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Tiki History - South Seas, Boston

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Here are some scans from an oversize postcard from the South Seas Restaurant & Lounge in Boston, Mass. and Hartford, Conn.

I thought I remembered a previous thread about this place, but I couldn't find it.

[ Edited by: ZuluMagoo 2006-12-30 08:51 ]

Zulu -

That postcard is awesome! Never seen that one before. All I've got is the matchbook. I dig those fernwood tikis. Wonder where they got so many?



I always wondered where the South Seas in West Hartford was located, since I live less than 20 minutes away. This is what resides there now:


[ Edited by: tikigreg 2006-12-30 09:27 ]

As always Zulu, a fine find!

Didn't we once make a thread with the most searched after postcards? Meaning interior/exterior shots of lost Tiki palaces that SHOULD exist out there?

Like the Mainlander in St.Louis....and has there been an interior of the Islander Stockton found yet?

Then again, some places just didn't seem to see the necessity in having paper items made. I remember when I went to photograph the Hala Kahiki with James T.:
We got all excited when the owner told us that they were going to open a time capsule they had planted in the 70s in one of the bar posts, but to our (well conceiled) dissapointment the napkin, matchbook and swizzle it produced were generic!
There is only one Hala Kahiki matchbook design I know, and it seems to be the only branded item they ever produced (apart from having their name on mugs).

So we might be lookin', but if it was never made, it ain't there. But this is part of the fun: You never know!


Thanks for posting pics of that postcard ! I had wondered what the interior of the restaurant looked like. Here's a few menus from the South Seas, both from 1969 :

Dinner menu :

Cocktail menu:

On 2004-11-03 15:39, puamana wrote:
Here's a few menus from the South Seas, both from 1969 :

Dinner menu :

Wow, love those graphics. They remind me of the elaborate tiled walls of some of the Spanish Tiki bars, which, I assume, were done in the early 70's. Interesting to see how Tiki design went through the artistic styles of the age.

Trader Woody

Found this recently.

I heard there was an "Islander" in Manchester, CT. Does anyone have any info on this?

Abstract Tiki at its finest!!

This is what Picasso's Polynesian restaurant menus would look like!

I would love to see the interior shots again. ZuluMagoo? Anyone? Looks like the original pics are gone.

Cheers and Mahalo,

The South Seas' fine menu cover is of course an excellent example of, and will be found in, TIKI MODERN...thanks to puamana!

I fixed the broken pic links from Shutterfly and moved the photos over to the TC server, now they won't get lost.

Only 328 broken Shutterfly links left to repair (SIGH!!!)

[ Edited by: ZuluMagoo 2006-12-30 08:59 ]


Thank you Zulu for taking the time to fix the broken images! The wealth of these posts is often in the pictures and without them, they are a terrible tease to new readers.


Thanks ZuluMagoo. Much appreciated. The pictures are very nice!

Cheers and Mahalo,


Loved the coctail menu. Gave me some great ideas for creating one for my backyard tiki garden bar.

Here's a pic of the South Seas storefront on the CT History Online webpage.

It's truly fabulous to find a great old thread with the pictures still intact. Oh how I love those menu graphics.

I picked up this match cover recently.

Hey, it's that Trader Vic's/De Young Tiki, in a nicely stylized version!:


[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2008-09-18 22:37 ]

Found a mug from the South Seas/Hawaiian:

All of the matchbooks, mugs, menus, ashtrays, etc. from the South Seas reference two locations.

Boston and West Hartford.

We also know that the Hawaiian was affiliated with the South Seas from Big Kahuna's mug.

Could there have been another South Seas???? YES!

I picked up this postcard from a third South Seas located in New Haven.

The cool thing about this one is that the sign font matched the cool abstract logo on all of the ephemera.

Here is a different version of the sign from the New Haven location.

Now we need to find a shot of the Boston sign.


Nice work DC.

Thanks Big Kahuna. Always nice to find a new place.

I did a little more digging and found another partial picture of the Hartford South Seas sign. It looks like the larger two tiered sign with the palm tree has been removed and all that is left is one just like the New Haven sign.

If you compare the photos, you can see that the adjacent Hartford Federal Savings also changed signs, most likely due to a downtown sign ordinance.

While we are updating the thread, lets ad Rev Thumper's awesome swizzles from the South Seas and the Hawaiian.


Oooo! I've got a couple of the South Seas swizzles, but I've never seen that one from The Hawaiian.

And here's the yellow version of the very cool South Seas swizzle courtesy of a trade with Big Kahuna on his recent trip to the Rumpus Room.

Thanks BK.


Ok, so I just got this really great picture from the South Seas in Boston. It shows a waitress, Mai Chin, with THE signature Tiki that was obviously the inspiration for the mod menu art.

Now the story on the back of the photo gets more interesting. The photo and news article were published in an attempt to recover a second matching female Tiki that was STOLEN!!


I can't believe a site like this exists. I actually found information about my uncle and fathers restaurants here. Amazing!

Great find with that photo, DC, I had missed that post previously.

Thinking of Boston with a heavy heart...

A nice double ad from simpler times with the South Seas and The Hawaiian.


Matchbook & swizzle I picked up, today.


Nice Swizzle from the Hartford location! Is that your only one? (trade?)

Found an article from the opening of the Hartford location dated November 1961.

More on the opening, the place sounds pretty cool.


Red South Seas swizzle.

And telephone book ad with the South Pacific.


I picked up a couple of matchbooks from the South Seas that show the three locations.

One from West Hartford.

And this one from New Haven.

Also found this great photo of the sign from the West Hartford location.



Nice detective work, as always, DC!


any chance of getting a scan of the Hawaiin restaurant menu???

Having fun going through this old thread, and was disappointed to see that the images of the South Seas menus are no longer accessible. I am posting images from my menus, since the artwork is amazing. They don't seem to be available anywhere else on TC, and they belong in the archives.

Dinner menu (as seen in Tiki Modern, p. 43):




Cocktail Menu:




[ Edited by The Professor on 2022-03-23 17:05:23 ]

Adding photos of a mug I found to this very old threadIMG_8039IMG_8038

[ Edited by traderjeff on 2023-09-25 16:10:34 ]

Wow, great find!

Sweet...great Grab

Sweet...great Grab

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