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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki The Alibi, Portland, OR (restaurant)
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The Alibi, Portland, OR (restaurant)
Tiki Room Fan
Member

Joined: Sep 23, 2003
Posts: 8
From: Disneyland
Posted: 2003-09-24 2:14 pm   Permalink

Name:The Alibi
Type:restaurant
Street:4024 N. Interstate Ave.
City:Portland
State:OR
Zip:97227
country:USA
Phone:503/287-5335
Status:operational

Description:
The Alibi was founded in the late 1800s as a highway stop for travellers between Oregon and Washington (hence the address). In 1947 a new owner converted it into a Tiki themed restaurant/bar. Most of the present decor dates from a concentrated effort in the 1970s. Sold a few years ago, the Alibi's new owners had to pledge to retain the original decor and themed viands.

There is a full bar and restaurant, with karaoke. The interior is densely decorated. Features include a day glo bas relief of hula girls in tropical setting, entrance shaped like a barrel, and \"carved to death\" details. Booths, tables, and bar seating is available.

Also of note just down the street is the massive neon sign for the Palm Motor Court. The figural neon palm trees (complete with blue neon monkey) make a great beacon when seeking the Alibi on rainy Portland nights.



 
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tigertail777
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 25, 2004
Posts: 665
From: Oregon
Posted: 2005-02-13 12:45 pm   Permalink

I just found out about this place. I have never been in a tiki bar, so I will have to check this out sometime soon. I will have to bring a camera sounds pretty cool!

 
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Trader Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 06, 2003
Posts: 385
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2005-02-13 2:17 pm   Permalink

Decor fantastic (you walk in through a barrel!), drinks awful. Like Diet Cherry 7-up and Potato Vodka awful. Unless, of course, that's your thing.

Definitely worth a visit.
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Rum Balls
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Oct 04, 2004
Posts: 877
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2005-02-14 11:45 am   Permalink

And no top-shelf rums...Bacardi Gold is about as exciting as it gets.

 
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TikiMaxton
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 557
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2005-02-18 3:27 pm   Permalink

tigertail, you'll have to join us for a NW Tiki Central happy hour one of these months. They're held the first Friday of each month, and they alternate between Alibi and Jasmine Tree. You can find out all about NW Tiki Central events by going here and signing up for the mailing list: http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=6400&forum=4&46

We also hope to see you at the NW Tiki Crawl in June. Details here:
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=12695&forum=4&24


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tigertail777
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 25, 2004
Posts: 665
From: Oregon
Posted: 2005-02-20 10:54 am   Permalink

wow thanks for the invite! I am excited I have never been to anything like this before. The tiki crawl in particular sounds like a hell of a lot of fun!

 
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TikiMaxton
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 557
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2005-11-02 5:32 pm   Permalink

I think some Alibi updates are in order. First, I'd like to note that Alibi owner, Larry White, is a friend of tiki, and went out of his way (despite a serious heart condition) to make sure the NW Tiki Crawl was well taken care of during our time there. Larry's a great guy, and, though he's not steeped in the Tiki tradition, he respects it, and has made a habit of asking those of us in the know for advice when it comes to decorating and remodeling.

The wonderful Alibi sign is undergoing a full-scale refurbishment, and thanks to Larry for calling on the NW Tiki makeover team, it's not going to be purple and teal. The sign painters they called in are actually third generation of the family that did the original sign, and we talked them into the closest thing possible to an authentic restoration. It's going to be beautiful when finished, which should be in the next month or so.

Al (with the ponytail) is no longer the head bartender at the Alibi, and the drink quality has improved remarkably. Though still geared for mainstream tastes, the bar now stocks some better rums (it's one of only 2 bars in town I know of that stock one of my favorites, Cruzan Blackstrap), and the new head bartender, Reid, will make your drink extra sour if you ask him to.

New menu designs are underway, and they incorporate a more classic (and less clip-arty) look. I saw the proofs last week and they're going to be very nice.

Some upcoming remodeling projects will include a thatched roof over the bar, the repair and refurbishment of the long-forgotten fountain, and a new look for the awful mirrored fireplace. I'm meeting with Larry and his wife, Carla, tomorrow to pore over an Oceanic Arts catalog, so you can expect to see some new tikis and lamps in the near future.

