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 It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!

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SCU_HQ
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PostSubject: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeThu May 14, 2020 7:29 am

A topic for the discussion of home tiki bars: hints, tips, works in progress, progress of works, and kicking back and sipping a Mai Tai cocktail to the gentle strains of the Arthur Lyman Group on the hi-fi.

It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! 38821637121_e35a156088_z

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PostSubject: Re: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeThu May 14, 2020 7:45 am

I've wanted to construct a home tiki bar, or even an entire tiki room (let's all sing like the birdies sing), for years, but thus far my progress has been limited:

It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! 37850596565_4c8e894d3a

When I start perusing various home tiki bars and rooms on Instagram I get pretty discouraged. There are some amazing examples of the Exotica Lifestyle that people have built, and continue to build, out there. Knowing full well the limits of my skills and talent, I give up before I ever really start.

I bought Trader Brandon's book for inspiration:

It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! 46781499872_23c360040c

But the book is pretty lame. I mean, really, the guy has designed and built tiki stuff for several theme restaurants and for Disney, but there's nothing in the book to really jump start a tiki bar project. He might be pretty good at designing and building, but he's not very good at explaining how to design and build things. Plus, it snows here... a lot sometimes... which puts a bit of a damper on the old aloha spirit.

Anyway, I started rounding up some supplies a while back:

It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! 47976378038_fd7ea0c4e3

I've collected some kitschy knick-knacks over the years:

It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! 3165247673_2dd3af5378_z

And I need a place to properly display one of the best movie posters of all time:

It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! 25940785382_197a2c6e46

Maybe it's time to start getting serious about this project.

Does anybody else on the forum have a home tiki bar, an interest in tiki, or a tiki work in progress? C'mon, let's see what'cha got!

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PostSubject: Re: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeThu May 14, 2020 8:13 am

My only advice Dave, would be to get stuck in, maybe use foamboard to make bases for statutes? continue with bamboo sticks or table matts. You have to make your bar, yours, if that makes sense? That way, as you say you can got o the limits of your own skill. You are an extremely creative guy, I am sure if you put your mind to it, you will come up with something truly amazing! bounce bounce bounce bounce

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PostSubject: Re: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeThu May 14, 2020 5:49 pm

Not even sure what a tikki bar is..? Polynesian kitschy type stuff.. Is it exclusive to the USA....?

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It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Rustygun-Sig
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PostSubject: Re: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeThu May 14, 2020 6:03 pm

Rustygun wrote:
Not even sure what a tikki  bar is..?   Polynesian  kitschy type stuff..  Is it exclusive to the USA....?

Yes, Polynesian kitschy stuff, a theme popular in the 1950s and early 1960s that was revived in the 1990s and continues as a niche interest. Most common in the U.S., but popular in some parts of Europe. One of the most noted "scholars" of the tiki lifestyle is a German author, Sven Kirsten:

https://punchdrink.com/lookbook/sven-kirsten-cinematographer-author-tiki-historian/

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somekindajoe
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PostSubject: Re: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeThu May 14, 2020 7:03 pm

It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Tiki

I built a temporary Tiki bar a few years ago for the kids to throw a teenage party. When in use it has a table across the front as the bar. The scene was completed by the addition of a few inflatable palm trees etc! lol!

You gotta love a bit of TIKI, after all everyone's favourite Action Man's surname is a anglicized version of it!

Major Joseph Conteky
It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! DSCF2363-zpskcg89ufq


...and while searching for the  Tiki bar pic I found this!

It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! DSCF2919

A pic of yours truly and Beatlefan!

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It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! SKJ_Sig_1

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PostSubject: Re: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeThu May 14, 2020 7:58 pm

Oh, that is superb, SKJ! Very nicely done, and your artwork is impressive!

