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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki The Tahitian Room, Richland, WA (restaurant)
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The Tahitian Room, Richland, WA (restaurant)
tikicoma
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Jan 16, 2010
Posts: 433
From: wakinekona
Posted: 2011-03-21 9:59 pm   Permalink

Name:The Tahitian Room
Type:restaurant
Street:1342 Jadwin Ave.
City:Richland
State:WA
Zip:
country:USA
Phone:509 ? 946-1068
Status:operational

Description:




 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11249
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-03-21 10:13 pm   Permalink

NICE neon! Good shot.

Interesting history:



~1950 The Mixer
~1952 Vina's Tahitian
~1956, Renamed C&L Tahitian. (for Chin & Lee)
~1976, Renamed Lee's Tahitian, sole proprietorship
~1997, new owners keep name, transitions to bar/karoke

Cool that it didn't change that much over the years! The exterior, that is.


 
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tikicoma
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Jan 16, 2010
Posts: 433
From: wakinekona
Posted: 2011-03-21 10:50 pm   Permalink

that photo is by Rick Wong and it was from his exhibition called Chop Suey. I first went their in the late 50's or early 60's. When ever my parents gave us a chose where to go out for dinner I always said the tahitian Room! not because I really liked the food but because I wanted to eat I a hut

these photos are of the back dining room which has an adjunct bar the Velvet Room.

the paintings on the wall are gone though a new painting is on the same wall and It's been there for decades, nowhere near as cool though.
the original neon.


 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5062
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2011-03-22 09:14 am   Permalink

Thanks for sharing!

 
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tikicoma
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Jan 16, 2010
Posts: 433
From: wakinekona
Posted: 2011-03-31 12:25 am   Permalink

Here are some shots from last Christmas, is this the longest operating tiki/tropical bar in Washington?

The back bar entrance

hall from front dining room to lounge

the bar (the Velvet Room)


witco tiki fountain with tree fern that used to have colored lights in the openings, and an outrigger


the otherside of the divider to the old back dining room/new lounge/karaoke/pool area


hey dustycajun- don't you have a postcard of a California restaurant with the same shield in it?



that's all for now, thanks for looking, bob

[ This Message was edited by: tikicoma 2011-03-31 00:33 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11249
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-03-31 10:13 am   Permalink

Thanks for the shots of the interior, I bet it had more bamboo in the earlier days. Love the colored light panels, and the valiant attempts at keeping the tropical landscape paintings alive.

I am curious about the X-mas gift wrapping on the right edge of this shot:



Was that perhaps a nude Wahine painting, "censored" for the holy season, just like the "Devils & Nudes" paintings at the Embers in L.A.?:



Is anybody here aware of other examples of this custom?



 
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Murph
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jul 11, 2006
Posts: 719
From: SoCal
Posted: 2011-03-31 3:40 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-03-31 10:13, bigbrotiki wrote:
I am curious about the X-mas gift wrapping on the right edge of this shot:
Is anybody here aware of other examples of this custom?



Restaurants and offices wrapped pictures and mirrors on the walls for the Holidays back in my home town in North Florida.


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11249
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-03-31 4:40 pm   Permalink

You mean not just pictures depicting "unholy" matter? What Christian faith/tradition does that stem from - anybody know?

 
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tikicoma
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Jan 16, 2010
Posts: 433
From: wakinekona
Posted: 2011-03-31 8:54 pm   Permalink

All the paintings and mirrors were wrapped like gifts, the day after Christmas they let me take the paper off the witco and the painting, what was left wrapped were corona/bud bar mirrors. Unfortunately the Velvet room name had nothing to do with exotic black velvet paintings but was because the back bar had been covered with a sort of maroon velvet. Also the fountain no longer works. The chrome lamps in the bar originally had all the holes filled with different colored glass "gems" most of them have fallen out over the last 50 years.
I'm putting this photo in so you can see what the bars light level is actually like.

also they have a dozen or so tiki mugs and zombies, singapore slings, a drink called a maui wowie, a few I've forgot and two mai tai's. Neither of them like trader vic's but the one version used the owners secret mix and rums, I didn't get a chance to try it, maybe next time. Aloha all


 
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TikiTempus
Member

Joined: Apr 08, 2011
Posts: 6
From: Washington
Posted: 2011-04-09 10:25 am   Permalink

Tikicoma, many thanks for posting present-day pics of the T-Room. Brings back a lot of fond memories. Here's a picture of how the restaurant looked when you went there in the 50's & 60's.


 
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tikicoma
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Jan 16, 2010
Posts: 433
From: wakinekona
Posted: 2011-04-09 2:06 pm   Permalink

Wow! That's a picture straight from my memories, down to the C&L on the sign! Do you have any photos of the interior from back then? And was the bar/lounge there when your father bought the Tahitian Room? The Witco tiki fountain?
( TikiTempus' family are the Lee's who co-owned/owned the restaurant from '56 to '97 and the b&w photos that BigBro and I posted from flicker were his. )
thanks again, aloha!


 
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TikiTempus
Member

Joined: Apr 08, 2011
Posts: 6
From: Washington
Posted: 2011-04-11 5:30 pm   Permalink

Tikicoma, unfortunately there aren't a lot of pictures around. Will have to search the family photo albums. The Velvet Room 'hutch' and bar counter are from the Mixer. My theory is that as the Mixer, the Velvet Room and Mural Room (what it was called back then) shared a half-wall with an open doorway ~ much like how it is today. When Vina remodeled the Mixer, they built a full wall dividing the rooms and placed the Witco fountain in front of the blocked opening. Here is another picture from the B&W set. Vina and her husband?


 
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tikicoma
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Jan 16, 2010
Posts: 433
From: wakinekona
Posted: 2012-02-05 7:16 pm   Permalink



I've long known that the uncredited menu cover on page 17 of Tiki Road Trip (first edition) was from the Tahitian Room. James told me that it's from a jpeg sent to his old Tiki Bar Review web site. I ordered a lot of pork fried rice from that menu as a kid. I'm putting this up now because I've only recently gotten a working scanner and last year I picked up their business card with the same image.



Also the original owners, Malvina and Sol Levinsons' son is Arthur D. Levinson chairman of Genentech and Apple Inc. So if anyone out there knows how to contact him maybe we can get his parents memories of the place (he was 5 or 6 when I think they went back to seattle).

aloha, tikicoma


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11249
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2012-02-06 09:35 am   Permalink

Until now, I had pegged this mug...



...to possibly hail from THIS "Tahitian Room":

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=31933&forum=5

But its North-American Indian totem pole look...



...now make it quite likely that it hails from Washington State.
Can any eyewitnesses here corroborate that theory?





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TIKIBOSKO
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 17, 2004
Posts: 323
Posted: 2012-02-06 4:24 pm   Permalink

Beautiful photos and way crazy mug Sven,


 
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