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Tiki Central Forums » » Locating Tiki » » Hawaiian Room, Lexington Hotel, NYC, Ney York, NY (restaurant)
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Hawaiian Room, Lexington Hotel, NYC, Ney York, NY (restaurant)
uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1705
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2009-05-19 5:58 pm   Permalink

Name:Hawaiian Room, Lexington Hotel, NYC
Type:restaurant
Street:Lexington Ave. and 48th St.
City:Ney York
State:NY
Zip:
country:USA
Phone:
Status:defunct

Description:
Pre-Tiki but I thought the information was good. From a 1958 article on NYC restaurants.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Hawaiian Room in the Lexington Hotel, Lexington Ave. and 48th St., is and has been for the past 20 years one of the most colorful spots in town. Until recently it was actually better known in Honolulu or San Francisco than in New York. Recent television shows using the room as a background have made New Yorkers more aware of it.

The story of the HAWAIIAN ROOm dates from 1937.

The management of the Lexington Hotel, completed six months before the market crash of 1929 and costing $5,000,000, found itself stuck with a large and useless basement dining room. In 1932, it opened as the SilveL Grill, featuring bandleaders Ozzie Nelson, Little Jack Little, Artie Shaw and Carl Ravel (now Carl Ravazza) .

When its popularity waned, the manager, Charles Rochester, decided to experiment for a few months with all-Hawaiian entertainment in a cafe decorated with South Sea motifs and featuring Polynesian food. In 1937, the HAWAIIAN ROOm opened with Andy Iona as bandleader and Ray Kinney as featured singer. In '38, Kinney returned to Hawaii and brought back with him a trio of lovely hula dancers—Napua, Mapawana and Pualani; also a singing comedienne called Hilo Hattie, whose specialty was \"The Cockeyed Mayor of Kaunakakai.\" The show was an instantaneous success and the pattern has varied little from then on.

Two years ago Restaurant Associates took over management of all the Hotel Lexington restaurants, with Jerome Brody, Joseph Baum and Alan Lewis—all in their thirties—to direct and manage the room. Lewis had fallen in love with Hawaii during the war and paid several return visits, so was a natural for his post.

Though the HAWAIIAN ROOm chefs are Swiss, the menu now features a greater variety of Polynesian dishes (not to be confused with Chinese) than ever. The drinks, fantastic concoctions involving coconuts and other tropical fruits, never fail to make a hit with visiting firemen. And the \"old lady\" always enjoys seeing her husband get up and make a fool of himself by trying to dance the hula in the \"audience participation\" numbers.

The motto of the HAWAIIAN ROOm is \"Aloha,\" a very elastic word which can mean \"hello,\" \"good-by,\" \"glad to see you,\" or—stretching it a bit—\"if you can't come to the Islands, let the Islands come to you.\"




 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4074
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-05-19 9:31 pm   Permalink

Trav,

I met Sabu at Bamboo Ben's Nooner and we talked about starting a post for this one, you beat us to it.

One of my favorite pre-tiki Hawaiian places that was around for ever. Obviously a swinging dance spot.

Here are some postcards of the dance floor - old and newer versions.





This postcard is with Ray Kinney and his aloha maids - check out that stage.



A nice little cover charge table topper.



One of my favorite die cut drink menus.
(Check out the alliteration on the Polynesian Fire!)



The entertainment list.



A souvenir photo frame.





And a magazine ad.


I have some menus some where I'll have to find.

Sabu can post the album that was recorded here.

DC


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4074
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-05-19 9:52 pm   Permalink

One of the menus


The matchbook


DC


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4074
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-05-20 3:50 pm   Permalink

Found some more interesting info on the Hawaiian Room. A story on the music.


Live radio and TV shows from the Hawaiian Room, pretty cool.

Some photos of Lani McIntire and the band and album.





A swizzle from Tiki Kates collection


Another cover charge somewhat older and cheaper than the one I posted before.


DC


 
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2789
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2009-11-28 3:38 pm   Permalink

Here's a cute promotional calendar from 1945:



Under her skirt are twelve little calendar pages. As to what's under the last calendar page; I'll leave that to your imaginations.



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[ This Message was edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2009-11-28 15:42 ]


 
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TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2010-01-19 5:51 pm   Permalink

I saw this recently and thought it was a cool menu cover so I would show it here. There was one that was posted above by Dustycajun but this one was a slightly different color and also had a interesting signature on it. Here it is:



The signature on the cover says "M. Pereira Mgr. Hawaiian Room". I thought that was pretty neat to see that that manager had signed the menu for someone.

In the auction description, it also stated "The restaurant opened in 1937 and billed itself as the "Eastern outpost of Hawaii" many Hawaiian musicians and dancers performed there including Hilo Hattie, George Kainapau and Sam Koki."

And inside shot:



Some of the pricing was Main Full Course Meals such as Hawaiian Festival Chicken Run $3.85 Sliced Pork, Tenderloin Haole Luau $3.75, Soup of the day .50 Cents Appetizers were $1-2.

They sure used alot of Hula Girls in the Hawaiian Rooms promotional pieces and art work. Great to see these vintage items still coming up!

Mahalo,
TabooDan



*If you happened to win this item, I will gladly adjust this post so you can post your item. This goes back to the discussions of posting items that you see online and don't actually have or win in an auction. Do you still post them here on TC? I say Yes because otherwise interested people might never get to see them. It's always good to see what is out there from some of these long gone places and together in one place is great!*


 
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2789
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2010-01-19 6:04 pm   Permalink

The Hawaiian Room must have advertised pretty heavily in those early days when South Seas clubs were few and far between on the East Coast.

Here's an 1941 photo of a bus depot in Lowell Mass. showing a poster ad for the Hawaiian Room in New York. I'd love to find one of those big posters.





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Zeta
Grand Member (2 years)  

Joined: Feb 13, 2007
Posts: 2049
From: Atlantis/Basque Country/Spain/Mexico
Posted: 2010-01-19 6:15 pm   Permalink


From the back of this postcard (posted by DustyCajun above)

Tropical rain storm... Which was the first bar/restaurant to feature that trick? Who's the inventor?

[ This Message was edited by: Zeta 2010-01-19 18:20 ]


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4074
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-05-09 8:41 pm   Permalink

A nice little recipe book from the Hawaiian Room I saw on the flea.





Some very tasty dishes.

DC


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4074
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-11-12 6:24 pm   Permalink

Shakin' advertisement for the Hawaiian Room.




DC


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4074
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-03-18 8:05 pm   Permalink

Saw this nice old menu from the Hawaiian Room on the internet.




Also, a color shot of the Lani McIntire album cover with a Tiki mask on it.



DC


 
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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2951
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2011-03-23 10:32 am   Permalink

although i suspect there is none, i have wondered if there is any connection between the hawaiian room in the hotel lexington, nyc, and the hawaiian room in the emerson hotel in baltimore, md - http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=9160&forum=1

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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 4962
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2011-03-23 12:31 pm   Permalink

DC,
I just ripped my set of 78 EPs of those records last week. They are so lame I didn't bother to share them! He got so much better later. My copy is date July 1947. The place survived well intot he 60s as many of the Mai-Kai performers would work there in the off season.
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 4962
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2011-04-17 06:51 am   Permalink

Just remembered to upload this. If you are interested in hearing that record set, GO HERE. One record broke, but as I said, this is pretty tepid stuff.
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4074
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2012-05-06 09:28 am   Permalink

Here is another souvenir photo with a nice interior shot of the Hawaiian Room from ebay.



A black and white Ray Kinney postcard.




And a poster advertising the Lani McIntire show.




DC



 
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