Tiki VIP #26 Brandon Kleyla (The Man Behind Trader Sam’s)

Brandon Kleyla

The man behind the curtain.

I know it’s a Wizard Of Oz reference, but it’s fitting with Brandon Kleyla. He literally was the man behind making both Trader Sam’s locations what they are. Everything you see was hand picked by Brandon. You’d like to think that Walt Disney himself is somehow still pulling the strings making Disney the magical place that it is. Well, sadly old Walt is no longer with us, but his spirit is alive and well with people like Brandon Kleyla. Here is his story… Continue reading “Tiki VIP #26 Brandon Kleyla (The Man Behind Trader Sam’s)”

Sven Kirsten: The Man Who Wrote The Book Of Tiki

Sven Kirsten signing books at Tiki Kon 2017

You don’t realize how small the Tiki subculture is until you start looking at how little there is written about the subject. I can count the number of books written about Tiki culture on one hand and most of these books were written by Sven Kirsten.

Sven wrote The Book Of Tiki and it’s the blueprint on what Tiki was, what Tiki is, and what Tiki should be. Sven’s The Book Of Tiki, Tiki Modern, and Tiki Pop are all standard reading if you want to learn about Tiki. Continue reading to learn about the man himself…

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Home Tiki Bar Spotlight #30 Mai Tiki Bar Indianapolis, IN

Mai Tiki Bar

The Tiki scene in Indianapolis is alive and well in Bob Cripe’s basement. Hidden downstairs in Bob’s home is the Mai Tiki Bar and it’s truly impressive. Bob has been in construction for over twenty years and his skills are shown in the craftsmanship of this hidden Tiki escape. I’ll let Bob tell you his story…

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West Winds Motel Mount Vernon, WA

West WInds Motel Mount Vernon WA

You sometimes forget that there was a time before highways…

I drove Route 66 from Chicago to L.A. (just like the song) and it was bittersweet to see all these cool stores, gas stations, and restaurants that where left behind. Once the new freeway was built, traffic wasn’t going to pass by again.

On The Mother Road: Route 66
On The Mother Road: Route 66

It was around the ’60s when freeways started to crisscross America. When it comes to searching for cool Mid-Century establishments, you have to go where cars used to travel. Tiki was at its height in popularity in the ’50s and ’60s so it didn’t surprise me to learn that a cool Tiki motel was located on the main road that used to go right through the center of Mount Vernon, Washington.

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Tiki VIP #25 Rebecca Cate (Smuggler’s Cove)

Rebecca Cate

Tiki history is being made right now as I type this!

It’s exciting to be riding the third wave of Tiki and when people write about the history of Polynesian Pop twenty years down the road, another name will be added to the list along with Gantt and Bergeron. That name is Cate.

Martin and Rebecca Cate are behind the quintessential Tiki bar: Smuggler’s Cove located in San Francisco. They are writing the new rules on how Tiki should be and the proof is in the success of any bar the Cates have been involved with. This list includes Hale Pele in Portland and False Idol in San Diego. The Cates wrote the book Smuggler’s Cove and it’s the Alpha and Omega of Tiki. It talks about the history of Tiki, what’s going on now, and where Tiki is going. I don’t think I have tell you that this book is required reading for all Tikiphiles! Rebecca Cate is the woman behind all this Tiki awesomeness and here is her story…

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