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Hawaiian Rumble Pancake House & Miniature Golf

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Anybody know anything about this place?

Hawaiian Rumble Pancake House & Miniature Golf
25th & Surf Ave
Wildwood, NJ 08260-0000
Phone: (609) 522-2449


Oh I wish! It sounds fantastic!

well, i'm moving back to the NYC area (probably hoboken but not certain yet) in july. up for a tiki central investigation?

from citypaper.net:

"Wildwood, home of Hawaiian Rumble Pancake House! Which not only has a four-wall mural in the style of Rousseau that would've shocked even Rousseau with its primitive energy, not only plays wistful weepy steel guitar Hawaiian music all day long, not only serves breakfasts with names like Volcano Special, Maui Wowee Feast and (my fave) The Erupter, but also gives you a free miniature golf game—with every meal!"

"Wildwood, New Jersey is an Atlantic resort area that has plenty to offer (in addition to a gang of Tiki-themed motels) for enthusiasts of atomic or googie architecture. The city council has dedicated themselves to preserving Wildwood’s mid-century feel. Tiki abounds, mainly in the long and colorful strip of motels (check out the Starlux hotel too!)...

Ala Kai Motel, 8301 Atlantic Ave. Wildwood Crest, NJ (609) 522-2159

Ala Moana Motel, 5300 Atlantic Ave. Wildwood, NJ (800) 633-7666

Casa Bahama Motel, Orchid Rd. and Atlantic, Wildwood, NJ (609) 522-5500
In spite of the Caribbean name, photos indicate that the Casa Bahama is Polynesian in design.

Hawaiian Rumble Pancake House and Mini Golf, Surf Ave., between 24th and 25th, Wildwood, NJ
The Mini Golf course is certainly Tikified, but the ice cream parlor has nothing Tiki about it at all. The pancake house is bamboo’ed adequately.

Kona Kai Motel, 7300 Ocean Ave., Wildwood Crest, NJ (609) 522-7778
Opened in 1962, the most recent owners (Ralph and Jo Ann, since 1999) have taken steps to restore (not remodel) the Kona Kai. The Tiki garden and rock wall are intact, and the gas torches have been repaired. Tiki Masks still hang on the walls of each room. Ralph also plans to replace some stolen Tiki poles.

Royal Hawaiian Resort Motel, Orchid Rd. and Beach, Wildwood, NJ (609) 522-3414

Tahiti Inn, 12th and Ocean Ave., Ocean City, NJ, (609) 399-0130

Tahiti Motel, 7411 Atlantic Ave., Wildwood, NJ (609) 522-2984

Tiki Motel, E16th & Beach, North Wildwood, NJ (609) 522-5310

Waikiki Oceanfront Inn, 6211 Ocean Ave., Wildwood Crest, NJ (800) 62-Aloha
Waikiki’s rooftop restaurant overlooks the beach. "


congrats braddah Chris,

nice to see you moving back to da mainland. That place sounds good. We have a plce here on da ilands called "Koa Pancake house" place is great. If anyof you TC peopo visit da islands go check it out. No tikis but good grinds.

Don't congratulate him Gecko, we need Tiki Chris over here in Europe!

Trader Woody

tikibars: thanks for the info! i gotta get down there once back in the states.

gecko: cheers for the congrats. but it's hardly an accomplishment.

my wife's placement in her company's london office ends & she's gotta report back to new york.

& i'll be done w/ classes (though not quite done w/ my mba).

trader woody: if we had the option to stay, we would (at least for a little bit longer)! moving to london certainly took some adjusting, but i fear the move back to the states will be even more of a mind f*ck! btw, are you still on for april 5th?

On 2003-03-20 11:53, tikibars wrote:
"Wildwood, New Jersey is an Atlantic resort area that has plenty to offer (in addition to a gang of Tiki-themed motels) for enthusiasts of atomic or googie architecture.

The Society for Commercial Archeology had a conference there a few years back and there is a good page of pictures here:

[ Edited by: Futura Girl on 2003-03-24 11:43 ]


I'll all up for heading down to Wildwood, but you know its several hours away. NYC tiki crawls have gone out-of-state, but Widwood would be the furthest yet!

several hours? d.c.'s only 5 or 6 hours away.

but no worries, i'm gonna want to head back to chan's & the 2 lee's & i'll definitely want to check out the new places in new york!

take care,
tiki chris


(WATCH OUT - this one's got midi "margheritaville" that won't stop!)


(WATCH OUT - this one's got midi "unda da sea"!)

I just checked w/ mapquest: Wildwood is about 3 hours from Manhatten. I don't own a car, that's the only reason why I consider it far away. It out of distance of my subways. But I love Wildwood. There's a fun boardwalk w/ rides too.
Give a holler when you get back in town: you should meet the NYC TC chapter.

