Entries in the 'Dallas' Category

May 5, 2007

Dallas: Texas Tikiphile Gathering

Filed under: Dallas,Events,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 1:22 pm
Dallas Trader Vic's
Dallas Trader Vic’s
Dallas Trader Vic's
Dallas Trader Vic’s

Well, with all this sad news about Trader Vic’s lately, how about a little celebration of Trader Vic’s at its best? If you’re in the Dallas area, tonight’s your night. Well, any night is your night — you’re lucky enough to have what is possibly the most beautiful Trader Vic’s in the United States right in your town.

About 25 Texas-area tikiphiles are gathering at the Dallas Trader Vic’s tonight for drinks and dinner. They’re meeting in the bar at 5pm, and planning on dinner at 7pm. It’s a friendly bunch, and if you’ve been wanting to meet other tikiphiles in your area, this is a perfect opportunity. They’ve got a roll call going at Tiki Central to get a rough head-count, but don’t let that hold you back — there’s always room at the bar if the dinner table is full.

The Dallas Trader Vic’s is at the Hotel Palomar, at 5300 E. Mockingbird Lane.

March 2, 2007

After 20 Years, the Triumphant Return of Trader Vic’s to Dallas!

Filed under: Dallas,Florida Panhandle,History,Massive Moai,News,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 4:26 pm
Formikahini enjoys a Mai Tai at the Dallas Trader Vic's, photo by Kenike
Formikahini enjoys a Mai Tai at the Dallas Trader Vic’s, photo by Kenike

Very, very exciting times in Dallas… the long-anticipated day has finally arrived, and the Dallas Trader Vic’s has reopened. The great news, the fabulous news, the pinch-me-I’m-dreaming news, is that they’ve worked hard to keep it intact. Some updates and repairs had to be made, but the architect working on the project, William Baker of Jones Baker Interior + Architecture, took care to preserve the original look as much as possible, including tracking down vintage fixtures, matching the original carpet, and having carvers reproduce original panels. (William Baker is also working on the interiors of the new Destin, Florida Trader Vic’s location.)

Dallas Trader Vic's, photo by Kenike
Dallas Trader Vic’s, photo by Kenike

Tiki Centralites Kenike and Formikahini (pictured above) have posted their trip report from a soft-opening night at the Dallas Trader Vic’s. These two are hard-boiled tikiphiles, with a discerning eye — and they’ve come away more than pleased. The pictures tell the story: the Dallas Trader Vic’s is quite possibly now the best of the stateside Trader Vic’s. It’s gorgeous, people.

The bar at Dallas Trader Vic's, photo by Kenike
The bar at Dallas Trader Vic’s, photo by Kenike
Dallas Star cocktail, photo by Kenike
Dallas Blue Star cocktail, photo by Kenike

In keeping with Trader Vic’s tradition (hooray for Trader Vic’s tradition!), a new drink has been created to commemorate the opening: the Dallas Blue Star, pictured here in a photo from Kenike. The drink has tequila, agave nectar, cointreau, lime juice and is garnished with a star fruit slice — very pretty. Formikahini notes that the drink is a bit sweeter than is her preference, but points out that you get to keep this glass, a Dallas Trader Vic’s exclusive, which is essentially a taller, more slender variation on the classic Mai Tai glass.

Original massive moai at Dallas Trader Vic's, photo by Kenike
Original massive moai at Dallas Trader Vic’s, photo by Kenike

Kenike and Formikahini were treated to a full tour of the restaurant, including a rare visit with this massive moai, carved by Barney West, which stood guard at Trader Vic’s for many years until the restaurant closed. The moai is not in the greatest shape, but is currently being restored with hopes of returning it to its proper post once more.

I could go on and on and on… this is so exciting to see. This is what a tiki bar should look like. Bravo to everyone involved in making this happen — it probably wasn’t always easy, and there probably was more than a bit of convincing involved. Thank you for your efforts! Thanks also to Kenike and Formikahini for doing such a wonderful job of documenting the opening for those of us who can’t be there in person. It’s making me want to check air fares to Dallas….

To see more of Kenike’s excellent pictures, and hear more details (including the fascinating backstory on that Barney West moai), be sure to check out this thread on Tiki Central. The Trader Vic’s Dallas website also has more pictures.