I knew there were a few tiki fans here on the forum, but I didn't expect anything like this! cheers

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PostSubject: Re: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeThu May 14, 2020 11:47 pm

SCU_HQ wrote:

Plus, it snows here... a lot sometimes... which puts a bit of a damper on the old aloha spirit.
No Dave! That's the very essence of Tiki.
It SHOULD absolutely be in a place that's really not at all tropical.
Tiki was about escapism, and if you can just walk outside into balmy tropicana then it doesn't really work. It's got to be cold and dreary outside.
The best Tiki bars were in England, ....Butlin's Holiday camp had a ripper, Alaska also had a great one, there was a fantastic version in the basement of the Lexington Hotel in New York for many years, and of course the Mother of all Tiki bars was undoubtedly the famed Kahiki in Columbus Ohio. Built in 1960, sadly it was demolished in 2000 to make way for a very dreary chemist warehouse.
Seems society never realises a place was a cultural icon until about ten years after it's been demolished!
It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! ZXKWcr

It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! OTOQt1
It actually "rained" tropical showers on cue and had massive fish tanks and real parrots.


The best Tiki bars were all in places you'd never expect to find anything tropical. The idea was to escape from the cold miserable weather and for a few hours dream that you were really on some fantastic palm clad island somewhere in the Pacific sucking back exotic rum-based drinks full of frangipanis and paper umbrellas.
Of course the "tiki" version never really existed anywhere for real, but that was the fantasy.
Tiki went out of fashion there for a while as everybody suddenly pretended to be oh-so-sophisticated and labelled it "tacky", (but scantily clad "Go-Go Girls gyrating in cages weren't?) however now it's enjoying a huge revival as people discover what fun it can be!

SCU_HQ wrote:
I've collected some kitschy knick-knacks over the years
The very essence of Tiki is kitch. If it's "tasteful" then it sure as hell ain't Tiki.!
Tiki Bars should never look "decorated" so that everything matches everything else. That's where that book makes its first mistake.
It should appear as though it just grew as it went, with pieces being added as they were found or washed up,like those Japanese glass-ball in a net fishing floats.
You want "castaway", ....NOT "contrived"!
And the important rule to remember:
A Tiki Bar is NEVER "finished"!
It's an ongoing thing, with objects being added all the time, as they are discovered, found or gifted.

SCU_HQ wrote:
And I need a place to properly display one of the best movie posters of all time
That it may be, but the movie itself is undoubtedly a real stinker! And I own it!

SCU_HQ wrote:
Does anybody else on the forum have a home tiki bar, an interest in tiki, or a tiki work in progress? C'mon, let's see what'cha got!
I have built temporary ones from time to time, but only for a party. As I mentioned elsewhere I have travelled all around the Pacific and I am also an inveterate buyer/hoarder of "souvenirs", specially of native artifacts/handicrafts etc. So I already have a plethora of masks, idols, kava bowls, all sorts of spears and clubs, drums, model boats, conch shells and other assorted stuff, not to mention a reasonable collection of Tiki Mugs and Scorpion Bowls. All they need now is a permanent home! I also have a massive collection of Hawaiian shirts, ...(some rare silk beauties too), essential gear for any tiki bar.
Couldn't really do it in my current home as it was dedicated to antique French furniture, chandeliers, bronzes and tapestries etc. but now that I'm "liberated" from all that, (well, most of it anyway), the new place has the perfect setting for my Tiki stuff to all come out and be enjoyed.
Any French stuff that happens to sneak in I'll explain as belonging to a French planter who went to Tahiti and set up there. He brought a few pieces from home. Think "South Pacific"....the movie!
Here's one of my blokes anticipating the new watering hole.

It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! QZ47iW

PS. Desperate to find and buy one of those "loud" shirts that Dal has on one of his blokes. They are hard to find!
IF ANYONE HAS ONE STASHED AWAY IN YOUR SPARE CLOTHING BOX I WILL CERTAINLY BUY IT!

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It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Aml1bw


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PostSubject: Re: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeFri May 15, 2020 1:41 am

Just a quick sample of some of the many cocktails on offer in my Tiki Bar!

