Entries in the 'Trader Vic’s' Category

January 13, 2006

I Am Cuba Documentary Airing on Sundance Channel

Filed under: Cuba,History,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 7:59 pm
I Am Cuba
I Am Cuba

The Sundance Channel is airing the film I Am Cuba (mentioned in a recent post on Humu Kon Tiki), and immediately afterward is running a 1-1/2 hour documentary on the film, I Am Cuba, the Siberian Mammoth. The pair air tomorrow (Saturday, January 14) at 2:00 p.m., and again on Wednesday, January 25 at 11:30 a.m. The film, which features decor from the Havana Trader Vic’s, is a favorite of mine. I haven’t seen the documentary and very much want to, but we don’t have the Sundance Channel — anyone able to connect me with a copy?

January 8, 2006

Trader Vic’s Update — Lightning Round!

Filed under: Chicago,Las Vegas,News,Phoenix,Seattle,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 2:13 pm

Courtesy of Martiki:

1. Bellevue, WA- Opening date is set for March 3rd!

2. Scottsdale, AZ- Opening date is set for May 21st!

(as you can imagine, those dates are subject to change without notice)

3. Las Vegas, NV- Still no opening date set, or management team in place. Should open by the end of 2006.

4. Chicago, IL- The Harry Caray people are scouting locations now, and they hope to open in 2006 if possible. Could move to 2007, but it’s definitely coming back sooner rather than later.

5. Amman, Jordan- to open in 2006

6. Shanghai, China- to open in 2006. The Chinese franchisers have the rights to open five locations in China, and are already thinking about their next place.

That all looks ahead of what my best-guess schedule would have been. Looks good!

London Trader Vic’s Tiki Time Discounts

Filed under: London,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 12:26 am

The London Trader Vic’s has started a weekday “Tiki Time” happy hour, with discounted drinks and complimentary tidbits and pupus. The London Trader Vic’s is notorious for its sticker-shock, and their new happy hour makes them a much more reasonable choice for a quick detour into the tropical. Every Monday-Friday from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., choose from a menu of 10 cocktails for only £5 — Peachtree Punch, Tonga Punch, Zombie, TVs Own, Honi Honi, Rangoon Ruby, TVs Sling, Mai Tai, Kamaaina or Bahia. A Scorpion bowl is available for £7.

January 7, 2006

My Tiki New Year’s Eve

Filed under: Events,My Travels,San Francisco,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 11:48 pm
New Year's Eve at Trader Vic's
New Year’s Eve at Trader Vic’s

For New Year’s Eve this year, Hanford and I joined our friends for a special event at our usual Monday haunt, the Trader Vic’s in San Francisco. Trader Vic’s was serving a prix fixe seven-course meal that night, including caviar, oysters, and of course Bongo Bongo soup. In addition to the fine meal, there was of course even finer drinks, plus the Spirit of Polynesia dance troupe and musicians were there performing for us. It was an elegant evening full of sock monkeys, shower-ready salt shakers, sneaky forks, and many toasts. Naturally, I have pictures of it all.

I Am Cuba Screening in Seattle

Filed under: Cuba,Events,Seattle,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 11:09 pm

One of my favorite movies, I Am Cuba, is currently being shown at the Northwest Film Forum on Capitol Hill in Seattle. I Am Cuba was produced by Russia during the height of U.S./Russia/Cuba tensions in the early sixties. It is a fascinating look at pre-revolution Cuba through the eyes of the Russian government, from a post-revolution point of view (complete with the requisite Ugly Americans). Aside from the very interesting social commentary, cinematically is is breathtaking. The black & white film uses special filters that give the palm trees an eerie, silvery appearance that is quite striking. Near the beginning of the film is a jaw-dropping sequence showing scenes from around a very modern hotel, all taken in just one take — it must be seen to be believed. Early on there is a scene that takes place in a tiki bar. It almost certainly is a sound-stage, but elements from the set were taken from the Trader Vic’s in Havana, in particular the bird-cage lamps can be recognized as Trader Vic’s classics. The restaurant is still there, but is no longer a Trader Vic’s, and is now called El Polinesio. It is in the Hotel Cuba Libre, the same modern hotel featured in the beginning of I Am Cuba.

I Am Cuba made the art house circuit in the early ’90s, and now is making the rounds again with a new print and soundtrack. Showings are at 6:30 and 9:15 through next Thursday the 12th.

December 19, 2005

Tiki New Year’s Eve 2006 Parties

Filed under: Chicago,Events,Ft. Lauderdale & Miami,Hawaii,Los Angeles,San Diego,San Francisco,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 1:38 am
Hanford Lemoore at the Reef Bar in Palm Springs for NYE 2005
Hanford Lemoore at the Reef Bar in
Palm Springs for NYE 2005

If you’re still pondering the right place to be for New Year’s Eve 2006, you’re running out of time! You can probably still get into these great events happening around the country:

San Diego NYE Tiki Weekend: Last year’s tiki event at the Caliente Tropics was hugely successful, but the hotel has gone seriously downhill in terms of tiki-friendliness this past year. Thanks to the organizational efforts of Monkeyman, this year’s big Tiki Central New Year’s event is happening in San Diego. A home bar tour is planned for daytime Saturday, and the main event is taking place with a Polynesian spectacular at the Bali Hai restaurant. Things will also be afoot on Sunday, with possibilities including brunch, bowling and trips to downtown San Diego. It’s sure to be a special evening. The number of tickets available for the Bali Hai is dwindling, if you’re interested, read the thread on Tiki Central for details on how to make reservations.

