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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Don The Beachcomber Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV (restaurant)
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Don The Beachcomber Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV (restaurant)
mrsmiley
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 3172
From: Las Vegas, NV
Posted: 2011-06-23 11:19 pm   Permalink

Name:Don The Beachcomber Las Vegas
Type:restaurant
Street:2535 Las Vegas Blvd S
City:Las Vegas
State:NV
Zip:89109
country:USA
Phone:
Status:defunct

Description:
The Don the Beachcomber location was built over the Convention center of the Sahara Hotel and Casino. A third floor was added to house the Restaurant and Bar and was scheduled to open on September 1, 1962. It was designed with a seating capacity of 300 for food and drinks. The restaurant lasted until somewhere between 1987 and 1990 (a year after Donn Beach's death). The site still stands today and the iconic arches are still recognizable as those from DTB Las Vegas. The Sahara closed recently and there are selling just about EVERYTHING and the future of the building is dim.
A woman named Ruth Maestas was the first hostess at Don the Beachcomber. An Accordianist named Sam Melchionne played for years at Sahara's 'Don The Beachcomber'
DTB at the Sahara was the place to be in the early 1960's, in the first week off January in 1964, Frank Sinatra hosted his mother a group of 21 guests for her birthday. It later housed at least one Mexican Restaurant and maybe eve nan Italian Restaurant.



 
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Dustycajun
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Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4307
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-06-24 11:30 am   Permalink

This is the only Don the Beachcomber location that used the stylized beachcomber logo.



Seen here on a postcard.



And used on just about everything else from ashtrays



to matchbooks




to cups



to plates.



Some postcards showing the outside and inside of the restaurant.





DC


 
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Dustycajun
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Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4307
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-06-25 08:55 am   Permalink

A few more images of the Don the Beachcomber at the Sahara from the DTB locations thread.









A menu









DC


 
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arriano
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Joined: Jun 13, 2006
Posts: 1286
From: Dog Patch - San Diego
Posted: 2011-06-25 09:07 am   Permalink

It's a funny place. The interior decor is unlike any other DtB, the logo is different. If it weren't for the name, would you even know it was a Don the Beachcomber?
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bb moondog
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Joined: Apr 18, 2006
Posts: 492
From: Gilbert AZ
Posted: 2011-06-29 9:12 pm   Permalink

Not one hundred percent sure this was the same one we went to on our honeymoon in '88..look closely and you see some tiki in the bkgd..was there one at the Sands too?

they had the kooky CAMERA GIRLS there and i think for a ten spot this is what we got..damn fine portrait though..I remember it being kinda overpriced for food but terrif for atmosphere



 
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mrsmiley
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 3172
From: Las Vegas, NV
Posted: 2011-06-30 6:35 pm   Permalink

Here is an OVERSIZED photo folder I just got-unfortunately, the photo inside was not original;



The included photo was a blow-up of a night shot



You can barely see the DTB neon sign out front!

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mrsmiley
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 3172
From: Las Vegas, NV
Posted: 2011-07-03 01:16 am   Permalink

Normally, I wouldn't post the same image that has already been posted, but.....

Inky and I were rummaging around the old DTB location at the Sahara, and a found a portion of a Soup and wine menu on the top of a shelf in an office in the kitchen. As we felt we had covered the place thoroughly (Pug and I turned the place upside down over a week ago) we were walking out ant I looked down and....FOUND THE PHOTO ABOVE ...just LAYING THERE IN PLAIN SITE! WHAT?!?!where did it come from ..why was it sitting there? how did it manage to be in PERFECT CONDITION!??? Oh well, it is ours now! Oh, the BEACHCOMBER Dymo Label is something I peeled of the Muzak station!
Here are both sides of the portion of that Soup and Wine menu;





Note Mexican Village is the name of one of the restaurants that opened in the Don's location!

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[ This Message was edited by: mrsmiley 2011-07-03 01:17 ]


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mrsmiley
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 3172
From: Las Vegas, NV
Posted: 2011-07-03 01:21 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-06-29 21:12, bb moondog wrote:
Not one hundred percent sure this was the same one we went to on our honeymoon in '88..look closely and you see some tiki in the bkgd..was there one at the Sands too?

they had the kooky CAMERA GIRLS there and i think for a ten spot this is what we got..damn fine portrait though..I remember it being kinda overpriced for food but terrif for atmosphere




Moondog, I don't know that the Sands had anything tiki, but my guess is your photo is from the Aku Aku at the Stardust. I don't think the DTB at the Sahara was that tiki. I guess you don't have the folder it came in anymore?


