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Tiki bars by name only.....

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The world is full of bars that sound like they could be Tiki bars, but are in actual fact nothing of the sort.

Here's one from the UK.

Trader Woody

Here's another one in the heart of London, the Mai Tai on Shaftsbury Avenue. It even has a kind of Spanish Tiki bar look from the outside. Unfortunately, inside, there's nothing even remotely Tiki.

Trader Woody


The other day I drove by a Thai place named "Mai Thai"

I've seen a Mai Kai dry cleaners.


This thread brings up something I've been wondering about. Should we post specific businesses to the Finding Tiki forum that are not tiki but would (through title, ex-tiki status or local referrals) lead an out-of-towner to believe they are tiki?
I've checked out several places in the midwest, based on phone book and google research, that should have been tiki but weren't. I don't want to clutter Finding Tiki with listings like "sign says TIKI; it isn't" or "locals say this is a tiki bar...they are confused because it has lots of fake palm trees", but I'd like to place a TC warning buoy around these road trip time-wasters. Y'all think such places should be posted in this thread or in the Finding Tiki forum?

[ Edited by: tikijackalope on 2004-04-01 23:03 ]

On 2004-04-01 23:01, tikijackalope wrote:
Should we post specific businesses to the Finding Tiki forum that are not tiki but would (through title, ex-tiki status or local referrals) lead an out-of-towner to believe they are tiki?

That's a really good question. It was as a result of a personal message about a new Tiki bar in London that hadn't been mentioned on Tiki Central that reminded me to post this, thing that perhaps this was the bar mentioned. Such warnings would definitely be useful, but I'm at a loss as to how best this could be structured. Perhaps the moderators might have some ideas?

Trader Woody

The definatly-not-tiki bars are a problem a few months ago i over heard someone talking about when they went to Trader Vic's in Edinburgh years ago, i barged into their conversation and started damanding info on the posiible lost scottish trader vic's only to discover that it was a rock bar (which strangely was the first bar i ever drank in when i first moved to edinburgh) with a stolen name.


Hey Trader Woody, I really dig that pink neon Mai Tai sign in the photo but whoa...
who's idea was it to put that lovely big bamboo in those awful metal urns????
That's just wrong!

[ Edited by: tikijackalope on 2004-10-21 00:35 ]

The first time I saw a chain (It's a chain here anyway) Called Bamboola, I was just out of the gym. I ran across the street gleefull that finally there was a huge new TIKI BAR where I could go instead of the gym.

It turned out to be a children's play center.
Not only was I angry, I was swety, and felt like a disturbing site to the greeter girl who had to tell me 3 or 4 times before I got it that there was not a cocktail to be found.

If there were no kids, it could have been really fun with tha play equipment...Needed blenders.

I've always thought Playschool should make home bars...you could drink and put differnt shaped pegs in slots.



I was in Appleton, WI for business about 4 years ago and did an internet search for bars in the area. I was led to Oshkosh, a place called (I think) Andy's Beachcomber. I thought for sure I'd struck gold and would find a magical Tiki Meca hidden in the town of Oshkosh! No such luck, it was your regular ol' local bar - no Tiki to be found. It was one of the friendliest bars I have ever been to though, and the food was pretty good.


I just returned from New Orleans and was astonished to find that there were no Tiki Bars in the Big Easy. There was a Polinesia Joe's and Aunt Tiki's (which made some effoft to decorate but was not that much different than it's counterparts in the French Quarter). Not bad bars just not Tiki Bars

Here are a couple more from my files of "I can't believe its not Tiki.":

L&Ls Tiki Lounge, 4325 E. Apache St., Tulsa, OK (918)834-1010 - nothing tiki but the name. This is a smoky, local, VERY country bar. When I walked into it this past March I was wearing my most colorful Hawaiian shirt, and I got a distinct, though not hostile, "you're not from around here" vibe. I asked the bartender if the place had ever been a tiki bar. She said no, and told me "that kind of thing" could be had at another bar called the Bamboo Club, so...

After that recommendation, I drove over to the Bamboo Club, 7204 East Pine St, Tulsa, OK (918)832-1269. Nothing tiki on the outside, I noted, but maybe inside? Nope; lots of guys in colorful shirts though...LOTS of guys...ONLY guys. The bartender told me that several owners back, it used to have tiki decor, but its all been disposed of.

There's at least one more "could be tiki but isn't" place, the Bamboo Hut in Kansas City, listed in a thread I started last year for tiki in Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri: http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=6138&forum=1 I'm updating it and will refer to this post.

[ Edited by: tikijackalope on 2004-09-13 20:03 ]

Homer:"Only two types of guys wear Hawaiian shirts, gay guys and big fat party animals, and he doesn't look like a big fat party animal to me."

Here is my favorite place in Hawaii!! The food is excellent and they a good selection of drinks!! Lots of Tiki art and Shag stuff everywhere. A must go place when in Waikiki.

[ Edited by: ka maka koa tiki on 2004-09-16 18:56 ]

[ Edited by: ka maka koa tiki on 2004-09-16 18:57 ]

On 2004-09-16 18:11, ka maka koa tiki wrote:
Lots of Tiki art and Shag stuff everywhere. A must go place when in Waikiki.

Ka maka, don't forget the HUGE Gecko mask they have there! I like the place too, the BEST food I had on my trip to Oahu.

Ka maka koa tiki, you might want to check the Locating Tiki forum and see if this place is listed there. If it isn't, add it...and your pic will show up there if you change that last [img/] to [/img]

By the way, this particular thread is for places that aren't tiki but might be assumed to be. I look foreward to seeing more of your pics; welcome to Tiki Central!

Here's a couple I found in Benidorm, Spain:

Trader Jacks - turns out to be a British bar!

Tikitanka - turns out to be a music club....

Trader Woody


No matter that a few hints of tiki are here or there in a typical "TIKI BOB'S", they are definitely un-tiki.

Another Bamboo Club. This one in Long Beach, CA at 5411 Atlantic Ave.
Can't find much more information on this place other than this matchbook

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