THE BLUE MARLIN
(Don't worry, it tastes absolutely NOTHING like that sickly sweet Blue Hawaii!
That abomination is banned from MY bar!)

It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! UMESSA

Genuine "HURRICANE".
(Don't even think about those disgustingly sweet sugar-saturated lurid red monstrosities as served at Pat O'Briens in New Orleans!
Has to be the USA's greatest Tourist Rip-Off !
Despite them being sold as such, they are most certainly NOT Hurricanes! They begin with a sinister packet mix for a start! They add a little very cheap dark rum to what looks like jelly crystals. Any drink that contains something from a pre-mixed bottle or some sachet is a disgrace to any true mixologist's calling!  Evil or Very Mad )

It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! VZOlXz

MAI TAI LAGOON.
(For two, ...or one if you are NOT driving for at least a week!  drunken )

It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Eep5JU

MAI TAI...for one!

It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! O4GjIT

VOLCANO BOWL....or ERUPTION for two!

It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! V3voVl

and FROZEN MANGO DAIQUIRI.....for HALLOWEEN!
Complete with Pineapple Jack-o-Lantern!

It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! IhzuZE

And finally here's my restored Tiki Bar set up for my own birthday.
I found it in very poor condition in a charity shop, but with a recover in some suitable fabric, the addition of the mask and the interior re-shelved and I think it came up quite well. Can't wait to give it a permanent home!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVRp8BqV19c&feature=youtu.be

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It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Aml1bw


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PostSubject: Re: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeFri May 15, 2020 4:29 am

I tried making a pineapple jack-o-lantern this past Halloween. Messy business, didn't turn out nearly as nicely as yours!

Fab retrospective of some classic tiki bars and restaurants from the past. Sad that most of the originals are gone.

Glass fishing floats, yes; when my parents were young, they lived near the beach in the US state of Washington, and found a couple of hundred floats of various sizes while they lived there. I have had the good fortune to find four of them in my lifetime; only one when I was actually living near the beach, the others when I was a kid on family vacations.

You are a true Master Mixologist! Wow! I'm getting all drunken just looking at the pics! You, sir, know how to live the tiki lifestyle!

As for your tiki bar... I have no words. Only ENVY! Razz And that lamp on top, too!

Good point about the "eclectic" nature of a good tiki bar or room or collection. In that regard, your "Blackamoor" lamps are going to look insanely cool as part of your tiki bar decor!

(And yeah, I've seen She Gods of Shark Reef. But there's no way any movie could have ever lived up to the promise of that poster!)

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PostSubject: Re: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeFri May 15, 2020 5:21 am

Thanks for the comments Dave!

Although I have found many unusual things washed up while beachcombing, try as I might I never found one of those glass fishing floats in the wild.
I had to buy all mine at a second hand store. You parents must have lived at the end of some serious ocean current to find that many.

Designated Tiki bars are returning in some places, but invariably they are far too "studied" and all fitted out by professional designers, thus missing the random-ness and spontaneity of true Tiki.

 Recommended reading for Tiki drinks and culture:
Sven A. Kirtsen's "The Book of Tiki"
(Even though he thinks he OWNS Tiki!)

I like "Smuggler's Cove" by Martin Cate for a great social history and recipes for the drinks!
and "Potions of the Caribbean" by Jeff Berry again for great recipes, and the stories behind Tiki bars and personalities.

Hint from a seasoned Tiki Drink Mixer: 
If you're eager to try out some Tiki cocktails and your recipe book comes from the USA and tells you to use both Orange Curaçao and sugar syrup (also called Gomme Syrup) JUST USE ONE ONLY...preferably the former!
For some reason American cocktails are invariably disgustingly SWEET! 
Cut it WAY back, if you value your teeth, and unless you happen to carry a ready dose of insulin with you!
And please.....NEVER EVER use any of those pre-bottled so-called Margarita mixes or Zombie Mix or whatever that you sometimes see in liquor outlets. The ones where you are told to just add the main spirit. They are truly AWFUL, taste absolutely NOTHING like the real thing and are the ruination of any cocktail.

