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Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

The Tropics, Dayton, Ohio (restaurant)

Pages: 1 45 replies

Name:The Tropics
Street:1721 N. Main St.


[ Edited by: SufferinSimon 2008-08-05 22:49 ]

Here is the information I have on The Tropics in Dayton, Ohio. It was owned by Georgie Rudin. This post card I have of the exterior is dated 1967 on the back.

Here are a few menus I found on Mimi's and Mike's web sites. It looks like Georgie knew how to serve a good Tiki drink back in the day.

Here is a matchbook from Swanky's web site. Looks like ol Georgie boy liked his ladies too.

The Tropics was a Tiki power place, even if it started out in Pre-Tiki style (see postcard below). Georgie Rudin was the Don the Beachcomber/Stephen Crane of Ohio. Somewhere I have his bio but I cannot find it right now...

Like I said, this must be early 50s, not one Tiki...

..but some nice classic murals!

Great card Bigbro. This is the first time I have seen the inside of Georgie's Tropics. I love all of the different rooms. How about a closer look at that Outrigger Show Bar and Bamboo Lounge, please.


I'll try, I owe ya. Today was my big scanning day, got it all done, now I am running out of time before I leave for Oasis and then Berlin/St. Petersburg...

Here is another matchbook from The Tropics. The inside has got a nice little drawing of old Georgie boy himself.

Another great matchbook from The Tropics.


Saw this matchbook from the Tropics on ebay.


Naaaice! Is it a "embossed breasts" cover also? Did you win it, or just clip it? Imagine how these matchbooks must have impressed young boys if the adults ever left one laying around! They still impress this OLD boy, at that.


Just got the images on the matchbook. Also saw this salt shaker on ebay from the Tropics. First time I have seen a ceramic souvenir from this place. I wonder if they had mugs at one point?


i think these may be their mugs...

[ Edited by: crushenstein 2010-01-09 01:20 ]

It would help to know where this image is from. There were many Tropics restaurants (not counting the Motels): in Denver, Detroit, Florida, Hawaii, Beverly Hills, Kansas City, Wichita, Illinois...

Wait, just found them in Collecting Tiki. So you found them in Portland? Though many places used the bamboo font, the one on that Tropics menu (also in Tiki Modern page 140) is indeed the closest match, if not identical. I would love to see a close up of those masks on the sides of the font.

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2010-01-09 06:45 ]


the tikis on the sides of the font look identical to the one on the menu. i'll try to post a better picture of them later today...my camera's batteries just died!



Here it is today...looks like a prison now...


[ Edited by: tikiyaki 2010-01-09 09:47 ]


here is the tiki from the mug:

and here is the one from the menu:

i think they look REALLY close! let me know what you think.

Most definitely the same, it's just that the glass one is a negative, which makes it confusing.
Here's the mug it is based on:

...and here the icon the mug was derived from, much altered, obviously to avoid copyright issues:

and last the humble stone statue that that famous logo was inspired by:

Aweome find, Crushenstein! oh, and thanks again!! We need to go on a mug hunt soon..

On 2010-01-14 20:39, PhantomTiki wrote:
Aweome find, Crushenstein! oh, and thanks again!! We need to go on a mug hunt soon..

(in a Charlie Day voice) "AHHHHHHHH YEAAAAHH!"


Thanks, everyone, for posting pix here! I grew up outside Dayton and remember my folks taking me to The Tropics a few time.

Tangentally related: Anyone know what happened to the moai that stood by the Kon-Tiki Theatre's sign?


Crushenstein, those are some nice glasses. Closest thing to a Tiki mug yet from this place.

Here are a few more items from the Tropics I have seen around on hte net.

A menu with the same Tiki that was on one of the feature matchbooks.

An ashtray that used the logo from the old sign in front.

And finally, another great matchbook with Georgie featured on the matches.

The girl

The cool sign


The rooms


[ Edited by: Dustycajun 2010-01-21 17:46 ]

On 2010-01-21 17:45, Dustycajun wrote:
Crushenstein, those are some nice glasses. Closest thing to a Tiki mug yet from this place.

Thanks, I have 4 left if anyone wants to work out a trade!



That's wacky. Why have a top on her if you are going to show nipple? And th enipple in that silhouette! They made it even bigger!

Soooo, you like nipples, huh? Verrry intrrrestink.... :)

Man, that Georgie sure liked his embossed breasts matchbooks, he must have had a new one made every other year! How many different ones are we counting now, D.C.?