January 28, 2007

Trader Vic’s Roundup

Filed under: Asia,Chicago,Dallas,Las Vegas,Middle East,News,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 1:46 am

Here’s an update on some of the Trader Vic’s openings currently slated, from the Trader Vic’s website:

Shanghai, China – Opened on New Year’s Eve

Dallas – February, 2007 (it’s been pushed back many times, but February 11 is the most recent date)

Las Vegas – in June, 2007

Trader Vic’s Mai Tai Bar in Dubai – April, 2007

Chicago – late 2007 (This has been pushed back quite a bit — their initial estimate was that it would be open by now. There have been rumblings of union troubles (I don’t know of which sort) causing some delays.)

Doha, Qatar – late 2007

Amman, Jordan – late 2007

Beijing, China – late 2007

Earlier Trader Vic’s opening reports on Humu Kon Tiki:

March 13, 2006

Dallas Trader Vic’s Reopening Confirmed

Filed under: Dallas,News,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 2:22 pm
Dallas Trader Vic's, photo by suelo
Dallas Trader Vic’s, photo by suelo

The widely-rumbling rumors of the Dallas Trader Vic’s reopening have finally been confirmed. There was some confusion earlier in the year, as the Dallas-based investors had announced it, but the Trader Vic’s organization had not confirmed it until more recently.

The Dallas Trader Vic’s opened in 1967 in what was then the Dallas Hilton, and operated until the spring of 1989, when it was shuttered. Remarkably, the space has weathered many changes of ownership and decor at the hotel, and has remained surprisingly intact. It is a classic, gorgeous old Trader Vic’s. The space has been available for private rentals, but has been basically unused for nearly 20 years.

The hotel is now becoming the Hotel Palomar, and new investors Jim Sibert and Angus Wynne have stepped in to reopen the Trader Vic’s, as an actual Trader Vic’s, no less. I’ve heard various dates bandied about, but the one I’m hearing the most lately is August/Late Summer 2006. From the Dallas Morning News:

Expect a traditional-Tiki- meets-neo-Tiki décor. The original furniture and fixtures are still in place.

“But we’ve got a treasure-trove of new decorations, furniture and wall coverings that we’re adding,” says Angus.

I can’t say I’m excited about any neo-tiki infusions — from looking at pictures suelo took there just a couple years ago, the decor doesn’t need any help at all, and any attempts to “freshen” it with more modern additions could look out-of-place. Hopefully the additions will be tasteful and understated, rather than winking attempts at kitch. Kitch can be lots of fun and has its place, but hopefully not at a classic and elegant showpiece of a restaurant like the Trader Vic’s Dallas has the potential to be.

No matter what, this is a major, massive boon to Texas-based tikiphiles, who have been living in a tiki-deprived state for far too long. To not only gain a new tiki bar, but a Trader Vic’s — and not only a Trader Vic’s, but a classic Trader Vic’s — well, I bet some of the Texas folk are pinching themselves right about now.

I love this new trend we’re seeing — the return of classic tiki, as seen with the restoration of the Kon Tiki Lounge in Tucson, the Tonga Hut in North Hollywood, and now the Dallas Trader Vic’s.

January 13, 2006

Trader Vic’s News: Bar Remodel at Palo Alto, Dallas Rumor

Filed under: Dallas,News,San Francisco,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 8:30 pm
Palo Alto Trader Vic's
Palo Alto Trader Vic’s

The Palo Alto Trader Vic’s will be undergoing a remodel in the bar area this month, with a targeted soft opening on January 27. The space will be called “The Mai Tai Lounge at Trader Vic’s” and will expand into the right dining room area. More tikis are being brought in, and the lighting will be dimmed and more red. It sounds like a relatively small-scale redo, but these are welcome changes — the Palo Alto Trader Vic’s bar just feels too airy, and is often full.

Also — and this tidbit comes with absolutely no concrete information or confirmation — but a Dallas Trader Vic’s location is reportedly again “on the table” for 2006. Possibly. Maybe. Who knows.

These insider comments come courtesy of Martiki, who sadly is leaving Trader Vic’s San Francisco. His last day is this Monday — if you haven’t been served by Martin at Trader Vic’s, now’s your last chance!

December 16, 2005

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!


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About Humuhumu
Humuhumu
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http://www.humuhumu.com
Humuhumu is the creator of several tiki websites. She is a designer and programmer based out of San Francisco.

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