There are key people that have made the Tiki community what it is today and what it’s going to be in the future. Right now there are three main Tiki events that happen each year. One of those events is Tiki Kon and Greg Clapp is the man who puts it all together.
Tiki Kon takes place in Portland, OR, and has been going on for fourteen years. It’s a weekend of live music and entertainment. Tiki Kon also includes Tiki symposiums, Tiki bartending competitions, and an open market for artists and vendors to sell their Tiki wares. The main event of Tiki Kon is a home Tiki bar crawl where five or so bars are visited.
I was in Portland and I had a chance to meet Greg in person and ask him a few questions…
I love Tiki drinks, but sometimes making them can be a little involved. A Mai Tai calls for six ingredients. A Zombie uses almost ten! Sometimes you don’t need a ton of supplies to make a great tasting drink. Sometimes all you need is rum, lime, and sugar. Let me introduce you to the Ti’ Punch.
I’m a guitar player. I’ve been playing since I was thirteen.
Yep, that’s me!
We musicians love to talk about music. Who is the best drummer? Which is the first punk band, the Sex Pistols or the Ramones? Who is better, the Beatles or the Stones? We can debate these important topics for hours, but there is one thing we all mostly agree on: Jimi Hendrix is the best guitar player ever.
I think most people will agree, but I think it brings up a more important question: why is Hendrix considered the best?
I’m finding out that the answer isn’t as simple as it might seem. I definitely got this sense as I’m talking with Peter Andrijeski of Seattlebars.org. “You have to think about a few things,” Peter said. How long has the bar been in business? How old is building? A bar may be in a building that’s really old, but that doesn’t mean the bar itself is that old as well. The correct answer is the Merchant’s Café, which is located in the oldest part of Seattle: Pioneer Square.
A few years ago, Peter had the grand idea to have a drink at every bar in Seattle. That’s right gang: every bar in Seattle. How would one go about doing this? Can this even be accomplished? Peter was going to find out!
Who out there remembers that classic ’80s tune from Modern English? I know two people for sure and a few nights ago they were sitting with me at Rumba Seattle. My friends Coco and Zak were going to see Modern English play at the Neumos, from which Rumba is only a few blocks away. I really only know that one song from Modern English, so I didn’t join them for the show. When I thought about it, I asked myself, “Did Modern English have any other hits?” I was talking with Zak and we came to the conclusion that if Modern English played their hit first, everyone would leave right afterwards!
It was Wednesday, which is Tiki Night at Rumba. I asked Coco and Zak if they’d want to meet up for some drinks before they head to the show. They said “Yes,” to which I said, “Great, it’s a date!”
It’s an area of Seattle that isn’t really Seattle. Actually, Unincorporated King County isn’t part of Seattle at all—or any other city for that matter. It’s kind of an interesting area: no stores, no downtown, just clusters of homes off random streets that seem to lead to nowhere. However, this is where one of the coolest Tiki bars in the Seattle area is located. It’s where you’ll find the Harpoon Saloon at the Moon Lagoon!