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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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The first Tiki restaurant I ever visited , upon my arrival on these shores, was Tiburon Tommies in Tiburon. It closed in the early '90's.
I have never come across any photos or mug / menu details. Does anyone remember this place ? Does anyone have any pics they could post? Did they ever have their own mugs? Just curious...

T

Didin't AquaRJ get some of the artifacts that were there when they demolished the place, or was that TikiHula?

Quite a few SF Tikiphiles ended up with stuff, since Tiki awareness was already high when it closed. There is a nice large postcard of it in existence.

My son ate his first ribs there, ten years ago, when he was two...

M

Otto and I bought a few Tikis from there at an auction and word has it that these items (including) a 20 foot tiki totem where found in a dumpster. The auction had only decor-no mugs or menus. I knew of this place when I got into tiki, but no one ever mentioned it so I assumed that it had closed down a long time ago. It hadn't closed at that time-I could have gone to it! :(

L

I walked by the buiding a week ago and you'll all be happy to hear that it is being converted to condos.

On 2005-03-20 01:25, mrsmiley wrote:
I knew of this place when I got into tiki, but no one ever mentioned it so I assumed that it had closed down a long time ago. It hadn't closed at that time-I could have gone to it! :(

That's interesting. Quite a few folks I've spoken to knew of the place, but never went - and that includes many Tikiphiles.
I only went there once and remember it being awesome. The type of place I'd only seen in movies.
It also seems to have been forgotten in these pages as well. There's always lots of lamenting about defunct bars/restaurants coast to coast, but nary a mention about this one. I wonder why? That's why I question whether they had any of their own mugs - probably not - that may be the reason they've been forgotten.

[ Edited by: Conga Mike on 2005-03-20 12:57 ]

't is the shame of having known and not gone, that makes this place a taboo entity in Tiki circles!!! 8) ... :wink: just kidding!

Tiburon Tommie's was opened by Tommie Cox and Johnnie Won as "Tiburon Tommie's Pier 41" in 19?? and later (as so often) taken over by the Chinese manager and became "Tiburon Tommie's Mai Tai".

When I went there, the only Tiki mugs I could see were behind the bar, they were the long fogcutter mugs with the elongated Kon-Tiki face (p.42 of Tiki Quest), did not check if they had the name on it...the menu has the face of Wahine in front and a Lono Tiki in the back.

I failed to gain access to the mysterious "Maori Sky Room" upstairs, which had Tiki carvings and designs and a long Maori canoe hanging from the ceiling. At that point in time (90s) it had been turned into storage and the maitre D wouldn't budge from not letting me see it.

Pictures? C'mon everybody, do I have to do ALL the work around here?

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki on 2005-03-20 20:14 ]

M

Having grown up in Marin, I can say that I have never once seen a Tiburon Tommie's mug in any local thrift store or antique shop. That means almost certainly there weren't any for YEARS if at all. It's not like old Marinnites are all hanging on to them.

On 2005-03-20 20:11, bigbrotiki wrote:
Pictures? C'mon everybody, do I have to do ALL the work around here?

Aquarj and Trader Woody have posted pics this before. Here's the link --

http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=1899&forum=1

Yayh! Viva the TC detectives! Thanks for doing the work to dig that up, Adrian.
See, it DID get mentioned, and even with pictures!
I also once pointed out the fact that the name of this joint is another proof of the lasting impact of Trader Vic's up north:

Many of the Tiki joints up there followed it's "pre-nickname" concept:

Trader VIC's
Tiki BOB's
Skipper KENT's
Tiburon TOMMIE's

Also, I seem to remember that Hans Richter once told that Johnie Won used to work for Trader Vic's, and then went into business for himself, which was also not uncommon: "Sneaky Bob" Bryant had the audacity to open Tiki Bob's right under the eyes of his former employer, Michael Tsao used to work for Trader Vic's (Chicago?) and got the managing job at the Kahiki under Lee Henry and Bill Sapp. There was much more cross-migration like that. From all the Trader Vic's islands in the U.S., the hardworking and ambitious Chinese continued to spread the Poly Pop tradition, often carrying on after their American employers had (re)tired.

M

On 2005-03-20 05:14, limptiki wrote:
I walked by the buiding a week ago and you'll all be happy to hear that it is being converted to condos.

Otto and I went a few years back to check on the progress of whatever was happening to the building and as we turned the corner in his car we...saw......NOTHING!! The building was completely gone!! We walked on the "beach" we it once stood and I found a pottery shard from a restaurant plate-I kept it as a "souvenir". Those condo's are 100% percent new--no Tiburon Tommies in them at all. :(

T

Having worked in Marin County since '92, I have witnessed that tearing down and rebuilding instead of reuse is the typical treatment of old buildings in Marin County. For example, the Nave Lanes demolition a few years ago which is still a vacant lot, and the remainders of old highway 101 along the freeway frontage roads in San Rafael which have been torn down or drastically redesigned to look faux-mediterranean.

Just a couple of weeks ago in Corte Madera I saw a vacant lot where this great googie 60s bank building recently stood.

About all that remains of commercial architecture in Marin from the 1950s and 60s are Marin Joe's Restaurant, Rancho Nicasio, and the Birkenstock building in Novato.

I've got a cocktail napkin and a matchbook. I'll try to post pictures soon.

Sabu.