Interesting aside for SKJ! 
Despite turning somewhat older than 21, my own birthday party had "Flamingos" as the theme. Guests all managed to dress in pink, some even had feathers, but standing around on one leg was NOT obligatory, and considering that I was mixing the drinks, probably also IMPOSSIBLE for many of them after their second one! 


 lol! lol! lol!  

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It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Aml1bw
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PostSubject: Re: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeFri May 15, 2020 8:49 pm

How weird is this...

It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Tiki

Cots do Tiki heads!

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It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! SKJ_Sig_1

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PostSubject: Re: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeFri May 15, 2020 11:34 pm

somekindajoe wrote:
How weird is this...Cots do Tiki heads!
How astute of Cots!
Back in the time of VAM, and even MAM, Tiki Bars were all the rage!
That and many of us imagine our figures on some unspecified "jungle" adventure and need a "native" idol.
Aquarium shops often stock a great range of tank decorations that are eminently suitable as props for our hobby too.

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PostSubject: Re: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeSat May 16, 2020 1:38 am

somekindajoe wrote:


...and while searching for the  Tiki bar pic I found this!

It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! DSCF2919

A pic of yours truly and Beatlefan!


Wow Steve in a boa and a photo of the elusive Beatlefan! Worth the price of admission. Great shot guys!!!


but Barry...OMG, South sea island mixologist and all things Tiki...who knew? I shouldn't let anything about your vast experience and knowledge surprise me anymore, but still, wow, you know your Tiki. Shocked Shocked Shocked

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PostSubject: Re: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeSat May 16, 2020 2:57 am

I do have many vices Brian! lol! 
Have been a Tiki fan ever since High School. I was raised in a rural setting and spent a lot of time "dreaming" about the "tropics".
Also I worked as a barman during my university days as well as part-time in addition to my day job just because I enjoyed doing it.
 
My end of the bar was invariably the busiest, with patrons choosing not to be served by the any other staff, but would literally queue up and wait for me!
I was particularly popular with guys taking their girlfriends out for a big night. I'd dress up her cocktail really fancy with some eye-catching Tiki garnishes that I'd come in earlier to prepare.This scored the blokes points with their date that I guess they could "redeem" later in the night!  Wink Wink Wink . (Ahem!)

If they mistakenly went back to another barmen for the second drink and got a very plain version, the girlfriend would complain! No "happy time" later for him!
Tips were exceptionally good. So good that the staff eventually tried to say I had to share. I said that wasn't on because they were getting nothing, so what would it be that they were sharing? Most of 'em were uni students that didn't know a Fog Cutter from a Zombie!

Anyway, now I'm really looking forward to going Troppo full time!

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PostSubject: Re: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeSat May 16, 2020 2:22 pm

Interesting thread! lol! cheers cheers cheers


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PostSubject: Re: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeSat May 30, 2020 12:12 am

As I've mentioned above, the re-emerging popularity of "Tiki" has encouraged the opening of some new bars, however they rarely manage to get it right.
Hired designers (usually Millennial hipsters Rolling Eyes  ) who have never experienced the Tiki era cannot break away from their love affair with minimalism, (Tiki was always cluttered) and you end up with something that resembles a cross between a gym sauna and an airport cafeteria.
Here's a typical example.
DEFINITELY NOT TIKI!
It's an old saying that a Tiki Bar is NEVER finished! 
Shift a straw dispenser here from its designated space and the designer would probably suffer an attack of the vapours! 

The addition of three fake Whitco "idols" on the far wall and a glass bar front full of classic Tiki mugs that are obviously never used to serve any drinks just doesn't cut it!
You can see the budget generic glasses you DO get hanging up on the racks.
Don't those bar stools look extremely uncomfortable?


It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Rpax5z

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PostSubject: Re: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeSat May 30, 2020 2:47 am

LeStryge wrote:
... and you end up with something that resembles a cross between a gym sauna and an airport cafeteria.

