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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki The Lanai, San Mateo, CA (restaurant)
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The Lanai, San Mateo, CA (restaurant)
bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11156
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-05-06 3:22 pm   Permalink

Randy, it is always a joy when I get to view this amazing thread again....especially now when I can add the MISSING LINK!
Quote:

On 2010-10-17 06:29, bigbrotiki wrote:
Great job Randy!....now where is that slide I took of that carved door....it's gotta be somewhere...mumble mumble...



Well, I still have not found that slide yet....BUT I recently went thru some old photo prints & negatives, and found some snapshots that I had forgotten I took. Among them were THIS photo of your Barney West Tiki in Situ, taken in 1994 (the same time I took the slide photo that ended up in the Book of Tiki):



AND, taken during the same expedition, two shots of the Lanai's brief re-incarnation in the 60s mini mall:

One interior, and one of the ENTRANCE!:



Finally the physical evidence of the Lanai's logo "Tiki"!



The above pic is a zoom-in of THIS photo:



This place was in the corner of said mini mall on the Foster City side of the 101. Besides the lava rock and the door, it was very plain, as you can see by the sliding glass window. But the interior was all bamboo-ed out, with a little waterfall, and ONE Tiki - as it becomes clear now, half of the roof top pole from one of the huts:



The brass plaque looked pretty sharp, so I tried to zoom in it...



...but to no avail, and further attempts to enhance focus and contrast...



...just made it fall apart. I think it says something like its title ("Lanai Tiki"?), "from Lanai Rooftop 19??", "Donated by ??????", "199?"

Now THE question to clear up is WHAT is that strange logo carving based on? The tongue and the swirls on the elbows and knees are reminiscent of Maori style, but the head shape, eyes, ears, and body with raised arm are sooo un-Polynesian...more Asian?:



Or is it a Kava Kava man? It doesn't have the caved-in chest though....





 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4307
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-05-06 5:03 pm   Permalink

Bigbro,

Nice to see those photos from your archives. I don't remember hearing about the second incarnation of the Lanai. You only took two pictures when you were there?? Arghh!

So, there was a door with the carving of the logo Tiki, that is really cool. This was not the door at the front entrance, at least not facing the exterior.



Maybe the relief image was on the inside of the front door? The hinges are on the opposite side in the menu drawing and they look very similar to the ones shown in the photo of the front door. Or, was this door located somewhere else in the original Lanai?

DC


 
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aquarj
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Apr 02, 2002
Posts: 1080
From: SF bay area, CA
Posted: 2011-05-06 6:03 pm   Permalink

Yippee! Great to see some new content here, especially the front door photos. All the more interested to see that slide you've been telling me about for years, Sven! A little more comment, speculation, and rumination...

First off, about the second location. DC - we were just talking about it on the previous page. That's what we were referring to as "Lanai 2.0". And bigbro, I think you meant 80s as opposed to 60s, for that location, right?

Quote:
On 2011-01-31 14:08, aquarj wrote:
...here's a pic I took in 2002 of the "2.0" location when it was a Chinese buffet. I used to eat there for lunch with co-workers sometimes, and they had a little fountain area in the back by the restrooms, but no other signs of a polynesian place.



Somewhere I have a more recent photo - it looks even more bland now, with all the lava rock facade gone.


Now, I was trying to orient this with Sven's pic...

Quote:
On 2011-05-06 15:22, bigbrotiki wrote:


This place was in the corner of said mini mall on the Foster City side of the 101. Besides the lava rock and the door, it was very plain, as you can see by the sliding glass window. But the interior was all bamboo-ed out, with a little waterfall, and ONE Tiki ...


Looks to me like that photo shows that the Lanai 2.0 entrance door was off to the right side of the exterior in my 2002 photo. So the entrance moved. But it really makes sense because just inside that door is an area of the building that had a rock waterfall / fountain thing. With the China Harbour floorplan though, that was just kind of an empty unused back area that you passed through on the way to the restrooms, and it looked kinda stripped down, unused, and out of place. But now it's clear that with the Lanai 2.0 entrance over on that side of the building, you would have entered straight into the area where the fountain thing was.

As to where the doors were on the original Lanai (1.0), I would assert that they were quite definitely at the front entrance. DC, please note that the picture you referenced is not showing the front entrance at The Lanai...

Quote:
On 2010-10-17 00:28, aquarj wrote:
This closeup is from that construction / remodel photo, looking at those poles again, and also the door. The front door famously had the logo tiki carved into it, but this probably is not the "front" door since the main entrance would appear to be under the next turret.


Although I don't have any photographic evidence of that door at The Lanai front entrance, it was often referenced. Even the dinner menu (which I can post sometime unless someone beats me to it) refers to the tikis carved in the front doors. My impression is that there were two.

Finally, as for the style of that tiki, it sure is odd, isn't it? bigbro, I've got no insights to add to yours. I've often thought that this unusual style may have been because of the early timing in the poly-pop evolution, since it was most likely carved around 1950. Anyway, really great to finally see that door!

