Back in the ’50s and ’60s, Tiki was big, I mean really big! Large Tiki establishments like the Mai Kai and Trader Vic’s were in every town. Many of the Mid-Century homes had bars and tons of those were being converted into home Tiki bars.
Polynesian pop was so popular that Tiki-themed hotels and motels started popping up. Taking things one step further, Tiki apartment complexes were built! Imagine walking out your front door and having a large Tiki to greet you every morning as you go off to work. Many Tiki apartments were built across the country, but by the ’70s, most of those apartments were torn down or converted to some other theme. I did find one survivor in Tacoma, WA. It’s named—yep, you guessed it—the Tiki Apartments.
“You wanted the best and you got them! The hottest band in the land: KISS!”
Back in the ’70s, KISS ruled the school. They were huge! There were KISS toys, KISS comic books, KISS, well, pretty much anything Gene Simmons could think of! KISS was so big that the band even had it’s own army, the KISS Army!
Why was KISS so big and why were they so successful? One reason: seeing KISS live was a breathtaking, rocking spectacle that couldn’t be duplicated!
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!
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…
If I had a nickel for every time someone said this to me, I would be rich! Okay, well maybe I would have enough to buy a cup of coffee, but I digress.
Yes, starting a Tiki bar is a dream of mine, but it’s not easy and it’s not cheap. You need to find a place that’s in a good location and somewhere you can afford the rent. You also need a license to serve alcohol AND a license to sell it. I haven’t even talked about the money needed for décor.
One idea I thought of was doing a “pop-up” bar. I was down in Los Angeles and they got pop-ups for everything including food, clothing, music, and of course, booze. The idea is to rent a space out for a week, a month, or even a day. I thought a Tiki pop-up bar would be a great idea. Well, great minds think alike. Duffy De Armas made my a dream a reality! He opened the Tiki pop-up bar: the Low Tide Lounge.
Head on down to the Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale, FL and for less than $15, you can be entertained by the Polynesian Islander Revue. The show is almost two hours of non-stop music, dancing, fire dancing and more! The coolest thing is you get to learn about Polynesian culture as you enjoy the show, eat, and drink. It doesn’t get much better than this. My buddy Dave Gittleman is a professional photographer and he got a ton of great shots of the show. Here’s a little taste of the action on stage at the Mai Kai!
Every journey starts with a first step, but sometimes you may forget when and where that first step might have been. When it comes to the living the Tiki lifestyle, it usually starts by walking into your first Tiki bar. Then you hit another. Then you buy a Tiki mug. Then you buy another, etc.
I can remember my first Tiki bar. It was Hula Hula in Seattle, WA…
The year was 2006. In theory, Hula Hula should’ve been my first step in the Tiki world, but actually, it wasn’t. My first step was at an amusement park in Pennsylvania called Knoebels Grove…