Welcome to the Tiki Central 2.0 Beta. Read the announcement
Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

Tiki Central / General Tiki

Nor Cal Tikis

Pages: 1 19 replies

These are pics that I took of a couple of apartment buildings in Stockton CA.

While the architecture is definately polynesian/ tiki, this large stone moai was the lone tiki on the grounds of both apartments.

[ Edited by: Luckydesigns on 2002-11-05 20:56 ]


I always make time to drive by those while thrift shopping in Stockton!

Have you been to the 2 (yes 2!) tiki bars in Modesto (just South of Stockton)? There is the Tiki Lounge at 932 McHenry Ave. It has really nice decor (since 1962) and there is the somewhat run-down Tropics Motel next door with tikis around the grounds. The drinks were nothing to celebrate - at least they still serve tropical drinks - and you should avoid the Tiki Lounge on Friday and Saturday nights when it's taken over by party animals from the local colleges (unless you like that sort of thing).

Then there's Minnie's Restaurant on McHenry also, but at the South end of the street. It's a Chinese Restaurant with so-so food but has a nifty tiki bar attached. Their specialty drink is The Jerk, a strawberry daquiri with 151 poured through a straw into the middle of the drink. Of course it was invented in the 80s.

For more info on these places, check out the Tiki Bar Review Pages:



Oh, in Stockton there is also Pollardville, a strange chicken restaurant a ghost town along Highway 99. In 1984 the original restaurant from the 40s burned down so in 1989 they moved the closed-down Islander Restaurant building to Pollardville. Too bad they gutted the inside. The wooden bar is still there but no polynesian decor.



Ack! Ya beat me to it on posting those pix! Of course, I've been meaning to scan them for about four months, so I suck. (See Randy- you pictures aren't that late.)

So, Dean...you're the reason I can never find anything in Stockton! Grrr..... :)

Manteca Foppiano

thejab posted on Wed, Nov 6, 2002 5:39 PM

My luck in Stockton has been hit or miss too! I don't know why, but last time I went there we must have hit 10 to 15 thrift stores and I didn't find much at all. Mrsmiley had better luck but he looks for a much wider range of stuff than me.

The stuff is still out there - someone I spoke with recently found a Tiki Bob mug at a San Francisco Goodwill store for 99 cents.

Hey Lucky,

Those pictures are great! I wish I could find some apartments down here in L.A. that had a carved stone moai. Doctor Z assures me though, that there is one on top of a pub in Hermosa Beach - must try to photograph it if it is still there.

Keep finding and photographing those tiki spots. I live for this stuff.

I went through my postcard/matchbook collection to see if I could find some other NorCal tiki locations. I skipped the more famous locals (Trader Vics, Tonga Room, Skipper Kent's, Tiki Bob's) and went for the more obscure. Check these out. Maybe some of you locals could let me know if any of these places still exist?


This is a drink menu from the Aloha Club in Martinez, CA. Dated 1944. You could purchase a "Lohi Lohi Fizz" for 75 cents and a Zombie for $1.50.

The Coral Reef Restaurant - 2795 Fulton Ave, Sacramento. "The beautiful Outrigger Room, one of the seven enchanting Dining Rooms. Banquets up to 150".

The World Famous Hawaiian Gardens. 1500 Almaden Road, San Jose. "Unsurpassed for Dining and Entertainment"

ISLANDER MOTEL - 522 Ocean St., Santa Cruz. "All new and exotic units...5 minutes to beaches, playland and boardwalk"

KON TIKI INN - 1621 Price Street, Pismo Beach. This hotel was adjacent to Trader Nick's Restaurant, (see matchcover next to postcard). The drink menu was called "Trader Nick's Grog Log".

LANAI MOTEL - 2353 Lombard, San Francisco. Postcard dated 1965.

  1. MALEVILLE'S CORAL REEF LODGE - 2700 Fulton Ave, Sacramento.
  2. MINNIE'S RESTAURANT - 140 E. Harding Way, Stockton.
  3. THE LANAI RESTAURANT, in Villa Square. 4070 El Camino Real, San Mateo.

Two views of the POLYNESIAN MOTEL - 433 W. Montecito St. Santa Barbara.

TIKI INN MOTEL - 531 Stanford Ave at El Camino Real, Palo Alto. If you look closely, the top of the signpost is a tiki face, but it's lost in darkness.

