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T

Name:Outrigger Inn
Type:hotel
Street:5325 & 5305 E Pacific Coast Highway
City:Long Beach
State:CA
Zip:90804
country:USA
Phone:434-8421
Status:defunct

Description:
The Outrigger Inn was a motor hotel located along PCH in Long Beach. It is now a Guest House International Hotel.

[ Edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy - Adding Mr. C's to the location. - 2010-11-05 14:15 ]

T

There was an old thread from 2003 in General Tiki about the Outrigger Inn, but most of the photo links were dead.

I picked up a post card from the Outrigger Inn recently.

Here's the matchbook.

Kenike posted this brochure back in 2006.

On 2006-08-06 13:17, Kenike wrote:
I just received a brochure from the Outrigger Inn as a gift. I'm not sure if this is the same brochure Sabu posted 3 years ago (those pics are no longer available) but figured I'd share anyway.

Another one were a good full frontal photo of the sign would mean fulfillment! :)

T

I'm doing the best that I can, Sven. :roll:

:wink:

Nice post Tiki Kate. I had been meaning to put this one together as well.

One of the top ten Tiki Motel signs of all times. Here is a blow-up of the sign that is for sale on ebay.

I also have a different postcard from the Outrigger. This one is a bit newer as the trees and landscaping are all much bigger than the first one. Looks like they installed green astro-turf by the pool.

Here is the matchbook posted by Bay Park Buzzy from Mr. C's restaurant that was located on-site.




DC

Here's one for Kate, found by Nichols:

"A hostess in a dark uniform with Peter Pan collar is seated at a wooden reception podium that bears a sign that reads "Hawaii, Madame Pele, Goddess of Volcanoes," at the entrance to an elaborately decorated Tiki/Polynesian themed restaurant, "Mr. C's," owned by Long Beach City Councilman Robert Crow. Palapa style thatched hut decor on the right displays a sign with a photo of Mr. Crow wearing a suit and bowler hat, that reads "Mr. C. Welcomes the Queen Mary." Mr. Crow served on the Long Beach City Council from 1960-1968 and owned a sequence of restaurants. He was also a major advocate for acquisition of the ship, HMS Queen Mary, for use as a tourist attraction. He died in 1994."

What that sign on the hostess desk is actually referring to is that statue BEHIND the desk, which was carved by Guy Wilson for Oceanic Arts:

Oceanic Arts had one standing around for the longest time, until Jeff Berry bought it. Who here has that blue menu cover depicting it?
I could not find a Thread for Mr.C's specifically, maybe someone could start one. I would love to see some interiors, details like those modernist pole embellishments behind the desk are wonderful Tiki Modern examples.

Ah! Bigbro, you trumped me on that Mr. C's lobby shot! I was holding it in reserve. You can order copies of that photo from the Long Beach main library, and when I get mine, I'll see if I can post some close-ups.

However, your post is much better than mine would have been, by including that wonderful shot of Guy Wilson carving the Pele statue. I've never seen that before. (I think I see some Classical Greek influences there, don't you? Maybe a little bit of the Spartan mixed in with the Hawaiian?)

I do have some more info on Mr C's. The restaurant and the adjacent Outrigger Inn appear to have both been built in 1962, with the Outrigger Inn being worked on first:

*"MR. C'S ...Dancing nightly to Eddie Bush and his Polynesian Revue in the Ming Room, with novelty entertainment. Fashion shows at Wednesday luncheons. Special Banquet and party rooms. Dress shop.

Mr. C is Vice-mayor Robert Crow. He and his wife, Helen, devoted years to planning their beautiful restaurant which is one of the Long Beach area's tourist attractions. Its many rooms, all originals, cobmine the cultures as well as the decors of the entire Pacific, from the island chains to China and Japan. Among distinguished touches are bubbling pools, statuary (including a huge wooden carving of Pele, the fire goddess), bridges, outrigger canoes and authentic island artifacts. The American luncheons are from $1.45; Cantonese luncheons from $1.75. The Cantonese dinners are from $3.50 to $5.75. One o fthe most popular feasts is the Dinner of the August Moon, created by the chef for those who savor dining variety. Also served are tropical appetizers and beverages and superb American dinners priced from $3.25, including chicken cordon bleu, steak and lobster combination, Japanese teriyaki steak with Kyoto sauce and steak bali hi a la garni."*

I think we can probably keep the Outrigger Inn and Mr C's in the same topic, as they were both part of the same complex owned by Robert Crow. I'll update the heading of this thread.


[ Edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2010-11-05 14:14 ]

Los Angeles Times: 3.8 earthquake jolts Long Beach

The quake appears to have been centered around the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Anaheim Street in Long Beach, CA.

That is a few blocks from where Mr. C's was located.

Some sort of cosmic/karmic/supernatural message?

On 2010-11-05 14:10, Sabu The Coconut Boy wrote:
I think we can probably keep the Outrigger Inn and Mr C's in the same topic, as they were both part of the same complex owned by Robert Crow. I'll update the heading of this thread.

Sabu,

I think that is the right call, the two go hand-in-hand and should be kept together. I picked up a drink menu from Mr. C's that features photos of the drinks they served.

Here is the menu cover with the appetizer list. The note on the top left corner indicates that the menu was "appropriated" on June 29, 1964.

Here is the back of the menu with the Scorpion Bowl.

The inside of the menu - it is a big menu so the scan is not that clear. There are some clever drink descriptions.

Close up of a few drinks.

Now this is cool - the flaming Paradise of the Pacific bowl was served by a Mystery Girl on special occasions - does that ring a bell?

DC

[ Edited by: Dustycajun 2011-01-08 06:28 ]

A great addition to your collection DC. Here is an ashtray pic I dug up on the web.

AF

That is a great entry photo Sven, sorry I missed it earlier! Neat stuff Sabu and DC!

*On 2010-11-05 10:06, bigbrotiki wrote:*What that sign on the hostess desk is actually referring to is that statue BEHIND the desk, which was carved by Guy Wilson for Oceanic Arts:

Oceanic Arts had one standing around for the longest time, until Jeff Berry bought it. Who here has that blue menu cover depicting it?

Bigbro,

I saw that blue menu on ebay with image of the Pele Tiki.

Do you know the origins of this Tiki design? Closest I could think of was this guy who was at the Ulu Mau village in Hawaii.

And what's the story behind the glowing rock he is holding on the menu?

DC

A glowing stone you say? How about a flaming Tridacna shell scorpion bowl ? :)

Wehell, I am glad you asked!

I see the evolution of above statue like this: From the ancient Hawaiian's chiefly feather helmets...

...to the feather godheads:

...to this Tapa image:

...and stylized carvings:

..which really had nothing to do with Pele per se. I think any American Tiki that came with a large bosom was prone to be named Pele.

And here as a bonus, a very young Jeff Berry in the mid-90s, rightfully proud that he took this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and was able to cough up the moolah to obtain this beauty from Oceanic Arts:

Bigbro, FAN-tastic photo! Does Jeff still own that beauty?

I saw this image from the Hawaiian Sculpture book that looks a lot like Mr. C's Pele carving.

Page 75

DC

Yes, Jeff and her are a couple for life. Excellent catch on that statue, that one with its beard and hand position is the closest match for sure.

I had jumped to respond to your question to quickly, and have to apologize for shoddy research:

A.) The carving on the left is indeed associated with the name Pele!:

..as this is what it says in the Hawaiian Carvings book:

(but they are not convinced of it depicting a female either)

B.) The Bum's version has an entirely more unique heritage, here it is in his own words:

"I bought that Pele from a sculptor who carved it for OA, but somehow he ended up with it again in his garage. His Pomona studio just happened to be next door to the "ancient art mart" location for "Secret of Easter Island" that I was dressing with tikis I'd rented from OA. The guy wandered in, saw them and started pointing at one, then another. "Hey, I carved that. I carved that one too." He told me he used to work for Bob and Leroy, and that he had a couple of tikis in his garage. He brought in the Pele the next day, and I figured what the hell, I can't afford it BUT I can write off the cost as set decoration -- which it was! You can see her clearly in the art gallery scene of the film.

She and I have been together ever since...."

On 2012-03-04 08:00, bigbrotiki wrote:
Excellent catch on that statue, that one with its beard and hand position is the closest match for sure.

I got a color postcard of that image from the Field Museum in Chicago.

The back of the card has an interesting tale of the Tiki and Captain Cook!

DC

Just scored this nice ashtray from the Outrigger Inn in Long Beach.