That is a perfect description of... well, not just of modern attempts at tiki bars, but modern attempts at almost anyplace trying to be trendy. Construct the basic gym-cafeteria box, then hang a few "theme" decorator pieces on the walls and call it a whatever theme restauraunt/club/lounge/bar/diner.

That line about "never experienced the era" has me feeling both "old" and "not old enough." I wasn't quite old enough to fully embrace or appreciate the height of tiki culture... or what was probably the fading last gasp of tiki culture, considering that I grew up in a small timber mill town where trends were late to arrive, but one of my strongest early childhood memories, pre-elementary school, is of going to a restaurant called Trader Lee's in my hometown. There were (what seemed to diminutive me) enormous carved "native" statues outside, which I remember finding rather intimidating. There was a little bridge over a wishing well outside the entry door. I remember my mom explaining the concept of a "wishing well" to me, and giving me a penny to toss in to the water. And I vaguely remember the interior... mostly as being dark, with almost scary masks hanging on the walls, and lots of dark red colors, and a ceiling that appeared to recede in to a dark maze of fishing nets and fishing floats and spiny puffer fish lamps.

I don't remember when Trader Lee's became simply Lee's, another run of the mill Chinese food restaurant. I think the next time I visited the place was when I was high school age, and other than some red wallpaper, there were no remaining vestiges of the mystically eerie exotic decor.

I "discovered" exotica music and the "tiki culture" in the early 2000s after moving to Hawaii. By that time, the Hawaii of Blue Hawaii and Hawaii Calls was a bare hint of a memory, but I was always on the lookout for vestiges of the Old Days and Old Ways. I consider myself fortunate to have been able to experience what I consider to be the very last days of the "Old Hawaii" during my first few years there. At the time I "discovered" exotica, Arthur Lyman and Martin Denny were still living. In fact, only a few months after I purchased my first "exotica" CDs Arthur Lyman passed away. I was heartbroken when I discovered that while I was living in Hawaii Lyman was still performing regularly at one of the smaller downtown Waikiki hotels. But he had retired due to illness just about the time I found the style of music I had been searching for for several years.

I was looking for a "type" of music that was "in my head," you see. Instrumental music that I vaguely remembered, I assumed from my early childhood. I had been sampling various old instrumental albums - 101 Strings, Jackie Gleason, Mantovani, surf instrumental groups (which is how I discovered The Shadows) and the like - but none of it exactly matched what I was hearing in my head. Then one day I happened across an "exotica" album my Arthur Lyman, and when one particular tune, Yellow Bird, began to play, I found, totally beyond any conscious control, tears streaming uncontrollably down my face. This was the music I had been looking for; and, some research revealed what I assume is the reason I had the intense emotional response: Yellow Bird was a huge instrumental hit... about the time I was born. My mother, in particular, liked "easy listening" music, and I suspect that this song must have been in heavy rotation on the FM radio channels she liked when I was an infant. I have come to believe that "exotica" music and Yellow Bird in particular must be deeply ingrained in my subconscious memory.

Okay, that's way TMI. Sorry.

When I moved to Hawaii, there were still a few old guys on local TV and radio and hosting live events who had performed on the Hawaii Calls radio program, who had performed at the Kaiser Aluminum Dome, and who had worked with Denny and Lyman and even Elvis. Don Ho was still performing occasionally. Sugar cane production shut down the year before I moved to Oahu, but there were still the remains of some of the mills (including one I could see from my house), and the cane roads, and even traces of the railroad that once circled the island. There were people who remembered the war years; when somebody asked one of the older ladies we knew if she was going to see the new (2001) Pearl Harbor movie, she replied, in the deadpan manner typical of older Hawaii residents of Asian descent, "no... once was enough." When pressed, she explained that she remembered seeing the Japanese airplanes flying over from her home on the North Shore.