I just checked w/ mapquest: Wildwood is about 3 hours from Manhatten. I don't own a car, that's the only reason why I consider it far away. It out of distance of my subways. But I love Wildwood. There's a fun boardwalk w/ rides too.
Give a holler when you get back in town: you should meet the NYC TC chapter.

GECKO posted on Fri, Mar 21, 2003 2:34 PM

oh ya, sorry bout dat Trader Woody! i know it sucks wen you cannot share da tiki culture with friends who love it as much as u. I forget only get a few of you ova London side.

good luck braddah TW!

Thanks Gecko! Yeah, it'll be tough to lose a true Tikiphile from a place where Tiki only means something to men of a certain age who dreamt of being Thor Heyerdahl when they were 12 years old.

Don't worry though, we've still got a few secret missions for Tiki Chris to run until he escapes this little island.

Trader Woody


Here's a pic of the Tahiti Motel sign in Wildwood. I took this back in the early '80's, and haven't been back to Wildwood in awhile, so I wonder if this sign is still intact.
I've got a few other photos from some of the other Wildwood motels ( packed away in boxes in the depths of my garage ). I'll try to locate and post them soon.

[ Edited by: puamana on 2003-03-21 21:26 ]


Just took a look at the Wildwood chamber of commerce calander, it mentions-

"Every Week All Summer

Tuesdays and Thursdays - "Doo Wop" Mid-Century Architecture Trolley Tour - July-August Schellenger & Ocean Avenues, Wildwood. This award winning, guided trolley tour showcases the Wildwoods' fabulous collection of mid-century architecture. Fee. Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts. 609.884.5404"

Don't know when, but I feel an expedition- perhaps we should put together an east coast weekend?


Whoops, one more-

from here- http://www.gwcoc.com/WebSite/events.html#Apr

"Doo Wop Preservation League
3201 Pacific Avenue, Wildwood. Dedicated to sharing the island's mid-century architectural treasures. 609.523.2400. Tours 609.884.5404"

These would be the local folks to contact.


And then, there's this, not Tiki- but facinating none-the-less-



And then, just outside the Wildwood, for the truely daring-


it's 70's Elvis-esque, but I noticed this-

"To add to the visual pleasure of the audience, we have recreated the backdrop from "Elvis' Aloha from Hawaii Concert"."

On 2003-03-21 15:00, Trader Woody wrote:
Don't worry though, we've still got a few secret missions for Tiki Chris to run until he escapes this little island.

Is that a threat or a promise?

On 2003-03-21 11:53, manic cat wrote:
Give a holler when you get back in town: you should meet the NYC TC chapter.

I will definitely holler at you once back (& settled)! I would love to meet up w/ y'all. To the best of my knowledge, when I lived in Hoboken a few years ago, I was the closest thing to a NYC TC chapter!

Looking forward to the fun ahead,
Tiki Chris

the hawaiian rumble pancake house isn't that cool in and of itself. i was in it last year, and i just remember it being really bright and dank. it's not vintage, either. while i was only there briefly, it struck me more like Golden Girls Living Room does Tiki than any sort of vintage tiki find. what IS cool, though, is that there is a miniature golf course attached to it (run by, i believe, the same family) and it's got tikis all over the course.

directly across the street from the Tiki golf is the thunderbird motel, which boasts a vintage back-in-the-day seashore restaurant with all sorts of nautical stuff on the ceiling and the walls. they also claim to have a poolside tiki bar; however, when i walked in the last time, there were only one or two tikis and a bunch of other random fiberglass animals. i also remember that there wasn't a lot going on there, but i think i was there pretty early in the season.

small amount of tikis or not, it's sad to say that the thunderbird motel is one of the motels in wildwood that is in grave danger. i have heard there are plans to tear it down to build more ugly, soul-less condos, but i was just down there for july 4th weekend, and it was still open. either that's a good sign or the thunderbird is enjoying it's last summer...

this is also worth mentioning. the raging waters waterpark that is located on the northern pier (there are two raging waters water parks) has some tikis amidst the landscaping. the owner of morey's pier is one of the bigwigs in wildwood's doowop preservation society, an organization that is fighting the good fight to save the vintage motels and capitalize on the cool vibe the place has going for it.


thanks for the review, modchick65! so in your opinion, is wildwood worth a trip from the ny area?

i would DEFINITELY make the trip to wildwood from the nyc area... but that's if you are a fan of mid-century architecture and lifestyle, not just a fan of tiki.

i've been going to wildwood every year since i was 8 (1979), and it's always been extremely special to me. the architecture and neon just give it such an incredibly cool vibe and it's not like any other place in the world. that said, if you're going to go, you should use it as a beach vacation destination -- plan to go to the beach, plan to hang out in the motel pool, go to seafood restaurants, water parks and the boardwalk. i.e. do activities just like you would do at any beach. DON'T go planning to do mid-century//tiki specific activities, because there aren't any. the cool thing about wildwood is that it is a fully-fuctional, living beach resort, not a museum display.

if anyone else has even the slightest desire to check the place out, please do yourselves a favor and go before the rotten developers remove all its character. i would also be more than happy to offer tips to anyone going. i live close enough now that i go down several times a year.

