September 22, 2005

The Alibi in Portland Undergoing Renovation

Filed under: News,Portland,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 4:03 am
The Alibi -- Portland
The Alibi in Portland

The Alibi in Portland, Oregon has a long history, and a promising future. The establishment today known as the Alibi began as the Chat n’ Nibble, a stop along a dirt road in the late 1800s. Over time, the bar morphed, becoming Max’s Alibi, becoming simply The Alibi, and expanding into a restaurant. The Alibi went Polynesian in the middle of the last century, though much of the existing decor dates from about the ’70s.

The Alibi has been operated under lease from the property owner since the 1980s, and the lease agreement has stated that the decor must remain intact. The current lessors have been learning about tiki culture from the dedicated local tiki community, and they share the desire to keep the tiki torches burning (even if only figuratively) at The Alibi. To that end, there are efforts underway to renovate the tiki, while keeping the decor intact. The Orchids of Hawaii lamps are being cleaned and repaired, the spectacular exterior sign is getting a paint job, and the water feature is being expanded. The Alibi’s owners have eagerly recruited the assistance of the local tikiphile community to lend a hand with keeping the tiki aesthetic in good shape.

Just one request guys — keep it dark!

One Response to “The Alibi in Portland Undergoing Renovation”

  1. Humu Kon Tiki » Blog Archive » My Travels: 2006 Portland Tiki Crawl Says:

    [...] Day two included a visit to the Alibi, pictured above. The Alibi is the shining star of Portland tiki; the bar has a very long history, having started as the Chat n’ Nibble when the road it was on was the main dirt road for horse carts to get to town. It went thorugh a series of evolutions through the years, until becoming tiki in the post-WWII era, and undergoing a remodel and expansion in the ’70s. The natural build-up of dust, cigarette smoke and general grime slowly took its toll, and this past year, the same team of folks who throw the annual crawl started spending every Sunday there volunteering to clean the joint up. The results are outstanding — lamps shine brightly (but not too brightly!), the mural is looking lovely, and there are so many more little details to be seen now. There is more cleanup to be done, but it’s already looking worlds better. The famous neon Alibi sign has also had a refresh, and is looking better than ever. The drinks… well, the drinks still need a lot of work (One gentleman’s Mai Tai came with olives in it! And I thought it couldn’t get worse than the dreaded pineapple juice and grenadine.), but it’s all a big step in the right direction, and gives me great hope. [...]

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Humuhumu is the creator of several tiki websites. She is a designer and programmer based out of San Francisco.

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