I talked to old guys in the park in Waikiki who were surprised that I had any idea who Arthur "Teaches Dancing in a Hurry" Murray was: he spent his retirement years at the foot of Diamond Head and was a pal of those guys. Or Buster Crabbe and Johnny Weismuller, movie Tarzans who swam competitively at the old Waikiki Natatorium. I met people who had known the surfers from the days of the Bruce Brown films. In fact, my neighbor for a while was a burned out old surfer who had once been semi-famous, one of the younger group of groms who followed in the footsteps of the pioneers of the 1950s and '60s.

I met Hawaiian guys who had learned to carve tikis from the older generations. It was... well, like I said at the beginning of this too long post, it was the best time possible for me to have lived in Hawaii, because if you kept your eyes open and your ear to the ground, you could see and hear and feel remnants of what the Hawaii of Old was like.

But it was disappearing fast. The cane fields and pineapple fields were bulldozed to make housing developments. Drive time from my house on the North Shore to Waikiki expanded from forty minutes to two hours during my years there, as a result of development and traffic and overcrowding. Noise and litter and crowds...

... and La Mariana Sailing Club. Somehow, even with my growing interest in exotica and tiki, I did not hear of La Mariana until a friend of mine, a guy from England, mentioned it to me one day, and then took me there. La Mariana was one of the last "original" tiki bars, dating back to the late 1950s, in continuous operation under the original ownership. It was really hard to find, located in an industrial area behind a warehouse, with a dirt parking lot. It was kind of run down and, because of that, almost perfect! At the time it was hurting financially. The "New Tiki" fad had not quite caught on. And then suddenly, it did. And one of the two biggest musical regrets of my life happened: Martin Denny played at La Mariana.

I so wanted to go, but work, life, and other commitments interfered. The appearance was so packed that the fire marshall intervened and ended all future similar events at the (admittedly firetrap) venue.

(The other musical regret of my life: Tiny Tim played at a bar in my home town, and I didn't go, and he died a few months later.)

Denny was in the news often after that, waxing nostalgic about the bygone days, and still going strong up until he suddenly passed away at the age of 93, four years after the much younger Lyman.

So... I "just missed" the beginnings of the "tiki" movement of the early 1960s, and I "just caught" the tail end of the "original" era of tiki and Hawaiian nostalgia, altho' I missed out on seeing two of the biggest names in exotica.

It's a look and a feel and a completely fictionalized, idealized version of paradise that deeply resonates with me. I've not had the money or the space or the time to properly "collect" tiki memorabilia (or kitsch or knick-knacks) on any appreciable scale, nor to construct a true home tiki bar. Nevertheless, I love it, far beyond the mere "collecting" aspect. It goes beyond wearing an aloha shirt while getting plastered on exotic alcoholic beverages. I can't fully explain the appeal, or my response, but... maybe it's the clutter! Despite several attempts over the years to "de-clutter" my life (including unwisely selling off most of my childhood GI Joes), I just can't seem to do it. Maybe it's my Inner Tiki God speaking. Maybe kitschy clutter is so deeply ingrained in the essence of who I am that it is hopeless to fight it.

Okay, stop rambling now.

Yes, those bar stools look uncomfortable. Actually, the look unstable. I can picture myself tipping backwards in one of them.

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PostSubject: Re: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeSat May 30, 2020 3:54 am

Dave, I very much enjoyed you telling of your "Tweenie" years, and how you too came to enjoy Tiki music so much. 

You mention the Kaiser Aluminum Dome.  
If you have the "Taboo II" album by Lyman, one of the tracks was recorded early morning and as the sun rises, it hits and expands the aluminium roof. You can actually hear the cracks and pops of the expansion in the recording. (I think it might be "Hi-Lili" from memory.)


Sad too to learn of the fading of "Old Hawaii" as the Gods departed.
Sugar and pineapples, two things Hawaii was once famous for, becoming just a memory now.


Damn, even I'm sorry to have missed the "La Mariana"!
Before the advent of fire-retardant sprays, many Tiki bars, along with a lot of other places too, were real fire traps.
I have read of an American guy who did time in jail (gaol), where he taught himself to carve "tikis". They weren't representations of any actual Hawaiian gods, but they certainly gave "the look". Upon his release he became quite wealthy supplying tiki bars with his sculptures.


