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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Kona Kai Club, San Diego, CA (hotel)
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Kona Kai Club, San Diego, CA (hotel)
TIKIBOSKO
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 17, 2004
Posts: 323
Posted: 2011-12-13 1:25 pm   Permalink

The Luau had been there since the 40's but they remodeled in 62.

Bosko


 
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TIKIWAGON
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Sep 09, 2002
Posts: 315
From: England
Posted: 2011-12-23 07:50 am   Permalink

Here is a couple of images from a mag i bought at a swapmeet recently for a dollar!.






 
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caseytribe3
Member

Joined: Aug 31, 2010
Posts: 1
From: Patricia Opincar
Posted: 2012-01-11 11:59 am   Permalink

Sven - I'm still researching and writing the bio about Jim Casey. Currently going through his diary's and find references to work he is doing at the Kona Kai for Tom Duff and Al Goodman. Do these names sound familiar, and if so, can you provide any information?

Thanks!


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11102
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2012-01-11 4:21 pm   Permalink

Not much more info than what was said here: As Bosko mentioned in his earlier post, Al Goodman was a set designer who did the renovation of the Kona Kai. I looked him up, he worked mostly in Television in the 50s:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0328999/

He did one sorta Exotica movie, THE JAGUAR:



What a cool B-movie plot:
"Though Mickey Rooney is listed as coproducer of Jaguar, the star of the proceedings is East Indian actor Sabu, here cast as a young South American. Though raised in a civilized atmosphere, Juano (Sabu) cannot quite shake the savage instincts of his jungle-bred forefathers. When he is falsely accused of three murders, Juano is willing to believe that he committed the crimes thanks to the influence of a powerful narcotic. It turns out that our hero has been set up as a fall guy, but he goes through hell and back before he can prove his innocence."

"WAS HE ANIMAL OR WAS HE HUMAN!"
Sounds just like OUR Sabu!

If my memory serves me right, two of these guys used to stand at the Kona Kai (now at the Half Moon Inn). They could very well be Jim Casey carvings:




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bongofury
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Oct 15, 2002
Posts: 1538
From: Ventura County
Posted: 2012-05-24 1:19 pm   Permalink

Here is an older menu with a date of 1955





The Kon Tiki Bar featured the Kona Kai Cocktail and the Trade Winds Cooler




















Last insert is from February 1956


According to Critiki the Kona Kai Club opened in 1953 and the Kona Inn opened in 1959


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4247
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2012-05-27 08:36 am   Permalink

Bongofury,

Great menu! Did you find that in the wild?

Saw this brochure for the Kona Inn next door.





It lists the other Jack Wrather hotels on the back of the brochure.

DC


 
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Iscah
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 03, 2011
Posts: 64
From: Quiet Village Tiki Lounge, MD
Posted: 2012-05-30 10:38 am   Permalink

I hadn't seen this thread earlier. From my collection, here's a plate I found at a thrift shop when I lived in Cali.
_________________


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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4247
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2012-07-03 08:15 am   Permalink

Cool plate. Here is a Trade Winds magazine from the Kona Kai Club dated August 1966 I tried for on ebay.

Nice fire dancer on the cover


Inside was an ad for the Taamaraa event.


It used the same United Airlines Tiki and artwork that were on the menu I have.


DC


 
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bamalamalu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 20, 2006
Posts: 550
Posted: 2013-01-09 4:40 pm   Permalink


Kona Kai sells, due for $22M makeover

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jan/08/kona-kai-resort-is-sold-diue-for-22-million-make/

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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11102
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2013-01-10 06:38 am   Permalink

Hey, maybe they will renovate it in mid-century Tiki style, like it should be ! ......

 
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arriano
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2006
Posts: 1280
From: Dog Patch - San Diego
Posted: 2013-01-10 08:50 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-01-10 06:38, bigbrotiki wrote:
Hey, maybe they will renovate it in mid-century Tiki style, like it should be ! ......



We can dream, but I wouldn't hold your breath. I wouldn't even be surprised if they changed the name.
_________________
"I am Lono!" -- Hunter S. Thompson


 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3811
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2013-01-10 1:00 pm   Permalink

Noble House resorts does tasteful, contemporary remodels.
Many of us may have been to Paradise Point in San Diego.
The spa has more Balinese than Tiki attributes.

