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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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Name:Pago Pago,
Type:restaurant
Street:396 E Main St
City:Milford
State:MA
Zip:01757
country:USA
Phone:(508) 478-0710
Status:defunct

Description:
Smallish reformed tiki Chinese food joint

[ Edited by: pappythesailor 2011-05-23 13:31 ]

The wife and I made the trek to Milford, MA to see the Pago Pago. After reading about it in TRT, I knew I wasn't in for any great tiki experience and got even less.

Here's a couple of outside shots--not bad, right?

Nice A-frame, tiki mask, hula girl--ok, in we went. That was the end of the tiki. The inside had been remodeled in a gaudy nightmare of pinks, reds and plum in a vague floral pattern that wasn't South Seas or Chinese but was just wretchedly ugly. All the decor had that same hopeless, misplaced sass of furniture left on the curb. Unwanted by everyone but here it was. This was the best pic I could take of the place:

The owner said this room was built in 1980 but didn't remember when the place was remodeled but he tought it was in the last ten years (I swore it was 1982 because that was the year plum was a big color!) I got the feeling the place was trying so hard NOT to be tiki that it forgot to be anything (but ugly).

That's the bad stuff. The good news is that it still appears reasonably popular (although we were the youngest people in there by 25 years or more!). It was also quite clean (my wife wasn't impressed with the bathroom), the food was good and came quickly. I got the Sizzling Steak Fiji, being one of the last Polynesian things on the menu but my wife was going to do her thing and got Schezuan Chicken. The waitress dropped one of my pieces of steak but made it up to me by bringing me some white rice which I neglected to order. Food was above average but not much; maybe 6 out of 10. I asked for my Mai Tai in a tiki mug and the friendly waitress didn't blink when I asked to buy it. She even gave me a brand new one. I rate my Mai Tai a 5 out of 10 and the wahine wasn't drinking 'cause she's with child so that's it for drinks (sorry!)

Here's my ferocious tiki mug. Don't pick on him as he's the first one I've ever gotten out in the field.

Anyway, I predict bad things for the Pago Pago unless they put in bamboo and palms, ditch the pink and plum and ebrace their tiki heritage.

[ Edited by: pappythesailor 2008-06-28 21:31 ]

Did this have any relation w/ the PagoPago that was once in Chicago??

Unlikely. I'm not going back to ask.

If my memory serves me correctly, doesn't the Kowloon in Saugus have a pink tablecloth and napkin theme also? Must be the restaraunt supply distributors let you choose any color you want as long as it's from the 80s. :)

Dunno but next week or the week after I'm going to the Kowloon for my first time. Even better, by this time tomorrow, I hope to be at the Jardin Tiki in Montreal (Tiki Mecca!) I'll have pics. Woo hoo!

T

Have fun at the Jardin!

I'm finally recovered enough from my Tiki Day to post some pics. I was lucky enough to be joined by Granite Tiki and the lovely Kate. I was further lucky enough to meet the owner, Paul who gave me the grand tour. (The kitchen at the Pago Pago is nice and clean.)

Here are some pics of the bar area.

Cool fish-on-a-tortoise-shell light

Tiki Lights

Nifty bamboo chairs

Picture of the back wall with us and the crazy, lighted ceiling with mini disco ball caught in the mirror. You could say this light fixture is gaudy but I won't. The whole thing just screams 1982 and guess what--it's now "retro"!

If you go to the Pago Pago, definitely head toward the bar to eat.

BK

Hey, Pappy!
I work less than a mile from the Pago. Me & my musician friends used to frequent the joint in the 80's & early 90's. It's probably safe for me to go back now, though. I don't think they'd recognize me!

PS: I dig the mug! I think I'll grab one too!

