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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Chin's, Livonia, MI (restaurant )
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Chin's, Livonia, MI (restaurant )
Tipsy McStagger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3569
From: HELL
Posted: 2007-10-03 06:59 am   Permalink

word around the campfire is that a chin tiki art and gift sale/ gathering is in the works for december....stay tuned.

 
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Michele
Member

Joined: Mar 24, 2006
Posts: 7
Posted: 2010-05-25 05:33 am   Permalink




 
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Michele
Member

Joined: Mar 24, 2006
Posts: 7
Posted: 2010-05-25 11:42 am   Permalink






The food was fabulous as always!


 
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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1935
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2015-03-24 4:22 pm   Permalink

Well today found me more than two hours from my Tiki home base in Livonia. My daughter and I were there for a doctors appointment. After the official business was taken care of we headed for Chin's. It was my first visit and my daughter's first time in a classic Tiki joint. I took a ton of pics with my phone. The old Tikis from the Chin Tiki were amazing. My main interest was the bar top purported to be from the legendary Mauna Loa. I'm not sure if anyone has taken the time to photograph it so I thought I would post a few that I took today.






























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

[ This Message was edited by: uncle trav 2015-03-24 17:16 ]

[ This Message was edited by: uncle trav 2015-03-24 17:17 ]


 
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mike and marie
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2008
Posts: 173
Posted: 2015-03-25 5:03 pm   Permalink

Nice pics ... glad to see those closeups of the bar!

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11402
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2015-03-26 08:42 am   Permalink

Yes, good to get an update of the place and see that it is still in good condition. I saw that bar at the shuttered Chin Tiki.

This is really funny:



..and reminded me of this "Early Tiki Revival" classic by Moritz R.:



Is this what happens there when it's closed, at midnight?


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4629
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2015-03-26 12:14 pm   Permalink

Thanks for the photos Trav. Now is the bar from Chin Tiki or Mauna Loa? Or both? Did they have any current paper swag?

The Tikis serving behind the bar reminded me of this cartoon.




DC


 
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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1935
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2015-03-26 1:56 pm   Permalink

Thanks guys. The bar top was originally from the Monkey Bar at the Mauna Loa. It was then installed in the Chin Tiki and later moved to Chin's. DC, sorry no paper swag and I did ask. I was able to purchase a mug I was told by our waitress so I said that I would like one. For ten buck I was given a vintage OOH R-5 mug. I already had one of those but wouldn't pass on a chance to purchase a vintage mug in a vintage restaurant for nothing This place is a true time capsule. When we were there it was 11:30 AM and only one other patron was also eating lunch. Dimly lit with tons of atmosphere. Everything seemed to be well cared for. I only wish the lava rock waterfall was running at the time. The water feature is covered In a glorious plastic jungle flanked by large Tikis. Shell lamps, fish trap lamps and a single fish float are all that light the interior space. One hanging lamp of interest is in the entryway it is formed into a cylinder with an underwater scene complete with tiny blowfish that are lit up. Classic green Naugahyde adorns the booths and bamboo is everywhere. There is a hut that runs down the center of the restaurant and divides it in two. Two peacock chairs are there for your seating pleasure and many vintage tables lit by those classic glass table candles. The tables are very unique. They are encased in clear resin with shells and bits of sea glass making up the top. The rattan chairs have a very cool floral print that looks to be vintage. If you have the chance to visit Chin's please do. We had a good lunch and just being there was worth the trip and these folks need the business and support of some good folks. Thanks for taking a look.




















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Ragbag Comics
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 24, 2009
Posts: 156
From: Chicago
Posted: 2015-03-26 3:29 pm   Permalink

Nice photos, Trav!

We made the trek there for the first time last summer when we were at a wedding in Ann Arbor. The decor is fantastic, vintage and clearly of historical importance to upper Midwest Tiki lore. The feel is similar to Tong's Tiki Hut in the Chicago burbs, but much more elaborate... so many Tikis they're all jammed behind the bar! Lots of nice old OA pieces, fake foliage, matting and chinese tiles, too

The night we went for dinner, the food was tasty and the drinks were potent... there weren't too many folks there (they seemed to be doing a fair amount of delivery/carry out.) The owners were incredibly nice, asked us where we were from and thanked us for coming. Our only complaint about the atmosphere was the crappy commercial Top 40 radio playing on the overhead, commercials and all (we were tempted to bring them back a Hawaiian or Exotica CD the next day, but my assumption when places are playing commercial radio is that they've been busted by ASCAP at some point) Our waitress was new, kind of a fish out of water and was very odd and off-putting which gave us a bit of a skewed impression (I got the feeling she didn't last in that job very long) but like I say, the owners were extremely nice... still run by the same family who opened the place originally, I believe.

A great little hidden gem amidst a rather desolate and gloomy stretch of old factories.

If you're in the Detroit/Ann Arbor area, DEFINITELY check it out and give them your business!

If I can scrape up some of the photos we took, I'll definitely post 'em here, though Trav has done a great job showing what a cool little joint this is!

Bummed I didn't notice they were using vintage mugs... I'm so used to seeing the Dynasty versions, I didn't even stop to think they might still be using old Orchids stock; whoops! Oh well... I'm sure we'll be back!

--Pete


 
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Tiki Toli
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 05, 2013
Posts: 86
From: Canton Ohio
Posted: 2015-04-06 12:36 pm   Permalink

I stopped in last year and had the privilege of speaking with the grand daughter for a while. She was young, high school or college. She started telling me how her grandmothers basement is filled with tikis and other stuff from Chin Tiki and that some in the family have been pushing her to sell it, but she'll have no part of it. Was a really interesting trip that I enjoyed very much.

 
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bitterfishies
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 22, 2015
Posts: 18
Posted: 2015-05-14 10:44 am   Permalink

I snuck out to visit Chin's while I was helping my aunt recover from surgery! I wish I had been able to pack my nice camera, my phones camera is crap saddly.
IMAG0464 by carolyn w, on Flickr
IMAG0462 by carolyn w, on Flickr
IMAG0460 by carolyn w, on Flickr
IMAG0457 by carolyn w, on Flickr
IMAG0456 by carolyn w, on Flickr
IMAG0455 by carolyn w, on Flickr
IMAG0452 by carolyn w, on Flickr
IMAG0451 by carolyn w, on Flickr
IMAG0450 by carolyn w, on Flickr
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Kanu
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 17, 2011
Posts: 26
From: Michigan
Posted: 2015-05-15 08:04 am   Permalink

I love Chin's, although it scares me that it is so empty constantly. Even at prime hours on Friday/Saturday I've only ever seen at most 6-8 other people in the restaurant. Although I will say, they seem to do a pretty strong takeout business... and the Christmas party is always pretty packed.

Just wish I could pick it up and transport it to somewhere in Detroit/Metro where it'd see more foot traffic.


 
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bitterfishies
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 22, 2015
Posts: 18
Posted: 2015-05-19 08:37 am   Permalink

They seemed to be constantly handling take out orders when I was there. I hope they stay, my parents used to eat there all the time(I keep giving them grief over never taking my brother and I when we lived in Dearborn). Sadly, my husbands military so we can't always pick were we live. I'm hoping we'll be near the great lakes again soon though! I want to be a regular here!
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