San Francisco Trader Vic’s: A special dinner event is planned for NYE, with a floor show by Spirit of Polynesia dance troupe, and a full multi-course prix fixe meal. This is where Hanford & I will be spending our NYE. For reservations, call Trader Vic’s at (415) 775-6300.

Forbidden World of Don Tiki in Waikiki: A special performance by Don Tiki in Hawaii, at the Pacific Beach Hotel Grand Ballroom. Tickets to the show are $80 and include two drinks; in addition a bar & buffet are available. Visit the Pacific Beach Hotel website (link below) for details.

Dave’s Birthday at the Purple Orchid in El Segundo: I haven’t seen an official announcement, but New Year’s Eve is the birthday of Dave, owner of the Purple Orchid in El Segundo (near Los Angeles). In years past, there’s been a great band booked, and birthday cake & appetizers for all. Contact the Purple Orchid for details at (310) 322-5829.

Mai Kai in Ft. Lauderdale: A group is getting together to celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Mai Kai — if I lived in southern Florida, this would be a no-brainer. To make reservations, contact the Mai Kai at (954) 563-3272, if you’d like to be included in the Tiki Central group, read the thread on TC for details.

Chicago area, Trader Vic’s: New Year’s Eve is the last night that the Chicago Trader Vic’s will be open. It has the potential to be rather depressing, and not for the faint of heart, but it also might be special to be there for the final night.

Chicago area, Chef Shangri-La: Performances by the Windy City Islanders, a roast pig buffet for $18, full regular menu available, drink specials, and no cover — an unsually affordable tiki NYE event, and the bar and drinks at Chef Shangri-La are above par. Call (708) 442-7080 for reservations.

Chicago area, Tiki Terrace: This new bar & restaurant is having a New Year’s Eve event with a performance by the Cocktail Preachers, and a raffle featuring a tiki by Lake Surfer. Contact Tiki Terrace for details at (630) 788-0395.

If your part of the country isn’t listed here, don’t fret — simply look for a bar near you in Critiki, and give them a call. Many places will have something planned for the evening.

December 18, 2005

Monday Nights at San Francisco Trader Vic’s

Filed under: Events,San Francisco,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 7:51 pm
Salt & Pepper shakers and some menehune
Salt & Pepper shakers and some menehune

A few months ago, when we decided to move to the Bay Area rather than settle in Los Angeles, I knew I would need replacement for my weekly Wednesday night at Tiki-Ti. We started getting together with friends on Mondays at the San Francisco Trader Vic’s. It’s been a ton of fun — like Tiki-Ti, some weeks it’s a smaller group (four people), and some weeks we’ve gotten quite a crowd. Regardless, we can always count on there being somebody there to share a drink with. Mondays work great because it’s a quieter night, there’s always room in the bar, parking is available on the street right out front, and most importantly the drinks are always spot-on because Martin & Lars work that night. One thing Trader Vic’s has that Tiki-Ti lacked is delicious food! This new Trader Vic’s opened to lackluster reviews a year ago, but I can personally say that things are very much improved, particularly the drinks. Trader Vic’s runs two happy hours on Mondays, the first one ends at 6 p.m. and the second one starts at 10 p.m., but we tend to be there between those two times.

If you find yourself looking for something to brighten your Monday night in San Francisco, please come out and join us — we’re a very friendly crowd. You’ll find us sitting at the bar.

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!

November 21, 2005

Tiki Mug Patents

Filed under: History,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 4:21 pm
Trader Vic's Skull Mug
Trader Vic’s Skull Mug

Pappythesailor did a little poking around the U.S. Patent Office website, and found a series of patents filed by Victor Bergeron (a.k.a. Trader Vic) and other tiki golden-age entrepreneurs. Above is the early skull mug, manufactured for Vic by Tepco — the filing is from 1939! The patent filing also includes a diagram of the interior structure of the mug, revealing how the vacant space behind the face is constructed to allow for the eerie hollow eyes. Pappythesailor also found patents for the Mai Kai decanter, the Suffering Bastard decanter, and the legendary and lovely Trader Vic’s stemmed tiki cocktail glass. The artist’s renderings of the pieces are great. Fantastic work, pappythesailor!

October 19, 2005

Tiki Torch Nights Atlanta: October 22, with Otto & APE

Filed under: Art,Atlanta,Events,Music,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 8:46 pm
Tiki Kiliki & Humuhumu at the July 2004 Tiki Torch Night
Tiki Kiliki & Humuhumu at the July 2004 Tiki Torch Night

This coming Saturday, October 22, is the latest in Tiki Kiliki’s ongoing Tiki Torch Nights event series, held at the Atlanta Trader Vic’s (which is my favorite of the remaining U.S. Trader Vic’s locations). I made it to a Tiki Torch Night in Atlanta in July 2004 (pictured above), and had a grand old time.

This weekend’s slate is pretty fantastic: it’s a signing for Otto von Stroheim’s Tiki Art Now book, with Otto, Derek Yaniger and Crazy Al Evans in attendance. Derek Yaniger’s artwork is featured in the book; this Atlanta resident has been responsible for a lot of great event artwork, including posters and mugs. Crazy Al Evans’ artwork is also in the book — Crazy Al lives in Orange County, and his trip to Atlanta serves a double purpose: Crazy Al is bringing along some of his San Francisco-based bandmates from APE. Not to be missed. Also performing this weekend are The Surge, Dames A’Flame, and Hula Halau Kapilialoha. There will be a Halloween costume contest, complimentary appetizers and $4.50 Mai Tais, and a Temptation Potion will be given away at 10:30. The soiree kicks off at 8 p.m.

Tiki Kiliki has also started throwing Tiki Torch Nights at the Mai Kai in Ft. Lauderdale, stay tuned to her website for the next event near you.


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Humuhumu
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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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