All in all, the Alibi is in the process of sprucing up, but not "modernizing" in any way. Larry is no longer under any obligation to keep the place the way it's always been, but now he does so by choice, and is determined to maintain the Alibi's famous tiki charm.

If you have any suggestions about how to improve the Alibi, please post them here or email me directly and I'll pass them on. Before you say, "Ban smoking", I can tell you that's not going to happen until the state mandates it, nor will Larry kick the lottery habit. Other than those things, suggest away, and I'll let Larry know what you're thinking.

Viva Alibi!


 
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Humuhumu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3598
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2005-11-02 5:53 pm   Permalink

My #1 suggestion is to keep it dark! I LOVE how it takes a couple minutes for my eyes to adjust as I enter the Alibi, and I love how the darkness gives the nooks & crannies a sense of mystery.

I haven't tasted the new bartender's drinks yet, so it would be improper for me to scrutinize that, but I'm gonna anyway: MEASURE! No tiki bar can make good drinks without measuring -- despite having to get drinks out pronto to a packed crowd, they know at Trader Vic's and at Tiki-Ti that your jigger must be your constant companion.

This is so wonderful! Huge congratulations and thanks are in order to all the people who are working together to keep the character of the Alibi intact.

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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2005-11-02 6:13 pm   Permalink

Hooray for Larry and tikimaxton! How many times do you hear that a classic tiki place (or any old place for that matter) will be remodeled (cringe), and they actually care enough to bring it closer to the classic tiki style, remove some of the tacky add-ons from the 80s, and try to make the drinks better? Not once that I can recall.

Marvelous news!
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Rum Balls
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Oct 04, 2004
Posts: 877
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2005-11-03 4:29 pm   Permalink

This is great news...now I'm even more sad I'll miss Friday's happy hour. I especially excited to hear that the rum selection is improving!


 
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TikiMaxton
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 557
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2005-11-03 5:05 pm   Permalink

Another update - you can decide for yourself whether it's good news or bad news: OLCC rules have forced the Alibi to discontinue their "family dining" setup. This means that minors are no longer allowed in any portion of the premises at any time.

I had the blackened prime rib sandwich today for the first time - to DIE for! If you're a carnivore like me, I highly recommend it!


 
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dogbytes
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 2241
From: seattle, wa
Posted: 2006-04-23 11:49 pm   Permalink

we stopped into the Alibi for dinner .. my friends were WOWed with the decor and food fantastic as usual! the place is even nicer than the last time we visited. great waitress, lounge-y music playing in the background.. i love this place!

i dont remember these great platters.. at first i thought the waitress was carring a tray with 2 of our meals on it.. i was stunned to find out, this was mine!


Seafood Combo (scallops, clam strips, shrimp, oysters, stuffed shrimp and halibut, served with a huge salad and garlic bread and i chose onion rings as my side...


 
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TikiTrevor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 15, 2004
Posts: 205
From: Portland, OR (originally
Posted: 2006-07-25 9:04 pm   Permalink

Time for a bump and an update if anyone has one...

I'm going to be in Porkland (hehe, sorry had too) Oregon for one night next Tuesday and wanted to know if this place is still worth the treck? I'm going with a co-worker and I'm gonna have to make a huge effort to make it out there. Any updates on the place????


 
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Jungle Trader
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2003
Posts: 3735
From: Trader's Jungle Outpost, Turlock, Ca.
Posted: 2006-07-25 9:11 pm   Permalink

Oh heck yeah it's worth it. The Alibi is "over the top". I was up there for the NW Tiki Kon in June. Larry (the owner) told me he was trying to change and add more but it seemed to me that The Alibi was just right. The place is fairly good size with lots of nooks to get lost in, and heavy on the Tipsy (Tikis per square yard) scale. Beautiful, ya gotta see it.

Search for the thread on the NW Tiki Kon in the Tiki Events forum.


 
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dogbytes
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 2241
From: seattle, wa
Posted: 2006-07-25 11:15 pm   Permalink

you MUST experience the Alibi. the food, drinks and decor are fantastic..and the vibe puts it over the top!

ditch the coworkers if you must.. just get the to The Alibi!


 
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