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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki The Beachcomber, Vancouver, BC, Canada (restaurant)
The Beachcomber, Vancouver, BC, Canada (restaurant)
TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2009-03-30 6:13 pm   Permalink

Name: The Beachcomber
Type: Restaurant
Street: 1049 West Georgia
City: Vancouver, BC
State:
Zip:
country: Canada
Phone: 682-2234
Status: defunct

Description:

I wanted to post this specific location on here to share the little bit of information and finds that I have but to also hopefully find out more information and possibly attract somebody from outside Tiki Central to post about this Restaurant.

The Beachcomber Polynesian Restaurant, Vancouver BC, Canada.

This is one of the locations from a chain of Beachcomber's that were located across Western Canada. From what I have been able to find out, this location opened in 1960 and closed in 1981. After the well known Polynesian Room at the Waldorf Hotel and the famous Trader Vic's that actually opened in 1961, this was the second longest running and one of the more famous Polynesian/Tiki restaurants in all of B.C.

Although very little information has surfaced, it can not be mistaken that the chain of Beachcomber Restaurants that were once located in at least 7 Western Canadian cities, was the most influential and the most visited Polynesian Restaurant in Canadian history.

From what has been seen in the very few postcards and photos that have surfaced of these restaurants, these Tiki establishments more than rivaled any of the larger US restaurants of the same period. The food was based on Polynesian/Chinese/American dishes and all were served with the freshest ingredients available.
The decor was completely authentic and went to large costs to create the perfect atmosphere for these restaurants. With hand carved poles and masks, weapons, fake-palm trees, tropical foilage, thatched roofing and huts, fish tanks, rattan furniture, plenty of tropical decor. Some locations even had waterways and bridges right inside!
And of course, The Beachcomber had their own tropical drink menu with over 22 drinks with some being served with fresh flowers and some in Tiki mugs!!

One of their old advertisements reads:

- 10 COURSE HAWAIIAN (Smorgasbord)
- Dine Graciously, Luxuriously in Our Unique South Sea Atmosphere
- Fully Air Conditioned
- Charcoal Broiled Steaks

Sounds great to me!!
TabooDan



[ This Message was edited by: TabooDan 2009-03-30 18:26 ]


 
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TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2009-03-30 6:24 pm   Permalink

Here is the early Ad that The Beachcomber in Vancouver had:



This one dates from March 3, 1962.

The next Ad dates from July of 1970 and is pretty much the same as the one above except for the new phone number and it actually lists the address:



These are the same Ad's that you see for other locations that were once open.



 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11266
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-03-30 6:42 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-03-30 18:24, TabooDan wrote:
Here is the early Ad that The Beachcomber in Vancouver had: This one dates from March 3, 1962.
The next Ad dates from July of 1970 and is pretty much the same as the one above except for the new phone number and it actually lists the address



Always helpful when you are advertising!

So...who OWNED such a great chain? WHO was the Canadian Don/Vic/Steve?


 
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TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2009-03-30 10:37 pm   Permalink

Sounds like it was a Jack!!
I have only been able to find out the name of one man that is connected to this restaurant.

The only information that I have is that a gentleman by the name of Jack Porter was the owner. He also owned the Edmonton, AB, restaurant where his name has surfaced before and his name is also on the reverse of the Winnipeg, MB, location postcard.

I have not been able to find out whether or not he ran all of the locations or if he had partners. I am also not sure if the Beachcomber was a franchise or if he ran them all. I have been told that he lived in Edmonton and that his wife helped him with the business but also know he did live here in Vancouver as well. I have also been told that he had two daughters but they were not in the business. I do know that he opened the Vancouver location and did run the business. Unfortunately, both Mr. Porter and his wife are now deceased.

I have found a connection with somebody who knew him, and worked with him but have been trying to get the time to ask some more questions and gather more information.
There will be more to come!

If anybody has a postcard, other than the Winnipeg location, of a Beachcomber Restaurant, check to see if there is a "Host" name on the reverse. It would be interesting to see if Jack Porter was 'Host' to more than a few Beachcomber Restaurants at the same time. It is true in the case of at least three of these locations and I would probably say all of them.