DC

A cool Mai Tai cocktail glass from the Outrigger.

DC

AF

Nice find DC!

Here are some press photos showing the Outrigger Inn on May 25th, 1962, just before opening. Based on dates on the rear of the photos and the newspaper article, it looks like the open house was on Sunday May 27th, 1962, and the official opening for business was on Monday, May 28th.

:up: ""Opening for business Monday, the Outrigger Inn, plush motor hotel in Polynesian styling will have an open house today. It is located at 5325 E. Pacific Coast Highway, just east of the Park Estates entrance off Pacific Coast Highway. Owned and developed by John N. Economou, Outrigger Inn will have 76 units ready for the opening with 24 to be added later."

:up: Nov 10 1976 - "The Outrigger Inn on East Pacific Coast Highway, adjacent to Mr. C's restaurant, has been franchised as a Ramada Inn. All units have been remodeled and refurbished by the owners, Jackie Wong, above, and husbend Kenjohn."

One of the great Tiki Motel signs, indeed! Good to hear from you, Sabu.

AF

Wow Sabu, those photos are a real Long Beach find and just like I remembered it as a kid! Now inspired, I need to post a recent LB find from Java Lanes...

Great thread. I picked up another variation of the postcard that Tiki Kate started this thread with.

It gives a slightly expanded view of the second floor elements and the Tiki pole.

The great sign.

How can you can tell the difference in the two postcards? The umbrellas are open in Tiki Kate's card!

DC

A few more press clippings from the Outrigger Inn and Mr. C's.

A nice ad with a frontal view of the sign.

A rendering showing the layout of the entire complex.

And some odds and ends from Mr. C's.

DC

Dusty, where do you find this stuff?
It was cool to talk to you Saturday, even though I was running on very little sleep
see you next time.

Cool rendering, A-frame central! That drawing - as so often - looks better than the finished place.

On 2015-03-11 22:45, Atomic Tiki Punk wrote:
Dusty, where do you find this stuff?
It was cool to talk to you Saturday, even though I was running on very little sleep
see you next time.

ATP, there are a few websites where you can search for old news clippings. Some charge a fee and some don't. You can also enter a search word and you'll receive emails on when new articles come up. http://www.newspapers.com is one of them.


-Lori

[ Edited by: tikilongbeach 2015-03-12 08:13 ]

Found another news article on Mr. C's that has some cool sketches of the interior.

First the road map of the sketches.

The 41-foot entryway.

The front doors.

11-foot Madame Pele

Dining Hall Booths

Table in the Stockades dining room

Outrigger canoe on the ceiling.

Chinese Bridge to the cocktail lounge

Picture window booth

and the Japanese Room.

Cool stuff.

DC

AF

Very cool indeed DC! It also includes a new term I haven't seen or heard before your post..."Pacificana"!!

AF

Thanks again DC, finding anything on Mr. C's provides one with an extra reason for a Drinko on Cinco!

On 2015-05-05 17:50, Dustycajun wrote:
Found another news article on Mr. C's that has some cool sketches of the interior.

The 41-foot entryway.

Cool stuff.

DC

Here's the exterior view of the Mr. C's entry from a early menu, which can also be seen in Chapter 8 of Sven's TIKI MODERN.

A Frames in Long Beach, who knew?!

That photo of Bob Crow in the picture Bigbro posted from the lobby of Mr. C's....

came from a Life Magazine piece from when Crow went to England to buy the Queen Mary for Long Beach.


The image was also used in an ad for the restaurant.

Bob Crow also owned a Chinese restaurant called Crow's.

DC

AF

Wow...I didn't know that! I wonder if the Helen Dell mentioned in the ad was the same Helen Dell that was the organist at Dodger Stadium back in the day?

Sharp observation A-Frame. That is the same Helen Dell at the organ. She played several clubs in the area before joining the Dodgers in 1972.

DC

And here's Bob Crow in 1962 with the new plans for the Mr. C's restaurant!


DC

I found this photo of the Long Beach Ladies Auxiliary group standing at the entrance to the Lanai Room at Mr. C's.

DC

AF

Another great find DC!

I found another newspaper photo of the great Mr. C's A-Frame and gong sign (with another reference to Pacificana).

And, a few more photos of Madam Pele who apparently weighed in at 1,800 pounds.

