Tiki Field Report #5 Tacoma Cabana 5/6/16

Robyn and Hanjing at Tacoma Cabana
Robyn and Hanjing at Tacoma Cabana

“No, I have never been to (insert Tiki bar here)” may be one of my favorite things to hear. It’s always fun to take friends out for a good time at a Tiki bar, especially if they’ve never been to one. Friends will order drinks that are stronger than what they’re used to. People let their hair down and things are more fun because everyone is just a little bit more tipsy than usual. At the end of the night, if I can turn someone new onto Tiki bars, I’ve done my job.

I hadn’t seen my friends Hanjing and Chris for a long time. We all used to go rock climbing together a few years back. I was totally into climbing until I realized that I have a fear of heights and it never went away. I moved on to other interests, but Hanjing and Chris never stopped. Good for them!

I told Hanjing and Chris about Tacoma Cabana down in Tacoma. They were interested in going, but there was one condition: we were going to go climbing the next day. Fair enough. It would be cool to throw my climbing shoes on and hit the rocks again.

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Tiki VIP #2 Dawn Frasier Sophista-Tiki

Dawn Frasier Sophista-Tiki breaking all the rules.
Dawn Frasier Sophista-Tiki: breaking all the rules.

David Bowie. We all loved him and his music. But why? What made him so special? I believe it was because Bowie always was two steps ahead of everyone else. He truly was a trendsetter. It takes guts to be into something no one else is doing and to break all the rules on how something is supposed to be done.

Bowie was a music trendsetter. Tiki has its own trendsetters. The Tiki revival started in the ’90s. Dawn Frasier was already ahead of the rest of us. She was living the Tiki lifestyle back in the ’80s.

Remember the ’80s? It was a decade of new wave and pop music, arcades and Atari, and bad clothing and hairstyle choices! Pastel pants and mullets: need I say more? While we were watching MTV, Dawn was painting Tiki landscapes and collecting Mid-Century furniture. When the ’90s finally came around and we started rediscovering Tiki culture, Dawn had already lived in Fiji for a few years.

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Tiki Field Report #4 North Shore Lagoon Bothell, WA 5/13/16


North Shore Lagoon Menu
North Shore Lagoon Menu

I don’t think anyone loves McMenamins more than my good buddy Rob, well except maybe his wife Laura! Laura and Rob live in Portland and every time I go to visit them, we end up at a McMenamins somewhere. Rob was coming up to Seattle for a concert, so he wanted to check out McMenamins Anderson School.

The North Shore Lagoon is part of McMenamins Anderson School in Bothell, WA. McMenamins converted an entire school campus into a hotel, a movie theater, a convention center, a fine dining restaurant, a pub, and of course, a Tiki bar. The entire place is pretty awesome. The North Shore Lagoon is in the building where the swimming pool was (or should I say, still is). The bar sits above the pool. You can enjoy a Zombie and look down and watch people swim. This is my review of the North Shore Lagoon if you want to learn about the bar itself.

North Shore Lagoon Tables
North Shore Lagoon Tables

After Rob’s flight into Seattle, I picked him up and we headed up to Bothell. It was during rush hour, so it took some time to get up there. However, good things come to those who wait. We arrived at Anderson School. I gave Rob the tour of the grounds and then we got down to business at the North Shore Lagoon…

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May The Fourth Be Tiki at Rumba Seattle 5/4/16

Chewbacca and a Tiki Drink at Rumba
Chewbacca and a Tiki Drink at Rumba

If you didn’t already know, the sci-fi fans of the world have proclaimed May 4th to be May the Fourth Be With You Day, celebrating the coolest movie ever: Star Wars!

I grew up with Star Wars and it is indeed my favorite movie of all time. I still have all my action figures from back when I was a kid! With the release of The Force Awakens, Star Wars might be bigger than ever!

May 4th landed on a Wednesday this year and every Wednesday is Tiki Night at Rumba. Rumba had a great idea: combine Star Wars and Tiki! A special menu was created that had Star Wars and Tiki themed drinks. Here were some of drinks…

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Tiki VIP #1 Tiki Brian of the Exotic Tiki Island Podcast


There are two things I love about Tiki bars: they create mood and they create an escape. When you live where the weather isn’t the greatest, it’s nice to have a place that you can go and forget about what’s going on outside. I live in Seattle and it’s all about escaping the rain. If you live in upstate New York, you want to get out of the snow. If you live in a city where all you see are buildings and sidewalks, maybe going somewhere that has palm trees—even fake ones—would be nice.

Tiki Brian is out of Baltimore and if you’ve ever been there, you know that it’s a tight city with small streets and big buildings. It’s truly the concrete jungle. If there ever was a place that could use an exotic escape, Baltimore would be it. Tiki Brian created an exotic escape by creating a podcast: the Exotic Tiki Island Podcast!

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Home Tiki Bar Spotlight #2 The Monkey Skull Voodoo Lounge Seattle, WA

Monkey Skull Voodoo Lounge Sign
Monkey Skull Voodoo Lounge Sign

It was the summer of 2015. Some friends of mine asked me if I would be interested in going to a Tiki party that was going on up in North Seattle. I was totally down!

We arrived at the house where the party was happening. We knew it was the right place because there were Tiki torches burning outside. We could hear the sounds of people having a good time nearly a block away. Surf music was pouring out of the basement, so we followed the sounds as we walked along the side of the house and finally downstairs.

I didn’t know it yet, but I was about to take my first step into a larger world.

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Tiki Bar Review #11 Hula Hula Seattle WA

Hula Hula
Hula Hula

When I was a kid, I used to read and collect comic books. Spider-Man, Superman, Iron Man, Batman: I read them all! What I loved most was reading the origin stories of my favorite superheroes. I found it fascinating to learn how Spider-Man became Spider-Man, where Superman came from, or where Iron Man got his suit of metal.

When I meet a fellow Tikiphile, I always like to ask, “What got you into Tiki?” Every journey starts with one step forward. If you’re into the Tiki lifestyle, that journey had to start somewhere for you. My very first step into embracing Tiki culture was when I first stepped into Hula Hula…

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