We all like to snack on something while we are sipping on our Tiki drinks, right? Why can’t it be something healthy? How about something vegan? The No Bones Beach Club is a vegan restaurant that happens to be a Tiki bar, or is it the other way around?
It was one year ago, almost to the week. I was at Hula Hula chatting with the bartender. She had good news and bad news.
The bad news was that Hula Hula was closing because the building was getting leveled for new development. The good news was that Hula Hula would live again in a new location. The owners just needed to find the right place…
As I write this post, there are only two remaining Trader Vic’s locations in America. One in Atlanta, GA and the other in Emeryville, CA. Back in the ’50s/’60s during the height of Tiki popularity, there were around 25! What happened? Well, tastes changed. But if there is one word to describe a Trader Vic’s restaurant, that word would be HUGE! Imagine trying to maintain a large space with many rooms filled with various Tiki artifacts. It’s a miracle such a place is still around! That’s why visiting Trader Vic’s in Emeryville, CA was a big deal for me. It could all be gone tomorrow…
When I first walked into Otto’s Shrunken Head, I felt like I’d been there before. I lived in New York back in the early 2000s and before Otto’s was Otto’s, it used to be Barmacy. Barmacy was a bar that was supposed to be a pharmacy that turned into a bar. Pretty interesting idea, but a Tiki bar is so much cooler!
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.