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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Leilani Hut, Belmont Shore (Long Beach), CA (restaurant)
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Leilani Hut, Belmont Shore (Long Beach), CA (restaurant)
Mongoloid
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 25, 2008
Posts: 589
From: Long Beach
Posted: 2010-10-26 08:27 am   Permalink

A nod to the nostalgia of Leilani in todays Press Telegram.

http://www.presstelegram.com/ci_16431962?source=rv

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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11156
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-10-26 2:12 pm   Permalink

Never had heard about...

"the Beachcomber Tavern (5345, now The Greater L.A. Woman, at Santa Ana Avenue)"

...before.


 
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King Bushwich the 33rd
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 10, 2005
Posts: 1172
From: Ling Cod Beach, CA 90803
Posted: 2010-10-27 2:19 pm   Permalink

A few more pieces of information on Leilani's

Press Telegram: Past Business in Belmont Shore

according to article, entertainers like Hilo Hattie would appear there.


_________________
->>King Bushwich 33rd on Hulu.com<<-


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lohphat
Member

Joined: Nov 29, 2010
Posts: 4
Posted: 2010-11-29 7:44 pm   Permalink

Thanks for posting these.

The owner of the Leilani Hut and The Gay 90's was Don May, my grandfather.

How did you find these?

BTW the woman with the astonished face in the tour of the men's room is my mother.


[ This Message was edited by: lohphat 2010-11-29 22:08 ]

[ This Message was edited by: lohphat 2010-12-02 23:14 ]


 
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A Frame
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 16, 2009
Posts: 259
From: Mr. C's on the Coast Highway
Posted: 2010-11-29 8:51 pm   Permalink

Hello lohphat!
How was it found? Well, it's amazing what someone can find out about old restaurants, clubs and bars which were Polynesian themed. Especially the TIKI driven folks here on TC, who love digging up info or uncovering a mystery and then sharing it.

As a LB lifer, this hits closer to home for me, making it even more interesting. Maybe you have more Leilani Hut info you could share...please feel welcome to do so!


 
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abstractiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 604
From: Lodi, CA
Posted: 2010-11-30 5:13 pm   Permalink

Aloha Lohphat, could you post a picture of your Grandfather for the record? In many cases these Tiki Central threads in "Locating Tiki" are the closest thing to official historical records that these restaurants, apartments and such will ever have.

 
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lohphat
Member

Joined: Nov 29, 2010
Posts: 4
Posted: 2010-12-02 11:13 pm   Permalink

Here's some info from my Dad, David May (Don's son and bartender at the Leilani):

Al Britt was the original owner who was a merchant seaman. He sold, or died, around 1953 or 1954. Dad bought the Leilani from the second owner, whose name escapes me, in June, 1955.

The web site mentions "The Beachcomber Tavern" 5300 something E 2nd Street. That beer bar was opened by a husband and wife who hired Perry Barrett as one of the first bartenders there. He may remember more details.

The Beachcomber is where Perry set up a pitcher of beer on the bar with a surgical tube siphoning beer to me siting on the floor because I was too drunk to stand. At 2:00 AM, Perry closed the bar and helped me mount my Schwinn Paramount. I headed South on Pacific Coast Highway. The dawn was not pretty. The Torry Pines Grade was covered with puke.

I over nighted in Coronado with a Naval Aviator's wife while he was out to sea doing touch and goes on a carrier. The next day she took me to where I could catch the Greyhound for Long Beach. I didn't have the strength or the will to face a another hundred miles ride.

----

The Hawaiian was owned by City Councilman Bob Crow. At times it was called "The Crow's Nest". I think that it is now an Argentine BBQ place. A frame front on the building. I think that you have been there.

----

So at 5305 E PCH the original A-frame building still exists -- it's now a Brazilian Steak House "Green Field".


 
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lohphat
Member

Joined: Nov 29, 2010
Posts: 4
Posted: 2010-12-03 1:11 pm   Permalink

Here you go:




My grandfather was personal friends with Jack LaLanne (yes, the fitness guru), and former CA Governor George Dukmejian who I think were at the service.

The funeral was aloha attire -- I was a pallbearer. It was a difficult time for me as I was headed overseas to live in Paris the week after he died. I said goodbye to him on his deathbed a day or two before he passed only to return in a few days to lay him to rest. I was already living in San Francisco and my life was upended already. I still really miss him. We used to have a ritual of having Sunday brunch with my dad at Johnny Rebs @ 4663 Long Beach Boulevard before I moved north to SF for work in late 1994 we were an expected party every week.

He was larger than life. He could recognize people he hadn't seen in 40 years by the back of their head.

BTW, the floating Christmas Trees lights around Belmont Shore and Naples were his idea and project to attract people to the area and brighten up the place. There's an archive piece from the LB Press Telegram documenting all this but it's in a family album someplace; I can't locate it online.

He lived on Claremont and later Santa Ana, his parents lived on Covina in a duplex before they moved in with our family when I was really young in Cypress. His brother Bud who lived down the street on Santa Ana St. just celebrated his 99th birthday last Sunday (Nov 28, 2010) and lives in Anaheim and is still pretty lucid. Bud was also a bartender at the Leilani.


[ This Message was edited by: lohphat 2010-12-03 15:14 ]


 
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lohphat
Member

Joined: Nov 29, 2010
Posts: 4
Posted: 2010-12-03 3:17 pm   Permalink

John Morris, the owner of Legends (and Smooth's Sports Grille on Pine downtown) knew Don too.



 
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abstractiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 604
From: Lodi, CA
Posted: 2010-12-03 6:39 pm   Permalink

That's really nice, thanks Lohphat.

 
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Dustycajun
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Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4307
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-12-03 7:01 pm   Permalink

lophat,

Thanks for sharing the stories and images, hope to see more about your grandfather.

DC


 
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A Frame
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 16, 2009
Posts: 259
From: Mr. C's on the Coast Highway
Posted: 2010-12-06 7:08 pm   Permalink

Thanks for posting info regarding your Grandfather lohphat,
A


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4307
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-09-19 3:45 pm   Permalink

Time to bump this thread with a really nice napkin I was lucky enough to purchase. It lists 24 of the tropical drinks served at the Leilani Hut, including the "Cuban Scandal".



Imagine if they tried to make one of these for the Tiki Ti!

The logo on the napkin is the same as the logo on the glass that I posted some time ago.






DC


 
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Hiphipahula
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: May 27, 2006
Posts: 2426
From: The Valley! Female, leo,fav color pink.
Posted: 2011-09-19 4:16 pm   Permalink

That is magnificent, thanks for the post, great thread.

 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4307
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2012-02-19 12:08 pm   Permalink

I picked up an old matchbook from the Leilani Hut






That has the Frank Bowers mural artwork on the inside of the cover.



DC


 
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