I am fairly new to exploring my Tiki side and figured I start off by hitting Pago Pago, which is quite close to where I live & work. I won't do a review really, as I'm new to this game so comparisons won't work too well. I'll just say that I really enjoyed my time at Pago Pago. My Mai Tai & food tasted great to me. The service was great & the place seemed very clean & well kept.
I took a few pix of the outside with my camera phone, but didn't take any from the inside. The interior looked exactly the same as it does in pappythesailor's great pictures, & to tell you the truth, I really like the vibe of that decor.
I was also able to pick up my 1st Tiki mug and got a menu too!


[ Edited by: seafoamer 2008-08-13 19:47 ]

S

Fate led me there again (& it's amazing how shyty my phone camera is)

Went again tonite. Had a Headhunter & a Zombie.

Pic w/ same shytty cellphone, hahaha!

[ Edited by: seafoamer 2009-09-12 18:36 ]

Simply Awesome!

If you love the best in Cantonese Polynesian Cuisine without spending a small fortune you own it to yourself to check out Pago Pago in Milford Ma.

MILFORD —

After 39 years of Chinese food, specialty cocktails and loyal patronage, a Milford landmark will close its doors this weekend.

Pago Pago, the town's oldest restaurant, will serve its last customers on Saturday.

Owner Paul Soo Hoo said it's time to say goodbye.

"I'm crying on the outside but I'm smiling on the inside," said Soo Hoo, 68. "I've enjoyed being here the last 40 years - I've met a lot of nice people and I'm going to miss them all, but it's time."

Alongside brother Chester and businesses partner Florence Lee, Soo Hoo opened the eatery at 396 East Main St. on Oct. 10, 1972.

He said Pago Pago was the only establishment on the block. The building was there when he bought the property, and he added onto it. He named the restaurant after Pago Pago, an island in the South Pacific.

"When we first came here, it was a barren area. It's unbelievable. If I had known, I would've bought everything," he said with a laugh.

Since then he's hired hundreds of people, many of whom worked there over 20 years, and he has hosted customers from all over.

But when Lee died a couple of years ago and his brother retired shortly after that, Soo Hoo started thinking about selling.

"The building's old. It needs serious renovations, and I'm too old," he said yesterday. "... I've been dwelling on it the last two years, and the economy helped."

Soo Hoo made the business announcement last weekend - news which is still hard to swallow for some long-time patrons.

"I can't believe it, we used to come here in high school," said Carl Stewart of Marlborough, who was picking up takeout yesterday afternoon. "I've been coming down here since 1979, and I drive down from Marlborough to eat here. It's worth the half-hour drive."

Lloyd Lapan of Milford, who has frequented the establishment for more than 20 years, said Pago Pago has always treated its customers with respect.

"The patrons will miss the quality of food Pago brought into the town of Milford," he said. "It's sad, but it's just another change in the times."

In the lounge, Soo Hoo handed Milford's Billy Wolley a menu for his daughter.

Wolley said his daughter, who lives in Chicago, often asks him to send her her favorite dishes.

"She always asks me to send her packages of Pago food," he said. "There are people all over the country who are gonna miss the Pago."

Soo Hoo's sister, May Ling Tong, has worked with her brother for about two years and said patrons are going to miss the food.

"Everybody says they're going to miss it. It's known as traditional Chinese-American food, and a lot of places don't make it like that anymore," she said.

Tong said the economy has hurt businesses, and it's time for her brother to take a breather.

Soo Hoo, who lives in Brighton and intends to spend his retirement playing golf, said a local business is interested in the property. He wasn't sure which business will take it over.

And while loyal customers aren't sure where they'll go next, they're certain of one thing: They'll miss everything about Pago Pago.

"I'm definitely going to miss this place," said Jean Digirolamo of Milford. "It's home away from home."



MILFORD —

After 39 years of Chinese food, specialty cocktails and loyal patronage, a Milford landmark will close its doors this weekend.

Pago Pago, the town's oldest restaurant, will serve its last customers on Saturday.

Owner Paul Soo Hoo said it's time to say goodbye.

"I'm crying on the outside but I'm smiling on the inside," said Soo Hoo, 68. "I've enjoyed being here the last 40 years - I've met a lot of nice people and I'm going to miss them all, but it's time."