BTW, the person who was once selling this tiki from the Lanai interior actually did not sell it at the time...

Quote:
On 2010-10-15 08:19, Dustycajun wrote:
This Tiki sold on ebay and was said to be from the Lanai.



It was fun talking to him a while ago, and he said he was involved in the construction of the Lanai 2.0. He may still have that tiki for sale.

-Randy

[ This Message was edited by: aquarj 2011-05-06 18:07 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11156
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-05-06 7:49 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-05-06 18:03, aquarj wrote:
Yippee! Great to see some new content here, especially the front door photos. All the more interested to see that slide you've been telling me about for years, Sven!
First off, about the second location. DC - we were just talking about it on the previous page. That's what we were referring to as "Lanai 2.0". And bigbro, I think you meant 80s as opposed to 60s, for that location, right?



The slide is just a full shot of the door. There was so little otherwise that captured my interest - THEN!

Randy, in '94 that mall looked kinda dated - 60s or early 70s style. The roof was flat and ended where the glass windows of the Chinese place end in your picture, I think - maybe even lower, because in my photo of the corner, there is an overhang roof with a beam and the neon sign attached to it. They must have renovated it after my visit, adding the height, and in the process "renovating" away the Lanai 2.0

To become their logo, that door must have had a special meaning to the owner, maybe a good luck thing?....do you have any bio info on him? All I found was a court case with this info:

"In December of 1944, Murfee desired to purchase the Villa Chartier, a restaurant and bar located in San Mateo County.....Murfee proceeded to operate the premises under this lease-option agreement. Between December of 1944, and July of 1947, he expended over $50,000 in improvements."

Was he a Pacific War veteran? Did he have any other ties to Asia/the Pacific? I just can't believe that such a unique design was completely made up and came out of the whimsical imagination of some artist.


 
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aquarj
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Apr 02, 2002
Posts: 1080
From: SF bay area, CA
Posted: 2011-05-07 9:18 pm   Permalink

Quote:
On 2011-05-06 19:49, bigbrotiki wrote:
To become their logo, that door must have had a special meaning to the owner, maybe a good luck thing?....do you have any bio info on him?


My feeble attempts at learning more about Emerson Murfee have yielded very little. Mostly that quote on page 1, from the 1957 magazine interview, where he gives dates and recounts his yearnings, "For a long time I had planned an authentic Hawaiian restaurant." Murfee is kind of a unique name / spelling, so I thought I might encounter more, but I didn't. Cool how Sabu found some archive pics with Mr. Murfee next to Lanai tikis.

BTW, I mentioned that the dinner menu refers to the front door. Referring back to that text (from page 1)...
    Since that day more than ten years ago when the hand-carved door of The Lanai opened for the first time, we had dreamed of an even more luxurious setting for you to enjoy. And now this dream has come true. The colorful waterfall wall... the exotic orchid plants in full bloom... the authentic luau pit where the suckling pig is prepared for the festive occasion... all have been inspired by the lovely island of Lanai in the fabled Hawaiian group.

    As you enjoy the food of the Indies, the Orient and Hawaii... as you sip your tropical drink... we wish you well. May you return soon and often to the gentle pleasures of The Lanai. -Emerson Murfee

Note that this suggests a few things. First, that the handcarved door was there at the beginning of The Lanai in 1950. Second, that this menu is from 1960 or later. And third, that there was at least one expansion in those first 10 years, perhaps with a particular milestone or re-launching in 1960. For a sense of the capacity resulting from the expansion, note that one of the pages in the menu also has a footnote, "The Luau Room, the Lanai Room and the Tapa Room are available for LUAU and other PRIVATE PARTIES and BANQUETS from 10 to 100."

Quote:
On 2011-05-06 15:22, bigbrotiki wrote:
ONE Tiki - as it becomes clear now, half of the roof top pole from one of the huts:



The brass plaque looked pretty sharp, so I tried to zoom in it... but to no avail, and further attempts to enhance focus and contrast... just made it fall apart. I think it says something like its title ("Lanai Tiki"?), "from Lanai Rooftop 19??", "Donated by ??????", "199?"


Fortunately TikiCentral has been around long enough now that the archives here are themselves a historical reference! As Mike TikiHula
posted in 2004, it turns out that your sharpening brought you very close to an accurate read, bigbro!

Quote:

On 2004-08-23 13:15, TikiHula wrote:
We were at the San Mateo County Fair this weekend which was having a tropical theme this year. In one of the buildings we saw an old 7 foot tall tiki with a gold plaque on it. Turns out it's the rooftop tiki from the Lanai! It used to have a torch coming out of his head and was removed after it started a small fire. It now belongs to the niece of one of the women who works at the fairgrounds. Unfortunately she wasn't there, but it sure was an unexpected surprise! (BTW, the original Village People put on an awesome show there Friday night)

The plaque reads "Torch Tiki, Old Lanai Rooftop 1952, Donated by Lar Caughlan, 6-4-92"


So with Mike's photo links long expired, it's great to see the photo of this tiki, as found in situ in "Lanai 2.0". That fills in an interesting connection in the life of that rooftop tiki that I didn't know before. I wonder where it is now.

