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Tiki Central Forums Ľ Ľ Tiki Events Ľ Ľ Other Events Ľ Ľ The Mai-Kai celebrates 56th birthday Dec. 28, rings in 2013 on New Year's Eve
The Mai-Kai celebrates 56th birthday Dec. 28, rings in 2013 on New Year's Eve
Hurricane Hayward
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1465
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2012-12-21 7:02 pm   Permalink

On Dec. 28, 1956, the venerable Mai-Kai restaurant opened its doors on a desolate stretch of Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale. In the ensuing half-century, the rest of the world has changed radically but you can still be guaranteed a totally immersive South Seas experience in this one-of-a-kind slice of Polynesian paradise.

This mid-century marvel will celebrate its 56th anniversary next Friday (Dec. 28) with its annual Customer Celebration Party in The Molokai bar starting at 5 p.m. Live music will be provided all night by Ty and Andrew, The Mai-Kaiís house band, playing a mix of island and holiday music on ukuleles, bongos and guitar.

Ty (left) and Andrew with fellow Mai-Kai Islander Hokulani at a recent catered event. The duo will be performing at the 56th anniversary party on Dec. 28. (Photo courtesy of The Mai-Kai)

There will also be an extended happy hour all night in The Molokai. After 7 p.m., just tell your waitress that youíre there for the celebration party in order to receive half-priced drinks and appetizers. This includes most of The Mai-Kaiís legendary tropical cocktails, many of which date back to the early days of Tiki mixology in the 1930s. Taste history in a glass all night while you munch on decadent pupus such as Shanghai Chicken and Crab Rangoon.

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Ring in 2013 Polynesian style

Three days later, on Dec. 31, guests can turn from celebrating the past to embracing the future at The Mai-Kaiís annual New Years Eve festivities.

There will be two special Polynesian dinner shows (at 7:30 p.m. and 11:15 p.m.) featuring The Mai-Kaiís legendary Polynesian Islander Revue, the longest running (since 1961) authentic South Seas restaurant stage show in the continental United States. It is still choreographed by Mireille Thornton, a former dancer and widow of late Mai-Kai co-founder Robert Thornton.

Mireille Thornton in the early 1960s. (Photo courtesy of The Mai-Kai)

In addition, The Molokai bar will be open from 5 p.m. until well into 2013, with its usual happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. and no cover charge all night. If youíre looking for a less expensive option, or a quieter alternative to the usual New Yearís Eve rabble-rousing, the bar is great option and tends to be relatively uncrowded. It does get festive at midnight, when The Mai-Kai passes out hats, horns and party favors. But as usual itís done with class and style, The Mai-Kai way.

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Events, music, art, cocktails, culture

The Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide

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