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Tiki Archeology-The Trade Winds-Oxnard, Ca (Image Heavy)

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With the help of some Oxnard friends (library, historian, city staff, retired contractor) and some TCers, I have been able to find out more about the Trade Winds Restaurant (aka; Port Of Seven Seas Inc.) and would like to it share here.

It was built by Martin "Bud" Smith. He became one of the largest developers in Ventura County with projects between Santa Monica and Santa Maria. He also built the Colonial House Restaurant in Oxnard and others on Wagon Wheel Road next to the 101 Highway. He had a yacht named "The Dry Martini" and passed away a few years ago. Some of the historians photos here were taken with an older digital camera of pictures that were borrowed from the family albums years ago, so some of the quality isn't too good (Mrs. Fury fixed them the best she could).

Permit for construction of a 10,875 square foot structure with a value of $75,000.00-1963

The first sign - open early spring-Exotic Food & Grog fron the Seven Seas. Check out those torches. Some of the structure of a former building (not sure what it was previously) was used,
as seen in the background and mentioned in the blueprints.

Unfortunately the city did not start putting blueprints on microfische until 1970, but I managed to find copies (18''X24") of the foundation, front elevation, interior, lagoon, and sign. I am restoring the images and hope to end up with some cool images to frame. Part of the exterior print.

A shot of the exterior with the boat and Tiki.

The tiki as it is today.....posted by Vontiki


Rear of postcard

Entrance.....gift shop was inside on the right.

Ad for the Trade Winds (with some of the text from the back of the full sized menu) and Colonial House

Part of interior print. The gazebo was the Samoa Hut and had a water feature aroung it on the plan as did the curved bar behind it (tempura bar on left, Somoa waterfall on right behind bar). The Zanzibar room in the back had it's own bar and fireplace. There was also an East Indies Room, another room that I can't quite read (Secte Trompsoy Room?), dance floor and stage area, gift shop, a liquor room, office, dressing areas, a huge kitchen and service bar, porter and gardner room, and storage. Looks like it had a covered car port/valet area like the Mai Kai also.

Interior shot of the Samoa Hut similar to the postcard except the outriger that hung from the ceiling is not visible.

Exterior close up at night.

Exterior at night.

Part of lagoon print. There was a gazebo and waterfall to the right.

Matchbook interior.

Mailing menu cover, like the one Sabu posted in artist renderings.

Part of print for a new sign (1968) with "Hop Louie Presents" . Not sure when he took over the restaurant as he is not mentioned in paperwork I have and saw until the late 60s when his name was added in front as Hop Louie's Tradewinds.

This application for a new owner-Don The Beachcomber-and this sign was in 1976.

The de-evolution begins with the next owner a couple years later-Coconut Joe's Warehouse Restaurant.

And further as this sign application for 1981-Hawaiian Cowby- following the popular Urban Cowboy craze. One person remembered going there. They had removed some of the decor to put in barbeque pits and the had a mechanical bull. She said it was not in business long and became an ice cream parlor (name unknown) for about a year. The demolition permit was pulled in 1984 and all was destroyed (except the Tiki)
The city had cited the place on numerous dates for electrical violations (extension cords), someone living in a trailer on the property, and loose rotting decks. The final blow to the exterior was that because the lagoon was over 24" deep the city wanted a 5' fence around it because it posed an "attractive nuiscence" and were afraid a child would fall in, like a residential pool. Not sure why they don't fence off the local lakes and beaches. The remaining photos are all that is left today, the RV and auto sales lot has been there for over 20 years. They took out the demo permit.

Large rubber trees

Palms over the sales office

Note the base of that middle mailbox.

Telephone pole posts still surrounds part of the site.

There is a large new residential development across the 101 from the site. The name of one of the home models is the Tradewinds. I wonder if they know?

Thank you Bongofury and Mrs Fury for all the research work that went into this post! There's a lot of great stuff here on Tiki Central but these Archeology posts are some of the Best in my humble opinion.

