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Tiki Central Forums » » General Tiki » » Pix of the Tiki Kai-New Mexico/Denver
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Pix of the Tiki Kai-New Mexico/Denver
Basement Kahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 3591
From: Jawja Province, Isle of North America
Posted: 2006-11-02 11:15 pm   Permalink

Nice! Cold! But the best beer in the world!

 
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hodadhank
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 28, 2005
Posts: 1686
From: Mission Beach, CA
Posted: 2006-11-03 09:55 am   Permalink

Sadly the New Chinatown (Tiki Kai) in Albuquerque has completely closed.

I posted the following in this year's Chinese New Year thread...

Living in Albuquerque fourteen years ago we and all our friends enjoyed annual reservations at the New Chinatown's Polynesian Lounge with Freddy Kekaulike Baker playing and crooning poly-lounge's greatest hits right next to our table. The serenity would be interupted suddenly while an energetic Chinese Lion danced through the bar but the mellow Hawaiian mood would return as Freddie's sister enlisted tipsy regulars to join her in a hula exhibition (Sure I've hula'd with Freddie's sister, but who hasn't?!) Sweet Jeezus I loved that place! RIP New Chinatown, I'll never forget you.

As I remember...the lounge had curvy a sunken bar low enough for comfy swivel chairs on the east wall covered by a thatch roof. This way Freddy's wife and bartender was at eye level with you even though you were seated. A dark vaulted ceiling contained a nice old outrigger and glass floats. Freddies stage was on the south wall and cozy booths lined the west wall where window's looked out on the resturant's asian style entryway. I wonder what became of the Tikis that sat in the asian garden outside the entrance...


 
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hodadhank
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 28, 2005
Posts: 1686
From: Mission Beach, CA
Posted: 2006-11-03 09:58 am   Permalink

PS...

Just found this...

http://www.dailylobo.com/media/storage/paper344/news/2002/11/14/Culture/Eatery.Offers.AfterHours.Dancing-323805.shtml?norewrite200611031256&sourcedomain=www.dailylobo.com

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hodadhank
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 28, 2005
Posts: 1686
From: Mission Beach, CA
Posted: 2007-02-18 09:38 am   Permalink

Posted in Albuquerque's Weekly Alibi:

Music to Your Ears

By Mel Minter

Mahalo, Freddie— Freddie Kekaulike Baker, the Hawaii-born singer and multi-instrumentalist who entertained a couple of generations of Albuquerqueans, passed away suddenly on Feb. 5, two days shy of his 86 th birthday, leaving a hole in the city’s musical heart that will not be filled.

“He must have been sick, but he never complained,” said his wife, Jane Ong-Baker. “That’s, Freddie, you know. He just enjoyed playing and making other people happy. He had to have been not feeling good for a long time because he had pancreas cancer, and he never complained.”

A popular musician in Hawaii, Baker came to the mainland after WWII. Initially unable to work because of union issues, he depended on the kindness of friends quickly made and on his own resourcefulness, charm and curiosity.

“I have all this energy and willpower,” he said in a 2005 interview.

That energy and willpower soon had him teaching movie stars how to surf, playing small parts in the movies, headlining in some of the biggest rooms in Las Vegas and national tours as Hawaii-mania swept the country in the late ’50s.

In Albuquerque, he met his wife-to-be, Jane Ong, while eating at her family’s restaurants. “I’m lucky,” he said, referring to their meeting. “So I made my home here.”

A fixture on the Albuquerque scene since the mid-’60s—at the Ongs’ Tikki-Kai nightclub and their New Chinatown restaurant, and most recently at the Town House—Freddie brought a little island magic to the high desert. Crooning in his soft falsetto, he summoned up a bygone era of gracious sophistication and offered listeners a respite from harsher modern realities. When the vibe was right, he would play for hours without a break.

“I get so involved with the people because I enjoy them enjoying themselves, when they have family and friends and they come to a nice place. I just play nice, the songs they like, old songs. I enjoy watching their expressions,” he said.

The show was not about Freddie. It was about his audience, about remembering what song you liked, about finding the right tune for the moment, about creating a comfortable atmosphere.

His sweetness and generosity of spirit will be missed, but friends and fans will have at least one more opportunity to say good-bye and then take some memories home.

“There will be a memorial,” said Ong-Baker. “It’s going to be a little different. You know, Freddie never made a CD or anything like that. He didn’t want the pressure of time. Let it happen as nature would. But he was taped live by KOB and KUNM, and we have those tapes. We’re putting some songs together, and we’ll make a CD for people, in his memory.”

A memorial service for Freddie Kekaulike Baker will be held at French Mortuary, 10500 Lomas NE, on Saturday, Feb. 24, at 1 p.m. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The Kawaiaha’o Church (www.kawaiahao.org), where Freddie first sang as a choirboy.


 
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Daniel C. Boyer
Deleted

Joined: Jan 25, 2007
Posts: 0
Posted: 2007-02-19 07:06 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2003-06-17 18:57, bongofury wrote:
Aloha....thought these pictures might relieve some of the post boredom....I did not see this place mentioned in James' book. Anybody have any more info on this place?





Neither locations interiors look very Tiki...



Kinda looks like a Tiki Bob type mug at the right side of the sign



Denver location





enjoy....



None of these pictures are working for me...


    
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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1768
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2008-04-05 06:09 am   Permalink

A little addition to an old thread.





_________________
"Anyone who has ever seen them is thereafter haunted as if by a feverish dream" Karl Woermann


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4252
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2012-05-27 5:09 pm   Permalink

Hey, Bongofury! How about re-posting those photos from the start of this thread?

In the mean-time, here's an ad for Ernie at the Tiki Kai.



DC


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4252
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2013-12-09 5:09 pm   Permalink

At last, some photos and from the Tiki Kai in Denver. Spotted this postcard on ebay.




Close ups of the exterior signs and building.





Interior, nice Witco Outrigger.



Found this info on the Denver Public Library website.



Looks like it opened in September 1964 and ran into a little obscenity problem in 1966. The Kahuna club opened in 1966.

DC


 
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Big Kahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2007
Posts: 2304
From: SoMass
Posted: 2013-12-09 5:20 pm   Permalink

I am the only one that thinks we need a topless Tiki bar?


 
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bigtikidude
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 8849
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2013-12-09 8:08 pm   Permalink

No sir, I'm all for it too.
8-o

Jeff btd


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11106
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2013-12-10 06:15 am   Permalink

Here's another Tiki Kai ad:



DC, also see Tiki Modern, Page 99


 
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tikidon
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Oct 06, 2003
Posts: 34
From: portland OR
Posted: 2014-05-24 07:21 am   Permalink

Saw this on ebay, nice to see a Tiki Kai menu













 
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