed/built. TikiCat, Royal Hawaiian, Kona Club, Frankie's Tiki Room, Pacific Seas, Don the Beachcomber,Forbidden Island, Kon Tiki Tucson, Tiki No,etc....

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 3193
From: Las Vegas, NV
Posted: 2009-02-17 10:09 pm   Permalink


On 2009-02-17 18:57, Mai Tai wrote:
I am truly stunned and shocked.

Can I hear a Huzzah for the classiest act alive, Mr. Martin Cate?


Mai Tai-this sucks-who is going to make your "Quicksand" now?

Martin, we are glad for your strong contributions to our community and to our happiness. I hope happiness surrounds your future, too.
I'm the most thirstiesterest of all!
TRADER VIC'S, Vintage, Vegas & more on EBAY 1957SPUTNIK
If you like it, it is ZAZZ! If you don't it is RAZZ!

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Tiki Glam
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 15, 2007
Posts: 54
From: The West of Oakland
Posted: 2009-02-17 10:36 pm   Permalink

Holy crap! I am shocked, and sad. You really just can't count on everything being as you left it the next day, can you?

It was great getting to know you and thanks for all the bitchin' times!

xoxo Dina
I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.
-Frank Sinatra

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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2989
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2009-02-17 10:43 pm   Permalink

Mike: Thanks for reassuring us that things won't change. I hope that you didn't get the impression that any of us will stop going to Forbidden Island. I will really miss seeing Martin there, but I will continue to be a frequent visitor.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 14, 2003
Posts: 184
From: Palm Springs
Posted: 2009-02-17 10:49 pm   Permalink

I wish you all the best. Thank you for the eloquent and kind words and thank you for sharing your sincere thoughts.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 16, 2004
Posts: 270
From: Palo Alto
Posted: 2009-02-17 11:02 pm   Permalink

I always knew that the Forbidden Island was too good to be true. Like Faust, Martin sold his soul to Satan to achieve Tiki enlightenment and I fear the devil has come to collect.

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