And, of course, the old ISLANDER in Stockton - 6623 Pacific Ave. "One of California's Finest Cuisines of Exotic Cantonese and Mandarin Dishes. Should You Desire an American Dinner Such a Menu in All its Tasty Pleasures is Available. You are Cordially Invited to Visit Us and Your Suggestions are Always Welcome and Solicited at the Islander."

Those pics are great, I always wondered what the Islander in Stockton looked like.

I have seen the places in Modesto and taken pics, maybe I'll post those too. The tiki bar was closed when I came by but the decore on the outside looked great.

You might be able to blame me for draining the thrift stores in Stockton. There was a time when, going to school in Stockton, I would be at the thrift stores four- five times a week. I would say that I have a huge Islander mug collection. The problem is that I'm slightly lacking in variety. I think the days of the Stockton thrift stores is coming to an abrupt end. E-bay is killing it for us.

thejab posted on Thu, Nov 7, 2002 1:42 PM

Great collection!

By searching for the addresses I discovered the following:

Aloha Club - I've spent a lot of time shopping antique stores in this area so I'm sure it doesn't exist anymore but I didn't find anything at that address in my online search.

The Coral Reef Restaurant - 2795 Fulton Ave, Sacramento - now a Carl's Jr.

Hawaiian Gardens, San Jose - Gone, but I found this fascinating article:


Islander Motel, Santa Cruz - now the exciting Best Value Inn

Kon Tiki Inn, Pismo Beach - has been discussed here before - detikied and blandified

Lanai Motel, San Francisco - now a Baker's Square restaurant

Coral Reef Lodge, Sacramento - torn down just last July to be the site of a new County Department of Human Assistance building.

Minnie's Restaurant, Modesto - still there but now on McHenry St.! (see my earlier comments in this thread)
140 E. Harding Way is now called Gong Lee's -someone should check it out. Here's a review:


The Lanai Restaurant in San Mateo is no more but the liquor store is (I think) and TC member aquarj now has the huge tiki from in front of the liquor store.

The Polynesian Motel, Santa Barbara - now the fake Spanish Inn by the Harbor (clever name)


Tiki Inn Motel, Palo Alto - now the Stanford Terrace Inn with its "Tuscan murals" in the lobby - ooooh


Last, The Islander in Stockton is now the site of Tower Records. As I mentioned erlier the building is at Pollardville on Hwy. 99.

Depressed yet? :(

I keep hearing stories of this fabled Polynesian post card album you you possess. Have you ever thought about publishing this collection into a book?


I'd love to publish the postcards eventually - it's just that the collection seems so incomplete at the moment. I've got hundreds and hundreds, but many are just interior views, for which I'd love to have the exteriors. Also I keep buying new ones every week - there are so many places out there that I've never heard of - especially matchcovers to those little polynesian bars in the 1930s-50s with nude hula girls on the covers - there's literally thousands of those!

I've had to split my collection into three thick binders - one for postcards, one for matchcovers, and one for misc. paper. And I don't even delve into the menus - that's Mike's (TikiHula) arena of expertise. In about a year, I should triple my collection at this rate - Then I'll be out of money and need to publish a book to recoup. Maybe by combining Mike's menus, and me and Mr. Smiley's postcards, we could put together a stellar tome. Any other paper collectors out there?

I will begin to start posting pictures of my postcards to Mike's collection archive at


So hopefully you will begin to see some of them there soon. I'll post by region. I just dread getting started on Florida - I've got over a hundred different sites represented from that state alone!

Hey Jab,

Nice work on researching those postcards and matchbooks. I feel like I've gotten a thorough Tiki History Lesson. (A depressing lesson to be sure, but it still sent a thrill up my spine). That stunning Outrigger Room of the Coral Reef turned into a Carl's Jr.!? Thank God that Minnie's still exists. And I really appreciated that article on the Hawaiin Gardens in San Jose. I grabbed that photo of the tiki masks and added it to my archive. It's funny, but it feels like we just did a fair piece of Tiki Archeology - and all from the comfort of our armchairs. Another reason I like collecting postcards.

Now we need the field archeologists like LuckyDesigns to go out and photograph some more! Thanks again.



Fantastic stuff everyone. Good job on the research, Jabbo.

I collect some paper stuff as well. I am always torn between putting it up, or storing it in binders. Too much on the walls and the room gets kind of boxy looking.

But here's a question I was going to ask. I just picked up something that appears to have Trader Vic's autograph in it. I'm sure there are other people on this list with something he signed. Can someone scan some in so I can see what they look like?



