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Hula's Modern TIki, PHOENIX, (restaurant)

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Name:Hula's Modern Tiki PHOENIX
Street:4700 Central Ave

Hula's is braving the economic downturn and setting up shop in Central Phoenix. We have found a fantastic location, a building built in the early 60's thats is just screaming "make me tikii!!!). The space was originally a Heap's Big Beef, I need to research it a bit more but I think it was a burger place.We are going to be expanding the space off the north side of the building, adding a dining area which will create an "L" shaped building, creating an outdoor patio space that will have a large fire pit at the center of the patio. I will be updating this page with photos showing the progress of the space. These first photos are of the space in its current condition. RIght now we are working on the architectural plans so we can submit and go through the permitting process. Lookiing to start the buildout in 6 to 8 weeks and be open by June. That is the plan anyway. We will see.
If anyone wants to submit ideas to me directly, or if you are a supplier of tiki, email me at [email protected] One thing I am looking for are lit glass floats that Jim used to make. I cannot talk him into making them anymore, so looking for a new source. OK, let the ride begin!!!
Chris Delaney

[ Edited by: Citibeach 2009-01-08 10:54 ]

[ Edited by: Citibeach 2009-01-08 10:56 ]

[ Edited by: Citibeach 2009-01-08 11:01 ]

[ Edited by: Citibeach 2009-01-08 11:05 ]

[ Edited by: citibeach 2009-01-08 14:09 ]

[ Edited by: Citibeach 2009-10-22 12:46 ]


Wow...so many possibilities. That building DOES scream "Make Me Tiki" for sure.

I say keep that post and beam interior, it looks amazing.

Good Luck with this. Build an area for live entertainment and the Tikiyaki Orchestra will drive out to play the opening :) !!!

That canvas is a dream come true!

Oceanic Arts now has fish float lights again.

...and if you need any help with the buildout,

[email protected] :wink:

Got your message Bamboo Ben,
I will get in touch with you when we have permits in hand. Should be 6 to 8 weeks. Hopefully sooner. Just working on the architectural drawings now.


Just got the call... I'll be carving the LARGE Tikis!!! Can't wait to work on this one!

kirby posted on Tue, Jan 13, 2009 8:26 AM

it wouldnt be hulas without some tiki tony tikis.. right on..

Congrats Tony, bringing the beach to the desert! And get that Ben guy, he knows his sh#%! Keep us posted, friends.


Ben, Tiki Tony....Can't wait to see what this amazing structure becomes.

So Awesome!! Finally a real aspiring Tiki joint in phoenix, good luck!! Bring phoenix back to its days of the kon tiki hotel, the islands, samoan village etc!!

KuKu posted on Thu, Jan 15, 2009 8:04 AM

Very cool & good luck! We just love our Hula's Island Grill here in Santa Cruz. Great drinks, atmosphere & decor, good food and all affordable plus a Tiki Farm collectible mug...

Kila posted on Mon, Jan 19, 2009 2:01 PM

Aloha and best of luck from another Santa Cruz (and Monterey) Hula's fan!

A cool looking building.
Best of luck!


I've been enjoying my new wacom drawing tablet lately and decided to draw right over the photo of the outside to see what this place could look like if I was at the helm with unlimited budget. Hope the place is going well so far!

eXpLoRe tHe eXoTic isLe! http://www.flickr.com/photos/tikitony

(forgot to add the original photo)

[ Edited by: tikitony 2009-02-09 22:11 ]

Hey Tony,
Love the drawing. We will be underplaying it a bit though, more like the Santa Cruz location. Cleaner lines, loungey, swanky, with the original part of the space being the tiki room and kitchen. What we are adding will be dining, restrooms and patio. The expansion will open through garage style doors, creating a dining space and patio dining that will join together. I have architectural drawings, but not attaching to this post for some reason. Need to change it to a jpg I guess. Will post it when I figure it out.
I will keep in touch. Chris

Here is the floor plan that we submitted to the city this week, along with all the other plans. Should start buildout in a few weeks, fingers crossed.