He's just like Stephen Crane and good old Trader Vic except he's just from the far North shores of the Pacific!! Well....the frozen areas!

Mahalo, TabooDan

[ This Message was edited by: TabooDan 2009-03-30 22:41 ]


 
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TIKIVILLE
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 22, 2008
Posts: 636
From: Edmonton Alberta Canada
Posted: 2009-03-31 11:13 am   Permalink


swizzle sticks ( they have the BEACHCOMBER on them )

I also have the Drink menue,it's awsome as well with drawn pictures of the feature drinks ....I'll take some photos of it .
I got most of these items from a lady that is a huge tIKI fan in Edmonton and she had a sentimental reason for collecting BEACHCOMBER Edmonton items .
The KICK is that she had aparently ALL the interior pieces and has since sold off most of it but a couple pieces ( I was too late ) I would figure that she must have been in touch with the owner when they closed to aquire these pieces of History.
THAT and there must be tiki folks out there that purchased the stuff from her in Edmonton...
I am sure that most if not all of the menues and swizzle sticks were the same accross the board at all locations ....

[ This Message was edited by: TIKIVILLE 2009-04-01 11:09 ]

[ This Message was edited by: TIKIVILLE 2009-04-02 10:54 ]


 
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Humuhumu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3624
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2009-04-01 11:01 pm   Permalink

So, first off, I've added this place to Critiki:

The Beachcomber, Vancouver

But as I was entering it, I had one of those waitaminnit things happen... the address of this place is the exact same address as another location already in Critiki, the Hawaiian Village:

The Hawaiian Village, Vancouver

But they have more than just the address in common... compare the menu from Hawaiian Village to one from another Beachcomber location, the one in Winnipeg:



That's definitely our old friend, the Beachcomber tiki, on both of those menus. Even the lettering for both names looks nearly identical. The menus are from puamana's collection, and she's dated both of them to circa 1960s.

Tiki Wahine has a number of Hawaiian Village mugs in her collection, which I've always understood to be from that Hawaiian Village in Vancouver. Now I'm thinking I've had it confused, that the mugs came from a restaurant in the Vancouver area, but actually in New Westminster (a location that is currently missing from Critiki). What would the connection have been, if any, between the New Westminster Hawaiian Village and this possibly-brief life of Vancouver-Beachcomber-as-Hawaiian-Village?

Help us, TabooDan, you're our only hope!

_________________

Critiki - Ooga-Mooga - Humu Kon Tiki


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Sweet Daddy Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 20, 2003
Posts: 1072
From: Edmonton
Posted: 2009-04-02 1:11 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-03-30 22:37, TabooDan wrote:
The only information that I have is that a gentleman by the name of Jack Porter was the owner. He also owned the Edmonton, AB, restaurant where his name has surfaced before and his name is also on the reverse of the Winnipeg, MB, location postcard.

I have not been able to find out whether or not he ran all of the locations or if he had partners. I am also not sure if the Beachcomber was a franchise or if he ran them all.



Zane Feldman was an owner or partner in the Edmonton location. I know this from a friend - Feldman was romantically interested in my friend's mother. Searching the web, the only confirmation I could find was from
this website about Edmonton radio stations - they say Feldman "operated the city's long-gone Beachcomber restaurant for many years." Feldman had lots of business dealings in the hospitality industry (as well as broadcasting and many others), so it's hard to know what level of ownership or hands-on involvement he had in the operation of the Beachcomber (since most of the information you can find on him focuses on the Edmonton Oilers which he co-owned with Dr. Charles Allard, another Edmonton business tycoon).

Tikiville, is your friend emma-one-shoe by any chance? Thanks to e-o-s's ebay auctions, Edmonton Beachcomber memorabilia has fanned out over the globe (so many TCers have matchbooks and swizzles thanks to her). I believe the source of emma's Beachcomber cache was Zane Feldman's estate after he died in 2003. (this is info that more properly belongs on the Edmonton Beachcomber thread, not here).

