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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Does anyone know about the Kapu-Kai in CA?
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Does anyone know about the Kapu-Kai in CA?
Unga Bunga
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Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 5821
From: CaliTikifornia
Posted: 2003-10-26 1:23 pm   Permalink

I found this by accident on Ebay, and looks like it was a real wild place.
"Kapu-Kai Tahitian type entertainment restaurant, club and bowling alley, 8874 Foothill Blvd., Cucamonga, California."
I'm a native Californian and I have never heard of this place. Sometimes you wish you could just go back in time to witness these classics.



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[ This Message was edited by: Unga Bunga 2012-01-17 11:00 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11242
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2003-10-27 6:27 pm   Permalink

Man, what a great card. Wish I would have had that for the BOT, where you will find the menu cover and 5 b&w shots on pages 198/199, also a b&W rendering on page 57 upper right corner.
I saw it as a closed down ruin in the mid 90s. It had been turned into a country style roller rink in the 80s and then closed down after a flash flooding from the hills. Only the structural support Tiki posts were left between the lanes. Tried to have the site monitored to get them, but to no avail. Years later someone traded one to Bosko, it now has it's own A-frame altar in his yard.

Save that card for me, U.B.!


 
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Bamboo Bob
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Joined: Sep 26, 2003
Posts: 178
From: OCEANSIDE, CA
Posted: 2003-10-28 12:11 pm   Permalink

...Dinning, Dancing, Bowling - the Kapu Kai had it all!

 
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BobFJ40
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Dec 20, 2004
Posts: 24
From: Hesperia Ca.
Posted: 2005-01-13 9:38 pm   Permalink

I used to roller skate there as a kid. I now know why I have tiki in my blood. I was influanced with out knowing it. I did not know, think, or care about tiki when I was in 6th grade but I wish I would have checked it out beter now.

 
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MaiTaiMafia
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Joined: Dec 03, 2004
Posts: 84
From: Kapolei, HI
Posted: 2005-01-13 10:09 pm   Permalink

I seem to remember the building facade - but not the name. I'm a native Californian as well, born in Upland- not far from this place. We moved to the beach when I was very young, but my grandparents lived in Cucamonga. Wow- what a great flashback!
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Derek C
Member

Joined: Jan 20, 2007
Posts: 2
From: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Posted: 2007-01-20 3:24 pm   Permalink

Yes, I remember the old Kapu Kai Restaurant and Bowling Alley, corner of Route 66 (Foothill Blvd) and Vineyard Avenue in Cucamonga, CA. Cucamonga is roughly 40-miles east of Los Angeles.



"Kapu Kai" supposedly means "Forbidden Seas."

I've also seen it defined: "Kapu kai ... ceremonial bath when in the sea or in other sea or salt water... done to purify oneself after evil or defilement, physical or spiritual and to remove the kapu (taboo) under which the person usually came because of his/her defilement."

My father used to bowl at Kapu Kai and our family ate at the restaurant (on occasion) during the 1960s. I was a young child (well under 10) at the time.



The Kapu Kai was (unfortunately) located adjacent to a flood-control channel and was destroyed during the winter of 1968/1969 by terrible floods (worst local flooding since 1938.) It subsequently remained abandoned for years. During the later 1970s/early 1980s the location re-emerged as "Roller-City" a roller-skating rink.



Roller-City ended as well and the property was (once again) abandoned. Eventually the property was bulldozed and it is now (since the year 2000 or so) an Albertson's Supermarket within a typical mini-mall.

I found photos of this Kapu Kai postcard, matchbook cover and a three-face bucket mug online.

Would like to know more about it too as I was too young to remember much about it when it was open. I vaguely remember the "Tahitian Flame Room" which I believe was the cocktail lounge portion of the facility, the restaurant and bowling-lanes.

[ This Message was edited by: Derek C 2007-02-01 10:26 ]


 
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kapu_kai_son
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Dec 15, 2007
Posts: 24
Posted: 2007-12-16 01:37 am   Permalink

Aloha,

My father and his partners were owners of the Kapu Kai. The Kapu Kai was flooded twice. Nobody would think to have flood insurance in the middle of the desert, and when the first flood happened, the owners mortgaged their homes to bail it out. The second flood "broke the camels back" and it was left in ruins.

