Entries in the 'Daytona Beach' Category

February 1, 2007

End is Near for Aku Tiki in Daytona Beach

Filed under: Daytona Beach,News,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 3:11 pm
Aku Tiki Inn, photo by John Holley
Aku Tiki Inn, photo by John Holley

Sad news from the Tiki Talk blog: the Aku Tiki Inn in Daytona Beach is slated for demolition. It is one of several hotels being torn down to make way for a massive new resort development. The new development, El Caribe, is to include over 1,000 hotel rooms and condos, and the resort will span 16 acres. The planning is in its “infant stages,” according to lead developers George Anderson and Doug Cook’s comments to the Daytona Beach News-Journal. The plans call for the work to start at the north end of the planned resort; the Aku Tiki Inn is at the south end, and no dates for the development work have been announced.

The plans would also take out the Traders Restaurant, which is attached to the Aku Tiki Inn. The Hawaiian Inn, which is just south of the Aku Tiki, is not included in the development.

The Aku Tiki has a few nice pieces of Witco art, from the days when William Westenhaver was hired to decorate the Hawaiian Inn — if those pieces haven’t been spoken for already, you can be sure they will be — Witco collectors don’t tend to drag their feet. In 2004, the Aku Tiki’s signature Moai was damaged by hurricane Charley; it was replaced with a new one, faithful to the original, created by Florida artist Wayne Coombs.

November 4, 2006

This Week at Arkiva Tropika

Filed under: Arkiva Tropika,Daytona Beach,History,Las Vegas,Midwest U.S.,New York,Portland,San Francisco,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 3:52 pm

Mimi Payne keeps adding great items from her collection to Arkiva Tropika — she adds cool things too frequently for me to post about it every time, and I can’t not post about the wonderful things she’s sharing, so there’s only one thing for it: a weekly roundup. This is just a small fraction of the items she’s posted this week; if you like these, make sure to check out Arkiva Tropika yourself, and you’ll be over the moon.

1954 Waikiki Room menu, from Mimi Payne's Arkiva Tropika
1954 Waikiki Room menu, from Mimi Payne’s Arkiva Tropika

This is a 1954 drink menu from the Waikiki Room at the Hotel Nicolette in Minneapolis, Minnesota. There was another Waikiki Room across town, in the Hotel Leamington. I love the woodgrain backdrop of the menu, and the tiki is simple, but beautifullly illustrated. Inside, the menu has full-color photos of the drinks, rather than the more commonly seen drawings. Very cool!

1950s postcard from Portland Trader Vic's, from Mimi Payne's Arkiva Tropika
1950s postcard from Portland Trader Vic’s, from Mimi Payne’s Arkiva Tropika

This is a lovely postcard view of the Portland Trader Vic’s, which was in the Hotel Benson. I have no idea what that carved thing in the foreground with the white thingy on top could be.

1950s menu from Zombie Village in Oakland, from Mimi Payne's Arkiva Tropika
1950s menu from Zombie Village in Oakland, from Mimi Payne’s Arkiva Tropika

Without a doubt, hands down, no contest, this is my favorite bit of Polynesian Pop imagery anywhere. That woman is just gorgeous. I want her tattoed on me. I want to be her. She even makes the menacing dark cloudy figure seem like something you can’t be bothered to be concerned about. Who could possibly be distracted by a 50-foot angry genie when you’ve got that woman mezmerizing you? Oh yeah, there’s a neat building in the back, too. Seriously, aside from the beautiful woman, it’s a nice, simple composition that conveys a mood without having to try too hard. Beautiful. This image can also be seen at the beginning of the Book of Tiki.

Fan from Aku Aku at the Stardust in Las Vegas, from Mimi Payne's Arkiva Tropika
Fan from Aku Aku at the Stardust in Las Vegas, from Mimi Payne’s Arkiva Tropika

This fan is an unusual item, although Mimi has a few fans in her collection. It comes from the Aku Aku at the Stardust in Las Vegas. The Aku Aku closed long ago, but the Stardust closed just this past Wednesday. I like the rendering of the Aku Aku moai as an Asian brush painting, and I like the muted colors.

