Jasmine Tree tikis, originally from the Portland Kon-Tiki
The questions surrounding the future of Portland’s Jasmine Tree appear to have largely been answered. Due to urban redevelopment, the Jasmine Tree had the choice of shutting down or relocating, but has to be out of its current location by the end of October. The search for a new location has not been successful; there is still a slim chance that the restaurant could move, but if it does, it won’t have a tiki theme. The owners of the Jasmine Tree have agreed to sell the tiki decor to Robert Volz, who is opening a new tiki bar in northeast Portland, called Thatch. Volz had worked with the Jasmine Tree owners to try to find them a new location; he plans to use much of the decor in Thatch, and may sell some of the decor to fellow Portland-area tikiphiles and Tiki Centralites.
While the Jasmine Tree is not my favorite tiki bar, it is very notable for its decor. The items aren’t presented in the greatest way, but they have a great pedigree — much of it came from the Portland Kon-Tiki when it closed. Most striking is the set of three large cannibal tikis in the picture above, as seen in many menus from Steve Crane’s Kon-Tiki locations, and also Steve Crane’s Luau in Beverly Hills. The prospect of these tikis, and other Kon-Tiki decor, continuing to be available for the public to see (and perhaps in an even better environment) is good news.
Thatch’s opening date has not yet been announced, but it sounds like work is very far along, and the bar will hopefully be opening soon.