Well, ya know BigBro, it is a helluva gimmick. To this very day, 50 years later, when I am showing the collection to people, I always hand them the bas-relief boobie match covers. You didn't just drop them in your pocket, you shared them. Nice advertizing!

Zeta posted on Fri, Jan 22, 2010 2:13 PM

On 2010-02-10 12:21, Sabu The Coconut Boy wrote:
I thought Grog was fond of Madam Onager's "Rock's Off" Girls, but I could have been mistaken.

On 2010-02-10 00:00, JOHN-O wrote:
You can delete posts? As far as I can tell that option is not available.

My mistake. I thought everyone had the ability to delete their own posts. But I guess that's one of my Moderator secret abilities. Comes in handy when you want to delete your own 1:00am drunken babblings.

But I could do this:

Zeta did the best he could to delete this post:

So I could do him the favor as a moderator and remove that troublesome post as he obviously intended. That would bring his total down to 999 and he would have to return to make Grand Exit #2.

The other option is to set a 24-hour watch on the blank post above, for that is where he will obviously return. His call for help will come as an edit to that post. When we see his text, we can pull him through to the real world just like in a Twilight Zone episode. Until then, he's stuck in the 5th Dimension.

This is a way to keep posting whithout posting...
For example:

This crazy doddle I did at 23 or so...

Aloha from the 5th Dimension!
[ Edited by: Zeta 2010-01-22 14:15 ]

[ Edited by: Zeta 2010-02-22 23:16 ]

An ash tray with Georgie's signature bow tie.



I found this article...dont know if its ever been posted

[ Edited by: ChefMike 2010-01-31 14:36 ]


Thanks for posting ChefMike!!

I sure wish I could have made that sale!

Cheers and Mahalo,

Yeah, that would have been a dream-come-true. Is that article from 1988 then? Georgie seems to be cradling two Witco wall Tikis --and he's holding both upside down. :)

Chef Mike,

Great article. First time I have seen a pic of the actual sign out front that was shown on the matchbooks and ashtrays.

Speaking of matchbooks, here are some additional images of a few insides that I have not seen before.

The full body of the women on the inside of the matchbook.

And a nice feature matchbook with the hula girls on the sticks.


On 2010-01-22 12:05, bigbrotiki wrote:
Man, that Georgie sure liked his embossed breasts matchbooks, he must have had a new one made every other year! How many different ones are we counting now, D.C.?

I think this fishnet clad lass makes number 6. Georgie was the match man.


I just picked up another embossed maiden matchbook from The Tropics.

That makes 7 for old Georgie boy.


Thought it would be fun to put all of Georgie's Girls together.




I like how they were more liberal and really liked to emphasize breasts on the
tropical women in the 50's advertising .Now a days everything is so damn
politically correct!

I picked up one of the oversized postcards that Bigbro posted earlier in this thread and did some close-up scans of the various rooms.

The Outrigger Show Bar

The Bamboo Lounge complete with Piano Bar

The Surfboard Lounge

The Polynesian Room

and the Waikiki Dinning Room.

Lots of variety in the rooms.


Georgie didn't let all of the girls have the fun ...

A matchbook

And swizzle.



I'm looking to identify the drink served at The Tropics in a mug I recently purchased:

This mug is pictured in the drink menu on the first page of this thread, but the name of the drink is unreadable.
Does anyone own menu from The Tropics? Can you help me identify the drink?

BigD posted on Fri, Jan 20, 2012 1:25 PM

The long lost Tropics...

[ Edited by: BigD 2012-01-20 13:28 ]

BigD posted on Fri, Jan 20, 2012 1:28 PM

On 2010-01-09 09:43, tikiyaki wrote:
Here it is today...looks like a prison now...

After they tore the Tropics building down, it sat as a vacant lot for years - then they built a CVS or some such goddamned place which promptly went under. Now it's a job skills training center in a not very good part of town.

A few more artifacts from the Tropics I spotted on ebay.

A menu

Listing of the drinks

A sugar packet with a nice rendering of the building.

And another girlie matchbook, but this one has the raised breasts censored! Have never seen this on a matchbook before.


Thought I would add a few pics of items from my Tropics shelf:

This is probably the coolest Tropics item in my collection,
an unused label for their house bourbon.

A beautiful cocktail napkin.

And a pair of chopsticks.

WOW, those are some amazing artifacts from the Tropics. A little more background for Mad Dog Mike, the Tropics opened on November 18, 1954.


Barney West carving some tikis for The Tropics.

A different swizzle stick design that was used at The Tropics.

That mug is for The Witch Doctor's Brew. See menu:

dayton tropics menu

Pages: 1 45 replies