Really nice photo that my good friend and co designer on this project, Brian, shot with his nifty wide angle.

3d model of the new addition to the old building. What we are doing is marrying the old 1965 building to a new structure. It will be the theme throughout Hula's Phoenix. We are going more city/loungy, especially opening in Central Phoenix, which is going through its own branding as an urban city in the desert. The tipping point has finally swung to this area becoming something special. The few pioneers in the Central and downtown areas are starting to do very well, even as the economy and the other areas of Phoenix/Scottsdale suffer.
Note: Disregard all colors on this model, we have not come up with the palate yet and the architect that did this model was just trying some things out. The green has to go..lol

Zog posted on Fri, Jun 5, 2009 5:56 PM

I'm so happy to see a Tiki spot opening up in town. Looking forward to the opening!

So what's up with Hula's? I am flying into Phoenix this afternoon and staying until Sunday.

Yes we are alive and opened 3 weeks ago. Going very well. Sorry I have not been on here for any updates, have been keeping people informed via a blog at http://www.hulasmoderntiki.com.
If you scroll down to the bottom of the first page, you will see a blog full of photos and info as we were building the place out. I should have been keeping this site update, dropped the ball on that one. We are at 4700 North Central Ave., open right now just for dinner, every night at 4pm. Come on in.


WOW !!!

Tiki and Modern (Mid Century style) ...my 2 favorite things.


Whoaah! Nice. Veeery modern, in a Tiki-sparse sort of way. But that seems to be what peeps feel comfortable with nowadays. Congrats to a successful opening!

Someone must have sacrificed their mug collection for that bar case! Has anybody fallen off the bar stool trying to see it yet? :)

You would drool over the munk tiki mugs in the case. Miles and Paul
were so generous in giving me dozens of amazing pieces, some that they never made public.
Or test pieces done in one color, one time. Really cool stuff. I will shoot some photos
and put them on here for all to see.

[ Edited by: citibeach 2009-10-22 16:50 ]

I was really inspired by the mid century architecture in Central Phoenix. Traveled to LA and Palm Springs for inspiration, a weekend in Malibu, another weekend at The Pearl in San Diego, two trips to NYC. Then more inspiration looking through a Shag book that sits on my coffee table. Shags name always comes up at the top of the list in the tiki art world, yet his work is really more inspired by by mid century modern in most of his work. He will have a cocktail setting in a backyard of some mid century home. The clothing and furnishings will represent that era, then with a touch of tiki he will place say a tiki god in the corner and an umbrella in a drink, and it's tiki. I love it, always have, the two worlds compliment each other perfectly. This is what I attempted to do with the space. I modeled it from what I had in my head, of what I thought a mid century home on the coast of Southern Cali, with a touch of tiki might have looked like. I realize how different that is to the other two restaurants, Hula's in Monterey and Hula's in Santa Cruz. A different direction, but one that I believe really works.
I hope everyone enjoys it, always the bottom line, and the only reason I do what I do.
Here is one of the two tiki gods that Tiki Tony carved for the space.

I wish I had more time when I was in Phoenix last weekend,
I didn't find out about Hulas till we were almost ready to leave.

there is a lot more I want to do/see in Az.
so I will be back, and go to Hulas.

congrats, looks great.

Sorry I missed you last night when I stopped by Chris. Great job with Hula's Phoenix!


A friend is taking me tonight for my birthday dinner. I so cannot wait!

I'm so happy to see that building brought back to life and put to good use. You couldn't have chosen better for it.

[ Edited by: surfalaia 2009-11-10 15:15 ]

Thanks for coming in and thank you for the compliments. I am a bit concerned about your drink experience. We pour a very healthy Mai tai, that was developed by Martin cate of forbidden island fame in alameda,ca. It is the original trader vics Mai tai recipe. The Mai tai had always been our big hit at all 3 restaurants. I am back in Cali for the weekend, but will make a phone call and make sure the Mai tai is being poured correctly. As for the zombie, they are fairly close in flavor. One thing to keep in mind, rum based drink are pretty covered up by tropical juices overall, so usually much stronger in alcohol then one might expect. Thanks again for the feedback.