Mr. C and the Duke.

Some native artifacts.

DC

I was sent this photo which is suppose to be a tiki torch still standing today from when the location was Mr. C's (which is now the Brazilian eatery Green Field Churrascaria).

[ Edited by: King Bushwich the 33rd 2017-11-18 12:52 ]

J

I wanted to just post and thank everyone for all of the information regarding the Outrigger Inn and Mr C's. Prior to 1975, my grandfather owned this property and my father ran it for many years. I showed my father all of the photos of the property and memorabilia and he got a real kick out of it. He also mentioned that there is only one video available today that shows the hotel, pool and the inside of Mr C's. The property was used for a movie called, "The Girl Who Knew Too Much" with Adam West, Nancy Kwan. It was amazing to watch and the clips reminded me of when I use to play at the pool when I was a kid.

Anyway, thanks again and I'll drop by here periodically for updates.

John Economou

Nice color photo of the Mr. C's sign and A-Frame restaurant entrance from Heather David on Flikr.

DC

C

Dang! I live about 5 blocks from this location and had no idea that something this cool was ever there. It's such a bummer seeing all the great tiki locations that once existed in Long Beach, and now we've got nada. As of a couple months ago, we don't even have Don the Beachcomber's next door in Sunset Beach anymore. So sad.

On 2018-04-27 21:54, johnje wrote:
I wanted to just post and thank everyone for all of the information regarding the Outrigger Inn and Mr C's. Prior to 1975, my grandfather owned this property and my father ran it for many years. I showed my father all of the photos of the property and memorabilia and he got a real kick out of it. He also mentioned that there is only one video available today that shows the hotel, pool and the inside of Mr C's. The property was used for a movie called, "The Girl Who Knew Too Much" with Adam West, Nancy Kwan. It was amazing to watch and the clips reminded me of when I use to play at the pool when I was a kid.

Anyway, thanks again and I'll drop by here periodically for updates.

John Economou

A quick search came up with this image

And a more in depth search came up with the whole thing!

YouTube: The Girl Who Knew Too Much

Found this article...

Independent-Press-Telegram (Newspaper) - March 27, 1955, Long Beach, California ROBERT F. CROW Cantonese. II You Please NOT EVEN the waitresses and assistant cooks who work closely with Chef Louie at Crow's restaurant know his last name. Chef Louie is Chinese and has a last name which is absolutely unpronounceable to Americans. But they do know this about Louie: A native of Canton, he has a wizard's technique with food and makes it possible for Robert F. (Bob) Crow, owner of Crow's at Willow and to serve some of the finest authentic Chinese dishes in town. Especially popular are Louie's Chinese Family Style Dinners a person) which include succulent ribs, chop suey, egg foo yong, Cantonese fried shrimp, rice and, tea. The Special Mandarin Dinner includes almost enough food for an entire Chiang Kaishek division. In addition to all the foregoing items, it provides chow mein, sweet and sour ribs and an egg roll. Numerous other fancy Mandarin dishes are available at Crow's, such as Chinese Sweet Peas and Almond Duck. And, of course, the restaurant also en- joys numerous compliments on its American dishes, including splendid steaks, chicken, chops, sea food and salads. OWN Kit HOST CKOYV has been in the restaurant and liquor business in Long Beach for 16 years. He opened Crow's nine years ago. In addition to its dining rooms and cocktail lounge, the restaurant has a banquet room which seats 40 per- sons. Fe a t u r e d entertainer at Crow's is Helen Dell, a lovely recording artist who docs mag- ical things with an organ. Open daily. Crow's serves lunches from 11 a. m. to 2 p. m. and dinners from 4 p. m.

There's an old dive a few miles down from Mr. C's on 2nd St called Crow's Cocktails....I wonder if Bob Crow had something to do with that place too.

J

On 2019-04-08 07:47, Ryan Partridge wrote:
There's an old dive a few miles down from Mr. C's on 2nd St called Crow's Cocktails....I wonder if Bob Crow had something to do with that place too.

To answer your question, yes. The establishment known as Crows down on 2nd St in Belmont Shore was also owned by Bob Crow. He sold it many years ago to Richard (Dickey) Babian who still owns it today. I talk with Dickey frequently still. He chose to keep the name Crows as it is kind of iconic. Probably the only building with his name ever on it.

J Economou

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