December 29, 2006

Grass Shack: Pre-Kahiki Bamboo Joint

Filed under: History,Midwest U.S.,Research,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:57 pm
Grass Shack matchbook, from the collection of uncle trav
Grass Shack matchbook, from the collection of uncle trav
Grass Shack matchbook
Grass Shack matchbook

This old matchbook from the Grass Shack caught the eye of its owner, uncle trav, one day recently. He found it a year ago, but only just now took notice of the address: 3583 E. Broad St. Columbus, Ohio. That’s the address of the legendary Kahiki Supper Club. He posted his matchbook on Tiki Central, and it turns out that the Grass Shack was owned by Kahiki founders Bill Sapp and Lee Henry, and it burned down in June 1958 or ’59, at Bill Sapp’s birthday party. Here’s the story, as it was related to Kahiki aficionado tikiskip:

The place did burn down, on Bills Birthday!
He told me he went home (party was still going on)
And got a call from sondro Conti, Bar Manager/drink inventer
Who said “Boss we got a fire here”
Bill said “well put it out”
Sondro called back and said “hey boss this things getting pretty big”
Bill “are we going to be open tomorrow?”
Sondro then called back and said.”Boss we no open tomorrow!”

They were going to start on the Kahiki the next day anyway.
Bill told me that they had matches with the raised boobs. I thought he was mistaken but there they are!

Another story from Bill Sapp, via tikiskip:

Mr Sapp did say that when they started the Kahiki
The fire marshal came in and said “you can’t use the thatch” Because it was a fire hazard.
They told him that they used fire proofing material on the thatch.
They then took him to the burned remains of the Grass Shack and showed him that everything but the thatch was burnt to a crisp!
So he let them use it.

A great matchbook, followed up by some great provenance, and some great stories, to boot.

One Response to “Grass Shack: Pre-Kahiki Bamboo Joint”

  1. Tiki: Guilt Free Sex? | The Pegu Blog Says:

    [...] the predecessor of the legendary Kahiki, and for an hilarious tale of the transition twixt the two, read this, where I got that [...]

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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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