I have even carved a few myself, but in aerated cement block (Hebel) rather than wood.  When raw it has the texture of coral stone, or with a coat of black paint it resembles tree-fern trunk, which was so often used for the genuine articles.


With approximately five or six tea chests fully crammed with tiki stuff, and that's in addition to the other pieces I have out on display, I literally have a tiki bar kit, just awaiting assembly.
Can't wait!

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PostSubject: Re: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeSat May 30, 2020 4:48 am

LeStryge wrote:


You mention the Kaiser Aluminum Dome.  


I have even carved a few myself, but in aerated cement block (Hebel) rather than wood.  When raw it has the texture of coral stone, or with a coat of black paint it resembles tree-fern trunk, which was so often used for the genuine articles.


With approximately five or six tea chests fully crammed with tiki stuff, and that's in addition to the other pieces I have out on display, I literally have a tiki bar kit, just awaiting assembly.
Can't wait!

On the grounds of the Hilton Hawaiian Village, the only remnant of the Aluminum Dome is the base of a steel girder sticking out of the ground in a flower bed. It has a tiny plaque on it identifying it as part of the dome. I sometimes wondered if I was the only person who paused there by that little plaque and tried to hear whispers from the past.

Carving your own tikis out of "aerated cement block" sounds fascinating! I wonder if that's the same stuff some guy I follow on Instagram uses. He carves large tikis out of some kind of foam block, and the coats them with epoxy for durability.

I can't wait to see your tiki bar, either!

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PostSubject: Re: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeSat May 30, 2020 7:14 am

No HEBEL is not foam.  Not sure if it's available in the USA but I'd be very surprised if it isn't, maybe under another name?
It's a quite large commercial building block of lightweight concrete full of tiny air holes. It carves quite easily with simple tools and is fully durable out in the weather.
No need for any epoxy coating.
You can easily join several blocks together should you wish to make even larger works.

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PostSubject: Re: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeSun May 31, 2020 6:58 am

Now HERE'S what a REAL Tiki Bar should look like!
Remember I said they should be cluttered? And also never really finished?
And fishing nets full of all sorts of flotsam and jetsam MUST cover the ceiling.
Suitably "islandish/seafaring" bar-stools essential.

Pour me a Mai Tai Mr Barman!

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It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! UnM090

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PostSubject: Re: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeSun May 31, 2020 4:57 pm

Saving those pics to my reference folder! That first one looks like it was done in a very compact space!

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PostSubject: Re: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeTue Jan 26, 2021 10:54 pm

There is currently a thread with extensive and learned discussion about modern military artillery, guns, cannon and such. I refrained from posting this there because it's a primitive bronze "pirate" style ship-board cannon, nowhere near as complex as they are, but fully capable nevertheless of firing a projectile .

This is how it looked when I purchased it. I think it looks a little Spanish to me but that's purely speculation based on the decoration.

It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! NgoM6E

Obviously it needed a proper gun carriage and some ropes to take care of the recoil.
So after a bit of internet research to find the appropriate look, here is my own build with the cannon fitted. I have since "aged" the silver eye bolts to give a more period effect because it now sits in my tiki bar and I wanted it to look "pirate". I also belted the hell out of the wood with a piece of old chain to produce the appearance of having been used. .

It can be fired to provide quite spectacular flash, noise and smoke or loaded with a small cannon ball. It will certainly punch quite a hole in wooden planking. 
Can't fire it as much as I did when I lived out in the country because it scares the hell out of the neighbours, ....and their pet pooches.
Anyway,  now I'm fully prepared to repel boarders!

It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! FBGT9r

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PostSubject: Re: It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges!   It's TIKI TIME! Let's See Those Home Tiki Bars, Rooms, and Lounges! Icon_minitimeWed Jan 27, 2021 12:10 am

That`s fascinating Barry , and I like how you restored it .

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