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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Ghosts of Tiki Bars Past... Wisconsin... Update!
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Ghosts of Tiki Bars Past... Wisconsin... Update!
Lake Surfer
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 21, 2002
Posts: 3379
From: Milwaukee, WI
Posted: 2003-12-07 4:02 pm   Permalink

I'd like to post up on "Finding Tiki" so I was hoping James could paste in the info he had on Mai Kai on his pages... I'll share the photos...

Anyway... this deceased tiki bar was located in the city of West Allis, WI on 57th and Lincoln Avenue... the Mai Kai Lounge... its now a nasty sports bar and I have no idea what they are trying to do with the outside... or not trying to do... West Allis is in a bit of a blight these days...

Luckily there are still traces of the Mai Kai... the "burned in" image of the mask and letters of the sign...



The great entrance still exists too with the torches...


Like I said, I have no idea what they are going for with the exterior... the blue paint...?




A scarey man on his phone came out and started yelling at me for taking pictures... he demanded to know what they were for... I just said they were for a book and had to do with architecture and the bar that was there previously...

I remember as a youngster seeing the outside of this bar in the 80's and my mom had gone there many times while she was in nursing school in the late 60's... So close but so far...

Here's another long lost tiki establishment... it was a Polynesian themed hotel and eatery... I can't nail down the name of it but it was in Wauwatosa, WI on Bluemound Road... once again, in my younger years I remember the huge tiki torches sticking out from the pool building and large tikis and masks on the exterior...


It was sold to Days Inn and it looks like any old motel except for subtle traces of tiki architecture...

The back of the motel...




The old eatery was gutted and redone to its current form as Bluemound Gardens and it has no tiki what so ever these days... the existing frame of the building is for the most part still what the old eatery was if I remember correctly, but like I said that was at least 15 years ago I think...



I'd love to do some digging but I don't know how far I'd get... but just thought I'd share some pictures with you...





[ This Message was edited by: Lake Surfer 2006-09-30 23:17 ]


 
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FLOUNDERart
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Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 1140
From: Orlando Florida
Posted: 2003-12-07 4:14 pm   Permalink

Wonder where all the decor has gone. If I were you I'd be doing some searching around those parts, like in antique stores.
Thanks for the pics.
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tikibars
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 2024
From: Aku Hall, Chicago
Posted: 2003-12-07 4:25 pm   Permalink

When I was at the former Mai Kai in the summer of 2001, the owner told me that all the decor was gone. It was hard to get more info out of her. I think some of it may have gone to a collector in Chicago named Laurie, but I cannot confirm it.




 
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Atomic Cocktail
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Joined: Jun 25, 2002
Posts: 925
From: Land O' The Next Big One-L.A.
Posted: 2003-12-08 12:58 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2003-12-07 16:02, Lake Surfer wrote:

A scarey man on his phone came out and started yelling at me for taking pictures... he demanded to know what they were for...




You blew your chance!

You should have told him you were "Alan Hicklesworth" from the city's "Department of Historic Preservation" and you are documenting the destruction of important artifacts in the area under city ordinance BS 65.22.7.

AND, if he did not stop interfering with you business you would be forced to call THAT police officer down the street so you could continue your important work. You should have also reminded him the penalty for screaming at a city employee while concurrently talking on a cell phone is a fine of not less then $6,000 or 60 days in the country prison, which, by the way, was constructed in 1902 and has not been renovated since 1947...


 
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fatuhiva
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 634
From: Melbourne Beach, FL
Posted: 2003-12-08 7:00 pm   Permalink

awesome shots.

There is something that really moves in me when I see these tiki ghosts. It's a bit depressing, yes, but its also like seeing a dinosaur fossil lodged into the strata of a hillside.

I have a few items from that particular Mai Kai. I can tell becuase the font was consistent on their promo stuff, and noticeably different from the font of the more famous Mai Kai in Ft. Laud. When I get my hands on them, I will post it here for you.