The entrance is the most likely area to see Tikification.
While I doubt that they will copy Humbphrey's majestic A-frame, it is possible that their designers will take inspiration from Shelter Island's Tiki history.

Here is a sampling of their other restaurants:
http://www.noblehousehotels.com/restaurants.aspx


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TIKIBOSKO
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 17, 2004
Posts: 323
Posted: 2013-01-12 5:01 pm   Permalink

I hesitate to say it (because I am all to aware just how wrong these things tend to go) but anything would be an improvement, it looks so wanna be rich but trashy + cheap in it's current state, the lobby is a complete after thought, the blue tarp colored awnings make it look like a swap meet, the "Mediterranean" style looks so clunky, fake and with out purpose, the place lacks on so many levels, why anyone would pay to stay there is beyond me.
We recently rediscovered some older buildings on the property that were spared in the big remodel, even though they are old and in need of work they are still charming, there used to be a time people embraced the quality of the materials they were using, even bricks could look interesting, now days everything has that it's going to be torn down in a couple of seasons anyway so why bother look that our generation is overly blessed with?


 
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lunavideogames
Grand Member (2 years)  

Joined: May 09, 2012
Posts: 1082
From: San Diego
Posted: 2013-01-14 5:59 pm   Permalink

I was reading this thread and I realized that I never really checked this place out. So I went down there on Saturday for a quick drink. I did some recon and dug up some information. I had never tried to check this place out before because it looks like it doesn't have anything to it from the front of the building. It does not advertise a bar or restaurant from the outside, so I always thought it was just a hotel.

But after checking out this thread, I thought that there must be more than meets the eye. I got my wife to cruise over there with me. As we were walking up to the door she was still convinced that it was only a hotel and we weren't going to find anything. I told her that we are just going to walk past the front desk and have a look. It was strange, but we did it. As soon as we were past the lobby we saw the sign to the bar/restaurant. The restaurant was closed but the bar was open. So we headed over there for a drink.

Sat down with the bartender, Jeff I believe his name was, and asked if they served any specialty drinks. He said that they did and handed me the small menu of their different drinks.

Pretty basic with not enough rum in my opinion, but I tried the Kona Kai Cooler and it was decent after I stirred it and Emily had the Kona Royale which she enjoyed. The bartender asked if we were staying in the hotel and we said no. He asked if we just came to watch the game and we said we don't follow football we actually just came to have a drink. He was kind of puzzled since the only other patrons in his bar was a family that was staying at the hotel. He asked if we were just out walking around, and I said no, we wanted to check out the place before the big remodel.

This got him talking a bit about the new owners. He said that they got rid of the Hawaiian music at the bar and replaced it with Cool Jazz. To me it sounds like a step backwards and not forward, but he said he liked it. I would be sick of any music that I had to hear all day everyday (sublime for example), so I understood where he was coming from.

He told us that the new owners "weren't crazy about the Hawaiian theme," but they were going to keep it. They are also going to keep the Kona Kai name. We talked with the bartender for a bit and then we walked around to see what we could see. It looks like a really good place for a restaurant/bar, if they would do something with it. I think a breakfast buffet would be perfect and bring in some customers, and with just a little signage they would have twice as many people over there just to check it out.

But I agree with Bosko that it is in dire need of renovations. The lobby felt semi modern, but all of the really cool areas to hang out seemed like they were very outdated. The outdoor tables and chairs looked to be 40+ years old with chipped off paint and uncomfortable chairs. The pool was small and a lot of their outdoor space was not utilized. About the only cool Hawaiian thing that we saw was the old pineapple water fountain.

So I am not sure either why anyone would stay here as of right now. It is on the far end of an island, with not much around. Sure Bali Hai is on the opposite side, but there are much better places to stay in SD, and you can still take a taxi to Bali Hai. I hope that the new owners do try to make this a more sought after destination. I sure would like to have another place to go get tiki drinks here in San Diego.

[ This Message was edited by: lunavideogames 2013-01-14 18:03 ]


 
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kiara
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 06, 2005
Posts: 112
Posted: 2013-01-15 6:49 pm   Permalink

The Kona Kai Cotillion.
"Where the younger set learned the fox trot and the cha cha."
A rare Tiki at the Kona Kai.
Resembles the Mainlander Witco Tiki.



 
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