Back of a 1964 menu from the Hawaiian Room in New York City, from Mimi Payne's Arkiva Tropika
Back of a 1964 menu from the Hawaiian Room in New York City, from Mimi Payne’s Arkiva Tropika

And straight from muted colors, we have color overload, with food, no less. Look at this — this is every classic ’60s food cliche in one spread. I’ll just let it speak for itself, since I wouldn’t be heard over its screaming, anyhow.

1950s menu from the WikiWiki Coffee Shop at the Hawaiian Inn in Daytona Beach, from Mimi Payne's Arkiva Tropika
1950s menu from the WikiWiki Coffee Shop at the Hawaiian Inn in Daytona Beach, from Mimi Payne’s Arkiva Tropika

This menu is interesting to me not so much because of the design, but because this is from a place I’ve been to, that’s still operating today. The Hawaiian Inn in Daytona Beach still has a Polynesian floor show and restaurant, but this menu comes from the small coffee shop just off the hotel’s lobby. Today, the coffee shop is run by the same family that performs the floor show at night; it’s kind of fun to be served your hangover-healing coffee by the same woman who was hulaing for you the night before. Gives it a sort of end-of-Wizard-of-Oz feeling. Another interesting thing about this menu is that while it’s from the coffee shop, and has “Good Morning” printed in the decorative border, the paper insert is a dinner menu, which seems a little odd.

Check out Arkiva Tropika for more — much, much more — stuff just like this!

September 7, 2005

Traders Restaurant Missing Its Doorpulls?

Filed under: Daytona Beach,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 5:13 pm
Traders Restaurant, Daytona Beach
Traders Restaurant, Daytona Beach

A fascinating bit of urban archaeology today –

My friend Sabu the Coconut Boy recently found an unusual item on eBay — some large doorhandles with only a blurry picture. He received them, and sure enough, they were a pair of hefty, old metal tiki doorpulls, likely from a restaurant. He set about trying to track down their provenance (the seller was in Florida), and had a few leads, but nothing solid. The tikis looked like those used in imagery from the Kon Tiki Ports, Kona Kai, and Sam’s Seafood restaurants.

Ultimately, he did what many tikiphiles seeking enlightenment do — paid a visit to our own Oracle at Delphi, Oceanic Arts in Whittier. Bob & Leroy there have been responsible for the majority of the decor in Polynesian restaurants over the years, and what they weren’t personally responsible for, they tend to at least have some memory for who was. They couldn’t immediately identify the doorpulls, and thought they predated when they began manufacturing them.

So Sabu turned to Tiki Central to see if anyone could crack the mystery. Sure enough upon seeing them I immediately thought of a pair of doorpulls I had photographed in Daytona Beach in January of 2004. I checked the entry for the Traders Restaurant in Critiki, and sure enough, those tikipulls sure looked like the ones now in Sabu’s possession.

The Traders Restaurant is attached to the Aku Tiki Inn, and nearly nextdoor to the Hawaiian Inn. The Aku Tiki Inn is instantly recognizable for their massive moai atop the hotel’s sign. This moai was damaged in last year’s hurricane, and the hotel had vowed to replace it, with assistance offered from local tiki carver Wayne Coombs. It seems a little strange that the Aku Tiki would be restoring tiki on one end of the property, while removing it at the other….

Kailuageoff, who visits the area regularly and has met the owner, also thinks it unlikely that the owner would willingly part with the doorhandles. So now, the mystery deepens… if these doorhandles were taken from the Traders Restaurant when they should not have been (i.e., stolen), Sabu of course will return them so they can be reinstalled where they belong.

Is it odd to be concerned about whether a restaurant on the other side of the country is missing its doorpulls?

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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