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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki The Mainlander, Clayton, MO (restaurant)
The Mainlander, Clayton, MO (restaurant)
Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4320
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-07-21 5:35 pm   Permalink

Name:The Mainlander
Type:restaurant
Street:Bonhomme & Manley
City:Clayton
State:MO
Zip:
country:USA
Phone:
Status:defunct

Description:
Surprised this one is not listed in Locating Tiki yet.

One the great iconic logos with the Witco fountain used throughout their menus, matchbooks, mugs etc.

Here is a matchbook I picked up. Never knew there was a Huki-Lau Bar at the Mainlander.







Here is the menu from Tiki Gallery.






The classic Mainlander Tiki Mug (from Ooga Mooga), I have always wanted one of these.



The Witco Fountain





A link to a site with an amazing history of the Mainlander.

http://community-2.webtv.net/@HH!EB!BC!14277DB27CB9/CatfishRivers/Themysterious/

DC




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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1793
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2009-07-21 5:56 pm   Permalink

A great mystery indeed. I don't think an exterior or interior shot of the Mainlander has ever surfaced. Would love to be in the area and do some serious digging. It's taken a long time to pull some secrets out of such places as the Mauna Loa Detroit but new info comes up from time to time. Maybe your post will get some new info on the Mailander DC. Thanks for posting the location.

_________________
"Anyone who has ever seen them is thereafter haunted as if by a feverish dream" Karl Woermann


 
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Tiki-Kate
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 21, 2003
Posts: 1700
From: Yucaipa, CA
Posted: 2009-07-21 5:58 pm   Permalink

Here's another Mainlander matchbook.




 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4320
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-07-21 9:00 pm   Permalink

Sooo, my matchbook has a Clayton city address and everything else has St. Louis.

I guess it was one of those City name change things like the Polynesian that started in Walteria and then changed to Torrance??

DC


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4320
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-07-31 5:08 pm   Permalink

Another Mainlander matchbook, box style.





DC


 
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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2962
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2011-01-21 06:57 am   Permalink

herein i am cross-posting from this thread http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=9485&forum=1&hilite=mainlander and trying to reconstruct some photos.

first i asked my uncles, who were swingin dudes in the st. louis area in the 60s. this got me some leads, pinpointing a two-block area.

last week i was bored out of my skull writing specifications for a project, so i was inspired (mostly by johntiki and his search for the elusive hawaiian room in the emerson hotel, baltimore) to look at the local newpaper archives in st louis online, the post-dispatch. unfortunately the online archive only goes back to about 1980, so i had a certain wall to work with. but this is what i came up with:

The Mainlander
address: 7700 Bonhomme Avenue
Clayton, Missouri 63105

This is currently the site of "Bonhomme Place," a seven-story, 114,000 square foot building completed in 1989.



"From 1894 to 1954, the Crispus Attucks School operated there, educating the black children of the area." i believe that this groundbreaking institution was somehow dissolved by societal and educational changes in mid-50's america.

"Later, there were popular supper clubs on the site, including the Mainlander and Lautrec's, which was destroyed by fire in 1978." so the tiki establishment was no longer when the building was destroyed.

based on the narrative above, i would suspect the mainlander was est. around 1954? unless the building lay fallow until the mainlander moved in...

Mr. Marion Miller, who is currently a piano player at Nordstrom department store in West County Shopping Center (Missouri), played for several months at the Mainlander in 1960.

The "maitre d' at the old Mainlander restaurant in Clayton for many years before he retired" was Conrad F. Castillo, who died in 1997. "Mr. Castillo was born in the Philippine Islands. He came to this country when he was a teen-ager and served in the Navy in World War II as a personal aide to Adm. William "Bull" Halsey." he is survived by a wife, several brothers, several children and grandchildren.

finally, Clayton Historical Society: 721-2236

where to go from here? well i guess postcards and menus would be helpful. but i want to

1) contact the maitre 'd's wife? brothers?
2) interview marion miller?
3) go to the post-dispatch and look at microfiche of the paper 1954, 1960's and then 1978.
4) see if the clayton historical society has any information?

ADDENDUM: seems like an independent website might have taken the info i posted from 2004 and rolled with it: http://community-2.webtv.net/@HH!EB!BC!14277DB27CB9/CatfishRivers/Themysterious/

Quote:
"The Mainlander" was a Polynesian 'Tiki' style restaurant that operated for over a decade in Clayton, MO (a suberb of St. Louis) primarily in the 1960's and '70's. The exact address was 7700 Bonhomme Avenue, Clayton, MO 63105. This is at the intersection of Bonhomme Ave. and Hanley Rd. As best as I can piece together The Mainlander most likely opened in the early 1960's and closed sometime in the mid 1970's. For a restaurant that was such a mainstay in the heart of Clayton for many years there is surprisingly little information currently available. This has helped to add to the mystique of The Mainlander. As a young child I have two vague recollections of The Mainlander. One memory I have is while I was in the car with my grandfather riding past the Mainlander as we drove down Hanley Rd. from our home in University City, MO. The second memory is when I had dinner inside the Mainlander with my grandfather in the mid 1960's (I was about 7 years old at the time). I felt a sort of enchanting mystique about the place--the decorations were like nothing I had ever seen before---a big old looking fish net, a carved wooden tiki pole, and beautiful blown glass 'fish floats' of different colors wrapped in rope netting and hanging down from the ceiling.



