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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki The Reef, Long Beach, CA (restaurant)

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The Reef, Long Beach, CA (restaurant)
Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2804
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2009-04-26 11:54 pm   Permalink

Tangaroa posted some interesting information about The Reef in this thread from 2003, when he interviewed George Millay, who was one of the owners of the The Reef, part of a chain of tiki restaurants in California which included the Castaway, the Ports O'Call, and the Pieces of Eight:

I recently picked up this Winter 1958 issue of "Harbor Highlights", published by the Board of harbor Commissioners of the Port of Long Beach.

In it there is this artist's rendering of the proposed design of The Reef restaurant:

The David Tallichet mentioned in the article passed away in 2007. This Los Angeles Times obituary is a fascinating read:


This quote in particular stands out:

" The means to build his private air force came from Specialty Restaurants Corp., a destination-restaurant business he established with Sea World founder George Millay. Their first location, the Polynesian-themed Reef in Long Beach, opened in 1958 and more than 100 other restaurants across the U.S. followed.

Now chaired by Tallichet's son John, the Anaheim-based company operates 25 restaurants in nine states, including the Odyssey in Granada Hills and the Castaway in Burbank. The company also built Ports O'Call Village in San Pedro."

Here's the matchbook from The Reef

The menu cover

And the placemat

In Tangaroa's interview, George Millay remembers the restaurant opening in August, 1958. The Tallichet obituary states the same. However the "Harbor Highlights" blurb above shows that the restaurant was only proposed in the Winter of 1958. So I'm assuming the date on the magazine of "Winter 1958" actually means Winter 57/58, and that the magazine was probably published in January '58 (still Winter) and that the proposal for the restaurant was put forth in November 1957.

It burned down at least once in the 70s I believe, (please correct me if I've got the era wrong), and the rebuilt structure has little to no Polynesian ambiance left. It does however, have beautiful views of Long Beach harbor and the Queen Mary, and is a fine restaurant in its own right.

If anyone has any photos of the way the restaurant actually looked in the 60s, please post them. I don't think I've ever seen any.




[ This Message was edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2009-04-27 00:50 ]

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