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Grass Shack, Columbus, OH (restaurant)

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Name:Grass Shack
Street:3583 E. Broad St.
Phone:BE 1-9211

The long gone predecessor to the Kahiki. I believe the year the Grass Shack burned down was 1959. I posted this a while back in the general tiki thread but thought it belonged here as well. Thanks

This from Tikiskip
"WOW! That is the place Bill Sapp and Lee Henry Had before the Kahiki!
He told me that when they got it it was a rough place, patron wise.
They got it for a testing ground for the Kahiki. They invented
And tested the drinks/food at that bar.

The place did burn down, on Bills Birthday!
He told me he went home (party was still going on)
And got a call from sondro Conti, Bar Manager/drink inventor
Who said "Boss we got a fire here"
Bill said "well put it out"
Sondro called back and said "hey boss this things getting pretty big"
Bill "are we going to be open tomorrow?"
Sondro then called back and said."Boss we no open tomorrow!"

They were going to start on the Kahiki the next day anyway.
Bill told me that they had matches with the raised boobs. I thought he was
mistaken but there they are!"

I will add some pics soon.

[ Edited by: uncle trav 2009-01-23 05:30 ]

[ Edited by: uncle trav 2009-01-23 05:32 ]

[ Edited by: uncle trav 2009-01-23 05:33 ]

Being from Columbus, I have never heard a mention of this place. Love the exotic matchbooks though. Guess I was born 20 years too late...

Ha! Since I posted the matchbox back in 2009 the image is now being sold on t-shirts and hoodies. Same thing with images of the Tur Mai Kai in Kalamazoo that I dug out of the local archives years ago. Have any other artifacts surfaced from the Grass Shack or is my matchbox a holy grail item now?


When I talked with Bill he told me that there were some vice cops there at the party and I said "well if you need somebody to burn your place down they are the guys to do it"

He was adamant that that was not what they did and I told him I was joking.

The joke was that way back when if you had a bar restaurant that was not doing well you would burn it down as you could not sell it so burning it down and collecting the insurance was what happened many times in that case.

Not saying that is what went on it was a joke and I never heard anybody else say they heard anything else.

In fact till I heard that from Bill nobody knew of Bills birthday story.

I think he said it was a small hotdog joint before the Grass skirt and they just enlarged that place to make the Grass skirt and then they just enlarged The Grass skirt to make the Kahiki as that way it was less costly or something that made better to enlarge a place than to just start a new one.

I think that The Top was done the same way.

Would be nice to find out how many years the Grass skirt was open and the name of the place that was there before them even.

Hopefully one of the Kahiki books will put that in a book, it would be kinda easy to find as all one would do is go and find the listing in a phone book for that address or maybe even the property's history would have something.

Just start at say 1961 and work your way back from there.

I was told that Lees relative (dad, grandfather?) invented the yellow pages and was really well off and that is how Lee had some ready cash on hand.

Thanks for the info Skip! I’ll post a link from the past about doing some local research. Maybe it will inspire somebody to do some winter searching for more info on the Grass Shack or maybe not.


That research thread is 13 years old now. Back when we all were finding new info. Before a lot of the heavy hitters moved on.

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