Alongside brother Chester and businesses partner Florence Lee, Soo Hoo opened the eatery at 396 East Main St. on Oct. 10, 1972.

He said Pago Pago was the only establishment on the block. The building was there when he bought the property, and he added onto it. He named the restaurant after Pago Pago, an island in the South Pacific.

"When we first came here, it was a barren area. It's unbelievable. If I had known, I would've bought everything," he said with a laugh.

Since then he's hired hundreds of people, many of whom worked there over 20 years, and he has hosted customers from all over.

But when Lee died a couple of years ago and his brother retired shortly after that, Soo Hoo started thinking about selling.

"The building's old. It needs serious renovations, and I'm too old," he said yesterday. "... I've been dwelling on it the last two years, and the economy helped."

Soo Hoo made the business announcement last weekend - news which is still hard to swallow for some long-time patrons.

"I can't believe it, we used to come here in high school," said Carl Stewart of Marlborough, who was picking up takeout yesterday afternoon. "I've been coming down here since 1979, and I drive down from Marlborough to eat here. It's worth the half-hour drive."

Lloyd Lapan of Milford, who has frequented the establishment for more than 20 years, said Pago Pago has always treated its customers with respect.

"The patrons will miss the quality of food Pago brought into the town of Milford," he said. "It's sad, but it's just another change in the times."

In the lounge, Soo Hoo handed Milford's Billy Wolley a menu for his daughter.

Wolley said his daughter, who lives in Chicago, often asks him to send her her favorite dishes.

"She always asks me to send her packages of Pago food," he said. "There are people all over the country who are gonna miss the Pago."

Soo Hoo's sister, May Ling Tong, has worked with her brother for about two years and said patrons are going to miss the food.

"Everybody says they're going to miss it. It's known as traditional Chinese-American food, and a lot of places don't make it like that anymore," she said.

Tong said the economy has hurt businesses, and it's time for her brother to take a breather.

Soo Hoo, who lives in Brighton and intends to spend his retirement playing golf, said a local business is interested in the property. He wasn't sure which business will take it over.

And while loyal customers aren't sure where they'll go next, they're certain of one thing: They'll miss everything about Pago Pago.

"I'm definitely going to miss this place," said Jean Digirolamo of Milford. "It's home away from home."

CRAP!!!!!! I'm gonna have to hit it at least once this week! I practically lived there in the 80's. We'd meet at my buddy's house for band practice, go to the Pago & way too often end up at the K2U in Woonsocket. I'll have to make sure I thank him for all the good times, although I'm sure he won't remember me.
:(

Sigh. Now even the Chinese joints are starting to disappear...

On 2011-05-23 13:38, pappythesailor wrote:


MILFORD —

After 39 years of Chinese food, specialty cocktails and loyal patronage, a Milford landmark will close its doors this weekend.

Pago Pago, the town's oldest restaurant, will serve its last customers on Saturday.

Owner Paul Soo Hoo said it's time to say goodbye.

"I'm crying on the outside but I'm smiling on the inside," said Soo Hoo, 68. "I've enjoyed being here the last 40 years - I've met a lot of nice people and I'm going to miss them all, but it's time."

Alongside brother Chester and businesses partner Florence Lee, Soo Hoo opened the eatery at 396 East Main St. on Oct. 10, 1972.

He said Pago Pago was the only establishment on the block. The building was there when he bought the property, and he added onto it. He named the restaurant after Pago Pago, an island in the South Pacific.

"When we first came here, it was a barren area. It's unbelievable. If I had known, I would've bought everything," he said with a laugh.

Since then he's hired hundreds of people, many of whom worked there over 20 years, and he has hosted customers from all over.

But when Lee died a couple of years ago and his brother retired shortly after that, Soo Hoo started thinking about selling.

"The building's old. It needs serious renovations, and I'm too old," he said yesterday. "... I've been dwelling on it the last two years, and the economy helped."

Soo Hoo made the business announcement last weekend - news which is still hard to swallow for some long-time patrons.

