We all work hard and we all get into our own routines. One day turns into the next and before you know it you’re a decade older. Sometimes being able to escape from your day-to-day life and pretend you’re somewhere else is not only fun, but I think needed! Besides Disney, no place does escapism better than Las Vegas, NV.
Just walk down the Las Vegas Strip and choose your own adventure. Want to stay in a medieval castle? Want to be whisked away to Paris? How about New York City? Or even spend a weekend in a pyramid? You can do all these things and after a couple drinks, you’ll forget that you’re in the middle of the desert!
Yes, the people who design the hotels in Las Vegas have escapism down to a science. If you run a Tiki bar there, you have to up your game! Branden Powers, the owner of the Golden Tiki, rose up to the Las Vegas escapism challenge and came back with a full house! The Golden Tiki is awesome!
If there is anyone that should be considered a Tiki VIP, it has to be Martin Cate. Martin’s Tiki “resume” is just incredible! He has had his hand in several Tiki bars, including Forbidden Island, Hale Pele, Smuggler’s Cove, and San Diego’ False Island. Did I mention he also wrote one of the most important books on Tiki? It’s called Smuggler’s Cove, named after his bar. This book covers everything you want to know about Tiki and Tiki culture. It really is an essential read for anyone into the Tiki lifestyle.
The punk rock/Tiki connection is alive and well with Frankie’s Tiki Room in Las Vegas, NV. If you’re a touring punk rock band, you’re well aware of the Double Down Saloon, which is “the” place to play in Vegas. Punk shows at the Double Down are legendary and the man behind such a cool place is P. Moss. P. Moss got together with Chris Andrasfay and bought Frankie’s, an old Vegas bar that only locals knew about, and made it what it is today: an incredible Tiki bar!
When Aaron Thorpe came across his home to be, he took one look at the place and said, “It’s mine.” There’s something about Mid-Century Modern homes that just look so cool and so right. Aaron’s place looks like something straight out of Palm Springs and it’s located in Portland, OR. Aaron has created a home Tiki bar, which is located outside by his pool. It is incredible, but there is so much more to see at Aaron’s home that it would be a crime to not show off the rest of it!
The Shameful Tiki Room will always have a special place in my heart. It’s where I came up with the idea of starting this blog!
I heard there was a Tiki bar up in Vancouver, BC and I decided to take a little road trip up to check it out. When I finally made it through the border patrol into Vancouver, I arrived at the Shameful Tiki Room. As I walked up to the place, I noticed all the windows were covered up. My first thought was that the bar was closed or under construction. I figured I came this far, so I might as well try the door. It opened and I stepped inside to a very dark room. Once my eyes adjusted to lack of light, I realized I was in a really cool Tiki bar! I got a seat at the bar and started ordering drinks. They were good, like Tiki Ti good! The windows out front were covered on purpose to block out the realities of outside. Great idea! I thought whoever owns this bar is in the know when it comes to Tiki. I was right! That guy is Rod Moore and I had a chance to ask him a couple questions.
In the Pacific Northwest, Tacoma has always had a bad rap. It’s an unfair because it’s being compared to Seattle. Tacoma may not be as big as Seattle, but it sure has some pretty nice neighborhoods. Titlow is a part of Tacoma that is right off the Puget Sound. The neighborhood is known for its giant park (Titlow Park). It’s very stunning. In Titlow you will find Trader Tom’s Tropical Lounge at Drifter’s Cove…
There is nothing cooler than a family business and it’s even cooler when that family business makes Tiki mugs! Munktiki is Debba Debba, Paul, their son Miles, and Mile’s wife Annie. If you have been to Hale Pele, the Shameful Tiki Room, 3 Dots And A Dash, or Smuggler’s Cove, you have probably sipped out of a Tiki mug made from Munktiki. The operations of Munktiki are based in Portland (Paul and Deb) and Astoria (Miles and Annie). I asked Paul how long his “commute” to work is. He replied, “Three minutes, five if he needs some coffee!” Miles has been working with ceramics all his life and has about the same commute time! I asked Miles about his interest in ceramics…
There is a new wave of Tiki coming our way and Martin and Rebecca Cate have written the manual. That book is called Smuggler’s Cove which is named after Martin’s Tiki Bar in San Francisco. This book covers every aspect of Tiki and is a must for every Tikiphile out there! I did a full review of Smuggler’s Cove. Click here to check it out.
Sometimes the hardest part about creating your own Tiki bar is finding the things you want to add to it. There is always eBay or Craigslist, but most of us find our Tiki treasures going to antique stores and thrift shops. I’ve done my share of traveling from one antique shop after another looking for that perfect Tiki mug. It took me over a year to find my Mid-Century Modern couch! Marci Holcomb and Austin Jordan don’t have to search very far for cool stuff. They own their own vintage store: Sputnik Housewares! Marci and Austin’s store and home are in Portland, OR. This is their story…
Jim Hyte lives in Glendale, AZ, which means he lives in the desert. I remember on TV when someone was lost in the desert and dying of thirst, they would start to hallucinate. The image the person would see was always a large pool with palm trees. Jim decided to make that hallucination into a reality. He has turned his home and backyard into the Exotica!