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Tiki Central Forums » » Locating Tiki » » The Reef, Stockton, CA (restaurant)
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The Reef, Stockton, CA (restaurant)
abstractiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 603
From: Lodi, CA
Posted: 2009-09-16 6:59 pm   Permalink

Name:The Reef
Type:restaurant
Street:236 Linclon Center, Pacific Ave
City:Stockton
State:CA
Zip:
country:USA
Phone:GR 7-9614
Status:defunct

Description:
Out of business since mid to late 70's the building is now \"Stockton Joe's\" restaurant.



 
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abstractiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 603
From: Lodi, CA
Posted: 2009-09-16 7:06 pm   Permalink

While I was doing research on the Kona Apartments I decided to see what the old Stockton Islander phone book add looked like. I opened the book to the restaurant section and found two other Tiki style restaurants in Stockton in 1969. One of them was “The Reef” and it was in Lincoln Center just like the Islander.

I took to the trail and made it over to Lincoln Center starting at the location of the Islander, the address numbers didn’t match any thing. The Islander actually was in Lincoln Center South and so I drove across the street to the “Regular” Lincoln Center. I followed the numbers and there I found it at what is now Stockton Joes. Before it was Stockton Joes it was Carmen’s Mexican restaurant. I used to eat there often back in the 80’s. Some time between 1969 and around 1980 The Reef Closed down.

The add lists “Exotic Tropical Drinks”, “Lani & Luau rooms” and “Cantonese American foods”

A few days went by and I was thinking about the place a lot. I went back out there, dug around a bit and, with the help of an old high school friend, managed to get my hands on a 1959 Arial photo of Lincoln Center that shows The Reef restaurant sign.

I’ll do some more digging but for now this is what I have.

Happy hunting!
Abstractiki











[ This Message was edited by: abstractiki 2009-09-16 19:07 ]

[ This Message was edited by: abstractiki 2009-09-21 17:17 ]


 
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abstractiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 603
From: Lodi, CA
Posted: 2009-09-23 5:55 pm   Permalink

I'm back from the library with two new items. The first is this 1958 Stockton phone book add. Interesting thing is that the sign in the add is the one in this 1959 aerial photo of Lincoln Center.





 
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abstractiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 603
From: Lodi, CA
Posted: 2009-09-23 6:09 pm   Permalink

Here is a another Reef Phonebook add from 1964. This one obviously the best of the three.




 
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Or Got Rum?
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 29, 2009
Posts: 318
From: Wisconsin
Posted: 2009-09-23 6:16 pm   Permalink

Great diligence Abstractiki....Urban Archeology rules...keep digging and thanks for the update. OGR

 
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abstractiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 603
From: Lodi, CA
Posted: 2009-09-23 7:44 pm   Permalink

Thanks OGR! yes it does, i will and you're welcome. A Sailor Jerry's cheers! and onward i go...

 
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abstractiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 603
From: Lodi, CA
Posted: 2009-10-05 8:31 pm   Permalink

Onward I went and found these two pics from 1957. One of the owners in front of a fire place and the other is of the Luau Room. There was two 10x4ft paintings on the walls done by a local artist named Kim Leow. He was 34 years old in 1957. The restaurant cost $50,000. It featured a built in bird aviary and two aquariums. There were ceramic face masks in the interior made by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gray. The tower sign was 20ft high and included the Reef name in Neon. It was also a chimney for the fire place.



Elves Marengo and Pete Massei owners



Elves Marengo and another partner Frank Yip in the Luau Room


Also I saw a picture of Chuck Connors and Charlton Heston at the entrance of the place. They were in town filming a movie and went to have dinner.


 
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abstractiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 603
From: Lodi, CA
Posted: 2009-10-18 6:04 pm   Permalink

Early morning hunting trip in Lodi, returned with this Wine List from the Stockton Reef restaurant. I paid less than a buck for it. On the back it has the tropical drinks listed. Note: "Tahitian Cooler", "Zombie", "Devils Tail" "Head Hunter" and "Koko Kiki" on the list. The Zombie is the most expensive and goes for $2.00.



Front



Back


Happy Hunting!
Abstractiki


 
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abstractiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 603
From: Lodi, CA
Posted: 2009-11-12 8:19 pm   Permalink

I just purchased these two pictures from the Bank of Stockton Archives.

