Joined: Jun 03, 2010
From: Cardiff, Wales
|Posted: 2012-12-09 03:14 am  Permalink|
I just moved to Cardiff (United Kingdom) to pursue my PhD and I stumbled into "Kapu" located in downtown Cardiff. I have been on the tiki scene for years (+10) in the states and I was quite surprised by this place, my winter will be more bearable now in cold Wales.
When you mention "tiki bar" over here you obviously get a lot of strange looks, but this bar is not too bad. The decor reminds me of a very small version of Trader Vic's Atlanta (my old stomping ground). It's in the Cardiff party district,so be mindful that you might get some strange stares when you are wearing your Hawaiian shirt while drinking a zombie that is on fire. But I am looking forward to checking it out during the day since they cook food there too. So, if you are ever in Cardiff you might want to check it out. Or, if you are aware of any tiki bars in Wales or England that you think I should check me out let me know:)
Here is their website:
Joined: Mar 25, 2002
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
|Posted: 2012-12-13 05:51 am  Permalink|
This is one of the bars built and outfitted by the British team of Cheeky Tiki ( http://cheekytikiuk.blogspot.com ) The British Tiki revival that was ushered in by the big success of London's Mahiki, their crown jewel, shows no sign of abating. When I met Jamie at the Trader Vic's in Munich recently, he told me that have outfitted 20 Tiki Bars in the last 4 years - some now in foreign locations like India. They provide the whole package, not only the decor, but also the bar menu and the mugs, very much like a Trader Vic's.
Strangely, they have left "Tiki" and "American mid-century" pretty much out of the terminology, to not overtax the average college kid with too much history, and so 98 % of the clientele of these clubs believe they are experiencing a whole new concept - not a bad approach for a new business, it appears. Their merry imbibers have no idea why there are pufferfish lamps on the ceiling, why the drinks are aflame and who Beachbum Berry is or the BOT - just that this all vaguely has to do with Hawaii.
The irony is that here in the U.S., we could count ourselves lucky if we had bars opening on this level of craftsmanship and thought-through concept, but too often new attempts here end up half-baked and Tiki-lite. The current British Tiki bar revival mirrors very much the original rise of the Tiki bar in mid-century America: With the financial success of the Mahiki and other Cheeky Tiki- built bars in London, the rest of the Britannia's bar proprietors wanted a piece of the pie and jumped on the band wagon, very much like the rest of America did when they saw Trader Vic and Don The Beachcomber succeed with their outfits. It's an economically, not culturally driven fad, just like the original was.
Joined: Jun 03, 2010
From: Cardiff, Wales
|Posted: 2012-12-13 1:50 pm  Permalink|
bigbrotiki---thank you so much for the info about CheekyTiki (now I know where I can buy a puffer fish lamp from)and I agree with you 100%. I am going to try to get my hands on a "Pocketiki Magazine".
I am going to do some exploring and see what I stumble into since they label Tiki differently over here. I almost lost it when a Welsh girl asked me if I wanted to check out the "African bar in town". Needless to say she got a lecture about the Tiki scene and Hawaii.
It is amazing how life plays out sometimes when a kama’aina like me has moved to rainy, cold, and dark Wales. I will do my best to post what I find over here. Oh, and you should see the look on the Brits face when I mention my Tiki mug collection. HAHA
Joined: Mar 09, 2004
From: The Haole Hut, London, UK
|Posted: 2012-12-16 03:33 am  Permalink|
Thanks for the kind words about us Sven, but actually I cannot take the credit for Kapu, we supplied all of the materials and the owner built it themselves. Although if you go to a bar called Tiger Tiger in Cardiff, there is a tiki bar that we built inside called Kanaloa.
Tiki Hekele check it out and if you are in London or we are in Cardiff, lets have a Mai tai.
Meanwhile I have to get back to finishing New Delhi's first Tiki bar
Joined: Aug 05, 2011
From: Long Beach, CA via Dallas, TX
|Posted: 2012-12-17 09:05 am  Permalink|
Cheeky Tiki and their non-tiki offshoot Bespoke Barware have some very creative mugs. I like their turkey leg.