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Name:Aku Aku Restaurants
Type:restaurant
Street:
City:Boston/Cambridge/Worcester
State:MA
Zip:
country:USA
Phone:
Status:defunct

Description:

Aku Aku

A small chain of Chinese/Polynesian Restaurants located in Massachusetts.

I have collected a few items from the three Aku Aku Restaurants that were located in Boston, Cambridge and Worcester. I recently got a menu that appears to have been used at all three locations. The menu says the restaurants were also "Associated" with the Ho Sai Gai restaurant in Brookline, Mass. Must have been a family thing. Pretty cool little menu with some modern graphic styles.

The cover

Here is the list of locations from the menu.

The drink illustrations

Next I have this great oversized postcard from the Aku Aku in Cambridge. I have posted this beauty before. An old post by Sabu indicated that the decorations for this restaurant were originally located in the Polynesian Village restaurant at the Sommerset Hotel in Boston and were moved to this restaurant by Bobby Seto.

This location is also the scene of the great Jasper White's Summer Shack Tiki destruction crime.

The Tikis

The destruction

Here is a photo of the sign from the Aku Aku in Worcester.

I also have an old matchbook from the Aku Aku. It seems that there were actually two locations in Boston. The older matchbook lists the Boston address as 390 Commonwealth Avenue while the newer menu lists the address as 109 Brookline Avenue. The place must have moved.

Here is another matchbook with the older Boston address posted by Tikisgrl.

The menu and both matchbooks also advertise the Ho Sai Gai restaurant which was located in Brookline. I found this postcard from the from Ho Sai Gai.

DC

[ Edited by: Dustycajun 2009-01-28 12:36 ]

Found a funny little story on the internet about the AkuAku in Boston.

The Aku-Aku, Cambridge -- Before the second Aku Aku gained famed at Alewife Station, there was the original one on Route 2, near the former legendary and slightly unctious Faces Nightclub. It was so dark in here, we frequently bumped into the walls. The dining room was full of colored lights and phony rivers. The pu pu platters were about the best we've ever had, and the service was somewhat friendlier than at the Alewife Station location. My Dad's friend once ordered a "number one" special at lunch. My Dad said, "Me, too," and got the number two special! It's too bad the Aku Aku left this location. It seems like the building has been vacant dating back to the Sheng Dynasty -- perhaps they could consider reopening a new Aku Aku with all the old school bells and whistles here?

DC

On 2009-01-30 18:01, Unknown wrote:
....The dining room was full of colored lights and phony rivers.

Sigh. Those were the days, when "phony rivers" were flowing through Tiki temples all across America!

On 2009-01-30 18:32, bigbrotiki wrote:

On 2009-01-30 18:01, Unknown wrote:
....The dining room was full of colored lights and phony rivers.

Sigh. Those were the days, when "phony rivers" were flowing through Tiki temples all across America!

I heard the place up the street from Luau has phoney rivers.

Just ain't what it used to be....

S

I wish there were a place around here with a phoney river flowing through it I could ignore and chastise...

..reminds me of that famous old-time song "down by the ol' phony river"....or was it swany river?....never mind.

Here is a nice phony river with a Moai Bridge at the Lotus Garden in Greenwood, Indiana.

DC

Sorry, DC, but that looks more like a simple waterfall pond with a bridge over it. The last phony RIVER Tiki restaurant in California was The Islands at the Hanalei Hotel, before it got remodeled. The river started at the big waterfall in the hallway that is still there, and it ran all the way to the other side of the room, making a half circle around the main dining area. This river was crossed by FOUR Tiki bridges.

The Marriot Kona Kai restaurants also had elaborate waterways, crossed by Tiki bridges, seperating the space into SEVERAL dining islands. The last one in Chicago closed in 2007. The whole custom was a common feature in Polynesian restaurants from the 60s on. I believe it got started by the "entering into another reality" concept of the entrance bridge. Does anyone know of ANY Polynesian palace that still has a river running through it?

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2009-02-03 07:59 ]

G

On 2009-02-02 23:40, bigbrotiki wrote:
Does anyone know of ANY Polynesian palace that still has a river running through it?

No, this doesn't qualify as a river, but there is water running under the gangplank in the back of the Molokai bar at the Mai-Kai. It took me many visits before I finally noticed it. I believe it's connected to the fountains in the indoor garden. So if you haven't noticed it, next time you're in the Molokai, look DOWN :down:!

It's all water under the bridge... from Kevin Kidney's Flickr page:

Not the gangplank though. This is under the footbridge in the indoor garden.

Edit: Just realized how off-topic this is getting. Tiki palace water features should be its own thread if it isn't already.

[ Edited by: GatorRob 2009-02-03 10:07 ]

i think it is


Darryl Gonzalez
Boston Restaurants

T

Here's a additional matchbook from the Aku Aku which is pretty much the same as Dusty's that he posted above just a slightly different color:

One thing to note is the different address given for the Cambridge, Mass. location which is 215 Concord Turnpike as opposed to the earlier address of 149 Alewife Brook Parkway:

I know Dusty said that the Boston location had a differnt address on a menu as well and that maybe they had moved. Kind of weird for both places in different cities to move but guess so unless there was two locations in each city for a while. Also could have changed the names of the streets.

TabooDan

Just thought I'd throw in this thermos from the Aku-Aku.
I found this a few years ago in Jupiter Florida.

[ Edited by: Tipsy McStagger 2009-06-26 05:17 ]

UT

Here's a couple images of an oversize postcard from the Cambridge Location. I like the logo moai on the back.

On 2009-10-09 13:25, uncle trav wrote:
Here's a couple images of an oversize postcard from the Cambridge Location.

Love that mossy vine (what is that plant called again?) jungle look, that wasn't done much in Poly pop ....probably because it was a maintenance/ cleaning/ fire safety nightmare.

A napkin from the Aku Aku with two locations advertised from ebay.

DC

K

The Microsoft founders, Paul Allen and Bill Gates, used to eat in the Boston location while they were writing the code for the Altair in the mid-seventies, according to an excerpt from Allen's new book in Vanity Fair:

"I neglected my job at Honeywell, dragging into the office at noon. I’d stay until 5:30, and then it was back to Aiken until three or so in the morning. I’d save my files, crash for five or six hours, and start over. We’d break for dinner at Harvard House of Pizza or get the pupu platter at Aku Aku, a local version of Trader Vic’s. I had a weakness for their egg rolls and butterflied shrimp."

Must have been inspirational.

Another postcard with a different interior photo of the Aku Aku in Cambridge.

Nice little Tiki at the entrance stand, and some mod looking furniture. Also a nice tropical mural on the back wall. You can also spot another Tiki on the far right side of the photo.

This is a rather odd mural, seems to be a City-scape scene (rather than tropical). Maybe Honolulu skyline?

DC

On 2009-06-25 20:37, Bahama Don wrote:
Just thought I'd throw in this thermos from the Aku-Aku.
I found this a few years ago in Jupiter Florida.

We can date this now, and how it came about...Boston Globe October 7th, 1977

OGR

What location can I get my "Hot Tea for Life" filled? :wink:

Another postcard, this one is from the Aku Aku in Boston.

Quite the ship's wheel in the lounge area.

Nice description of the fish aquarium embedded in the the bar.

DC

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