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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Kona Kai Tiki Lounge, Wooddale, IL (bar)
Kona Kai Tiki Lounge, Wooddale, IL (bar)
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 22, 2007
Posts: 33
Posted: 2013-02-06 6:19 pm   Permalink

Name:Kona Kai Tiki Lounge
Street:334 Georgetown Square (Irving Park Rd & Arlington Heights Rd)

Small, clean, mild tiki decor. Just opened in Dec 2012, so I believe there is room to grow and develop further.

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 22, 2007
Posts: 33
Posted: 2013-02-06 6:38 pm   Permalink

In Dec, I started working at Hotrod Chassis in Addison.
Every day, on my drive, I see a sign "Tiki Lounge".
Today, I drove a little closer. "Kona Kai Tiki Lounge".
I returned a bit later with clean clothes on. I was skeptical when I saw the Oriental Trading Company/Jimmy Buffet parrot Tiki Bar sign.
When I walked in, the place was small, and lightly decorated with bamboo highlights, and possibly jute. The Munsters were on the TV.
Nowhere near the tiki factor of the old standbys, but I gave it a shot.
There were a couple of tables near the door with women selling non-tiki trinkets. They kind of trivialized the place.
Not that all tiki bar employees need to wear aloha shirts, but nobody here did. The bartender had on a polo with some hibiscus. Other than me, he was the best tiki-dressed...
I'm a bit of an oddball, being a non-alcohol-drinking tikiphile. I looked the the virgin section on the menu, and there was none. Hala Kahiki has decent virgins, and Tiki Terrace's virgin Lava Flow is outstanding.
I asked the bartender what he had for a virgin. He said "Hold on. I'll make you something." He actually looked like he enjoyed making me a virgin. A bartender at Paradise Club/Club Paradise actually laughed at me, ignored me, and made me a regular drink.
When he served my virgin, it was in a "carved" pint glass, with no garnish. The drink was a bit thin, but reasonably tasty for an experimental virgin. I remember having a virgin at Rock-A-Tiki that tasted like they poured concentrate over ice. Wow! This was much better. Hopefully, they expand their menu a bit.
The bartender said they had been open a month and a half-the time I'd been driving by in the way to work!
The decor was a bit sparse and commercial, but I wouldn't say it sucked. I will be back. I'm looking forward to seeing if they develop a bit more.

[ This Message was edited by: mrexotica 2013-02-06 18:40 ]

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Tipsy McStagger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3681
From: HELL
Posted: 2013-11-24 06:20 am   Permalink

don't know if ol' mr exotica has been back like he said, but we went last night and gave it a try. It's a real nice cozy room, drinks were good and well presented and the decor, though sparse on tiki, still had a good vibe to it. The owner was great and very receptive to new ideas. They plan on adding some tikis and some lighting around the place. I'm going to help them out in that department. These days bars need to cater to a multitude of markets to survive ,hence the friday night dance party, but they are considering doing a special night of exotica and surf for the tikiphiles, which is great. I can't drink there every night but when i do go, i like to know that the music and vibe is going to be what i'm looking for when i show up. Food was very tasty(we had a couple appetizers), i reccomend the chicken tenders with the three flavored sauces and the pork nuggets. The drink prices were right on the money. About $7 on average a drink for most. martinis were less that the usual $10-$11 you would pay at most other places and still served in the big martini glass. I'm usually not a fan of strip mall bars but hey, if tong's tiki hut can do it for so many years, why not the kona kai ? We're just glad to see yet another tropical oasis here in chicagoland, so come on out and support these folks !!


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