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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Kona Kai, Philadelphia, PA (restaurant)
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Kona Kai, Philadelphia, PA (restaurant)
Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4427
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-11-23 4:09 pm   Permalink

Well this now has to be one of the most well documented Tiki temples of all time, starting with its inception with the blueprints and artists renderings and finishing with the Tikis that came out of the restaurant when it closed! Thanks to everyone for the great posts.

Here is an ad I picked up for the Kona Kai, as seen in an old Architectural Record magazine.



The ad features the Medusa White concrete that was used to make the fantastic block wall in front of the Kona Kai, as well as the sides of the Marriott hotel building. I know Bamboo Ben is always eschewing the use of concrete as a medium for building Tiki, but this application looks way Tiki-Modern cool.





Other Tiki concrete applications that come to mind are the Hawaii Kai in New York (pics from TabooDan and Sabu)





And the Trader Vic's in Portland (pic from Tikidon)




DC


 
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Hangtentiki
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 27, 2009
Posts: 39
Posted: 2009-11-23 5:30 pm   Permalink

I drove from Detroit to Philly to visit a Army buddy in Aug 1971, we had just got out. The Tiki vibe at the Kona Kai was amazing! My Chin Tiki and Mauna Loa in Detroit were heaven on earth, as was Trader Vic's, but I have to confess, the fabulous Kona kai, and the Mai Kai tie as my favorites. Yet that Kona Kai just had something...

 
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subliculous
Member

Joined: Jan 04, 2010
Posts: 3
Posted: 2010-01-04 10:17 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-11-15 15:27, bigbrotiki wrote:
(Question: Does someone here remember which early 80s teenage movie comedy used it as location again?)



yes, it was the 1988 movie "The In Crowd", about a suburban teenage boy getting on a 60's tv dance show in Philly. there's a scene towards the end of the movie where they have a dinner party for a girl at the Kona Kai, and there is also an outside shot at night. someone has recently uploaded to movie onto Youtube, you can see it in the 8th segment.


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11266
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-01-05 11:41 am   Permalink

THANK YOU! I am so glad someone remembered the title of this soapy teen flic. I guess they re-titled it "Dance Party" to get a second life out of it.
MAN that is a shitty copy though, so dark...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2FBKUnjmrw&feature=related

BUT you get to see the amazing Kona Kai exterior with the entrance Tikis and blazing torches for a moment! To think that this grand Tiki temple existed in all its glory as late as 1988! It really must have been a sight. Sigh.

I wonder who the still photographer on that show was, and if any photos still exist...


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Tikinomad
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 20, 2005
Posts: 365
From: Outerspace
Posted: 2010-01-06 06:52 am   Permalink

Earlier in this thread Big Bro mentions the warehouse where most of the Kona Kai Artifacts were stored. I talked with the owner in the fall and as far as I know some pieces are still available. I'm not sure what is left but I'd like to share this contact with everyone here on Tiki Central. I hope that some of you are able to aquire something for your Tiki collection.
His name is Irv Teller and his phone number is (215) 891-8400 His ware house is located in eastern P.A. If you do contact him please feel free to use my actual name as a reference, Tim Steger.
I know Irv would love to sell the rest of these artifacts and I would just like to see these items find a good home. For God sake let's get these great pieces out of storage and into the hands of thise who love Tiki! Happy New Year!


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11266
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-01-06 10:32 am   Permalink

Are you sure, Tim? A far as I know, my collector friend (the only one I knew that had that kind of money available) cleaned him out pretty much, because Irv wanted to sell the lot as a whole. My friend happened to be on the East Coast visiting family when Irv contacted me (while I was in Europe!) looking for a buyer, and so he rented a truck and made the long haul all the way back to L.A. with this hoard. But as I mentioned above, the freestanding Tikis seen in the blueprints, like the exterior ones, had been "collected" long before by unknowns.

 
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Tikinomad
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 20, 2005
Posts: 365
From: Outerspace
Posted: 2010-01-06 10:45 am   Permalink

Well, like I said I'm not sure what is left. I only talked with him on the phone but he mentioned that there was still a few things left over as of august/sept. of 2009. I'm just sharing this with the TC community as a geusture of kindness. If anyone is interested they should call him directly...

 
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Tikinomad
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 20, 2005
Posts: 365
From: Outerspace
Posted: 2010-01-06 10:56 am   Permalink

...and I never saw the freestanding Tikis that you show in the blueprints in Irv's warehouse. He did mention that he had sold some carvings previously before we found them so maybe that was them...
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subliculous
Member

Joined: Jan 04, 2010
Posts: 3
Posted: 2010-01-06 5:37 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-01-05 11:41, bigbrotiki wrote:
THANK YOU! I am so glad someone remembered the title of this soapy teen flic. I guess they re-titled it "Dance Party" to get a second life out of it.
MAN that is a shitty copy though, so dark...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2FBKUnjmrw&feature=related

BUT you get to see the amazing Kona Kai exterior with the entrance Tikis and blazing torches for a moment! To think that this grand Tiki temple existed in all its glory as late as 1988! It really must have been a sight. Sigh.

I wonder who the still photographer on that show was, and if any photos still exist...



no problem! i actually found THIS website while researching what restaurant that was from the movie! and that is a bad quality copy; it's just too bad it's not on dvd so we could get a screengrab.

IMDB says that a "Roger G. Jans" was the still photographer. after a websearch of his name, i came across an email for a Roger Jans working at Ramapo College in NJ. i sent an email just for the hell of it, maybe it's him, and maybe he has something.

liz


 
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Bora Boris
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2599
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2010-01-06 7:26 pm   Permalink

I took some screen grabs from the clip, they're not good at all but I can live with that.



I like how if you sit people in suits around a table in one of these classic locations it's an instant vintage postcard.




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subliculous
Member

Joined: Jan 04, 2010
Posts: 3
Posted: 2010-01-07 6:56 pm   Permalink

well i heard back from the "Roger Jans" I mailed; turns out it's not him. he was nice enough to mail back, at least.


:/



 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11266
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-01-08 09:33 am   Permalink

Thank you for giving it a shot.

 
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Tam Tiki
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 01, 2009
Posts: 49
From: Tampa Bay Area
Posted: 2010-01-20 10:08 am   Permalink

As I posted on the "Tiki Finds" thread, I was lucky enough to find two of the Kona Kai mugs that are just like the logo. However one is dark brown and has the statement "Made exclusively for Kona Kai by Otagiri Co." on the bottom, while the other one is light brown but has nothing on the bottom. I figure since these are patterned after the logo (or vice versa) and both say Kona Kai on the back, that the statement on the bottom isn't that important. Can someone please give me some more information about this? BTW - I am not asking just so I can turn around and sell these, because at this point in time neither one is leaving my house. Since I was able to get two, one will be for drinking and the other is for show.

Thanks,
TT


 
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TikiGoddess
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 06, 2002
Posts: 431
From: Penna
Posted: 2010-01-27 10:04 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-11-18 10:32, 1961surf wrote:

When it opened and when it closed , and what is there now ?



I think there is a Target store in the location now. So sad.
_________________
Make mine a mai tai!


 
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Or Got Rum?
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 29, 2009
Posts: 339
From: Wisconsin
Posted: 2010-02-07 1:04 pm   Permalink

This one is on Ebay (not mine) 99.99 BIN.





 
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