This first one has an un-named woman (left), Reef Owner Pete Massei (center) and Reef Co-Owner Elves Marengo (right) at a ribbon cutting ceremony for The Reef's Grand Opening.



The Reef ribbon ceremony 1957



This second one shows Movie Stars Chuck Connors and Charlton Heston with an un-known woman and Owner Pete Massei at The Reef for dinner. They had been in Stockton filming the movie "The Big Country".



Chuck Connors, unknown woman, Pete Massei and Charlton Heston



 
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abstractiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 603
From: Lodi, CA
Posted: 2009-11-16 11:18 am   Permalink

I dug this up at a Stockton antique store last week. Its a crappy Reef ad in a 1962 Miss Stockton Pageant program. Reef treasure is kinda hard to find. The car next to the ad is a swanky Oldsmobile Starfire.










 
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abstractiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 603
From: Lodi, CA
Posted: 2009-11-21 9:02 pm   Permalink

Well, I've been diggin as usual and some how this last dig led me to me! I am connected to the Reef! OK, ok its a stretch but hear me out.

My wife had a best friend in highschool. This best friend was in our wedding party 20 years ago as a brides maid. Going over my notes on the Reef I realized one of the owners last name was Marengo and I remember my wife telling me a long time ago that her best friend was connected to the Marengo shopping center on Pacific ave. in Stockton. Could this be the same Marengo as Reef owner Elves Marengo? She also told me her best friend has and uncle in Stockton. So figuring her uncle was older and should know more about it I google his number. The next day I call him up and he had to think a bit... then he told me yes indeed! Elves Marengo was his mothers cusin.

I gave him the usual interview, he told he did eat at the Reef but didn't rember to much about it. He also said that Elves had several brothers but they had all passed away. He had lost touch with any next of kin. So any way there you have it. My wifes best friend's uncle's mother's cousin was a co-owner of The Reef!


 
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abstractiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 603
From: Lodi, CA
Posted: 2009-12-16 9:27 pm   Permalink

Ok back at it, the trail went cold and with no where else to turn I called a PI friend of mine. I asked him to see what he could dig up on Elves Marengo and Pete Massei.

He sent back a letter telling me that Marengo had passed away on 12/20/01 and Massei on 11/01/2000. It also had Marengo's last known address and a phone number for Massei.

Today I went to the address for Marengo and talked a lady living there. She confirmed that Marengo had lived there in the past and that she had bought the home from the Marengo's but didn't have any other info i was looking for.

I tried the house next door and talked to an older couple who had lived there since 1967. They remembered Marengo and the Reef. They even rembered Tahiti Iti's and they liked both places. They said Marengo was a nice man and that he had died in a boating accident. They gave me the phone number for his son Mori and I called him up a short time later.

Mori remembered the Reef as a small child but didn't have any pictures or other info. He said he has a younger brother but didn't think he had any info either.

Next I called the phone number for Massei and it turned out to be his nephewes number. He said that he had heard of the place and thought that his uncle was only involved in it for a few years before opening another restaurant in Lodi. He said his father and uncle had passed away several years ago and didnt have any other information other than that.

I only have one lead left at the moment. The older couple that lived next door to Marengo told me the name of a lady that worked as a waitress at the Reef. Ill see if i can track her down.








 
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VampiressRN
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 5507
From: Sin City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2009-12-17 05:15 am   Permalink

Nice work. I have seen that unknown women in movies before. I don't remember her name, but if I ever see a movie with her again, I will post here. Love the pictures.

 
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Sweet Daddy Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 20, 2003
Posts: 1063
From: Edmonton
Posted: 2009-12-17 10:43 am   Permalink

It's Jean Simmons who was also in The Big Country

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tobunga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 12, 2008
Posts: 1024
Posted: 2009-12-29 6:52 pm   Permalink

Hey Abstractiki!

Mahalo for all the detective work you're doing uncovering Stockton's Poly Pop past! Who knew that there was so much at one time? Although, sadly, the Islander and all the rest are only memories, you are keeping the memories alive... and uncovering information that would have never seen the light of day otherwise!

I'm sure anyone who has an interest in urban archaeology appreciates all your efforts!

Awesome story of your connection to the reef, by the way!


_________________

http://ericoctober.com

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