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Tiki Central Forums » » Home Tiki Bars » » Vintage Hostess Stand
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Vintage Hostess Stand
kawikasurf
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 27, 2010
Posts: 24
From: Laguna Beach, CA
Posted: 2010-08-27 4:15 pm   Permalink

In the cluttered storage yard behind a used restaurant fixtures warehouse in Corona, CA, I came across what I assume was hostess stand or reception station. Heck, for all I know, it might even have been a valet parking stand or bellman’s station – but I’m tending to go with the hostess stand theory. Based upon the high quality of its construction and materials it appears to have come from an upscale tiki or Polynesian-themed hotel or restaurant.



It is extremely solidly built. Its relative small size is deceptive. Even with its (still smoothly gliding) drawers removed, it still easily weighs as much as a full-sized home refrigerator. Matter of fact, it took a refrigerator dolly to move it down the outdoor stairs at my rented home in Laguna Beach.





I estimate its vintage to be 1960’s or early 70’s but, again, I could be wrong. I would love to know who made it, for whom it was made originally, and where it might have traveled throughout its “professional” life. Based upon our local (Southern California) proximity, I am hoping that it might be Oceanic Arts but I suppose there were many people around here capable of creating high-quality tiki fixtures during that golden era.



I am certain that thousands of people must have seen it over the years. I hope that someone might recognize it from these photos and be able to offer some insight.

If I owned one of the magnificent home tiki bars I have admired on these pages, I would restore it as a hostess stand/reception station. I think that would be cool. However, because I rent (and although I’ve lived in this house for 8 years), my ability to do permanent construction is limited, and so I’m in the process of refurbishing the piece and transforming it into a mini-tiki bar. I’ll then be able to spiff-up the immediate surroundings a bit with some lighting, plants, and props in order to (I hope) achieve something like a semi-cool socializing (i.e. hard-core rum-drinking) space.



I’m posting some photos of the piece prior to restoration/transformation and also photos of the project in process.

I began by removing the wood and bamboo trim. I sanded away a worn and unattractive refinishing job on these. I’ll leave these natural and will coat them with a urethane gloss.







I stripped away the largely-rotted woven grass matting which was glued to the vertical surfaces of the stand. I have on-order a nice, coarsely-woven grass-cloth in green and tan, which I’ll apply when it arrives.

There was some water-related damage along the particle-board base. I cut away the affected areas and fitted-in strips of 3/4'” pine, which I had ripped to a 4” width.





I’ve sprayed these with a simulated stone and sand textured enamel paint, which I’ll seal, once it’s hardened, along with the undersides, in order to establish a moisture-resistant zone between the ground (bricks, actually) and the grass cloth.





Originally, there was a double row of bamboo half-round trim about two-thirds of the way up. The grass matting extended all the way to the floor (and actually wrapped under the bottom). I’ll reinstall the bamboo as a single row in its original position but will attach the second row of bamboo trim 4” from the bottom, to mark the separation between the moisture-resistant zone and the grass cloth.



The top of the hostess stand featured a very large cut-out in order to create a recessed work-space, presumably to accommodate a reservations book and seating chart. I removed the top and replaced it with 1 x 3.5” red oak planks.









Even after a thorough sanding to knock-down the grain and eight subsequent coats of urethane gloss, the grain still shows texture. I might consider finishing the planks with a bar-top coating of some sort.



I had intended to install the planks permanently but I now find that the fit is so secure that I think I’ll leave them “loose” so that I can remove them in order to easily access the storage below and to create a 7” (or any multiple of 3.5) recessed drink mixing-area toward the rear when needed.

I’ll post more photos as I go along. Meanwhile, all suggestions and comments are most welcomed. Naturally, I’d greatly appreciate it, too, if anyone recognizes this piece and would kindly share with me anything he or she might know about it.

Mahalo,
David


 
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mrsmiley
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 3172
From: Las Vegas, NV
Posted: 2010-08-28 01:50 am   Permalink

Congrats on the mini, but full size tiki bar!

 
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kawikasurf
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 27, 2010
Posts: 24
From: Laguna Beach, CA
Posted: 2010-08-28 02:20 am   Permalink

Thanks for the kind congrats - and also for reminding me that size doesn't matter.

 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7314
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2010-08-28 07:45 am   Permalink

Welcome to TC kawikasurf

The restoration is coming along great. Beautiful view from the lanai too


 
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kawikasurf
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 27, 2010
Posts: 24
From: Laguna Beach, CA
Posted: 2010-08-28 09:19 am   Permalink

Aloha MadDogMike,
Thanks for the welcome. I've been around the site for a long time but I either never registered or else did so and long ago forgot my username. Anyway, here I am. Tikiophile dating back to the 60's (of course, I was only a child. Ahem.) Been to a few Tiki Oases, mostly at the Caliente. I also host an ukulele meet-up on Sundays at the Hulaville Island Cafe and Company Store, in San Clemente. Nice little place - great Polynesian-inspired food and lots of tiki, although in a clean and tidy way - sort of Enchanted Tiki Room meets Dukes Waikiki meets Boston Market.

