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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Events California Events Westside Nautical Bar Crawl - 4/30/2011 (Photos start Pg 5)
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Westside Nautical Bar Crawl - 4/30/2011 (Photos start Pg 5)
Bruddah Bear
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Joined: Apr 07, 2011
Posts: 629
From: Los Angeles Basin, Westside
Posted: 2011-05-16 5:33 pm   Permalink

Found this in the LA Public Library photo collection;





Quote:
Joan Campbell, B-girl, being taken to a car from Shanghai Red's in San Pedro on January 17, 1941, by liquor officer Owen McCord.




Bear



 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2700
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2011-05-16 5:59 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-05-15 22:54, bigbrotiki wrote:
Wow Tom, those are the best interior shots of the Warehouse I have ever seen in all these years, they really show off the crazy clutter that makes this restaurant special and prove what a cool guy Burt Hixson was to create such a place!





I just wish the current management would be ascool as he was. Instead they seem to be kind of oblivious to the specialness of the place. But at least they are keeping it as is! We do appreciate that!

Which certainly cannot be said about Pieces of Eight/Shanghai Red's


The two factors that still echo Paul Page's song about the place are the VIEW:


"You take a million lights along the bay..."

...and the LANDSCAPING of the entrance with its "stream"- crossing bridges:


Otherwise the utter genericness of the place was mind-boggling to me. I am talking floor to ceiling corporate hotel chain decor, with nondescript paintings of flowers and other crap on the walls.


(pic clipped from the net)

Not even the BAR had one shred of anything in it that -and I am not even thinking Pieces of Eight- would have any context with the CURRENT name:

This name to me conjures up some exotic seafaring character, no? Well, someone up in management must have decided that nautical was tacky, and even though the "Specialty Restaurant" group that this place belongs to made its name through theme restaurants, there is NOTHING relating to the theme left here. You might as well be in some hotel convention room. (See Cammo's Hanalei Hotel discussion.)

This disparity becomes even more apparent when one delves a little into the true history of the name, which actually ties into the area and is just the kind of thing WE here would have appreciated:



Shanghai Red actually existed, and so did his bar! Here is a little history about the two:

"Every able drinking seaman who hit San Pedro washed up in Red's saloon, but all they knew about Red was that he ran the roughest waterfront bar in the world, boasted that he could lick any man in the joint and was a soft touch for any sailor who had been rolled or lost his pay in a crap game or was otherwise momentarily embarrassed. His real name was Charles Oliver Eisenberg, and he was born on San Francisco's Barbary Coast, where he earned his trade early as a bar boy in a waterfront dive. When he was old enough, or maybe before, he joined the Navy and saw the world. He went back to the land again in Shanghai and bought into a waterfront saloon. That's where he earned his name. When he had a stake he came home and opened up on Beacon Street. The day Red died they padlocked his doors and the place never opened again. Some years ago the whole street was condemned for a redevelopment project."



ALSO: "The toughest bar in L.A. history, Shanghai Red's in San Pedro, employed a burly, tattooed woman nicknamed "Cairo Mary" to break up bare-knuckled fights among the sailors returning home after WWII"

Here is Cairo Mary in action in 1953!:


The ultimate irony is that the lone surviving artefact from the place (as far as I can find), the cool "Glo-Dial" clock from Shanghai Red's:



....now resides in the DESERT: in Palm Springs, at this place: http://www.fishermans.com/shanghaireds.php

To make things come full circle, I had been in that joint just last year, meeting with Wildsville Man and the luckless then-proprietor of the Caliente Tropics bar and coffee shop. Oh the strange ways of the hospitality industry (thank god I am not part of it!)

Somebody should go and check out how they got their name and that clock. It's actually not a bad place, in a down to earth kinda way. Much more a waterfront dive (in the desert!) than its generic namesake by the waterfront.


Yup, great Warehouse photography on previous page Tom !! I don't even bother bringing my camera when I know you're showing up.

With regards to Shanghai Red's (the MDR location, not San Pedro), I wonder if it may have gone through its own devolution. Who knows maybe when it first opened, there might have been more of the former Pieces of Eight vibe intact.

Which would explain the name.

As for Palm Springs this weekend, we may have to organize a side group expedition to the 3rd Shanghai Reds.


 
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Bruddah Bear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 07, 2011
Posts: 629
From: Los Angeles Basin, Westside
Posted: 2011-05-16 6:26 pm   Permalink

More LA Library finds;

No date, but prior to much build-up in MDR, pre-Warehouse. Hmm, someting seems odd about the DTB spaceship...



Also no date. Better shot of the DTB building, it originally had a wavy roof...



MDR in 1988, Don's has the roof we all know and love, The Warehouse to the right, Pieces of Eight (Shanghai Red's, MDR) way off to the left...



MDR in 1968, looking North from other side of La Ballona Creek. Pieces of Eight (Shanghai Red's, MDR) in Right Center. Others too far away to make out clearly...





