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TH

Hi All!
new to collecting menus.. and I have never sen a HINKY DINKS menu..
Is stuff from there just really rare? Or am I just looking in the wrong places!

M

To me they are!

I had a trader vics/hinky dinks anniversary ashtray at one time, but other than that i haven't seen anything from there.....

Aye! Rare they be.
I beleive the afore mentioned ashtray be the only piece of booty I've crossed in me travels. If'n ya have anything... let's see it Matey!
aloha,
:tiki:

S

I have seen Hinky Dinks come around. Matchbooks especially. I don't think it is extremely rare. I can't recall all the ephemera, but I have seen it on a regular basis.

Everybody forgets about Senior Pico's too. Really hard to find.

8T

Found this pinback button recently. It measures 3" across.

That button is not really a Hinky Dinks item, (as in FROM Hinky Dinks) but a Trader Vic's item from 1984. Considering the fact that Hink Dinks was basically a dive (see it depicted below)

...and existed only a couple of years in the 30s, I am not surprised that there is little to be found with its name on it.

8T

Yeah, I knew it wasn't issued in the HD era but since it has the name and building on it, I thought it would be ok to put the picture here.

8T

Just found these ashtrays so since the previous example photos are gone, here's a replacement:

I was happy to get a Hinky Dink's Matchbook on ebay a few years back for $5. The next week the same style matchbook in worse condition sold for close to $75! As Bigbro said, Hinky Dinks was only around for about 2-4 years in the early 1930's before the name (and decor) changed to Trader Vics, so yes, period Hinky Dinks items are very rare.

*On 2007-02-15 17:21, Tiki Ham wrote:*Is stuff from there just really rare? Or am I just looking in the wrong places!

Here are a few scans of a Hinky Dinks menu.

The cocktail selection holds a few mysteries. The "Fancy Drinks" section offers the Frankenstein at 25c. I also have no idea what a Western Electric or Pe Pe Je Ke cocktail are. The last sounds like a potentially tiki name, but it's not in the rum section. Of course, some of the "Rum Drinks from the Tropics" list are unlikely to have any rum either, such as a Gin and Tonic or a Singapore Sling.


A

Interesting. There are about 10 cocktails on that menu that don't appear in Vic's cocktail books. Then again, some may have been renamed.

TM

I like the prices on cognac....but find it interesting that the Hennesy and Curvoiser are priced the same as the fundador....nowadays, the hennesy and curvoisier will run you about 35 bucks, but the fundador is about 18 per bottle.

T

On 2013-01-13 15:34, lucas vigor wrote:
I like the prices on cognac....but find it interesting that the Hennesy and Curvoiser are priced the same as the fundador....nowadays, the hennesy and curvoisier will run you about 35 bucks, but the fundador is about 18 per bottle.

And both are cheaper than a Mojito.

A

I picked up one of the Hinky Dink's menu as posted at a "warehouse sale" of Trader Vic's stuff, probably 10 years ago? I was told that they had a large amount of stuff from the various TV locations and were just liquidating some of it. The menu was free - they had stacks of them. I also got a "club", which is made of plaster and painted to look like old wood (they said this is how the replicated items for use in multiple TV locations), and the "Oscar" sign, which I was told was hung in one of the bathrooms.

M

I only saw those Boating signs "Oscar" in the Last San Francisco Location (not Cosmo). I would love to see the Hinky Dinks menu-if they had stacks, could they have been reprints? Again Hinky Dinks closed in 1934 (ish).

J

From what I understand, the transition from Hinky Dink's proper to full blown Trader Vic's was a gradual one that began with one room in the back, officially dubbed "The Bamboo Room." Mr. Bergeron was referred to at this early stage as "Trader Vic, your host at Hinky Dink's." (see the 1938 Oakland Tribune article that Sabu posted HERE

This is further proven with a match cover I finally acquired just recently:

Very interesting on several levels! This and Sabu's post with the newspaper story about the Bamboo Room prove that the transition from "Hinky Dinks" to "Trader Vic's" was much more gradual than Trader Vic himself described in his "Frankly Speaking" autobiography.

On page 44 he writes "We decided that Hinky Dinks was a junky name and that the place should be named after someone we could tell a story about. My wife suggested "Trader Vic's" because I was always making a trade with someone. Fine, I became Trader Vic." On the next page he writes "So that starts Trader Vic's. We tore down the horse shoes and snowshoes and dear horns and deer heads and other paraphernalia of a hunting lodge and put up the tropical stuff. We bought a neon sign and we were in business. There was no fanfare about the opening. Just closed one day as Hinky Dinks selling sandwiches and opened the next day as Trader Vic's selling tropical drinks and Chinese food."

In addition I've read elsewhere that the name change took place in 1936 or 1937 but the newspaper story in Sabu's post clearly states that as of July 28, 1938 it was still called Hinky Dinks.

By the way, does anyone know why they still have several sets of walrus tusks hanging in the bar at the Emeryville Trader Vic's? They seem out of place among the tikis and other tropical items.

Here is what must be a very rare artifact from the Hink Dinks days. It was on display at the Palo Alto Trader Vic's:

It was sent to Vic by E.D. Lake, the commercial artist who drew the elevation that appears in all the early Hinky Dinks advertisements. He writes: "Vic, I ran across this in an old scrap book. It may be the only one left from the old days - in which case you might like to have it. I made the drawing for you when I was the art dept. at Western Waxed Paper - 63rd + Doyle."

