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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Kon Tiki, Palm Springs 1956
Kon Tiki, Palm Springs 1956
kiara
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 06, 2005
Posts: 121
From: Wan Q
Posted: 2013-12-17 8:52 pm   Permalink

I've done a search for Kon Tiki Palm Springs on TC but can't seem to find any info.
I would put this in locating Tiki, but the only info I have is this Ad from 1956.

I hope I'm qualified to post an image here now.
Does anyone have any more info on this Restaurant/bar? Thanks....



 
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2199
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2013-12-17 9:02 pm   Permalink

You may try contacting the City of Palm Springs and asking if they have any records from the time when the restaurant was built or in operation. Also, sometimes local libraries have copies of old phone books and Yellow Pages with ads. You can also try talking with the librarians and ask them about locals who are up on history, place names, points of interest, etc. or even about local newspapers who may have knowledgeable people on staff.

Just some thoughts... I did a quick Google search and didn't really see any hits on this. Hang on to whatever info you have, and thanks for posting the image. Over time there is no telling when more info will appear.
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11588
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2013-12-17 9:07 pm   Permalink

Not much, just this little menu here



(I am not in possession of the item, it is far away in Florida)



 
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kiara
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 06, 2005
Posts: 121
From: Wan Q
Posted: 2013-12-17 9:13 pm   Permalink

I know I've seen that menu before. Not sure where. This ad came from a tourist brochure/map dated Saturday, March 3rd, 1956.

 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 5047
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2013-12-17 9:44 pm   Permalink

I have always been intrigued by this place. First sighting I had was a matchbook.




It advertises locations in both Palm Springs AND South Lake Tahoe. Have never been able to track down any more info on either location.


DC


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 5047
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2013-12-17 10:01 pm   Permalink

Well wouldn't you know, PTD had posted a menu from the South Lake Tahoe Kon Tiki location.



Now we are getting somewhere!

DC


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 5047
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2014-05-11 09:09 am   Permalink

A little advertisement flier from the Kon Tiki South Lake Tahoe location.



With a Beachcomber reference!





DC


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 5047
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2014-08-11 4:54 pm   Permalink

Spotted this old slide on ebay a while back that gives us a peek at the Kon Tiki Restaurant exterior in South Lake Tahoe.





DC


 
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Otto
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 944
From: NorCal
Posted: 2016-02-07 10:17 pm   Permalink

Saw these on Facebook posted by Suze Datz, thought I would add them here for historical purposes.

Advertisement in the 1956 Palm Springs High School Yearbook:


And a different version of the advert that Kiara originally posted. This version includes typeset instead of hand-written type. I believe this is from Desert Sun, Number 144, 10 April 1956 restaurant advertisement page that also features a very boring type-only add for Chi Chi Restaurant.


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[ This Message was edited by: Otto 2016-02-07 22:18 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Otto 2016-02-07 22:27 ]


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Otto
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 944
From: NorCal
Posted: 2016-02-07 10:35 pm   Permalink

And more info from Desert Sun, Number 54, 6 November 1956:
AMONG OPENING NIGHT customers at the Kon Tiki being greeted Mrs. William Tackett and daughter. Pamela. by host Neal Olson, left, are, left to right. Bill Fadden, and Mr. and

Although the caption is cut off we do get one of the owner's full name: Neal Olson

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Otto
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 944
From: NorCal
Posted: 2016-02-07 11:43 pm   Permalink

Based on ads run weekly in the Desert Sun newspaper, apparently the Kon Tiki was only open from Nov 1, 1954 (?) to April of 1959 when it became the Hilo Hut
The owners, Neal Olson & Chuck Johnson (originally spelled Johnston on all early ads but consistently spelled Johnson in multiple ads between 1958-59)
Here are ads from 1954, 1957, and 1958




Here is announcement of Hilo Hut April 29, 1959:

OFFICIALLY OPENING I - Hilo Hut. Santos De Jesus, Mrs William Tackett and Morris Solo try out the buffet Although opened late in the winter season, the new restaurant, located at Andreas Road near Indian 'formerly known as the Kon Tiki l will lie operated next season by the well known caterer and managed by his son, Harris Tiie
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Otto
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 944
From: NorCal
Posted: 2016-02-08 12:14 am   Permalink

Although the owners are billed as Olson & Johnson (often with an ampersand not the word "and") they are not to be confused with the 1930/40s comedy team of Ole Olsen & Chic Johnson who continued to work on TV and in Vegas thru the 1950s
http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/92529%7C0/Olson-Johnson.html

Oddly the Olsen & Johnson show opened at the Chi Chi in Nov 1953, and both are buried in Palm Desert Memorial cemetery.
Also odd that Olsen & Johnson is often misspelled as Olson & Johnson. And Chuck Johnson and Chic Johnson are very similar?

Maybe the owners of the Kon Tiki were trying to play off their names' resemblance to the famous comedy duo and ride on their coattails?
Afterall, to name your Tiki restaurant Kon Tiki in 1954 is an obvious ploy to ride on the coattails of the movie which was released 1950/51
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Murph
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Joined: Jul 11, 2006
Posts: 804
From: SoCal
Posted: 2016-07-27 2:09 pm   Permalink

I found mention of the Kon Tiki Palm Springs on this 1958 Vistor's guide to Palm Springs...
it even got its own custom Tiki font.
Can you spot it?





 
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Otto
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 944
From: NorCal
Posted: 2017-10-03 12:30 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2016-07-27 14:09, Murph wrote:

it even got its own custom Tiki font.
Can you spot it?




That is very odd considering the scope of the brochure with all those businesses and a focus on Western entertainment?
Kon Tiki must have had some pull in the community or political clout or at the very least they knew the company that made the brochure?
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