"I can't believe it, we used to come here in high school," said Carl Stewart of Marlborough, who was picking up takeout yesterday afternoon. "I've been coming down here since 1979, and I drive down from Marlborough to eat here. It's worth the half-hour drive."

Lloyd Lapan of Milford, who has frequented the establishment for more than 20 years, said Pago Pago has always treated its customers with respect.

"The patrons will miss the quality of food Pago brought into the town of Milford," he said. "It's sad, but it's just another change in the times."

In the lounge, Soo Hoo handed Milford's Billy Wolley a menu for his daughter.

Wolley said his daughter, who lives in Chicago, often asks him to send her her favorite dishes.

"She always asks me to send her packages of Pago food," he said. "There are people all over the country who are gonna miss the Pago."

Soo Hoo's sister, May Ling Tong, has worked with her brother for about two years and said patrons are going to miss the food.

"Everybody says they're going to miss it. It's known as traditional Chinese-American food, and a lot of places don't make it like that anymore," she said.

Tong said the economy has hurt businesses, and it's time for her brother to take a breather.

Soo Hoo, who lives in Brighton and intends to spend his retirement playing golf, said a local business is interested in the property. He wasn't sure which business will take it over.

And while loyal customers aren't sure where they'll go next, they're certain of one thing: They'll miss everything about Pago Pago.

"I'm definitely going to miss this place," said Jean Digirolamo of Milford. "It's home away from home."

Sorry, Big K. It's closed.

I was able to get the Mai Tai recipe which I guess I should post in Tiki Food and Drink. So I will.

CLOSED LAST WEEKEND!!! CRAP!!!!

Man, this whole thing happened so fast! I work about a mile from this place & at about 11:45 this morning, one of my employees says: "Hey, Rick. I just drove by the Pago Pago & they're having an auction!" Crap!!!!! I jumped in my truck & headed down there. The auction started at 11:00 so I missed the Tiki over the door & they only sold 2 of the Tiki lamps, again before I got there, for $130.00 each. The 2 amazing tortoise shells were taken home by Paul, the owner. He told me the story of driving to New York to buy them. He said they were made by Otagiri. I bought 9 of the high-back chairs seen on page 1 & 2 of the tables. On site, I sold 4 of the chairs to another regular customer for her home. I also bought 7 faux bamboo wall sconces, some of which I will sell. Paul said the sconces were original to the restaurant which opened in 1972. It really was a bitter-sweet day for me. I'd much rather still be able to "Hit the Pago" whenever I wanted, but at least I'll always have a little piece of the place. Unfortunately, pictures are gonna have to wait. Paul said he'd be there til 6:00, so I could pick up my stuff, but when I got there at 5:05, he was gone & the place was locked up. I have to go back tomorrow to pick up my stuff. I'll post pics either tomorrow night or Thursday. Pappy, I'm glad you got that recipe. I'm gonna ask Paul for the Zombie recipe, tomorrow.
Mahalo,
Rick

T

What a bummer. The Caliente Tropics A Frame falls, and this...a a Bad week for tiki. :(

I knew I should of hit that place on my last visit back East a few weeks ago! Damn!!
I'll miss those honey-tainted Mai Tais......

I'll practice making them so you can have one in August!

I sampled the saved Mai Tai recipe at pappythesailor's house Sunday, outstanding! Pago Pago lives on in our Mai Tai glasses and hearts.

It's a damn shame the Pago Pago closed. The owner Paul has been very generous in giving away tiki memories of the Pago. He gave me the me tiki totem that hung above the front door. I've washed it and will hang it in my house.

If you ever want to let it go, please contact me.

Picked up my stuff this afternoon, but it is not coming into my house without a good scrubbing! Pics to follow.

Sorry for the delay, guys, but here's the stuff I picked up at the auction.



RIP Pago Pago!

PS: 3 of the sconces will be for sale over in the Tiki Marketplace, shortly. I've got to generate some cash to replace this ancient computer!

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