I think I like this photo best:

There's something about seeing these old vanished tiki temples in their Brand New or Under Construction phase that makes me so nostalgic.

Great post!



Yeah !! Outstanding post, Bongofury !! Finding documents, images & artifacts from beginning building permit
back in 1963 through to today really paints a much fuller picture on the history of the Trade Winds. I especially
love that interior color photo of the Samoa Hut, as well as those detailed prints of the interior and exterior plans, too.
Thanks so much for sharing all this great documentation & history...this post made my day !


Incredible post! Wow - you really did your homework. Thanks for sharing it all with us.

Is there any chance of getting "cleaner" copies of the blueprints? Or is that as good quality as is possible?

Thanks again - we need more of this kind of post on TC.


Great post. I wonder when they changed their name to Coconut Joe's Warehouse Restaurant it is related to the Warehouse Resturant in Marina Del Rey? It would explain all the Warehouse mugs I find i around here.


whoa! i had only seen the pictures of the first sign for Trade Winds, i had no clue how fantastic the structure was ~ for some reason i just figured it was a restaurant attempting a Polynesian theme.. That Place was SWANK!

i wonder if they had an in-house photographer .. many restaurants of that era took souvenir photos of the guests.. something to look for at estate sales, thats for sure.

thanks SO MUCH for all the research and for sharing with us.

ps: in Oxnard! who'da thought!

Thanks everyone! Sabu- that is my favorite photo. There is a pulley at the top of the boat so they could raise and lower the sail. Puamana-Thanks again for sending us the full sized menu last year. I should post more of that. I have more paperwork to sift through. Tangaroa-the copies of the blueprints are very dark and smeared, best ones that I could buy. Many pages were missing as there are several notes on the main pages that said "see detail". I have spent a lot of time trying to restore the copies I have and will post as I get them done. RobRoy- I have not seen any of the mugs (you must get to the thrifts before me) but the lettering style for the Warehouse sign looks similar to their other restaurants. Dogbytes....thanks for the mug. Oxnard is not the most happening spot, but Port Hueneme, the harbor, and the SeaBee base is nearby, so there are a lot of old salts in the area that probably dug the nautical-south seas theme. Maybe more interior shots will come up. I would love to see the waterfall behind the bar. Mrs. Fury lived in Oxnard briefly in the early 60s. Her parents told me that he was supposed to meet friends at the Trade Winds for dinner once, but her dad got sick and they did not go. They moved shortly after that to the bay area wher he frequented Trader Vic's San Francisco with his buddies from Shell Oil.

Another shot of the front showing the sign from the blueprint that says Tradewinds Presents instead of Hop Louie. Maybe they did not use the Hop Louie sign or it was changed again. It says "Opening Soon Don The Beachcomber". The original sign is on the left with a large anchor under it. I had no idea that DonThe Beachcomber had a location in Oxnard. They had taken over the Tonga Lei in Mailbu also, but I'm not sure when that was. We did not move here until 1985.

Great job Bongofury! The restoration drawings I saw in person look great too! Your attention to detail is awesome! This would be an awesome hub if it still existed. I remember reading one of bigbro's post that he would search out the tiki establishments in LA by following the trail of the super tall palm trees... and when I was passing by the wagon wheel one day, I just knew there had to have been a restaraunt or bar there at one point. Those palms are some of the tallest, and most windswept I've ever seen. Great job Bongofury!

Aloha Bongofury,

You have done a fantastic job of documenting the early tiki establishment known as the Trade Winds. Congratulations!! This is one of the reasons that makes TC such a great site. It shows the people who have a real passion for the tiki culture. Good Job!!!