I know the feeling about having driven past a tiki place as a kid. I used to get shuttled past the Kon Tiki Hotel in what is now a rundown area of Phoenix. At the time the torches burned around the pool and I used to always want to know what was behind the tiki-masked fencing, and inside that giant triangle lobby...



[ This Message was edited by: fatuhiva on 2003-12-08 19:02 ]


 
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2792
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2003-12-09 11:55 am   Permalink

Great photos, LakeSurfer.

I agree with Fatuhiva. Don't know what it is about spotting an old A-frame like that that makes my pulse quicken. I usually swerve over to the side of the road, get out my digital camera and start shooting. I love those torches on the Mai Kai doorway. Do they ever still light them?

Here's the meager results of my "Wisconsin" page in my postcard folder. Thought these sites might be worth checking out to see if anything still exists:



Here's HAROLD'S LEILANI MOTEL at 18615 West Bluemound Road, Brookfield, WI 53005. "60 units in unique Polynesian decor, year round heated pool with outdoor sun-patio, queen size beds, continental breakfast, restaurant and cocktail lounge on premises. Most major credit cards accepted. Phone 414-786-7100"


HINANO TAHITIAN DRUM DANCERS - "Excitement from the South Pacific - Drums - Knives - Fire - Exotic Girls. Doug Alii and the Limbo. Freatured at TOMMY BARTLETT'S WATER SKI SHOW, Wisconsin Dells - Lake Delton, WI" Postcard is postmarked Jul 10 1969.




TIKI MOTEL - Wisconsin Dells, WI. "Relax amid 6 acres Polynesian Charm on Lake Delton in the heart of Wisconsin Dells. Aloha." Postmarked Oct 18, 1969.

Sabu


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[ This Message was edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy on 2003-12-09 12:06 ]


 
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Tacky Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 27, 2002
Posts: 258
From: Tackyville, N. CA
Posted: 2003-12-09 2:54 pm   Permalink

Fatuhiva:

What street was Kon Tiki on? Indian School? McDowell? What was the cross street (or avenue!) Wasn't it torn down in 97? Too many questions?

I lived there in 95-96. I vaguely remember sseing it, but I can't quite place it (not because of too many mai tais, either-I'm posting from work!)

Any other Phoenix tiki ghosts that you know of? There was one on Central-I have a mug from them-The Islands?



Tacky


 
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Cultjam
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 21, 2002
Posts: 367
From: Phoenix, Arizona
Posted: 2003-12-09 5:37 pm   Permalink

If I may:

LEI'D TO REST THE VALLEY'S MOST EXOTIC LANDMARK SLOWLY SINKS INT THE SUNSET

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[ This Message was edited by: Cultjam on 2003-12-09 17:38 ]


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Shipwreckjoey
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 29, 2002
Posts: 1794
From: San Diego, CA
Posted: 2003-12-09 8:00 pm   Permalink

Great pics LakeSurfer...in stark contrast to Sabu's postcards shown below. I hate to say it, but this place looks bleak...it could definately stand a tiki makeover. It's too bad that doesn't appear to be the direction they're heading. I guess nowadays you gotta be like Clint Eastwood, Demi Moore or Sonny Bono and just go in and say "OK, I'm in charge now and this is what we're gonna do." It looks like West Allis is pretty close to Milwaukee (the American beer drinker's Mecca at one time). A coupla months ago when I was going through a "I'm fed up with my job and the sorry state of California" phase I applied for a job in Marinette, WI. which is north of Green Bay (BRRRR). I never heard anything back, so I guess they 1).didn't like my resume 2).thought I was totally insane for wanting to relocate from So. Cal to WI at the onset of winter, or 3).lost there there contract. Anyway, I'm gonna stick it out here and look forward to my next vacation in Chicago...one of the coolest cities I've ever been to.

 
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purple jade
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 19, 2003
Posts: 1450
From: New Orleans
Posted: 2003-12-09 8:20 pm   Permalink

That Tiki Motel looks so great! I'm sure there's no way it's still there.