L

I stand corrected by Mr. Smiley - I should have said there are horrible condos on at least part of the old tommie's spot.

P

Here's a few pics of a Tiburon Tommie's menu:

T

Apricot brandy in their MaiTai? Maybe not such a bad thing it's been bulldozed.

Just kidding, sorta.

Did I read that menu right that they had shots of Tio Pepe Sherry for .75 cents? Hell, I'd of drank nothing but that.

I remember that place from back in the 70's - I was all over Marin back then in my college days. The place was a real happening place, right there at the water's edge I remember and it was huge right? They had some seating in the back right on the water. I remember going there a few times, but I don't remember much more. The construction was wood with big wood structural poles inside.
Here's another real obscure place I remember - when I was a little kid in the early late 50's early 60's my uncle ran a bar on Columbus Avenue, North beach, San Franciso. A little place on a funny triangular property - it was called 'the Beer Keg'. It had thatching I think, some tikis, nautical stuff, fish nets, a wood floor but mostly I remember tons of those metal beer kegs all over the place; I think they used them for seats; and there were little wooden round tables. I just saw the place a few times when we visited my uncle there. For years after it closed my uncle had tons of big metal beer kegs stored everywhere in his garage. North beach was cool back then (still is) there were lots of funny little beatnik bars all over in alleys and stuff and quite a bit of tiki.

S

The critiki mentioned, "It's not clear when it opened (apparently sometime in the 1970s)" ~ as a child of the 60s who went to innumerable wedding receptions at Tiburon Tommie's, I can tell ya it was booming as early as the mid 60s.

There was a banquet room upstairs and after the adults were all busy doing all the things adults do at a wedding reception, quiet children could sneak downstairs unobserved by their already :drink: Mai Tai-plied parents :roll: and visit with the friendly staff, roam the building, wander the docks, and still make it back upstairs before the cake was cut... :lol:

I don't remember there NOT being a Tiburon Tommie's growing up. My dad was a gregarious, loveable drunk who made friends with restaurant owners and bar keeps up and down Hwy. 101. He took me to Tiburon Tommie's sometimes just to "visit." I remember a great frothy orange drink they'd make for me.

Tiburon Tommie's is a place my partner has heard me talk about over the years and hoped to get to visit with me some day. :cry: Thanks to Critiki and this bb, I was at least able to revisit in my memories.

Long live the memory of Tiburon Tommie's! :tiki:

One more time, the bootyful big postcard from T.T.'s -this thread deserves more visuals:

back of the postcard:

...and the front of the postcard:

...and here is where I got my info from (unfortunately, the date is cut off!):


(...damn' could not figure out how to get this bigger!)

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2007-01-06 21:36 ]

Damn Bigbro, that is one awesome postcard. Never seen that before.

I picked up a Tiburon Tommie's menu with a date of 1990 on the back, so it must have been towards the end.

The used the old menu and just pasted over the prices.

DC

Here is the matchbook from Tiburon Tommie's from the Mai Tai era.

And a link to a Marin Nostalgia website that has some great old photos from Tiburon Tommie's.

http://www.marinnostalgia.org/spotlight/restaurants/restaurants/tiburontommies.html

DC

The tikis in the front of Mark Walsh's office at Pixar are from Tiburon Tommies.
Mark was in the right spot at the right time.
Pics here

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150359687411240.397916.679291239&l=6374a1bc6f&type=1

Found this photo of the Tiburon Tommies building nearing the end.

DC

X

On 2005-03-19 14:01, Molokai Mike wrote:
The first Tiki restaurant I ever visited , upon my arrival on these shores, was Tiburon Tommies in Tiburon. It closed in the early '90's.
I have never come across any photos or mug / menu details. Does anyone remember this place ? Does anyone have any pics they could post? Did they ever have their own mugs? Just curious...

Check out this site! http://critiki.com/location/?loc_id=578 They have menus and pictures! This was my great-grandfather's resturant, he even passed down the delicious mai tai recipe to my dad!

I did a little research on Tiburon Tommie's after seeing Otto's Tiki from there on Facebook.

Tiburon Tommie's was owned by Tommie Cox. Like Trader Vic's and Hinky Dinks, it started out life in 1955 as a bar called the Oar House and then became Pier 41.

In 1958 Tommie Fox joined forces with Johnnie Won who had worked for eight years at Skipper Kents. They expanded the bar to a restaurant, including the famous second floor Maori Sky Room, and it became Tiburon Tommie's Pier 41.

Christmas and New Years ads from 1959.

Here is a photo of Tommie and Johnnie from Critiki.

The owners were obviously enchanted with the Maori culture, naming the second floor banquet facility the Maori Sky Room.


Some articles with Tommie and Johnnie and visiting Maori women.


The name changed to Tiburon Tommie's Mai Tai in October of 1963.

Tommie Cox was still around in the late 1970s.

DC

Yah, Maori Sky Room, and here is a closer look of it:

C

Another ad variation

Seen today on the Marin Independent Journal's Facebook page.

O
Otto posted on Sat, Sep 15, 2018 11:05 PM

images from Marin Nostalgia, http://www.marinnostalgia.org/


ben-aka-bing-john-jimmy


front of menu



Back of menu


awesome napkin design - if anyone has one for sale contact me.

Two pics from a party

Notice John in the background serving the party

O
Otto posted on Wed, Dec 12, 2018 9:49 AM

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