Cheers and Mahalo,

I agree. Of all the types of posts we have here on TC, these are my favorites. I just love when something that is long gone and nearly forgotten is researched and resurrected by someone who cares. I could look at pictures like this all day long. Thanks for all the hard work bongofury!

absolutely FABULOUS research bongofury! i am estactic to see that you two were able to recover numberous blueprints of the facility. it seems that many cities dont carry those records from the 60's or before. so this is a fantastic find and a great treat to see! the pictures are wonderful...especially the one of it being built like sabu pointed out. i guess i never realized how extensive the trade winds really was. do we know if there were any other mugs, other than the bucket mug from there? and what goodies was in their gift shop??! :)

as for exciting blueprint finds, this print was the cat's meow in my eye:

On 2006-04-14 14:53, bongofury wrote:

Part of print for a new sign (1968) with "Hop Louie Presents" . Not sure when he took over the restaurant as he is not mentioned in paperwork I have and saw until the late 60s when his name was added in front as Hop Louie's Tradewinds.

who is that dude on the left? perhaps an artist rendering of the great hop louie himself (sporting bermuda shorts and black socks?)??? 1968 sounds just about right timeline-wise. he was already at latitude 20 at that point. i wonder if there was a menu change when he took over?

i must say again, GREAT job with this post! big mahalos!

I used to work as a designer for the once great Ad Art Sign Company in Stockton. I left a few years ago shortly before it closed, but currently work with one of the old foreman who stayed on until the bitter end, around 2001. He told me that they threw out probably 20 filing cabinets of prints and original drawings before he left. I nearly cried. Ad Art did the original Islander sign in Stockton as well as many of the old casino signs in Vegas. I'm sure Chuck Bernard, one of the original designers and art directors for the company still has some of the casino sign designs (as well as Betty Willits, the designer of the famous "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign), but unfortunately, a lot of the people that worked there had no real appreciation for googie design/architecture and treated the material accordingly. They did restaurant and hotel signs all over California (including Disneyland), Las Vegas and the world from the 50's to 2001, but unfortunately it seems all that history went to the dump except for a few stray pieces that some salesmen took away with them. It truly was an end of an era when that place closed its doors.

By the way, that little dude to the left on the drawing is affectionately refered to as a "goon" in the trade!

[ Edited by: quickiki 2006-04-17 10:07 ]

you know my dad used to drink with Bud in the 80s he recalls the place as do many of older folks I know......I just wish it was still there


I was fortune enough to have met " Bud" Smith shortly before his demise, Unfortuneately, I hadn't come into my tiki self as of yet or I would have asked him about it....


VonTiki, was the tiki you found from the Trade Winds at a tool rental yard in Oxnard? I think I remember seeing it there years ago while renting a car dolly.

My late father, Richard M. Ellis, spent a year of his life, starting in 1962, decorating and carving all the Tikis for the Tradewinds Restaurant, at Wagon Wheel Junction, Oxnard for Martin V. Smith. more info. to follow.


My DAD took me to the Trade Winds numerous times in the late 60's and early 70's. They had a rain forest inside that continuously sprayed water onto tropical plants. They also had the best Polynesian floor show I've ever seen with female and male dancers and great bands that also played rock & roll. Awesome place I will never forget it even though I was only 8 to 12 years old when I went there.


I just joined today and found this post. I have my mothers book with lot's of Trade Winds info from it's opening day. I will scan and post what I can. This was always my favorite place she designed and the inspiration for my own Tiki bar I am building.

Tim Ojaitimo

[ Edited by: Ojaitimo 2006-08-07 08:28 ]


Here is a picture of my mother Ione with the artist prior to the Trade Winds opening. Is this your father Annie?


( correction: not the Trade Winds after all, see the bottom photo). this was the recreation room at the Royal Palms Park in Oxnard ,Ca 1962 or 1963)

[ Edited by: Ojaitimo 2006-08-07 08:21 ]

[ Edited by: Ojaitimo 2006-08-07 08:28 ]


On 2006-08-04 15:30, Ojaitimo wrote:
I just joined today and found this post. I have my mothers book with lot's of Trade Winds info from it;s opening day. I will scan and post what I can. This was always my favorite place she designed and the inspiration for my own Tiki bar I am building.

hey tim, did you find TC on a search for Tradewinds? i cant wait for more photos and history.. what other places did your mom design? and please post pics of your own bar too!


