The Birth of Tiki
September 22, 2006 12:35 PM   Subscribe

Tiki: How sex, rum, World War II, and the brand-new state of Hawaii ignited a fad that has never quite ended. (via)
posted by Otis (22 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Great. I saw this and it reminded me to spend 20 minutes staring at Lala. Not that that's wasted time, or anything....
posted by umberto at 12:43 PM on September 22, 2006

One of my fondest memories of my recent trip to Hawaii was sitting at the hotel bar in Kona drinking mai tais at sunset, as the ukulele band played in the background and sea turles and eels swam in the lagoon below.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:44 PM on September 22, 2006

it should be noted that the Tonga Room in SF is freakin' great.
posted by gnutron at 12:47 PM on September 22, 2006

Most tropical drinks nowadays are crap. Partof the success of Don the Beachcomber was that the man knew how to pour. I've had his original zombie recipe, and it's a wowser.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:54 PM on September 22, 2006

Long live the Tiki-ti in Los Angeles.
posted by cell divide at 1:00 PM on September 22, 2006

Faux anything rock, particularly faux things that were never really real in the first place.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 1:18 PM on September 22, 2006

Great read—thanks!
posted by languagehat at 1:20 PM on September 22, 2006

Thank God the tiki bar is open
Thank God the tiki torch still shines
Thank God the tiki bar is open
Come on in and open up your mind.
posted by Floydd at 1:29 PM on September 22, 2006

it should be noted that the Tonga Room in SF is freakin' great.

The Tonga Room in the Fairmont? Ugh. If it should be noted then verily it must be disputed. That place is overpriced and bland.

In terms of drinks with umbrellas, though, yeah, the Tonga Room is hard to beat.
posted by gurple at 1:30 PM on September 22, 2006

posted by Floydd at 1:30 PM on September 22, 2006

NuTiki [from recent AskMeFi question]
posted by cowbellemoo at 1:54 PM on September 22, 2006

*Confessor shakes his head*

Frighteningly enough, the first thing that came to *my* mind was Disney World's Tiki Room (pre-Iago and Zuzu).
posted by The Confessor at 2:16 PM on September 22, 2006

Well, now, when someone says "Tiki", I think "Lala". ;)
posted by jca at 2:27 PM on September 22, 2006

I had a friend in New Orleans who built a Tiki bar in his back yard. His yard was also filled with banana trees, so you had to make your way through them and emerge into the Tiki bar. It was all shades of awesome.
posted by brundlefly at 3:19 PM on September 22, 2006

Across town here, known for being the only tiki site on the National Register of Historic Places, only to be bulldozed by Walgreen's.
posted by hal9k at 3:31 PM on September 22, 2006

In the Tikitikitikitikitiki Room
In the Tikitikitikitikitiki Room
All the birds sing words and the flowers croon
In the Tikitikitikitikitiki Room

That is all.
posted by wendell at 4:05 PM on September 22, 2006

I had no idea that my local tiki (the Alibi in Portland) was such a rarity. Plus, I bet none of the other old survivors do karaoke.

My hard-drinking friend's birthday is tonight. Methinks we'll wind up face-down in a giant brandy-snifter of fruit and rum at their bar.
posted by Parannoyed at 4:49 PM on September 22, 2006

brundlefly, I just have to ask ... did it survive?
posted by localroger at 8:26 PM on September 22, 2006

I never knew that one guy essentially created the whole - well, schtick. Thanks.
posted by yhbc at 8:30 PM on September 22, 2006

Fascinating, thanks. It's kind of funny to me though, as the thatch and bamboo is typical in South Africa, and not at all south-sea oriented. I've seen none of this except the Tiki Rooms in both American Disney parks. While I've heard of Trader Vic's, I had no idea it was tiki-oriented.
posted by Goofyy at 2:04 AM on September 23, 2006

localroger, I haven't seen Earl since the day I evacuated. Last I heard, he's in Tennessee. As far as the Tiki bar, he was smart about it. Whenever heavy weather was threatening, he'd take the whole damn thing inside. You couldn't tell by looking at it, but it was modular (and I think the roof was foldable). If he brought it inside, I'm sure it's fine, maybe erected in a brand new banana grove (do those grow in Tennessee?). Our neighborhood only got about a foot of water and all the houses are raised.

Earl's an actor, by the way. He gets mostly bit parts. Whenever someone needs an actor who looks and sounds like a stereotypical redneck, they bring him in. Great guy. Wonderfully odd.
posted by brundlefly at 8:33 AM on September 23, 2006

I went to a friends 30th recently at a Tiki bar on the Portobello road in London - Trailer Happiness - so London based Mefites can give it a go if they like the sound of it.

They serve a number of drinks in big Tiki bowls, including the Zombie, which you're allegedly only allowed two of in one evening. Quite how they think they can police this I don't know. They certainly didn't attempt it with us.

It's worth a visit for the drinks, although the decor isn't quite up to the full Polynesian standard of the links above. Anyway, we all had a great night. I think.
posted by StuMiller at 2:08 AM on September 25, 2006

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