Entries from December 2005

December 17, 2005

Stolen Tiki Alert: Lalajava in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts

Filed under: New England,News,Stolen Tiki Alert,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 11:29 am
Stolen Tiki
Stolen Tiki

A tropical-themed coffee shop in Shrewsbury, Connecticut Massachusetts had a large tiki stolen recently. The 5′ tiki is a large Ku with red eyes (pictured left), and is a fairly common design used for large displays. It’s not one-of-a-kind, but there can’t be very many of these in New England… if you spot this tiki, contact Lalajava.

Thanks for the correction!

December 16, 2005

Ooga-Mooga! Making Christmas Easy on Your Loved Ones

Filed under: Ooga-Mooga,Shopping,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 8:31 pm

Right now, there’s someone in your life who is sweating bullets, trying to figure out what tiki thing you’d love to get this Xmas. Shopping for a tikiphile when you’re not one yourself can be a risky venture. The thrift stores are a minefield of Native American totem poles and African masks. How do they know if $40 is too much to pay for a Harvey’s bucket mug? There are only so many Kleenex-nosed Moai one person needs!

Go easy on ‘em — tell them you’d love a subscription to Ooga-Mooga, the paradise for tiki mug collectors!

Buying an Ooga-Mooga subscription as a gift is a headache-free experience — one stop shopping, one size fits all. Well, there are two sizes, Standard (unlimited mugs, limited features) and Trader (unlimited mugs, full featues), but I’ll leave it to you to hint which one you’d like.

Trader Vic’s Update: Chicago, Bellevue, Scottsdale, Las Vegas and Dallas

Filed under: Chicago,Dallas,Las Vegas,News,Phoenix,Seattle,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 8:12 pm
Postcard from Chicago Trader Vic's, from the collection of Mimi Payne
Postcard from Chicago Trader Vic’s, from the collection of Mimi Payne

There’s been a lot of news on the Trader Vic’s front, time for a roundup:

Trader Vic’s Chicago: As previously reported, the Chicago Trader Vic’s location will be closing for good on New Year’s Eve. The sad and frustrating tale of its demise has been widely reported, but here’s the short version: the new owners of the Palmer Hilton are crappy. This Trader Vic’s location is one of the oldest — it would have celebrated 50 years in 2007 — and the Trader Vic’s organization is disappointed. Reports state that the interior is being preserved as much as possible, and saved for a future installation in Chicago. The Trader Vic’s organization appears to have fast-tracked getting another Trader Vic’s restaurant in Chicago, and the Harry Caray’s restaurant group has announced their intention to run the new restaurant. Hard to say if this is an actual signed deal, or what the time frames are, but it sounds intriguing. Meanwhile, the latest reports on visits to the Chicago Trader Vic’s paint a bleak picture — shoddy, typo-ridden menus, non-existent service, and abysmal drinks. Farewell, Chicago Trader Vic’s, I hope to meet you again under better circumstances.

Trader Vic’s Bellevue: Now for better news. The new Trader Vic’s restaurant in Bellevue (outside Seattle) appears to be progressing nicely. I happened to be at the San Francisco Trader Vic’s when designers were reviewing samples; if what I saw was any indication, expect to see some very nice bamboo. The Trader Vic’s Bellevue website says March 2005 is the opening date, I’ve heard April 1, but of course these dates tend to be squishy. The new Bellevue Vic’s is located in the Liberty Square complex across from Bellevue Square mall, and is located adjacent to a Westin hotel. The restaurant has a main dining area and two private dining rooms, and takes up nearly 8,000 sq. ft. of space.

Trader Vic’s Scottsdale: Scottsdale is also gearing up for a springtime return of Trader Vic’s. A great vintage hotel, Valley Ho, has been undergoing renovations. The new Valley Ho will include a freestanding Trader Vic’s restaurant, with both indoor and outdoor seating available. Due to open in May 2006 but with Belleuve opening in March/April, I wouldn’t be surprised if this got pushed back a bit.

Trader Vic’s Las Vegas: The ink is barely dry on this one, but Vegas moves quickly… I’m excited to hear how this one comes along. This new Trader Vic’s will be part of the remodel of what is currently the Aladdin Hotel’s Desert Passage mall. With the Aladdin becoming a Planet Hollywood casino, the theme for the mall will be changing. The Trader Vic’s space is reportedly quite large, and will have a front entrance directly on the strip, across from the Bellagio. With the work just getting started, it’s too soon to pinpoint an opening date, but think late 2006/early 2007. Along those same lines, don’t get too attached to it once it opens… Vegas is a place where time has no meaning, and a restaurant open three years is considered dated.

Trader Vic’s Dallas: Earlier this year there were some rumblings about Trader Vic’s coming back to Dallas. Actually, it was more than rumblings, an investor announced the plans and it was reported on in the press, but it turns out it may have been premature. There are no real plans to open a location in Dallas that I’m aware of, but clearly we’re living in a time when such a thing isn’t out of the question. Don’t loseWeight Exercise hope, but don’t hold your breath, either.

All told, things are looking up!

