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

Pages: 1 7 replies

T

Name:The Islanders Restaurant and Cabaret B.C., Canada
Type:restaurant
Street:3601 King George VI Hwy.
City:Surrey
State:
Zip:
country:Canada
Phone:531-7588
Status: defunct

Description:

Here is another one with a little bit of a story so please grab a drink and enjoy!!

I wanted to get this Restaurant on here as it has not been discussed before and I really just stumbled across this place while researching the Tropic Isle Restaurant. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find out too much information about the Islanders and I am still digging into a lot of the details.

Hopefully, maybe, someone on here might know something or at least this post will get it on to the internet where someone outside our community might know something.
Anyways, as I was searching into the location for the name "Tropic Isle", I stumbled on to this Restaurants name only. I did not know the location of the Tropic Isle and had only been pointed to this spot where the Islanders was once located.

From what I know so far, this was a large Restaurant that also catered for special events and was quite a popular place to go for dinner and dancing. The Islanders opened in 1973 and was decorated with South Seas decor. I was told it had large palmtrees in it and had lot's of flowers and plants. I have not been able to find out any further information about the interior/exterior or who the owners were yet.

The Islanders closed down sometime in 1976 so was only around for about 4 years. The building itself was built as the Tara Supper Club in the late 1940's.
The Islanders Restaurant was open for about 4 years from 1973 to 1976 when it then became Theodore's Steak & Schnitzel House. The building burnt down in the early 1980's. The property became a car lot in about 1985 and is now a Applewood Kia dealership.

The following is a part of my story from my research for another Restaurant called the Tropic Isle. I am going to "quote" part of the story I posted in the Tropic Isle thread as it directly relates to this establishment and get's my story started.

From The Tropic Isle post:

"I wasn't sure exactly where or how to start hunting as I hadn't specifically gone looking for a long closed establishment before. When I was a kid, I seemed to remember a tropical or beach themed type of restaurant/diner on the way out to White Rock which is a local beach community. I figured what better place to start my investigation so I went there to see what I could find. The building where I had remembered this place had just been recently knocked down to allow for new housing. Bummer, I thought. I figured I would ask a neighbor at an older looking property to see if they happened to remember anything. I knocked on the perfect person's door as the elderly lady had lived in the area since the late 1940's! Unfortunately, there was nothing that she could remember in that specific area by her home.

She did however, send me not too far down the road to the King George Highway to check on an old "Supper Club" that used to be there from the 1940's to the early 1980's. It had changed names and styles of restaurants over the years but the people that owned the land in the 1970's still owned it today and could possibly help me. I went and saw them and talked to the lady that owned the land and sure enough, this place was once a Tropical themed restaurant! She had actually worked in the restaurant but couldn't really remember accurate time lines or was sure about the name (she also didn't really want to talk to me. She did lighten up until after I showed I had a real interest in what she was apart of back then). There were palmtrees in the Restaurant and it had a tropical decor with drinks but that was about all she said. She believed the name of this place could have been 'Tropic Isle' or 'Pacific Isle' but wasn't sure. As I was talking to her, she said it also could have been called something else like 'The Islander' or 'Islanders'. So now I was getting a little confused if this was the right place or not. What's this 'Islander' business? How come she can't remember the name I thought?

What she did know was that the Supper Club did not last as a Tropical Restaurant for too long and operated during the 1970's. The original building burned down in about 1984 as a Steak and Schnitzel House which took over after the Tropical Restaurant closed. There is nothing left of the original building today and a new Applewood Kia dealership is on the land now. She said she did not have any photos or anything from the period that this Restaurant was tropical. The lady was getting busy so I figured it was time to move on although I was still unsure whether this was the right place or if it was once another tropical Restaurant."

It turns out that it was a different tropical Restaurant from what I first started looking for.

And that almost sums up this post.
Once I looked into The Tropic Isle more and found the correct address, I became quite interested in to what this location once was. I went to the library and started researching and sure enough, having gone down the completely wrong road stumbled across a awesome Ad for a Restaurant called....THE ISLANDERS!!!! Finally....I had found it!!

Great ad with cool artwork of a Hula Dancer and a drummer and tropical flowers all around the ad!! One of the more elaborate ad's from local Tiki/Hawaiian Restaurants that I have seen.

The ad states "Embark On An Adventure In A Unique Encounter with Authentic Gourmet Polynesian, Chinese and Continental Cuisine." I love the part of the ad that says their hours of operation. It says "Fri.-Sat.(Closed Mondays)". Notice there is no mention of Sunday? It's like the day didn't exist! Back then nothing was open Sundays. Ahhh...the good old days! This ad dates from June of 1976.

Sorry for the lame photos but I figured I might as well show you where it was and what it looks like now.

In the second photo, you can just see King George Highway to the right of the red Hummer. This is the main road that heads all the way down (South) to the seaside community of White Rock.