Check out photos of the restaurant at:

http://www.meetup.com/Hulaville-Cafe-Hawaii-Talk-Story/

and my meet-up at:

http://www.meetup.com/UkuleleSundays/

I probably should post those elsewhere, too.

I'm trimming that tall foliage on the hillside to improve the view and have a unobstructed one from the deck above. Stop by if you're ever in Laguna (or nearby) and critique my mai tais.

Oh and, hey, MDM, I always enjoy your posts on the forums. Keep up the good work.


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Big Kahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2007
Posts: 2334
From: SoMass
Posted: 2010-08-28 09:41 am   Permalink

Looks like you're doing a fine job.


 
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kawikasurf
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 27, 2010
Posts: 24
From: Laguna Beach, CA
Posted: 2010-08-28 10:04 am   Permalink

Thanks, Big Kahuna. Really appreciate the encouragement. Sure pales in comparison with most of the spectacular projects on this forum but it's a big deal to me. Nice of you to take time to give me an attaboy.

 
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MustangScott
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 17, 2010
Posts: 22
Posted: 2010-08-28 1:08 pm   Permalink

The enitre space looks great!


 
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Club Nouméa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2010
Posts: 342
From: Wanganui
Posted: 2010-08-28 3:31 pm   Permalink

A fascinating find, a great setting for it, and a wonderful view too!

I am looking forward to seeing more photos of your locale once it is tikified - it's already looking quite exotic.

Best wishes,
CN
_________________

Toto, j'ai l'impression que nous ne sommes plus au Kansas !


 
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kawikasurf
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 27, 2010
Posts: 24
From: Laguna Beach, CA
Posted: 2010-08-30 2:07 pm   Permalink

Thanks Mustang Scott,

You always have to say something encouraging in your posts - must be a pretty nice guy. Don't know the origin of your screen name but I assume some sort of affinity for Mustangs. Am assuming, too, we're not talking wild horses here. Here's a tidbit for you. When I was 16 I bought a 1966 Mustang convertible – navy blue, white top. My dad was an engineer for Ford and so I bought it through what was called the “A Plan,” for Ford execs. I ordered the car from the factory for $1,725, all inclusive (including $52 for a power top, which I agonized over and my dad finally gave me as a birthday present – not the car, just the power option, versus manual, for the convertible top). Anyway, my monthly payments were $72.50, for 36 months. Can’t recall what I put down – maybe $200, if that. Kinda makes you sick, doesn’t it? Although I was only earning $1.72 per hour at the time, delivering refrigerators after school and on weekends. That was 50 cents an hour higher than the $1.25 per hour minimum wage at the time.


[ This Message was edited by: kawikasurf 2010-08-30 14:21 ]

[ This Message was edited by: kawikasurf 2010-08-30 14:23 ]


 
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kawikasurf
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 27, 2010
Posts: 24
From: Laguna Beach, CA
Posted: 2010-08-30 2:17 pm   Permalink

Holy tikis, C.N.! I thought you'd made-up the name of your posted location until I actually looked it up on Wikipedia. And you were kind enough to say MY locale looks exotic? Hey, I’ve been following your totally cool project on this site. As with most of the others, it puts mine in proper perspective. In addition to the creativity and workmanship, you have lots of really exotic, interesting, and authentic stuff on your walls and elsewhere that I’ve never seen in the U.S. or anywhere else for that matter. But, hey, thanks for the kind words, bradda. I’ll post more photos as I go along. Looking forward to lots more from you, too.

[ This Message was edited by: kawikasurf 2010-08-30 14:23 ]


 
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ErkNoLikeFire
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 07, 2010
Posts: 429
From: Michigan
Posted: 2010-08-30 5:55 pm   Permalink

Nice! I may have to "borrow" your work on the top for the base of my bar top.
_________________
"I've been ionized, but I'm okay now." - B. Banzai

“The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass.” Martin Mull

"Rum is not drinking, it's surviving" Robert Shaw THE DEEP


 
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TikiPhil
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 149
From: Riverside, CA
Posted: 2010-09-01 9:50 pm   Permalink

My guess is that it came from Honolulu Harry's that went out of business in Corona about 3 - 4 years ago.

 
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kawikasurf
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 27, 2010
Posts: 24
From: Laguna Beach, CA
Posted: 2010-09-02 11:03 pm   Permalink

Thanks for the kind words, ErkNoLikeFire,

Sorry it took me a few days to get back to you - my laptop was out of commission for a couple of days. Think it's time for a new one.

[ This Message was edited by: kawikasurf 2010-09-02 23:03 ]


 
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kawikasurf
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 27, 2010
Posts: 24
From: Laguna Beach, CA
Posted: 2010-09-02 11:07 pm   Permalink

Wow. Great lead, Tiki Phil. Thanks so much. I went online and looked at photos of the place. Although I didn't see the hostess stand itself in any of them, the rest of the decor sure seemed to fit. Ill keep looking for photos and I'll also try to track down the le directly' I'll report here what I find out. Thanks again.

 
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