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Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

Mai Tai, Excelsior, MN (restaurant)

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Name:Mai Tai
Street:687 Excelsior Blvd

While perusing Critiki, I learned that there was a tiki bar in Excelsior, Minnesota. A web search yielded nothing other than what Michelle has listed on Critiki, namely, Mai Tai was replaced by the Bayside Grille.

How long was this place in operation? Is there any memoriblia from Mai Tai?

I would love to hear about this place.


I miss the Mai Tai. I wish I could find more about it online and more stuff about it in general; I forget when exactly it disappeared, it may have happened when I was away at college (early '90s) if not sooner.

It was a restaurant with island themed decor, it looked a lot like an extremely big grass shack from the outside and it was near Lake Minnetonka (though I can't recall if there was actually any outdoor dining, when I went there with my parents, we ate indoors).

I remember going there once on my birthday with my family and they embarassed me by having the strolling Hawaiian guitar player guy sing to me in honor of my birthday, he did "You must have been a beautiful baby" and I'm not sure what else.

They served pina coladas, my Mom always had one. And I think there was tropical flare to the food. I loved the decor.

I did find a matchbook from the place once at an antique shop in Hopkins, MN-- if I track it down, I'll scan it in and submit it over at Critiki.

I can't recall what, if any, merchandise they sold. I was a kid and teenager when we went there, my memories are from the '80s or maybe late '70s. We didn't go there all that often or maybe I'd remember more. I also wasn't into tiki stuff then, but perhaps it's what got me interested later on.

I picked up a matchbook from the Mai Tai restaurant in Excelsior with nice renderings of the exterior.

The bar must was called the Rum Runner

Bonus find on the inside: Jane's phone number!

I researched this place on the web and Scott McGerik the author of this post has his own site with another matchbook that shows two photo scenes

One of the outside

and one of the inside.

I also found a story about a gentleman who used to take his boat to the Mai Tai.

The Mai Tai was a wonderful big restaurant, on the water, with very Polynesian/Hawaiian architecture and a South Pacific cuisine. We docked Sunshine and went in for a grand dinner. My very favorite dish was called the “Flaming Hawaiian Feast”. It was a wok dish with lobster, crab, shrimp, beef, pork, chicken, pineapple, celery, and other veggies and fruits that I don’t remember. They poured brandy over it and served it flaming. It was offered as a dinner for two but it was easily enough for three of us. They also offered the very best scorpion I ever drank, but you had to drink it when you got there so you would be sober enough to drive when you left.



Nice post DC .

The Bayside Grill looks like it is the very same building as the Mai Tai, based on the weird roofline.

The Mai Tai/Bayside Grill sits on the exact spot where a giant roller coaster once stood in the Excelsior amusement park—which closed down in 1973. So the Mai Tai was apparently in operation after 1973.

The Excelsior Amusement Park is noteworthy in itself, being the site of an infamous appearance by the Rolling Stones in 1964. Legend has it that the day after their show at the Danceland Ballroom, Mick Jagger was in line at Bacon's Drugstore and ordered a Cherry Coke—but got regular instead. Jimmy Hutmaker (aka "Mr. Jimmy") said to him "You can't always get what you want," inspiring the song by the same title 5 years later.

Q A D,

That's a pretty cool story on the Stones and Excelsior.

James T writes in Tiki Road Trip II that Stan Lee of Marvel Comics fame use to hang out at the Mai Tai in Excelsior, which may explain his catch phrase and book title:

Another matchbook image spotted on the web.


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