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Mark Thomas Outrigger, Monterey, CA (restaurant)

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Name:Mark Thomas Outrigger
Street:700 Cannery Row

Polynesian restaurant located at the site of the old Monterey Canning Company on Cannery Row in Monterey, California. Famous for its one-of-a-kind Tiki mug.

My research found that the Outrigger was opened in 1959 by Robert Wind through a partnership. The date is also verified on the menu I have. Wind was a butterfly collector and the front part of the Monterey Canning Company building was a wholesale and retail butterfly shop. The building burned in a fire in 1978, and the Outrigger was rebuilt. Don't know when it changed names to the "Mark Thomas Outrigger". The last date that I found a reference to the Outrigger restaurant was 1984. In 1994 the restaurant became the Fish Hopper.

The Tiki face mug from the Mark Thomas Outrigger has always been one of those iconic Tiki figures. I have acquired a few different items from this place and put this post together from my collection and from the internet.

The famous Tiki face mug

A bucket mug

A pineapple mug

Some nice postcards showing inside and outside views

I have two drink menus that have great illustrations. The first one is dated 1959 and does not have Mark Thomas in the title and does not show the signature mug in the drink illustrations.

The second one has Mark Thomas in the title and now has the mug. No date on the menu to track the change unfortunately.

I have never seen one of the tiki bowls shown on the menus that is marked with the Outrigger logo.

Here are some matchbooks

A serving plate with the lackluster "Pier" logo that was also used on the matchbooks. It's interesting that a place with such a great mug design created such an lame logo.

This is a photo of the building exterior I found on the internet - what a great view of the Monterey Bay out those windows.

Any more info out there on this place?



It looks like Mark Thomas was the King of Monterey. He also had the Mark Thomas Inn (Not Tiki)

and there is now a Mark Thomas Drive in Monterey.

The Fish Hopper is still there and it looks like they still serve the Bucket of Fire. I’ve never been but maybe Unga Bunga has? Hey Unga, what’s the Fish Hopper like? Any pieces of it’s Tiki past left in there?

Wow Great post guys.


Here is another matchbook from the Mark Thomas Outrigger

Tiki Shaker, How about posting a shot of that postcard from the Outrigger you showed on Tiki Finds the other day?


Fine archeological research there, D.C. By the style of the typeface I would always have guessed the M.T. logo to be from the 70s, but the couple in the postcard looks more 60s, and the logo is already above the entrance. Then again, some "nice young men" still wore buzz cuts in the early 70s, no?

I'm amazed that the Outrigger has not been submitted in "Locating Tiki" by now.
I always just assumed it was there.
Great job Dustycajun!

On 2008-12-01 18:45, Bora Boris wrote:
and there is now a Mark Thomas Drive in Monterey.
Hey Unga, what’s the Fish Hopper like? Any pieces of it’s Tiki past left in there?

The Fish Hopper still serves "traditional" (not precise) Tiki drinks. A drink in a real pineapple is really hard to find there days.
There is a video linked in here somewhere, in which Michael Nesmith of the Monkees, films a spoof that takes place inside the Outrigger. The only footage of the place I have ever seen.

Mark Thomas hotel is now the Hyatt Regency right on Mark Thomas drive.

Fish Hopper Drink List

On 2008-12-16 13:51, Unga Bunga wrote:

There is a video linked in here somewhere, in which Michael Nesmith of the Monkees, films a spoof that takes place inside the Outrigger. The only footage of the place I have ever seen.

Here it is. Tikibars found this vid.


classic, thanks guys.


Here's that postcard, finally. Sorry it took me a bit to post it... busy with the holidays!

On 2008-12-20 15:13, Tiki Shaker wrote:
Here's that postcard, finally. Sorry it took me a bit to post it... busy with the holidays!

Thanks Tiki Shaker, first time I have seen this card.

Here is the menu with the pier logo. The Outrigger obviously began to embrace the Monterey Bay theme over the Polynesian/Tiki theme later in its life.


Here's a 1970s view of Cannery Row, showing the Outrigger in reference to its neighboring buisinesses:

On 2008-12-21 12:45, Sabu The Coconut Boy wrote:
Here's a 1970s view of Cannery Row, showing the Outrigger in reference to its neighboring buisinesses:


Nice photo, really puts the location in context compared to the postcard images. What's up with the canon on the roof? A signal for Mai Tai happy hour?


I like the Tiki in these screen grabs. I hope he ended up in a safe place.

I'm not concerned about the piano player. :)

A while back, I tried remaking the Sneaky Tiki cocktail using the menu illustration as a guide. I couldn't find any record of the original recipe, so I used the Harvey's Sneaky Tiki recipe from Taboo Table.

Photo postcard of the Outrigger in Monterey with a view from the side of the main entrance - different.


[ Edited by: Dustycajun 2009-05-31 17:41 ]


Awesome, rare shot Dusty!!
I like the Moai guy hiding up in the roof!!


On 2008-12-01 18:45, Bora Boris wrote: "...Any pieces of it’s Tiki past left in there?"

I don't think there are any old Tiki's left but there is this one Tiki on the Fish Hopper Drink menu.

FH menu

And they still use real tiki Volcano bowls and real fire!

FH menu

photo by Dory D.

FH menu

photo by Andre Y.

They also have a Scorpion, Blue Hawaii, Zombie and other tropical drinks.

Thanks Unga Bunga for the FH drink menu link earlier.

Thanks for that post Abstract, wonder if the Fish Hopper still serves those drinks?

I picked up another postcard from the Outrigger that shows the great location and views of Monterey Bay from the building.


My pleasure DC, the drinks are featured on their currant website so I'm sure they do. Hear is one they call the Coco Hops. It's served in one of those coconut mugs.