Excellent work guys, true urban archeology: Unearth the old documents, research and photograph what's left, and put the pieces of the puzzle together. That is how the BOT came about. Look at the opening credits page, a lot of the urb. archs mentioned there have similar matchbook/postcard folders and have, like me, patiently waded through tons of crap in papershows all over California. Bosko has one of the best collections in all genres, including swizzle sticks. The amazing thing is that there is always one image you have not seen before.

The hard stuff to find is off course A.) images with Tikis, B.) images with people.

Note that there are over 20 Trader Vic's interior postcards out there, but only 3 have people in them. The rest starts looking all the same when put in a row. The presence of 50s/60s American natives really gives these that extra kick.

Also, there are some interiors that we are dying to find out about, and that unfortunately dissappoint, like Tiki Bob's (see Mike's Tiki Room Gallery), which I left out of the BOT purposely. Some things are better imagined, and left a mystery.

I was really glad to finally see a picture of the Islander, a Nor Cal power place, home of such excellent mugs!

And about Minnie's in Modesto: It has to my mind THE best collection of black velvet nude paintings (not Leeteg, better).
(Hope they are still all there..?)

Sabu, have you discovered the Kala Kai Apts. yet?

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki on 2002-11-08 12:24 ]

Found a couple more:

The CASTAWAY at Coyote Point, San Mateo. "Delightful Food and Drinks In A Most Romantic Atmosphere"

TAHITIAN HUT - 99 Broadway at Front St. San Francisco. "French Dinners including wine, $1.25 & up. Saturday $1.50"


That was terrific research, Dean. Don't worry though, I was already depressed.

I did always wonder why Pollardville looked so odd. Now I know.

I also was happy to finally see the Islander!!! Thanks so much. I have a handful of mugs from there that I was lucky enough to find in Vallejo and Stockton thrift stores before tiki went price-crazy.

Went to Minnie's recently and yes, the wonderful velvet paintings are still there. Not only that, they have an haunting series of wahine paintings--oil I think, very classy, beautiful and atmospheric. Really good...at least, in subdued lighting after a couple of drinks!! Fabulous interior overall. I was SO happy. Thank you tiki gods and goddesses, for letting Minnie's survive when so many other wonderful places are long gone...

Not to mention, the old Tropics motel looks marvelous on the OUTSIDE, at least--the tikis are huge and impressive! I once thought Sacto would have some interesting sites left, but that was because I thought it was still a slower-paced, "country" town.

The state capitol status, plus the aggressive expansion outwards of the 'burbs in recent years has killed all that. Sacto is NOT sleepy and charming at all anymore, if it ever was. It is very into "progress." Attracting big biz and yuppies and all that. Pfeh!!!

I used to drive by the Coral Reef Lodge...all sad, boarded-up, graffiti'd and trashed, surrounded by dying palms and garbage. Nope, no tiki spirit left there really, unless you count the "Eastern Empire" on Howe. They DO have great tropical drinks...apparently, the owner collects tiki mugs.



Forgot to ask...where are those apt. houses in Stockton? I may get out that way again soon.

Love Stockton. It's so beautifully grim.

Also, those of you who like just plain vintage should go to Woodland CA, near Dixon. Like Paso Robles, it has a beautifully preserved 19th/early 20th century downtown. Come to think of it, so does Vallejo, though it is a bit dicey at night. Interesting OLD cocktail lounges, but I don't think this town was ever into tiki.

HAS anyone ever found any tiki ephemera relating to Vallejo? I'd love to know.


er, here I am again.

I forgot, there is an "Islander" motel by I-80 in Vallejo, cute funky sign with the "tipsy" typeface and palm trees, but no tikis in evidence at all. Once upon a time...

The apartment houses in Stockton are on Pershing Ave. If you get off the 5 frwy on March Lane, continue down and go right on Pershing. The apartments are on your right. I don't think that this is really a place that you need to go see, but if you are in the area then it is pretty cool to check out.


I've been to the Castaway in Coyote Point! One of the BEST brunch places when I was a kid growing up in San Francisco...a real "Mother's Day" type of place. They were known for their tropical buffet, which featured insane carved fruits and vegetables, as well as some damn good food. Nice view, too. Is it still there??


On 2002-11-07 13:42, thejab wrote:

Hawaiian Gardens, San Jose - Gone, but I found this fascinating article:


Just a little something to add....

I have posted some pics and info on the Castaway here: http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=19251&forum=2

Pages: 1 19 replies