-Randy


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aquarj
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Apr 02, 2002
Posts: 1080
From: SF bay area, CA
Posted: 2011-05-30 10:20 pm   Permalink

A burning question confounding many tiki historians might be:

"If I were at The Lanai and I wanted to drink something other than rum-based tropicals, could I have ordered any fine wine?"

Well, to answer this question woven into the very fabric of our civilized society, here is The Lanai's wine list.



Unfortunately another artifact I've seen and photographed, but don't own.

-Randy


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4307
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-06-02 07:43 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-05-06 18:03, aquarj wrote:

BTW, the person who was once selling this tiki from the Lanai interior actually did not sell it at the time...

Quote:
On 2010-10-15 08:19, Dustycajun wrote:
This Tiki sold on ebay and was said to be from the Lanai.



It was fun talking to him a while ago, and he said he was involved in the construction of the Lanai 2.0. He may still have that tiki for sale.

-Randy



The Tiki is back on ebay, this time for $1,500! He also advertises that he has bowls and furniture from the Lanai obtaine when it closed.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270758976601&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123

DC


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Fastedy
Member

Joined: Sep 17, 2011
Posts: 1
Posted: 2011-09-17 11:52 am   Permalink

There was a photograph of the bar at the Lanai Restaurant that showed two sets of horns on the wall. The post said that the one on the left was Water Buffalo horns that were etched and were from the Philippines. Does anyone know what happened to them? How much they sold for? Where they are now?

I purchased a delinquent storage unit and from all I can tell I have this piece, or one identical to it. I'm not familiar with this type of item and am looking for any information I can get.

Thanks,

Fastedy


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11156
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-09-18 09:15 am   Permalink

Fastedy, it's quite easy to upload and post pictures on this site, if you could take a couple of photos and post'em, we could confirm the find.

 
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Psycho Tiki D
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 13, 2006
Posts: 1810
From: The river Styx, can you pay the toll?
Posted: 2011-10-28 05:03 am   Permalink

Found these yesterday, didn't realize until this morning they were from the Lanai...



Later,

PTD


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4307
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-12-22 08:19 am   Permalink

Spotted another postcard from the Villa Hotel.



That had a inset photo of a Polynesian floor show that must have been at the Lanai restaurant. Can't quite figure out what they are dancing on? Almost looks like a piano bar!



DC


 
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aquarj
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Apr 02, 2002
Posts: 1080
From: SF bay area, CA
Posted: 2012-03-13 1:26 pm   Permalink

Just looking back at this thread, maybe a couple things to add regarding the two posts above...

Quote:
On 2011-10-28 05:03, Psycho Tiki D wrote:
Found these yesterday, didn't realize until this morning they were from the Lanai...



FWIW, I've reached the conclusion myself that these were almost certainly from the "Lanai" in NYC that later became the Hawaii Kai. Discussed
here. But that's my take, and still not proven.

Quote:
On 2011-12-22 08:19, Dustycajun wrote:
Spotted another postcard from the Villa Hotel.



That had a inset photo of a Polynesian floor show that must have been at the Lanai restaurant.


Actually there's a chance that was at the Villa Hotel. I don't have a definite explanation for that inset image. But I do know when I was talking to the oldtimer manager guy at the Villa a few years ago, he mentioned that there was a polynesian cultural group that held a convention of sorts at the Villa Hotel for many years running. I think he said it was a Tongan group. So when I first found one of those postcards, that was the explanation that I imagined. Namely that it's possible this postcard was related to the ongoing relationship the hotel had with the Tongan clientele. Or it's possible that since Emerson Murfee owned both the Villa and the Lanai, and was a fan of polynesian culture, that it was just an idea to have some kind of luau entertainment at the Villa. Or it could still be something at the Lanai, that's not out of the question either.

Well, maybe I haven't cleared up anything at all!

-Randy


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lancelink
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 10, 2012
Posts: 17
Posted: 2012-07-16 2:32 pm   Permalink

Thank you for the wonderful source of tiki history to be found on this website. Came across this at an antique store in Healdsburg. Found out on this post that it was a table lamp from the Lanai so I thought it only appropriate that I share it with other lovers of tiki history.






[ This Message was edited by: lancelink 2012-07-16 15:18 ]


 
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danlovestikis
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4782
Posted: 2012-07-23 3:23 pm   Permalink

What a terrific find. The Lanai signature mug has always been a favorite of mine. We tried for years to find one. I even posted a request at every antique store in San Mateo with no luck. Not a single call.

So I made the mug. Each of my three tikis were different and had the Hawaiian words for eat drink and be merry under them.









After all this work I got a phone call and we were able to purchase the original. Wash your car it rains.

That phone call was so wonderful because it came from someone who got the mug at the restaurant. This is a terrific thread. Wendy
_________________


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4307
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2012-09-25 5:46 pm   Permalink

I picked up a souvenir photo holder from the Lanai at the paper show that had this photo inside.



Looks like a prom date night, no drinks but they were smoking.

DC


 
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