FH menu

Another Poly Pop type connection the Fish Hopper has is a second location in Kona Hawaii.

Kona FH Logo

Here is an exterior Fish Hopper photo from their website for a comparison to the Outrigger exterior photo you got.

new Fish Hopper

old Outrigger

I really like Monterey. I lived just outside of Monterey for a few years after moving from Modesto. I go back every year to visit but it was mostly for the art and diving, when i go again it's gonna be tiki expedition time!

Apparently the Outrigger had a glass floor!

I found this bit of info in an article by Kim Hamilton. It was written for the Pine Tree on-line newspaper in 2007. This is the only part of the article relevant to the Outrigger. In the article she is reminiscing about her days living in Monterey in the 70's

"And when you reached the end of the block you could have a drink in the lounge of the Outrigger Restaurant as you watched the sea-life swim through the glass panes on the bar floor."


Back in September of 2007 when Marie and I drove up to the Monterey Peninsula to spend time with the Munktiki family for the Tiki Magazine article, we had a chance to explore the former Mark Thomas Outrigger site. Examining the area around the entrance and the paths leading down to the water just to the right, it wasn’t long before we spotted something that stopped us in our tracks and had us all gasping in awe! Poking up out of the bushes, right there along the path was an old-school Tiki torch, complete with faces in relief on either side! The reason I describe the torch as ‘old-school’ is that we have seen very similar ones previously at other older Tiki sites such as the Tiki Apartments in the South Bay and in the gardens in the front of the Warehouse in Marina del Rey. Another concrete example is mentioned and posted by bigbro and the Warehouse examples were photographed and posted by Ojaitimo in christiki's Tiki Torch thread:


Well, we encountered every photographer’s nightmare of not having a camera at the time (something that we promised ourselves we’d never allow to happen again!!!), and vowed to return one day soon to photograph the evidence properly. I can’t believe we didn’t return until over three years later, but we finally made it back there on our recent voyage up north for the Tikiyaki show at the Vic’s in Palo Alto.

We were overjoyed upon seeing that the torch was still there and finally photographed it...

Could this be one of the last remaining original elements of the Mark Thomas Outrigger?


More from JP and Marie !!!

Love to see those posts that prove that not all is lost, always! :)

How cool is that... nice to see it is still there by the sea rusty and all and nobody messed it all up or tryed taking it for whatever purpose.. Monterey Rocks!!

Chub posted on Sat, Jul 31, 2010 1:26 PM

Here are some better scans from one of the postcards...

I ran across this picture of Mark Thomas Out Rigger chop sticks while searching for the Lani in San Mateo, go figure.

Tiki Bosko had posted it some time ago.

Cool Sticks!


Alas, I believe our friend is no more. I went to the Fish Hopper/ Mark Thomas on Saturday to see what I could find. I wonder if it was the management that did it, or heaven forbid, some T.C. member who just couldn't keep their hands off. Either way, I hope it went to a good home.


Is that the cool torch that went missing or something else??
Too bad, it was a great piece!!


The Torch is gone? Bummer, that thing was so cool.

Now, I did see this torch outside of Bongofury's Rincon Room during the Adventures in Paradise party this summer. Coincidence???


aquarj posted on Sun, Nov 7, 2010 9:25 PM

Here's a tiny contribution to this excellent thread. Not exactly the find of the century, but here's an old cocktail parasol from the Outrigger. It's all beat up, but hopefully to add a little entertainment value, I took some license and pasted in two drinks from DC's menus on page 1, that seem to show the same umbrella.


That's awesome Aquarj,
the way you put that together it looks like a postcard that would incite a bidding war if it were real. :)

I found this image on the web a few months ago but I neglected to write down the source. Definitely not my favorite matchbook but I wanted to include it anyway.

I was at my Mom's house today looking at some old photo albums. A nice walk down memory lane. Well what do ya know? I found this old 1970 photo of my mom in front of the Outrigger. From now on whenever I look at old photo albums I will be keeping an eye out for tiki.


Nice family photo find on the Outrigger. My mom used to take me to Cannery Row as a kid too, I'm sure I have seen the Outrigger.

I found this photo of the 1978 fire that destroyed the Outrigger. I added some daytime shots for comparison.

You can see the Outrigger directional sign on the left and the A-frame on the right.


I saw this Outrigger table lamp on ebay a while back, but did not buy it for $100. It was advertised as being from the restaurant.

I wondered if it was really from the restaurant or a homemade job made from the mug. I looked at the postcards, and Bingo! There it was at the back of the table on the close up posted by Chub.

Have not seen one of these before, should have grabbed it!


A great and rare artifact. I wonder how the owner got it.

Spotted this beauty of a dinner menu from the Outrigger on ebay.

I dig the flying fish!


found this today

Today's find

Worst sound ever, slurp of an empty tiki mug through my straw!!!

[ Edited by: hang10tiki 2014-01-22 20:12 ]


Some latter-day ad copy:

Found a few more images from the Outrigger that clarified for me how the restaurant was originally laid out.

I got this postcard from Cannery Row has a view of the Outrigger restaurant.

It shows a series of repeating A-frame structures on the side of the building.

Then I found these photos from the 1978 fire that show the lay out from the street in relationship the the Monterrey Canning Company building.

In this close up you can see the A-frame entrance from the parking lot area that goes into this side of the restaurant with the repeating A-frames.

This is cool, the same photo after the fire with the reconstruction of the building.

And lastly, there was an album made by Jerry Winters under the Mark Thomas Outrigger label.

Winters was a lounge act at the Outrigger who compiled the record from his most requested songs.

The back cover has a nice rendering of the A-Frame.

The play list.


How obscure can you get! :) That should be added here, too:


I went to the Fish Hopper this weekend, and I'm happy to report that the tiki torch is still there!

-Trad'r Bill

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