Tiki Oasis 6 Heads to San Diego

Filed under: Events,News,Palm Springs,San Diego,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 4:55 pm
Postcard from Bali Hai, from the collection of Mimi Payne
Postcard from Bali Hai, from the collection of Mimi Payne

As previously reported on Humu Kon Tiki, Tiki Oasis 6 will not be held in Palm Springs, as the management at the once-tiki-friendly Caliente Tropics has gone sour. Today, Otto von Stroheim announced that Tiki Oasis 6 will be held in San Diego, from May 4-7, 2006.

San Diego has Palm Springs beat on a few counts, most notably in the amount of tiki destinations. San Diego has the Bali Hai restaurant (pictured above in a vintage postcard from the collection of Mimi Payne), Humphrey’s Half-Moon Inn and Trader Mort’s all on Shelter Island, and the Hanalei Hotel with its Islands Restaurants, one of my favorites. Last year saw the opening of the new Mr. Tiki’s in the Gaslamp district, and some home tours are part of the plans, as well. Otto did not mention the specific hotel, pending final confirmation from them, but he did say that Tiki Oasis will be taking place on Shelter Island, home to Humphrey’s and several other hotels. I’ve stayed at Humphrey’s before, and it has much in common with the Caliente Tropics — rooms on two stories facing a central pool/grass lawn area, upscale resort feel with a similar price point to the Caliente — but it also has a built-in stage area, where a summer concert series is held. It would be a great venue, though there are probably several hotels on Shelter Island that can also fit the bill nicely.

It will be exciting to see what the new Tiki Oasis will be like, I imagine the new setting has got Otto thinking of some fresh ideas for the event. But the best news of all is that it’s going to be more tiki, if only because of the host city.

Midcentury Polynesian Poolside Living

Filed under: History,Los Angeles,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 4:19 pm
From the collection of Sabu the Coconut Boy
From the collection of Sabu the Coconut Boy

The above image comes from a large-format, full color, promotional brochure for Anthony Pools, a major pool developer in Southern California in the ’50s and ’60s. The brochure has great images of Los Angeles paradise living, but the best has got to be the above centerfold, set at a “fascinating pool party… a luau by the light of tiki torches.” Some large tikis can bee seen at the back, and check out those bikinis! The brochure is from the collection of Sabu the Coconut Boy, a gift from Doctor Z.

Kona Club, New Tiki Bar in Oakland

Filed under: Events,News,San Francisco,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 2:40 am
Humuhumu behind the bar at Kona Club in Oakland
Humuhumu behind the bar
at Kona Club in Oakland

Last night, we were fortunate to be invited to a special preview event at a new tiki bar in Oakland, Kona Club. Doug Miller, who also owns the semi-tiki Club Mallard in nearby Albany, has wanted to open a tiki bar for some years now. The location of Kona Club is special — it’s very near to Conga Lounge, and closer still to the final resting place of none other than Victor Bergeron, creator of the Trader Vic’s chain. Oakland was once a power center of tiki, and it’s appropriate that the tiki is rising in Oakland once more.

Kona Club is absolutely gorgeous, thanks to the efforts of Bamboo Ben, and materials from Oceanic Arts. Ben has been slaving away at Kona Club for some time now, with periodic assistance from Crazy Al Evans. The love shows, and this space is the best public showcase of Ben’s work that I’ve ever seen. The place is a cozy shell of tapa and bamboo, with highlights including a life-size bronze hula girl with mechanical hips, and a smoke-spewing volcano behind the bar.

After the event last night, Doug invited Ben, his wife, Hanford and me to stay a bit later, and I got to make a few drinks behind the bar for the group. The drinks I made were frankly not very good — I was pretty toasted — but it sure was a treat to be behind such a beautiful bar. I’m looking forward to more time spent at the Kona Club. There is so much quality tiki here in the Bay Area these days, it’s so good to be able to soak it up.

The Grand Opening party for Kona Club is this Saturday night, December 17.

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

- Website Design and Programming

- A Worldwide Guide to Tiki Bars & Polynesian Restaurants

- Tiki Mugs & More: Track & View Collections




Arkiva Tropika
Mimi Payne’s massive Polynesian Pop collection

Barefoot Bloggin’
A surfin’, ukein’, freewheelin’ monkey boy

Beachbum Berry
Author of Grog Log and Intoxica!, and one of my dearest drinkin’ buddies

Blog from the user interface designer extraordinaire

Worldwide Guide to Tiki Bars & Polynesian Restaurants

Dumb Angel
A look at the 1960s Los Angeles mod, pop, surf, and music scene

Eye of the Goof
Pop culture with a tiki tinge

Forbidden Island
My Wednesday hangout, the Bay Area’s best tiki bar

Humuhumu’s Life in Photos
Pictures of my adventures

I build websites

Junkyard Clubhouse
Random interesting things from Humuhumu & Hanford Lemoore

Kevin Kidney
Kevin loves tiki, I love Kevin, you will too

Tiki links galore

Mai Tai Online
Montreal-based tiki ‘zine

Tiki Mug Collection Organizer

The Jab
Follow the way of the jab

Tiki Bar TV
Public Access meets Modern Drunkard

Tiki Central
Community forums

Tiki Magazine
Periodical publication covering the wide world of Tiki

Tiki Talk
Hot Lava’s Tiki Blog