 
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bb moondog
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Joined: Apr 18, 2006
Posts: 492
From: Gilbert AZ
Posted: 2011-07-04 08:40 am   Permalink

jeez, I wish I did...checked thru all my honeymoon pix and NOTHING...I SWEAR it was accessed by an elevator ride and was not a stand alone restaurant...we had breakfast at the Aku-Aku once and that was definitely not where we had dinner..where was the Trader Vics in Vegas? 1988..was there still one? This does resemble more of a Vics

 
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Chuck Tatum is Tiki
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Joined: May 12, 2011
Posts: 1674
From: Southern Cailifornia
Posted: 2011-07-04 11:06 am   Permalink

I believe I overheard "Art Snyder" who owns & runs DTB in Huntington Beach, Calif.
say that he ran the Vegas DTB til it closed, I will have to confirm this info the next time I see him.


 
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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11157
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-07-04 2:26 pm   Permalink

Chuck, that was a completely different location in Vegas, opened by Art much later, after he had gotten the rights for the name.

Quote:

On 2011-07-04 08:40, bb moondog wrote:
jeez, I wish I did...checked thru all my honeymoon pix and NOTHING...I SWEAR it was accessed by an elevator ride and was not a stand alone restaurant...



You are correct, Moondog, the restaurant was accessed by a Plumeria-scented elevator (one step further than elevator muzak!). You got out on the 3rd floor and crossed footbridge, which was guarded by two large Tikis. We are seeing the back of one in Moondog's photo. They were carved and "polychromed" by Oceanic Arts. This is the term they used for applying faded, aged-looking colors. Here's a good example of an O.A. carving I own, polychromed in the same old style:



This way of painting a carving made it look authentic, not clownish.

Many Many years ago (early 90s) after the Beachcomber closed, these two big Tikis, together with a couple of cool Cannibal and Cook Island Tiki-topped posts, were re-acquired by Oceanic Arts (together with anything else resembling classic Tiki decor), leaving that Beachcomber location looking even more un-Tiki than it already did to begin with.

Unfortunately, at some point, O.A. decided to re-paint their re-possessed Sahara Beachcomber Tikis ("due to popular taste"), and this is what they look like now:



But I bet you if someone would go to O.A. and photograph the backs of these two, we would be able to identify the head crest of one of them as the one in the photo. My guess it's the one on the right:



In order to be able to look at these for a longer time, I de-saturated them, and now we can count the same layers of eye brows on the front of the right Tiki - from the bottom: 1 straight, 1 ribbed, 2 straight - than in the back of the one in Moondog's photo:








 
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Chuck Tatum is Tiki
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Joined: May 12, 2011
Posts: 1674
From: Southern Cailifornia
Posted: 2011-07-04 2:35 pm   Permalink

Thanks BigBro for the correction.

 
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Dustycajun
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Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4307
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-07-04 3:45 pm   Permalink

Nice detective work Sven. I was thinking that Moondog's photo couldn't possibly be from the Sahara Beachcomber. Never heard about the bridge with the Tiki guards before. Very cool. Need some more photos of that.



And, Let's not forget about Eli's outside bar at the Sahara Beachcomber posted by Bamboo Ben.







DC



 
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bb moondog
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Joined: Apr 18, 2006
Posts: 492
From: Gilbert AZ
Posted: 2011-07-05 08:44 am   Permalink

wow..that is some fine SLEUTHING being done...see, the wife ( Lori) & I both agree it was DEFINITELY Dons! Admittedly, its been well over 23 years and I am pretty sure I used to have a matchbook and the photo jacket...we have non-digital ALBUMS of this stuff, though, so finding anything is well...a LABOR. I do recall the bridge being by far the most TIKI-ish part of the experience and the photo-girl added a certain Dr. No/James Bond quality to the entire thing..that said, even for then the prices were $$$ and the drinks a LOT better than the FOOD. We also gambled at the Sands a year before it came down and the experiences were similar..we enjoyed both spots a lot but were the youngesr people in both places by FAR. Sands used to give out free coffee mugs so I have about a dozen of those.

 
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mrsmiley
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 3172
From: Las Vegas, NV
Posted: 2011-07-05 09:41 am   Permalink

This is great t ohear of more Tiki in this Don's. I didn't know about the elevator tikis!
I hope Ben and others have more interior shots-I'd love to see more interior shots and the old interior bar, too!


 
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