Ojaitimo, welcome to Tiki Central! I'm dying to hear more. Babble on a bit about your mother (who was lovely, by the way), share whatever pictures & stories you can. What aspect of the design was she responsible for? Where there other Polynesian places she designed?


I found Tiki Central while doing a search for my own bar and came across the Trade Wind's thread by chance. She did a number of restuarants as the designer such as the Lobster Trap and the Ole for Martin V Smith who also built the Trade Wind's in the mid sixties, she collaberated with Richard Ellis who was the Tiki artist and someone from 20th Century Film whose name escapes me. This was my favorite place she was the designer for. I remember going to a large property yard in LA where she would look for items to use at the Trade Wind's. It had a boat and rickshaw among some of the items that came from the yard. I have some pictures and articles about the Trade Winds that I will scan and post soon. This was her only Tiki project but the Lobster Trap which is still open in Oxnard, has some of the flavor or it did back then.
My brother Michael C Mc Millen followed in her footsteps and does installation art for various museums around the world. If you do a google search for him or Red Trailer Motel you'll see what I mean.

[ Edited by: Ojaitimo 2006-08-05 23:38 ]


Here is a scan of the rear menu from the Trade Wind's


Thanks for finding us and posting that fantastic photo and info about your mother. One of the things we like best about TC is the forum it provides for history and photos of the old tiki bars and restaurants. Always great to get another piece of the puzzle filled in. Look forward to seeing more of your photos and memorabilia. Thanks again.


In your picture, your mom is holding a Witco-made "Female G'nomie", and standing next to it, from the same manufacturer, we see a "Boy Puppet". I don't think the guy next to her is Annie's Dad, maybe the pic is not from the Tradewinds. If Richard Ellis spent a year carving there, there would have been no need for Witco, it was considered sub-par by the more sophisticated Southern Cal carvers. But maybe she mixed and matched.

The place with the yard where she got her decor could have been Oceanic Arts in Whittier, because Rich Ellis worked with them, but the boat makes it sound more like Trader Luke in San Pedro...or Sea & Jungle in Glendale, or Benson's, then in Long Beach ?


Trade Winds images


You were right Bigbrotiki, that picture was taken at another Tiki project at the Royal Palms.

(This is the recreation room at the Royal Palms in Oxnard. On the right wall are the Witcos seen in the photo above.)

[ Edited by: Ojaitimo 2006-09-04 06:35 ]

"...Rick Ellis...since early 1963 he has created a family of some 50 figures like nothing ever seen before in Ventura County..."

I bet! To imagine that. And where are they now! How could they all disappear! Sigh.

There is a postcard out there of that above mentioned raised platform called the Tiki Temple. Sounds a bit grander than it is, can someone post it?...or wait, it's actually the same then the (better) photo of the Samoa Hut that Bongofury posted on the previous page.

Tim, do you have any more info/pics about the Royal Palms? I would love to use that picture of your mom and the statues for my new book. Images of contemporary 60s people and Witco together are hard to find.

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2006-08-07 03:20 ]


I'm sure I do somewhere. I'll start digging tonight. I also plan to visit Martha Smith, Martin Smiths widow, I will ask to scan some of Buds pictures of which there are probably hundreds that she has stored somewhere hopefully. I would love to provide anything I can for your book Bigbrotiki.

[ Edited by: Ojaitimo 2006-09-01 16:55 ]

Cool! Even if these places and their artifacts have been destroyed and forgotten, photos and clips like the ones in this thread will make them come alive again for posterity. People that were involved in them back then usually don't know about the revival of interest in the subject, and the next generation has to make the connection.
Thank you for your research, Tim.

I will p.m. you on how to forward me the Witco photo, check under "personal messages" above, you will have to sign in to read them.


prior to opening 1964

review from paper (full text below}

[ Edited by: Ojaitimo 2006-09-11 09:00 ]

Rendering of Tiki temple 1963 prior to contruction of the Trade Winds

Rendering of the Zanzibar Room

Rendering of the Sadie Thompson Room

Outside tiki

[ Edited by: Ojaitimo 2006-08-29 23:50 ]


Thanks for the pictures Ojaitimo!!!!

