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Tiki Central Forums » » Home Tiki Bars » » Prettyman's Atoll - planning a complete rebuild

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Prettyman's Atoll - planning a complete rebuild
Prettyman's Atoll
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jan 14, 2016
Posts: 13
From: Pinole, California
Posted: 2018-01-22 8:09 pm   Permalink

Hello, fellow tiki lovers!

I posted this yesterday in the Facebook group "Home Tiki Bar Builds," and they recommended I start a topic here to share my plans and progress. Apologies if you've already seen this on Facebook.

[TLDR—Unwittingly fell into my tiki destiny a few years ago and now find I need to recreate a 50-year-old the tiki bar/room from the ground up. Am looking forward to sharing my experiences with this group.]

I'm an unwitting lifelong fan of tiki. I really didn't start to realize that until about five years ago, when I started visiting local tiki bars (I'm in the SF Bay Area, so Smuggler's Cove, Forbidden Island, Trader Vic's, Tonga Room and the like).

I can't describe how I felt, other than that I felt completely at home. That's when I realized that my grandfather (William Prettyman) exposed me to tiki from my earliest days in the mid-1960s. He served in WWII in the Naval Air Services, based out of Alameda Air Station. Among the many places he spent time in WWII was Kwajalein Atoll. When he eventually settled down in North Hollywood, he and his wife converted their backyard into a tropical escape for family and friends. He never called it tiki, but it was tiki.

Fast forward to about three years ago. My wife and I and our 6-month old were looking for a place big enough for her to have the sort of childhood experiences we wanted for her. That's when we found our forever home. Built in 1959–1960 by a man who appreciated entertaining and tiki—so much so that he built a 20 x 25 foot tiki room onto his house in the early 1960s. He lived there until he died in 2013. The house was then bought by people who thought tiki=={Miami Vice, Florida and Jimmy Buffet}, and their "improvements" came close to ruining this long-surviving tiki oasis.

We bought the house in Summer 2015 and ripped out the neon parrots and day-glo margarita accessories and found a 50-55-year-old tiki bar underneath it all. We spend most of our adult quality time in the tiki bar and we were looking forward to restoring it to its former glory. We've named it "Prettyman's Atoll" after my grandfather and his time in the South Pacific during WWII, and we've created a 4-page menu of offerings.

It was paradise until last year's rains came. While the original owner knew tiki, he knew bupkis about structural engineering. The roof is sagging and threatening to collapse (we've shored it up with timber and jacks), so we know that has to be replaced ASAP. We've held off on that so far because the walls that the roof rest on are rotted, and the footings under those walls are cracked and buckled. Finally, the concrete pad that serves as the floor of the room suffers from slab heave.

So to restore/recreate our beloved tiki oasis, we have to rebuild it from the ground up. I've done a good amount of maybe-not-quite-up-to-code construction in the past, so I feel close to being up to the task, but I'm determined to do this tiki bar by the book. I've set a two-year deadline for planning, funding, and starting the remodel and a three-year deadline for finishing. I'm teaching myself AutoCAD and we're scouring the internet and thrift shops for inspiration. I'll share photos, plans, and dreams for the completely rebuilt Prettyman's Atoll, as well as photos of it as we progress towards our dream. In the meantime, here are a couple of dated photos from right after we moved in.

The tiki room is currently full of boxes of Christmas decor, but I promise I'll submit a better set of photos soon.

[ This Message was edited by: Prettyman's Atoll 2018-01-23 12:23 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Prettyman's Atoll 2018-01-23 12:26 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Prettyman's Atoll 2018-02-13 21:48 ]

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