Erika posted on Mon, Jul 7, 2003 7:08 AM

For more on the Doo Wop Preservation League:


I haven't gone on a trolley tour or checked out their "headquarters" yet (they don't say "museum," but I think there are collections on display). Sometime. . . .

if the museum is what i think it is, i've been there. it's called the populuxe pub, and it's on the main street in what used to be the business district of wildwood (the area was full of five and dime stores and hair-metal clubs in the '80s, but is mostly boarded up and vacant now). it's a large space full of amazing vintage furniture -- everything from "ugly lamps" to some rescued neon signs to vintage radios and tvs. there is also a large bar area, and, when i was there, the resident neon expert of the doowop league told me it was supposed to be a functioning bar where people could come to drink, but i don't think it was ever opened officially for that purpose. i also noticed, erm, a large leak in the roof, and it was getting water over a lot of the artifacts, which was a bit disturbing.

there is also a small gift shop with non-wildwood specific things like cool patterned wrapping paper, and if you walk around to the back of the building, there are more rescued neon signs from motels that have been torn down.

Erika posted on Mon, Jul 7, 2003 11:15 AM

On 2003-07-07 07:08, Erika wrote:
(they don't say "museum," but I think there are collections on display)

I was wrong: I just saw that, on the Trolley Tours page, they do say "museum":"Tickets may be purchased by calling 609-884-5404 or in person at the Doo Wop Museum. . . ."

As for the location, 3201 Pacific Avenue is at the corner of Pacific and Pine Avenues, says MapQuest. Three blocks from the Boardwalk.

I have been to Wildwood twice this summer. I dined at the Hawaiian Rumble Pancake house, which is infested with tikis. However it is not a tiki bar. They play hawaiian guitar music and the food is good and inexpensive. They told me that many of the tikis were carved recently by "Tiki Tom" a Florida native who was described as "an itinerant fly by nite type of tiki carver". They said he carved all of the tikis in the parking lot. Being from the frozen north and starved for tiki, I was thrilled to be there. There are 2 big cement moai at the door and more on the mini golf course, along with some smaller random cement tikis. There is also a huge cement volcano with a waterfall.
The 50's retro motels are going strong in the town, although some have been torn down. The Thunderbird lrestaurant is alive and kicking, however.
The Singapore motel is shaped like a pagoda and it has the Bamboo Lounge, a little coffee shop that could be tiki if they added some actual tikis. Lots of bamboo and rattan furniture.
Wildwood is a haven for mid century modern architecture and I would highly recommend a trip there.
TikiGoddess: Born too late!


On 2003-09-08 18:36, TikiGoddess wrote:

Wildwood is a haven for mid century modern architecture and I would highly recommend a trip there.

can you buy mid-century furniture there (for decent prices)?

thanks for your report (i gotta make it down there!),


I wanted to get to Wildwood this past Labor Day but only managed Seaside heights, NJ to play alot of mini-golf. I still want to go to Wildwood too!

If you are interested in mid century furniture and accessories for the home, you must go to the Doo Wop Preservation League museum in Wildwood. Some of the items there are for sale, while others are for display only. The prices were about average, no steals. I mean average based on what you see on ebay or in vintage shops. The museum is very interesting, they have 50s era rooms recreated, as well as a soda shop. There are all kinds of historical photos and old neon signs. I am totally into 50s retro so I was loving it. It is not open all of the time, however, the hours are limited.
I did not take the trolley tour because I prefered to drive around myself and stop to take pictures. The museum has free maps locating all of the retro motels.
I had a total blast in Wildwood!!!

realise this is an old post but to all concerned about the hawaiian rumble on 25th and surf... i wouldn't get too excited.. i mean the tiki put outside is fun but i do not remember anything else vaguely even hawaiian about the place.. and the tikis are very... comical. i'll have to post some pics.
wildwood in general is worth a visit however.. very nice architecture.. i actually equate wildwood with the beginnings of my own tiki obsession.. i grew up with grandparents on both sides of the family living in wildwood.. and now live 20 minutes away myself!

Many details and a few photos of Wildwood (including the Hawaiian Rumble Pancake House) in the "Tiki Excursions" section of the MAI TAI site:

i've actually been thinking about going down there. i got the phone # off the internet & 411, but the times i called i just got an answering machine w/ a message that says nothing about the business.

does any one know the hours, days or seasons when this place is open?


New address for Mai Tai:

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