Quote:
A vintage matchbook from the Mainlander that I have seen is an interesting artifact. The address on the matchbook has no zip code. In the U.S. zip codes were implemented in July 1963 --and not mandatory until 1967. The telephone number printed on the matchbook has an Exchange instead of an area code. Area codes were intially assigned in the U.S. in 1947. The Mainlander first opened its doors sometime in the early 1960's. I'm thinking circa 1960-1963. If I come up with a definite opening date I will post it here.
NOTE ~ the inside of the matchbook lists the bar at the Mainlander as the HUKI-LAU BAR. "south sea potions" !!! Anyways, if that jives with anything anyone else has found, i would love to know. If you have any information/photos about the Mainlander that you would like to share please feel free to e-mail me at: catfishrivers@webtv.net and I will add your information to this web page.



Quote:
The 'maitre d' at the old Mainlander restaurant in Clayton for many years before he retired was Conrad F. Castillo, who died in 1997. Mr. Castillo was born in the Philippine Islands. He came to this country when he was a teen-ager and served in the Navy in World War II as a personal aide to Adm. William "Bull" Halsey. He is survived by a wife, several brothers, several children and grandchildren.



Quote:
Native St. Louisan and well respected piano player Mr. Marion Miller had been playing at "The Islander" club across from the Crystal Palace in Gaslight Square as part of a combo in 1960. In 1960 Mr. Miller's combo moved to the Mainlander in Clayton for a new gig. That gig lasted only several months as the other members of Mr. Miller's combo moved on to other endeavers. However Mr. Miller stayed on for a decade at the Mainlander as a solo piano act. Mr. Miller forged many friendships in his days at the Mainlander and certainly one of the most notable was with singer Eddie Eaton who would later form a partnership with Miller. The two performed together in the 1980's at "The Godfather" nightclub near Westport Plaza in St. Louis County. Recently Mr. Miller has played his piano stylings at Nordstram Dept. Store in West County Shopping Center.





Quote:
I have obtained some new updated information about the Mainlander. Special thanks to research librarian Adele Hegney from the St. Louis Area Studies dept. of the St. Louis Public Library for her help. The first listing for the Mainlander in the St. Louis County Directory was in 1963. Dale W. McGowan was the owner. The listing stays through 1976. (the library did not have a 1977 directory for St. Louis County.) A published review of Lautrec's restaurant from 1978 states that the restaurant recently took over the space occupied by the Mainlander. So it looks likely that the Mainlander closed perhaps in 1977.



Quote:
The 1976 edition of "Gateway Gourmet" states: "The Mainlander's dining room features grass shacks, a tiki fountain, bamboo covered walls, and many Polynesian artifacts. Outside is another fountain and a white sand beach. Conrad, the headwaiter who was Admiral Halsey's aid, always has many interesting stories to relate. Specialties include fresh seafood, Mahi-Mahi (dolphin), excellent steaks, and authentic Polynesian dishes." Hours were M-F 11:30 AM-1:30 AM; Sat 5-1:30. The banquet facility could accomodate up to 150.



mainlander menu







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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2962
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2011-01-21 07:05 am   Permalink

so let's give the mainlander a working lifespan of 1963 to 1977.



cross-posted from this thread:
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=7987&forum=1&17

Quote:

On 2004-03-05 11:29, bigbrotiki wrote:
Oh, and while we are in St. Louis, why are there no images, Exterior or Interior, to be found of "The Mainlander" (BOT p.179)



[ This Message was edited by: Johnny Dollar 2011-01-21 07:51 ]


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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2962
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2011-10-27 7:58 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-03-05 15:34, bigbrotiki wrote:
Now we have to look for the album "Marion Miller & Eddie Eaton----LIVE at The Mainlander!"
with a gorgeous color cover and the cocktail menu on the back! I'm sure it must exist...?



it took 7 years to come through, but i did recently acquire marion miller's album - Marion at the Mainlander.


front


back


detail from inside of mainlander (?)
higher resolution
"Marion with Maxine, one of the lovely Mainlander waitresses"



it's really great piano playing... no banter, no bird calls... but a little taste of what we might have heard in the lost clayton tiki establishment.

anybody live in the st. louis area? marion miller will be playing several times at plaza frontenac during the holiday season - http://www.plazafrontenac.com/?sPageID=23 - it would be cool to see if he had any memories of the mainlander to share.

[ This Message was edited by: Johnny Dollar 2011-10-27 20:13 ]


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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4320
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-10-27 10:48 pm   Permalink

Nice score on the album Johnny Dollar, patience pays off. Thanks for posting that.

I clipped some images of some nice old Mainlander menus some time ago, time to add them here.











DC


 
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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2962
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2011-10-28 09:18 am   Permalink

nice!

 
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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2962
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2012-05-26 2:31 pm   Permalink

check this out! a branded roly-poly cocktail glass (close inspection does show that it is vintage - definitely used).

anyone ever seen one of these?



 
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Bora Boris
Mr. Unreasonable

Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2585
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2012-05-26 6:29 pm   Permalink

This is my first time seeing one.

Beautiful score Johnny!


 
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Tikifan1
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Dec 24, 2009
Posts: 65
From: Missouri
Posted: 2012-07-02 4:48 pm   Permalink

Very nice! Mahalo for posting a pic.

 
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hang10tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2010
Posts: 3881
From: Las Vegas
Posted: 2013-05-11 5:47 pm   Permalink

Found this today
Never seen one before












_________________
Worst sound ever, slurp of an empty tiki mug through my straw!!!


 
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