Tiki VIP #16 Clee Sobieski (Tiki Artist)

Clee Sobieski At The Tonga Hut Palm Springs

Clee Sobieski: pronounced SEE-lee SOH-bee-ES-kee

When I first saw Clee’s work at Tiki Kon 2016, I knew I wanted to do a post about this talented fellow. Clee’s art pulls from Tiki, Mid-Century, and everything in between. The thing I love most about Clee’s work is that it’s totally unique and timeless. When you see a painting by Clee, you know it’s his. And now you know how to pronounce his name correctly! Let’s get to know Clee a little better…

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BossaNova Life (Duke And Lola) Rockabilly, Hot Rod, Burlesque, Tiki Vlog

Duke and Lola-BossaNova Life


Hot rods.


And Tiki.

All these subcultures go hand-in-hand and sometimes overlap. Is the connection a love of the Mid-Century culture? Maybe, but I dig it all because I love eye candy and it’s just so damn cool!

Duke and Lola feel the same way! To show the “squares” what they’re missing, Duke and Lola created their own Vlog called “BossaNova Life.” I’ll let them tell you what it’s all about…

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Tiki Bar Review #27 Forbidden Island Alameda, CA

Forbidden Island

Every painting starts with one brush stroke. Each stroke that follows can make the painting better or worse.

The same thing is true with building a Tiki bar. The possibilities are only limited to your imagination, or to how much you care about building something special. I don’t want to say there’s a right or wrong way to build a Tiki bar, but as they say, “The proof is the pudding.” There are definite reasons why certain Tiki bars have lines outside the door and why others close a couple months after opening. Forbidden Island in Alameda, CA is not the later! Forbidden Island is one of the oldest of the new Tiki bars, opening its doors a decade ago in 2006.

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Straight Edge Tiki #2 North Shore Lagoon 1/8/17

Ray Bobby and Birgitta at The North Shore Lagoon
Ray Bobby and Birgitta at The North Shore Lagoon

There are many reasons why people don’t drink alcohol. Some people can’t drink because of health reasons. Others don’t because they feel it’s just not a good idea anymore. But one of the most important reasons not to drink is pregnancy.

Bobby is a good buddy of mine. We are heavily into Vespa scooters and have spent many hours riding (and probably even more hours wrenching just to make our scooters run!). Bobby had never been to a Tiki bar and was interested in checking one out. When Bobby’s wife Birgitta heard we were going to the North Shore Lagoon, she was bummed. She’s pregnant, which meant no drinking for her. It was all good for Brigitta, though! We were going to do some drinking, but we were going to do it the Straight Edge Tiki way: no alcohol!

Bobby sporting a Straight Edge T-Shirt
Bobby sporting a Straight Edge T-Shirt

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Janu-waii Luau 1/28/17 Washougal, WA

Janu-waii Luau 2017 Group Photo
Janu-waii Luau 2017 Group Photo

This has been a very cold winter up here in the Pacific Northwest. In Seattle, it’s been fifteen degrees colder than it normal and if it isn’t cold, it’s been grey and raining.

Portland, OR just got over a blizzard that left the city with over ten inches of the white stuff! The city isn’t prepared to deal with that kind of accumulation, so Portland has been snowed in!

What is one to do when the weather is terrible? Curl up with a good book and a cup of coco? Pop some popcorn and binge watch something on Netflix? Nah! If your Jamie Lutz and Daren Ford, you throw a Luau! A Janu-waii Luau to be exact!

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Tiki Bar Review #26 New Luck Toy Seattle, WA

New Luck Toy

New Luck Toy: three words that have three meanings in Seattle, WA.

New Luck Toy used to be a cool, kitschy Chinese restaurant that was located in West Seattle. It shut down about a decade ago.

New Luck Toy is also a punk rock band from Seattle.

And as of October 2016, New Luck Toy is a brand new bar in West Seattle!

New Luck Toy Bar

And they have a slushie machine that pours out frozen Tiki drinks!

Ray with a Mango Scorpion
Ray with a Mango Scorpion

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The Golden Age Of Tiki…Now?

Visitors ready to go into The Green Bamboo Lounge

It’s been said that many people consider right now to be the golden age of television. Reason being is that television programs have never been as great as they are now. This would have started with The Sopranos, then Mad Men, then Breaking Bad. The list goes on and on. I have to agree with this statement. Hill Street Blues was cool, but it doesn’t come close to The Wire.

I may be going out on a limb, but I think that we are in the golden age of Tiki right now, and here’s why…

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