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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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Are there any Fresnans on Tiki Central? I recently moved here from Miami (a better job, that's why...) and was surprised to find that a few old Tiki bar/restaurants are still around. Specifically the Leilani, on Blackstone, and the Luau, on Fulton. Both are in sketchy neighborhoods near downtown and I haven't attempted to dine at either one yet. Each are currently Chinese restaurants. The Leilani apparantly still has a lounge and the Luau, obviously, used to play up its bar, the 'tiki room'. It looks like the Luau might have closed the tiki room, however. You can see that the sign was painted over and broken. The windows are covered in bricks. The Luau restaurant is still serving Chinese buffett. If anyone here is interested in a trip to either or both, send me an email.
http://www.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=67b0de21b30d485084e9

[email protected]
http://www.tikigardens.com

What a coincidence. I just went through Fresno the other day. Had to deal with difficult family members in Visalia and decided to have a treat exploring a new town on the way home. I'm so sorry I missed your Tiki finds!! though I did see lots of wonderful vintage signage. As an addicted road tripper, I plan on returning soon, like right after Christmas. I'll send you an email and perhaps we can check out the Luau and the Leilani!

M

Fresno is my bag, baby. Welcome. My family is from Fresno and I'm down there all the time on business. I'll be back in the new year- we should hook up for a drink. The Luau and Leilani are both not worth your trouble anymore. The exterior signage is all that is left of their majesty. Keep an eye out for the mugs that that they shared- a black smooth glaze moai.

The Tower district is the only place to hang. (Damn, now someone else will be thrifing in Fresno!) Check out Fezgirls on Olive in the Tower- the woman that runs it is cool and she has some nice stuff. Also Retro Rag on Olive for clothes and Shag stickers and the like. And try a Stockholm at Veni Vidi Vici. Best drink in town. I hope you enjoy it in Fresno. It really is a pretty decent place by central valley standards. Send me a private message about where you live and what yer doing.

All the best,

-martin

Fresno does have an amazing collection of neon signs. The giant horse and cowboy sign near the zoo is particularly good, and there are several other nice ones in the Tower district. There's also several really cool theatre facades in downtown, especially the Crest. Unfortunately, many of these old buildings are not occupied and many of the signs aren't maintained so it's anyone's guess as to how long they'll be around. If I ever find the time, I'd like to take photos of all the good vintage signs in Fresno.
There must be some tikiphiles in Fresno. About a month ago I saw two Outrigger mugs in the window of a downtown thrift. It was a Sunday, and they were closed. So I left work a little early on Monday to pick them up. But they were gone :^(
Do email if you find yourself in Fresno.
[email protected]
http://www.tikigardens.com

I

Hi Fresno newcomer!. I was just looking at all the tiki posts and noticed yours. Fresno is a pretty cool place just don't ask the natives. Yes I've been to the Leilani and well er.. it is cool to look at but has really gone down hill in last 10 years. I used to go and have dim sum on sunday mornings but it seemed a little to dirty the last few times and I stopped going. The Luau is worse. But try Tokyo Gardens next door on a friday night for a cool tiki like bar and some funny bartenders. I love to collect tiki's and have found some great ones in the past here. It is getting harder though. Well email if you have many other questions about Fresno.

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