Unfortunately I don't have any of the memorabilia, but I know that highball tumblers, ashtrays and a few other trinkets still exist. I was only seven when all this happened, so most of what I know was related to me. I'm guessing that my mother or step mom have all the goodies and all the pictures of the place before and after the floods.

Before my father passed away we got him to make his kapu Kai salad dressing while we wrote down the recipe. Sadly this seems to be misplaced in our house but if I find it and if anyone is still reading this thread, I'll post it up. I haven't made in in a long time because it contains MSG (who cared about that back then?)but I am hoping to create a reasonable facsimile with healthier ingredients.

Aloha,
Colin



 
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uncle trav
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Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1816
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2007-12-16 04:34 am   Permalink

Sounds great! Keep those memories alive. Anything you can dig up or relate to folks here will be fantastic. Thanks for posting.



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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1771
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2007-12-16 07:41 am   Permalink

Welcome to Tiki Central Colin! We are all very interested in any information, pictures, stories, etc that you may have on the Kapu-Kai. As has happened a number of times before, decendants of those who once owned or worked in long-gone tiki establishments have discovered Tiki Central and shared information with us about these places that they get from their families. If you can dig anything up, we'd love to hear it!

Click here for a prime example of how this has happened before. Hopefully this will inspire you to do a little digging!

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tikiyaki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 18, 2004
Posts: 2710
From: The Exotic Port of REDONDO BEACH, CA
Posted: 2007-12-16 08:04 am   Permalink

Kapu Kai Son

Wow, people like you are sought after on this forum. Someone whose parent or relative owned one of the many great, but extinct Tiki establishments. It's so great that you signed up. How did you find the forum ?

So, any photos/memorabelia you have, We'd love to see them. Also, that salad dressing recipe....post that too.

Also. Do you have any information on the architects who built it ?

Anyway, the Kapu Kai sure looks like Polynesian Pop at it's finest.



[ This Message was edited by: tikiyaki 2007-12-16 08:05 ]


 
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kapu_kai_son
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Dec 15, 2007
Posts: 24
Posted: 2007-12-18 01:01 am   Permalink

We're having dinner at my mom's house next weekend and I'll see what she has. I e-mailed her the photos and she was quite surprised to see them. She replied that she doesn't have any memorabilia but she does have photos of the damage after the floods.

I found this site on a whim. I typed in Kapu Kai and what a surprise!

Aloha,
Colin


 
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kapu_kai_son
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Dec 15, 2007
Posts: 24
Posted: 2007-12-31 6:29 pm   Permalink

Here are some photos of the damage done by the flood Sorry for the large picture size!


My brother and I (I have the red boots)


This used to be a road


Looking at the front of the building


The back entrance under 8' of mud and sand


The nightclub


More of the nightclub


The Dining Room


The Bowling Lanes

All and all a pretty sad ending for the place.


 
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mymotiki
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Joined: Sep 18, 2007
Posts: 552
From: Mount Vernon WA Via Seattle WA
Posted: 2007-12-31 7:00 pm   Permalink

Dear Kapu Kai Son
Wow, I am really sorry about all the damage. It is great that you shared your family pictures with us.
Thank You!
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tikiyaki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 18, 2004
Posts: 2710
From: The Exotic Port of REDONDO BEACH, CA
Posted: 2007-12-31 8:20 pm   Permalink

Whoa....Sad indeed. The flood damage is really exemplified by the shot of the bowling lanes...floating pins and balls everywhere. Man, that is sad.

What a great place this was.



[ This Message was edited by: tikiyaki 2007-12-31 20:21 ]


 
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Tom Slick
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Joined: Aug 26, 2005
Posts: 1092
From: The Beaches of South Bay, SoCal
Posted: 2008-01-01 9:20 pm   Permalink

My heart stopped looking at those pictures, and then I got chills....Amazing how bad the storm hit the place....Those pictures sum it all up, in a very unwanted way...Welcome to TC,and thanks for sharing!

 
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