 
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Basement Kahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 3591
From: Jawja Province, Isle of North America
Posted: 2003-12-09 8:38 pm   Permalink

Love this post, Lake....cool digs!

 
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fatuhiva
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 634
From: Melbourne Beach, FL
Posted: 2003-12-10 02:48 am   Permalink

The kon tiki hotel was on 24th and Van Buren. There used to be alot of cool hotels/motels on VB back in the day. Now they are either torn down to build condos or they are hooker motels.

In college I was dragged along with some friends from the wrong side of the tracks to a room at the Kon Tiki they had booked. I was kinda trapped there, since I wasnt driving. Turns out they were using the room to buy a bunch of pot and divy it up to sell to other college kids.. I didn't see that one coming because I'm an idiot. But I did actually sorta get stay there.. if only for just a few lowbrow hours. Don't remember it much though. I kinda recall some glaring orange carpet in the hallways.

Last time I saw the KonTiki location it was an ugly duckling car lot.

The Aloha hotel was on 40th and VB which featured the "Samoan Village" It stood vacant and rundown for years- I broke in ther eone night and nosed around with a flashlight (VERY bad neighborhood to do this in at 1am but again im an idiot) there were still tiki-carved support poles holding up the roof. They tore it down, pulled out the poles and supposedly gave them away in a raffle at the community college expanding onto the site. I never got one.

There was a polynesian strip mall in scottsdale that was very tiki as well.

The islands stood on 7th st and camelback. I dont remember it at all- there is nothing but crap there now.

Great PC's sabu- neat way to organize them too.

if anyone living in phoenix reads this post and wants to get a little old-school tiki kick, check out this place i found when i used to live there:

Its a little apt complex called the Hawaiian Gardens. My memory of how to find it is a little hazy- but i remember there is a Taco Bell on Indian School and like 22nd or 24th or 32nd street. You turn off indian school on the street alongside the taco bell. Then you go north a little ways keeping your eyes open for this apt complex. In the front there is a tiki. or there was. Sometimes the bushes overgrew the tiki, so if you find the place check the bushes. One of my favorite tiki spots, because its such a hidden gem.

here is the map to the taco bell. The place is on that street just to the east of it. Happy hunting, and if anybody finds this place, snap a pic for us.

(link too big- use mapquest and address/zip below)

or you can go to
http://viewers.globexplorer.com/prtViewer/2D3DViewer/Viewer.jsp

type in 2450 E Indian School Rd and zip 85016

you will see a satellite image come up. Then zoom out one level to zoom level 12. after that, click north one time and you will see the place's pool along the top just a little right of center



[ This Message was edited by: fatuhiva on 2003-12-10 03:23 ]


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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2953
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2003-12-10 06:40 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2003-12-09 17:37, Cultjam wrote:
If I may:

LEI'D TO REST THE VALLEY'S MOST EXOTIC LANDMARK SLOWLY SINKS INT THE SUNSET

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Lisa Lisa

[ This Message was edited by: Cultjam on 2003-12-09 17:38 ]



ummm... "Flaming Cabbage Head Weenies..."
"Pu Pu Sauce..."

great band names right there for you, folks...

j$
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2792
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2004-09-21 5:19 pm   Permalink

Last year I posted a picture of "Harold's Leilani Motel" in Brookfield, Wisconsin:


Now take a gander at what the same place looked like in its heyday, as "THE LEILANI VILLAGE!"


The sign looks very reminiscent of the Kon Tiki signs in Phoenix and Tucson. Would have loved to have seen the torches blazing and the giant tikis out front, as I landed in my helicoptor. Wonder what became of them.

Sabu

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[ This Message was edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy on 2004-09-21 17:21 ]


 
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Lake Surfer
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 21, 2002
Posts: 3379
From: Milwaukee, WI
Posted: 2004-09-21 10:21 pm   Permalink

Very cool Sabu! And sad that it was around before my time here! We had so much potential as a tiki city with three or more tiki establishments!

 
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