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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki The Alibi, Portland, OR (restaurant)
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The Alibi, Portland, OR (restaurant)
Trader Ben
Member

Joined: Oct 15, 2006
Posts: 1
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2006-10-19 11:08 pm   Permalink

Hey all, I live near Portland and believe it or not, I have never been to the Alibi.
I was wondering if this would be a restaurant to take the kids to or not. Another post said it was no longer a "family restaurant," so does that mean no minors?

Thanks


 
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Rum Balls
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Oct 04, 2004
Posts: 879
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2006-10-20 07:54 am   Permalink

No minors at the Alibi. The interior and ambience are awesome, but food is average and drinks are below-average. Also pretty smokey-smelling, if that bothers you. And karaoke takes over later in the evening.
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woofmutt
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 26, 2002
Posts: 2601
From: Seattilite Telstar
Posted: 2006-10-20 5:42 pm   Permalink

I'd put the food at above average for bar food. The drinks are pretty much the same lackluster level of quality as every commercial Tiki/Exotica bar I've ever drank at. (Which I admit is not a long list. And Noodles in Las Vegas is the exception on that list.)

Occasionally one bartender seems to be able to put out a decent tropical beverage, but I generally stick to wells and beer. The house Bloody Mary (their own mix) is usually dang good.

Mid-afternoon is a great time to hit the Alibi. You beat any evening crowd (and there's no chance of running into karaoke which is LOUD) plus it's so dark inside you have no idea it's daytime.
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tigertail777
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 25, 2004
Posts: 670
From: Oregon
Posted: 2011-07-14 02:49 am   Permalink

SO I finally made it to the alibi a few days ago to celebrate a young friend's 21st birthday. This being my first tiki bar, I can't rate how the drinks were. I had to take it easy with the alcohol because of a gout condition, but did have one drink: a "Hula Hoochee" (coconut rum, orange juice,cranberry juice) which was quite good, and I also sampled a bit of a pina colada which was also good. I was originally going to order a pina colada, but was disappointed to learn it doesn't come in a carved out pineapple there.

I loved the interior decor, but as an artist with an eye for detail I couldn't help but feel some of it was a little worn out looking, and that there needed to be just a little more polynesian eye candy, particularly some kind of water feature like a waterfall. I loved the blacklight mural, but it needs a little touch up to get it looking its best again. Overall though it is some great retro decor.

The food was surprisingly pretty good: I got a sampler Hawaiian platter (basically a pu pu platter), and some pulled pork BBQ sliders. I am not normally a fan of shrimp, but I really liked the coconut shrimp on the platter. Could have done with a bit of fresh poi to go along with it, but I imagine that would be hard to come by here. Can't have everything.

All of this though really is minor nitpicking, I completely enjoyed myself and loved the aloha atmosphere. Not really a big fan of karaoke, but I had fun trying to sing "In the Tiki,Tiki,Tiki Room".

Only thing is I forgot the darned camera! Oh well I am sure I will be back and this time with the camera.

[ This Message was edited by: tigertail777 2011-07-14 02:53 ]


 
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Vintage Roadside
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 21, 2009
Posts: 72
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2011-08-01 09:24 am   Permalink

We always like to stop in when we're in that part of town. It's a great bit of history.



 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11126
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-08-01 9:14 pm   Permalink

Thank you Jeff! Beautiful shot! After having visited this classic Tiki joint for the first time again since I photographed it for Tiki Modern in April of 2002, I am sad to find it sorely under-represented here on TC. Luckily it is still in the same condition than it was at my first visit. Here are some snapshots I took of some of the glorious features of the place:

The best original collection of Beachcomber lamps:



That great modernist soffit bamboo ceiling:



Fun faux Witco artwork (photographed in 2002) made by "Artistry in Wood":



And the entrance hut:



I am now 95% convinced that this "hut" must have been taken over from the Portland Kon-Tiki when that place closed in 1980. Here is why:

Stephen Crane's The Luau became the pattern after which he modeled his Kon Tiki restaurants, especially the first two, the Montreal (1958) and the Portland (1959) Kon Tikis:

After entering the Luau, you would find yourself in a small hut, from which you would reach the different sections of the restaurant. I have never seen a photo of it in situ, but there was an illustration of it in the Luau's menu:



With the help of this illustration, I recognized two remnants of the Luau in the Hanalei Hotel courtyard (where they had been brought after the Luau closed): That now iconic Tiki, and the hut itself:



Now, both of the Kon Tiki's blue prints show that this hut was copied for each of these follow up restaurants. It was called an "Entry Tepe":





Here is my previously unpublished shot of the "Tepe" at the Alibi, from 2002 (lit with the support of TikiMaxton!):



It is just half of the hut, but since I have never seen a structure like this used in any other Tiki Temple, I peg this to be the Kon Tiki Tepe!

[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2011-08-04 07:36 ]


 
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Trad'r Bill
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 14, 2008
Posts: 484
From: Hercules, CA
Posted: 2011-08-03 10:54 pm   Permalink

Wow - great shots bigbro... I need to make it to Portland now.

 
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hang10tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2010
Posts: 3805
From: Las Vegas
Posted: 2011-08-05 9:48 pm   Permalink

Was in Portland a couple weeks ago. Stopped in for a couple drinks. I was the only person in the place. Had 2 strong drinks. I asked if I could buy a drink menu, she didn't know how much to charge. I told her Frankie's sells them for $3.00, she said OK !!! Cool. Now if they would only make a MUG...

 
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Vintage Roadside
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 21, 2009
Posts: 72
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2011-08-17 10:36 am   Permalink

Going through the city of Portland archives I found this great shot from 1963 that shows the Alibi with a much simpler (though still great) neon sign and thought some of you might enjoy seeing it.



 
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dcman
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 25, 2009
Posts: 116
From: Upstate New York
Posted: 2011-08-18 04:48 am   Permalink


I was there a few weeks ago - I went around lunch and there were a few patrons there. I walked around a while and realized quickly how much tiki style was crammed into that place. While probably not everybody's favorite, I really loved the black-light, glowing mural of the hula girls.

dcman


 
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TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2011-08-18 3:24 pm   Permalink

Hey Vintage Roadside! Thanks alot for posting that picture above!! What a great shot. You're right, it's not as grand but still awesome to see the progression. For being one of the more older, original Tiki Bars, there sure doesn't seem to be too many pictures of it.

Thanks again and keep em coming!
Mahalo, TabooDan


 
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Tonga Tom
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Sep 24, 2009
Posts: 1161
From: 2 mi. south of the Hut
Posted: 2012-09-08 6:48 pm   Permalink

Okay, I'm going up Portland way next week.
Anyone visit this place lately?
What's a good day/night?
Who's the bartender(s) that can make a tasty tiki cocktail?

Thank you kindly,
TT


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11126
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2012-09-09 02:30 am   Permalink

The sign and decor are still wonderful and intact, but do not apply current craft cocktail standards to the drinks. It is still more a neighborhood bar than an urban hipster watering hole.

 
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Bora Boris
Mr. Unreasonable

Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2571
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2012-09-09 07:59 am   Permalink

and Tom please try to take some pictures of the great Palms Hotel sign up the street.

Thanks!


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Or Got Rum?
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 29, 2009
Posts: 331
From: Wisconsin
Posted: 2012-09-09 08:53 am   Permalink

Boris, Thanks for the Palms sign link....that neon is killer!

 
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