Welcome to the Tiki Central 2.0 Beta. Read the announcement
Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

Makai Restaurant and Gift Shop, , FL (restaurant)

Pages: 1 5 replies

Name:Makai Restaurant and Gift Shop
Street:US 19 At Tahitian Gardens

Whilst perusing the google timeline feature that has been used so effectively to discover many a lost Florida gulf coast polynesian paradise by Mo-Eye, I ran across this one...

[ Edited by: TikiGardener 2009-05-04 16:51 ]

Very cool, Scott, the Makai must have been part of this huge condo/housing development:


The amazing Tahitian Resort Motel....


....also must be part of it. There is another article about the birth of this vast Polynesian township in there.( I still haven't figured out how to copy and paste these articles).

All the info on Tiki Gardens must be mind boggling for you! It seems they had something about that place in every other St.Petersburg Times!:


It just kills me to see all this great Tiki News and have NO IMAGES for it. Would have loved to have seen that boat and its crew... :)

P.S.: I just noticed the links are not active past the commas, so they lead to other articles. Just copy and paste into that link everything from the comma on, and refresh, and it'll get you there.

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2009-05-04 20:34 ]

The Makai must have been the restaurant mentioned by your old nemesis in this thread here:


Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 39
From: Fresno
Posted: 2003-04-01 8:21 pm

That same complex that houses the hotel and retired living area used to also have a large tiki-style restaurant (the retirement area was on each side of the restaurant and the hotel was just to the east of the restaurant and retirement living area, if memory serves). The last time I saw it was maybe two years ago and at that time the restaurant was gutted and for sale! The interior was totally empty except for a mounted marlin (fish)! However, the exterior had really cool human-sized abstract (almost 50s biomorphic style) tikis carved of lava that were set into the exterior walls. There was also plenty of Polynesian-style wood trim (tiki totems, etc.). I often thought of calling the real estate broker to see if they would sell or allow the salvage of the tiki stuff from the restaurant, but I was too preoccupied with my dissertation to deal with that. Since you didn't mention the restaurant, I assume that they demolished it.

"....the exterior had really cool human-sized abstract (almost 50s biomorphic style) tikis carved of lava that were set into the exterior walls..."

Ouh man, sounds like the stuff Tiki archeologists dreams are made off. Someone please tell there is visual proof of these wonders somewhere, and not all is lost like....tears in rain :cry:

yes ....questions, nothing the god of bamboo mechanics wouldn't let you heaven for .

Indeed! The amount of information is amazing. As I said before, when I ran a search when I was first working on the Memorial, all I could get were a few Obits from the St. Pete Times archives. Now I can see the help wanted ad they placed for a Gardener in 1979!


I'm sure that there have to be pics of these places floating around. The question is, will they be recognised or end up in the trash when the photo boxes are being cleaned out.


Any idea of the year of the top pic?
I came across a photo of what was called alternatively "the cafeteria" and the "William Tally House" at the Tahitian Gardens. I think it is the same place as the Makai shown above:

Note the roofline above the entrance and the dark splotch next to the gentleman's shoulder is probably the wall tiki shown in my pic.

Pasted on the back:

From June 21, 1969
Caption:William Talley House Expands Operations

HOLIDAY-William Tally House's Tahitian Gardens Cafeteria has added the Patio Beef Room to its expanded operations here.
Daniel Papp, manager of the Tahitian Gardens, has tailored the new dining facilities to offer customers "a slow relaxing service" with a violinist to make it "a pleasing service"

More info and some closeups of the tikis in the pic are in the thread:

Pages: 1 5 replies