I would echo the comments about the quality of the Mai Tai. I was in about 2 weeks ago to try one. I had just come from the Scottsdale Trader Vic's to do a taste comparison. I was not impressed with Hula's version. The pineappple was the only flavor I could taste, which shouldn't be in there in the first place.



On 2009-10-22 13:32, bigbrotiki wrote:
Whoaah! Nice. Veeery modern, in a Tiki-sparse sort of way. But that seems to be what peeps feel comfortable with nowadays. Congrats to a successful opening!

Someone must have sacrificed their mug collection for that bar case! Has anybody fallen off the bar stool trying to see it yet? :)

Long before I discovered Tiki I started liking the modern look so the decor works well for me. The carved wood framing the window is very nice. I like Scottsdale's Trader Vic's more, I could live there.

People were looking at me funny as drooled over the mugs. Great collection of Munktiki.

If those Ryden's disappear, I swear it wasn't me.

Place Looks killer!!!!

I will have to stop in next time I'm in Phoenix.

the place looks cool and it appears you're having success! good job. stopped by on a friday nite and it was super-crowded. unfortunately i had to bail due to a strong aversion to lynrd skynrd (which was playing over the pa) but i'll be back at a more chizill time to peruse and imbibe! cheers


Hula's is celebrating it's one year anniversary on September 28th!


zond2 posted on Tue, Sep 28, 2010 8:54 PM

We just got back from this event and it was MAGNIFICENT! Free food and drink and friendly people.
Could have used some Baxter or Drasnin instead of the 80's tunes (a reflection, I think, of its being a bit of a destination for the local lasses and lads).
None the less if you missed this you really missed out.
Hula's is always on our "list" whenever we're in Phoenix.

[ Edited by: zond2 2010-09-29 05:30 ]

On 2009-10-22 13:30, tikiyaki wrote:
WOW !!!

Tiki and Modern (Mid Century style) ...my 2 favorite things.



Weird timing but Surfalaia just sent me the mug from Hula's and I picked it up at the post office today.

Since i didnt see a pic of it I thought I would add it.

Happy 1st Anniversary!

ooh, this place looks great! Matt the Cat & I will be in Phoenix, AZ in late March for Spring Training. We'll definitely come by! I'll see if I can find a website with hours. Can't wait!

Zog posted on Wed, Mar 16, 2011 5:30 PM

Here's the website: http://hulasmoderntiki.com/

They also just had a write up in the local New Times with a slideshow featuring a bit of their collection: http://bit.ly/g4MmlT

Always up for meeting at Tiki Time Happy Hour, TikiMookie! When will you be in AZ?


So, I went back again this week to Hula while visiting AZ. I had a nice time; we went during a very slow period which was good because I had a specialty cocktail for them to make. Maybe I am spoiled with NYC and Boston mixologists who have revived the tropical drink recipes with style and diligence but, they were a bit clueless as to simple things like "what is lemonhart" and even where the rums are all from. They did however, make me a decent Cuban Anole on request (and then made themselves one as well!) I offered to share the recipe for the '34 Zombie - i think about 6 ingredients in, the bartender lost interest in copying down the recipe.

Hula is in a neat little revival space in downtown phoenix where I used to live; so that's fun to have something close to the folks' home. Its more palm-springs modern than tiki really; the cocktails are a solid B I would say but it is clear that their focus isn't really on the drinks it would seem.

I do love the design of the space; they did a great job reviving this dumpy location into something very hip. Kill that TV and put some exotica on the stereo and it would be even better. I almost left a couple of the Orchestrotica's new CDs but, I guessed it may be kinda useless given the stuff I heard playing while I was there. Regardless, I would and will go back on my next visit as I love modern-meets-tiki and they did a nice job!

Mr. HO

Going to make a road trip soon.
Any more pics?
Do they sell mugs n such?


Pages: 1 40 replies