Those are frickin' incredible!!!!

Cheers and Mahalo,

Awesome stuff Ojaitmo, please continue posting pix and info as time permits, these are the kinds of posts that get us really excited.


To drown sorrow, where should one jump first and best? "Certainly not water. Water rusts you." -Frank Sinatra

[ Edited by: Sneakytiki 2006-08-31 23:31 ]


[ Edited by: Ojaitimo 2006-09-03 21:01 ]


These are just the sorts of images I always dream of seeing, and so rarely get to -- well-lit pictures of the interior of a Polynesian restaurant, right when it was new. Getting to see contemporary stories from news clippings adds even more, and artists renderings of tiki places are some of my favorite tiki art. Thanks so much for opening up your mother's scrapbooks for us, these are wonderful!


Thanks Humuhumu, you inspired me with your passion for tiki and your incredible photography of various places. It is my pleasure to contribute what I can to Tiki Central & Critiki. As Bigbrotiki said; these places may be gone but the images will live on for posterity. I'm glad that I found all of you.
Ojaitimo Tim

kctiki posted on Mon, Sep 4, 2006 4:58 AM

What a joy to see this! I really dig those purples running riot in the East Indian Room. Ojaitimo Tim, your mom is a designer after my own heart.

The rendering of the Sadie Thompson Room looks very shimmery and sparkly. I'm going to google "Sadie Thompson" right now to get the scoop on who the room is named after.

virani posted on Fri, Sep 8, 2006 2:49 PM

Woaw, amazing pictures...really great.
Have you seen the look of that purple room with the green chair !


Thanks all. Here is Bud Smith's decree on the Trade Winds and the full text of the article above.

[ Edited by: Ojaitimo 2006-09-11 08:45 ]


Aloha Y'all,
Another tidbit...my grandfather, Kai Fee Chin, prior to becoming the executive Chef for the Don the Beachcomber restaurants, was th e Head Chef at the Trade Winds.



Tiki Temple


This is all very amazing. Truely a learning tool.


I photographed the Trade Winds site and talked to one of the salesmen at the RV lot that is there now.
His parents and friends used to go to the Trade Winds often and that they had seen Don Ho perform at the Trade Winds a number of times back in the sixties. He may dig up a picture or two of them.

The high rise buildings you see in the distance were also Bud's projects from the seventies and eighties.

I found this odd pole on top of the fence made of telephone poles and it looks like it was carved once but I'm not sure. If it is natural tiki so much the better.

The sign for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway is ironic in I think that it led to the downfall of tiki in the United States.

I also photographed the Lobster Trap in Oxnard which has a few items from the Trade Winds.

[ Edited by: Ojaitimo 2006-09-29 11:45 ]

looking good Tim.....I have spent so much tim @ the Lobby bar and the Trap itself.....Bud and my Dad were drinking mates and our boat used to be @ Anacapa Marina up the road


How jazzed was I to discover this today? This article was in the wrong section or I would have missed this Trade Winds home development.
It seems that the Trade Winds was so popular with Ventura County residents that a developer built a large community in the foothills of Ventura near the Trade Winds restaurant. They offered three options for these homes and the Trade Winds model was the most popular. The material for the Trade Winds Ashwood is being posted in locating tiki tonight.

Life is a state of mind

[ Edited by: Ojaitimo 2007-02-26 23:00 ]


As promised in the post on the "TONGA APARTMENTS", here is the home of the husband and wife who did the landscaping for The "TRADE WINDS" restaurant in Oxnard. According to there son, the went around the world collecting rare Palms. The also own the "TONGA" Apartments and one other set of apartments in the Ventura area. The husband has passed away but the wife is still around. In fact I knocked on her door and asked permission from her before I shot these photographs. The inside of the house , what little I could see, was all TIKIED out, Bamboo, fishnets glass floats etc... There son now runs the apartment operations and and is still helping out with the International Palm Society functions.


The trees are still there under the same moon where 40 years ago this was the place to be.

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