_________________
-Sweet Daddy T.
Because crap doesn't buy itself.

blog

[ This Message was edited by: Sweet Daddy Tiki 2009-04-02 13:13 ]


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TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2009-04-02 6:47 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-04-01 23:01, Humuhumu wrote:
So, first off, I've added this place to Critiki:

The Beachcomber, Vancouver

But as I was entering it, I had one of those waitaminnit things happen... the address of this place is the exact same address as another location already in Critiki, the Hawaiian Village:

The Hawaiian Village, Vancouver

But they have more than just the address in common... compare the menu from Hawaiian Village to one from another Beachcomber location, the one in Winnipeg:



That's definitely our old friend, the Beachcomber tiki, on both of those menus. Even the lettering for both names looks nearly identical. The menus are from puamana's collection, and she's dated both of them to circa 1960s.

Tiki Wahine has a number of Hawaiian Village mugs in her collection, which I've always understood to be from that Hawaiian Village in Vancouver. Now I'm thinking I've had it confused, that the mugs came from a restaurant in the Vancouver area, but actually in New Westminster (a location that is currently missing from Critiki). What would the connection have been, if any, between the New Westminster Hawaiian Village and this possibly-brief life of Vancouver-Beachcomber-as-Hawaiian-Village?

Help us, TabooDan, you're our only hope!



Hey Humuhumu, Well, that's just it....a mystery! As far as all the research I have done, there has never been a Hawaiian Village at that address! Only the Beachcomber! That menu is exactly the same as the Beachcomber one so it is connected however I believe it to be either a mistake or possibly the Beachcomber owners were planning a different name for this location at the beginning.

I find it unlikely that too many would have been printed as the only one I know of is the one Mimi has and I have never seen another. That being said, doesn't mean they aren't out there.

The Hawaiian Village that you have seen the mugs for and the one TikiWahine speaks of is the one and only location in New Westminster, BC. Never one in Vancouver as far as I can find out. They did not have another location, just this one on 8th street. The owners did however seem to have another Polynesian restaurant that was in Vancouver (not near Georgia St. location) but it was a differnt name. I have very little info. about this place but will post it here soon.

So back to the above menu........it's a mystery! The Hawaiian Village in New Westminster did not open until some time after the Beachcomber opened so it isn't possible that there was a argument or issue with the same named restaurant. The Beachcomber could have been the Hawaiian Village if it wanted, just there is no listing or mention of it anywhere.

Sorry for rambling!! More to come!!!
Mahalo, TabooDan


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4431
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-12-13 4:24 pm   Permalink

Here is an interesting tidbit of info. I always wondered how the Don the Beachcomber chain felt about Jack Porter starting his line of Beachcombers across the border, particularly after learning that Don had sued Monty Proser to stop his chain of Beachcombers in the US.

I found this article indicating that Don the Beachcomber did in fact sue Porter. The case was initially decided against Porter but he won on appeal.





DC


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4431
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-12-14 4:52 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-03-30 22:37, TabooDan wrote:

If anybody has a postcard, other than the Winnipeg location, of a Beachcomber Restaurant, check to see if there is a "Host" name on the reverse. It would be interesting to see if Jack Porter was 'Host' to more than a few Beachcomber Restaurants at the same time. It is true in the case of at least three of these locations and I would probably say all of them.




Taboo Dan,

This matchbook in my collection lists 5 locations created and supervised and Jack Porter.





I'd have to say he was involved in all 7 of them.

DC


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4431
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2014-05-02 5:53 pm   Permalink

I spotted this matchbook type that was unique to the Vancouver Beachcomber with no Tikis shown.



Like many Tiki restaurants, they went the way of the buffet.

DC


 
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Kilaueakyd
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 20, 2012
Posts: 73
From: The active crater
Posted: 2014-05-26 02:19 am   Permalink

DC how you find all the stuff from Canada, amazes me. Thanks I wish we could have met up last fall when I came through SB. Cool town. My father used to deliver to the Calgary location around 1970. He took me once but I was 6 so I remember nothing about it. I did work there after it reopened in Calgary as Lucifers. I was told they called it that because a fireman died fighting the fire when the Beachcomber had a fire.

 
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