More information to come as I find it but I have not been able to locate too much further. I will post if I find anything else out. TabooDan

[ Edited by: TabooDan 2008-07-16 18:02 ]

T

Okay, not too much more information but I did manage to get a few pictures of The Tara Supper Club which was opened in the late 1940's and was the Supper Club before the Islanders took over. Some interesting pictures and it's cool to see what it looked like on the inside. These pictures are all from the late 1940's!

The following picture is of the front side of the Restaurant from the King George Highway.

The following picture is of the side of the Restaurant from Crescent Road. The building had curved windows/rooms at each end of the building.

Next picture is a cool birds eye view of the Restaurant and surrounding area. Completely different from what it looks like today! King George Highway running vertical through picture.

This following picture is a neat shot of the interior looking across the dance floor and to the surrounding table areas. Nice arches throughout. It doesn't take too much imagination to turn this place into a tropical paradise!!

And this last photo is a great shot of the busy dance floor! You can get a little better feel of the size of this restaurant in this shot and also see some of the arches and the really cool curved ceilings!

Well...that's it for now. I know this post hasn't really been Tiki but as the research moves along I will add more information and photos. I figured I would share these pictures as they do show what the building looked like in it's pre-polynesian days.
I have emailed a few people and will hopefully hear and learn more soon.
Thanks for looking! TabooDan

[ Edited by: TabooDan 2008-07-16 18:09 ]

Z
Zeta posted on Thu, Feb 5, 2009 12:29 AM

Good job TabooDan!! Don't give up, Canada needs you!

T

Thanks Zeta!! I have not been able to find out anything more about this place.
I have been able to find a highschool grad class that celebrated there but I am still trying to iron out the years. As of right now, my one contact has not been able to find anything for me. Still an on going investigation!!

It's a damn slow process but can get ignited pretty quick. One day I will get something. It seems like it was a big deal in the day so I got my fingers crossed!!

Mahalo, TabooDan

T

Well, still no more information found about the Islanders.

After a few emails exchanged with a High School Class reunion member, still nothing. I started to feel like I was disrupting her as she said she would return my email, then never did, then I would try again and after responses like I will get back to you, I think it's better I try elsewhere. It has now been over two and a half years.

This might yet be another of those locations that we will just have to wait and see if anyone comes up with anything.

On the other hand.....I did manage to find a relic that I had put away quite a few years ago because I had no where to display it. I didn't get to picture it until now.

On one of my visits to see Tom, the gentleman who made the mug molds for a few local Tiki Restaurants, I asked him if he remembered this Restaurant. He did remember the place and also stated that he thought he had done some pieces for another artist who worked with The Islanders. He could not remember what he had done.

He said there was a local ceramic artist who did quite a few pieces for The Islanders as well as a few other places. Her name was Jeanne. Her name has come up before on a few different items that I have seen from other Restaurants such as The Tropic Isle, The Outrigger in Prince George and now The Islanders. Tom made the molds of her work or pieces she wanted and Jeanne did all the ceramic work and firing, etc.

As I was talking to him about The Islanders it was like a switch turned on for him. "Oh yeh.... The Islanders. I think I still have something from there". Off he went downstairs, not to his outside shop, as I waited in the living room thinking that he may come up with a napkin, postcard or something along those lines.

After a few minutes he came back up and says, "here it is, I knew I had something down there!".

This is what he came up with:

A very large ceramic Shell Bowl. One of the most fragile items I have seen! It is not very thick at all and I was surprised that this piece was still intact!! I asked him what he was doing with it and he said it was just holding some papers on a shelf in the basement! I was very impressed!!

I was even more impressed when I looked at the bowl and it was actually marked "The Islanders" in raised writing on the top of the Shell!!

What a cool piece I thought and there can't be too many of these that have survived over the past 35+ years!! Especially since these are quite large and very fragile and especially if these were used in the Restaurant which is what Tom said.

The bottom of the Bowl is marked "Jeanne" in writing scratched in to the ceramics.

Such a cool piece and the furthest thing from my mind that would surface from this Restaurant! I've seen bowls like this from other places but not too many and very rarely to have the Restaurants name like this on it!

Hopefully more to come!
Mahalo, TabooDan

[ Edited by: TabooDan 2011-03-02 12:40 ]

Wow, what a great artifact! Nice discovery TD.

Taboo Dan,

Nice research work. I don't think I have ever seen a clamshell bowl with a restaurant name on it before. That needs to go over on Crypto Mugs thread as well, very rare indeed. Did you get to keep the bowl or just photograph it?

Look forward to more info.

DC

T

Thanks guys! I was pretty excited about this item and yes, I was lucky enough to purchase the Bowl from Tom. He was more concerned about where to keep the few pieces of paper he held in it for so many years!!

TabooDan

Pages: 1 7 replies