I love the fact that it was created during the transition from Hinky Dinks to Trader Vic's as it states "Hinky Dinks famous Tropical Drinks". Also, in this case your host is "Vic Bergeron", not Trader Vic.

By the way Thomamas, thanks so much for posting the scan of the Hinky Dinks menu. By this time Hinky Dinks was far from being a dive with seven cognacs, 23 scotches, 4 gins, 16 "Bounded Whiskies" (Bonded?), 15 other whiskies, 6 champagnes and 30 some rums (not counting the tequila, Pim's (Pimm's) No. 1 Cup (which is gin based) and pisco which are all printed in the rum category. And don't forget the 31 liquors. That would count as a high end cocktail bar these days and this was during the Great Depression! How many other bars in the 1930's even had vodka and tequila on the menu.

Of the "Rum Drinks from the Tropics" and "Hot Drinks" the Honolulu, Maui Fizz, Wahini, Doctor Funk's Son, Tortuga, Coffee Grog, Black Stripe, and Coffee Diablo (and probably some others) are Trader Vic's originals and are still on the menu at various Trader Vic's. I've had them all, except the Wahini, at the restaurants. Also, some of their bartenders will make "off the menu" Trader Vic's classics if it is not too busy.

I'm also impressed by the "Rum, The Inspiration of Great Deeds" essay on the back of the menu. It is similar in spirit to the 1947 "Rum, The Spirit of the Ages" essay on the back of more contemporary Trader Vic's cocktail menus. Of the two I prefer the "Spirit of the Ages" where he pays tribute to many of the great bartenders of the 30's and 40's from whom he learned much, including Donn Beach. Both are classic Trader Vic promotional copy but "The Spirit of the Ages" is the more heartfelt composition. God I love that guy!

[ Edited by: TropicDrinkBoy 2013-01-22 22:48 ]

[ Edited by: TropicDrinkBoy 2013-01-22 23:08 ]

T

I'm sure it does mean "bonded" but I'm pretty confident there's no such thing as a Canadian bottled in bond whiskey.

To address earlier comments, the menu I scanned also came from the warehouse sale. I'm unclear whether it's a reprint -- it doesn't look very new, but I think the background pattern is printed and I'd expect an original to be on a textured/colored stock. On the other hand, I can't imagine why Trader Vic's would have reprinted a quantity of these menus.

Bonded whiskey meant the US government guaranteed the authenticity and that it was made and stored according to US standards/regulations. Was meant to assure the purchaser that the booze was unadulterated and safe to drink.

Also, one of the standards specifies it has to be 100 proof.

On 2013-01-23 15:44, thomamas wrote:
To address earlier comments, the menu I scanned also came from the warehouse sale. I'm unclear whether it's a reprint -- it doesn't look very new, but I think the background pattern is printed and I'd expect an original to be on a textured/colored stock. On the other hand, I can't imagine why Trader Vic's would have reprinted a quantity of these menus.

Thanks again for the scan! It is a real treat to see, even though it is extremely doubtful that this one, or the stacks of them this came from, are originals. The likelihood that so many menus from Hinky Dinks were kept for so long is very, very doubtful. I'm betting that they were reprints for the big 50th anniversary. A 50th is a huge milestone for any business (and especially a restaurant) and would have been the last one Trader Vic himself would be around for. Perhaps Vic himself was behind having the reprint done. It makes sense along with the other Hinky Dink/Trader Vic's items done in 1984 for the 50th.

In any case, even as a reprint, you have a grand souvenir from the history of Tiki. I wish I had been as fortunate to have gotten one.

Nice stuff.
The Kahiki did the same thing as they too had plaster wall hangings
painted to look like wood.
But they had wood ones too.

Sounds like Hinky Dinks stuff is as rare as a fartless day at Honey Boo Boos house.

On 2013-01-26 10:10, tikiskip wrote:
Sounds like Hinky Dinks stuff is as rare as a fartless day at Honey Boo Boos house.

20 years from now people are gonna be left scratching their heads wondering what that means. Ha...!!

T

"20 years from now people are gonna be left scratching their heads wondering what that means. Ha...!!"

Heck the way things are going in 20 years Honey Boo Boo will be President.

Heck the way things are going in 20 years Honey Boo Boo will be President.

Things can only get better!

Just found this 'lil guy.

It has no "1934/1984" dates like the anniversary re-issue, and it appears old, but who knows? I doubt it's pre-1937, but I like it.

Pretty sure that whoever owned this before you just scratched off the dates.

BUT still its a nice find with or without them!

You can actually see a little bit of the date still on there (almost looks like a smudge).

I have a saved search on eBay to notify me if anything related to Hinky Dinks is posted, and aside from pictures of the famous Chicagoan, I have to see anything appear. Really Hinky Dinks stuff is very rare and extremely collectable, which is another way of saying fricken' expensive. :)

The Hinky dinks napkin.

And matchbook.

DC

DC, great pics. Where’d you find that napkin? It’s astounding any have survived (and been found!) I know HD wasn’t tiki but considering it is like Proto-Vic’s, I feel like nearly ANYTHING original from there would be grail-like. I guess I presume that nearly nothing original has survived to now. As another poster said befor, I think that menu was probably printed later.

[ Edited by: finky099 2020-02-29 23:14 ]

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