Bear




[ This Message was edited by: Brudda Bear 2011-05-16 18:26 ]


 
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Chippy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 24, 2010
Posts: 282
From: Sunny Southern California
Posted: 2011-05-16 6:26 pm   Permalink

Great info about the Shanghai Red's in San Pedro.

Legend also has it there was a secret tunnel running underneath the bar, used to Shanghai unsuspecting patrons down to the waterfront.

If you happen to wander down to San Pedro, CA on 6th street, there is one of the oldest bookstores in Los Angeles, William's Books. They sell Shanghai Reds T-Shirts (Sorry no pics)and books by Bamboo Ben's mom.

And after making this post I was on the phone with my father in law. He went to school with Charles Oliver Eisenberg's dughter, Charlene, who still lives in the Area.

[ This Message was edited by: Chippy 2011-05-16 18:35 ]


 
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mike and marie
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2008
Posts: 127
Posted: 2012-04-29 3:45 pm   Permalink

This is such a great tour ... of course all of John-O's tours are well-researched and recommended, but maybe we have a soft spot for the ghost shell that is Don the Beachcomber, and certainly the Galley. Having missed it last year we sincerely appreciate the personal tour by Dogtown's resident urban archeologist John-O!

Gone the Beachcomber...



Aloha!



There isn't much tiki left at the former site of Pieces of Eight, but maybe if you look around on the grounds in just the right light it can take you back...



Now going into the Warehouse, which although established in 1969 felt to us like the early 80s: think Jimmy Buffett record covers and Raiders of the Lost Ark...



and not much tiki, but some:



Does anyone know the make / history of this ship wall plaque? It's pretty big. You can see it right inside the front door. We can also see it in our basement, as we've got one that's identical but don't know anything about it:



Our fearless leader holding down the Galley



Testing the mai-tais



Lots of puffer fish along the bar...



Closing down Chez Jay



After wandering past the former site of Pacific Ocean Park, then to Muscle Beach, site of how many surf films (like the ones on TCM last week...)



The midnight view from the Casa del Mar...




[ This Message was edited by: mike and marie 2012-04-29 15:48 ]


 
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tikilongbeach
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Joined: Aug 05, 2011
Posts: 1401
From: Long Beach, CA via Dallas, TX
Posted: 2012-07-18 7:43 pm   Permalink

In San Pedro and Long Beach Utro's, Berth 55 and the Pike Bar & Fish Grill are good places to spot nautical decor.
Utro's is a family owned and run restaurant in San Pedro. The owner was a longshoreman for a long time and the place is full of nautical and San Pedro artifacts. My favorite is the collection of longshoreman cargo hooks. They used them in fights.One unused room is full of a treasure trove of old wooden shipping company signs, buoys, ship wheels and more. On the table are lamps made from port or starboard lanterns and they've got a deep sea diving helmet displayed on another. It's a popular place for movie and TV shoots. No mixed drinks, just beer. They've got good burgers. The restaurant overlooks Fisherman's Wharf in San Pedro and the area is undergoing a facelift.
While in San Pedro check out the Maritime Museum, the USS Iowa and Knotical Arts inside Crafted. Kelly Marine is a good place to buy nautical decor or rebuild your boat.
Berth 55 is a great seafood restaurant in the Port of Long Beach which will be closed down within the year because they're going to put a fire boat station in it's place. Booo! I'm not sure what's going to happen to the fishing boats or Long Beach Sportfishing. You eat outside or you can go into the building next door which used to be their table service restaurant. There are old photos of Long Beach on the walls, wooden shipping company signs and figureheads on the walls. There is also a bar that has beer, wine and mixed drinks. Last time I went they still had hula girl Berth 55 t-shirts for sale.
The Pike Bar & Fish Grill is a nautical, cool kids bar/restaurant that plays punk rock on its jukebox. It's owned by one of Social Distortion's former drummers, Chris Reece. There are old Social D concert flyers on the wall, old photos of Long Beach, nautical lights, floats, pirate ship, outdoor patio wall is made of pilings, black velvet ocean paintings, etc. The place has an extremely loud jukebox, lots of tattooed types and at 41 I feel old if I'm there past 7pm so I go for lunch.


_________________
-Lori


 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2700
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2012-10-14 4:10 pm   Permalink

Chez Jay gets Santa Monica landmark status !!...

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/10/chez-jay-is-now-an-official-santa-monica-landmark.html

Chez Jay is not listed under "Locating Tiki" (not sure if it should be), but if you like Nautical-style, colorful L.A. history, and "bigger than life" restaurateurs, then drop in some time.


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tikilongbeach
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 05, 2011
Posts: 1401
From: Long Beach, CA via Dallas, TX
Posted: 2012-10-14 5:35 pm   Permalink

John-O, that is great news! I love the old nautical bars around here.


 
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