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Name: The Tiki Restaurant
Type: restaurant
Street: Villa Plaza
City: Washington -or:
State: WA ?
Zip: unknown
country: USA
Phone: unknown
Status: unknown

Description:
I am researching this place, and the only lead for its location is that the flyer below was printed by the "Washington Poster Company". Does anyone know of this place, or have any matchbooks, postcards or menus from THE TIKI RESTAURANT at Villa Plaza in (I assume) Washington...?

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2009-06-19 11:57 ]

I found this big bro, i think its the place you are looking for.

Tacoma-Pierce County Buildings Index

"Displaying Record #48436
Address 10203 PLAZA DR. S.W., Lakewood
Built by 1963
Demolished
Style Registry?
Images?

Tiki Restaurant
-restaurant had the first Topl#ss dancing entertainment in Pierce County
TNT 1/21/1974 p.A1 Patron kills bouncer at Tiki

Peking Restaurant
TNT 11/16/1978 Restaurant fire cause said arson

TNT = Tacoma News Tribune"


Villa Plaza Sign 1957

Series: A108624 Image#: 1 Date: 08-00-1957

"The massive Villa Plaza sign welcomed shoppers to the newest shopping center in Lakewood in the summer of 1957. Surrounded by small shrubs and constructed within a brick planter, the large neon letters beckoned customers to stop by and visit the center's numerous businesses."

On 2009-11-11 12:04, abstractiki wrote:

Tiki Restaurant-restaurant had the first Topless dancing entertainment in Pierce County
1/21/1974 p.A1 Patron kills bouncer at Tiki

Peking Restaurant
11/16/1978 Restaurant fire cause said arson

Wild: The devolution of Tiki in a nut shell: From Martin Denny -to topless dancing -to murder -to Chinese joint -to arson --lovely!
So those news clipping were just headlines, no articles with them?

yea, I wish the full articles were published, no photos either, just this photo of the plaza sign. The info in the comment was all i could get.

Anyway, thank you for pinning down the location of this place:

Lakewood, just South of Tacoma:

"A decade later, in 1958, the Villa Plaza Shopping Center was built on the site of Visitation Villa, a Catholic Girls’ School and retreat. Villa Plaza was later renovated to become the Lakewood Mall and has now been further expanded and upgraded to the current Lakewood Towne Center."

T

Thought I'd post an image of a poster Bigbro put on another thread and a menu cover from the topless years.

The menu may soon be coming to me so I can scan it and see if there are any interior shots. It looks like there may be some bamboo in the background of one of the photos on the menu.

I've read the newspaper articles mentioned and there was no useful info or photos in them.

The Tiki was opened "by 1963" and was originally a respectable polynesian/tropical/tiki restaurant. A customer where I work, who's in his late 50's, went there many times when he was a boy. He recalls it having lots of tropical decor. When I talked to him later he said there were tiki carvings, bamboo and more, both times he told me about this was after a few pints though. Oddly it turns out his former father in law was one of those convicted of racketeering in the arsons and attempted murders associated with this location and others.
I've also talked to musicians from the 60's tacoma rock bands The Galaxies and The (fabulous) Wailers who played there but they don't remember much about the place. Some of the geezers who come in were I work recall the topless era but their studying of the "decor" didn't reach the walls, or maybe snickering impairs memory. That's all I've got so far.

edit, I forgot to mention that about 1979 I went to a bar (the Ram) next to the Tiki location. After I parked I looked up at the end of the building strip that these business' were in and saw what I recall as two, tiki like, masks painted on it along with the words, Tiki or Tikis restaurant. I went looking for it but only found the locked door to the Peking.

aloha, tikicoma

[ Edited by: tikicoma 2012-02-04 23:40 ]

On 2012-02-04 21:38, tikicoma wrote:
Edit:"....I forgot to mention that about 1979 I went to a bar (the Ram) next to the Tiki location. After I parked I looked up at the end of the building strip that these business' were in and saw what I recall as two, tiki like, masks painted on it along with the words, Tiki or Tikis restaurant. I went looking for it but only found the locked door to the Peking...."

Aaaah, Tiki ghost signs, an untapped chapter of urban archeology

http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=Ghost%20signs&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=1bsuT9PcA-_YiQLbpd3NCg&biw=1064&bih=506&sei=3rsuT-HcDoPUiALLgrXACg

They are just a few so far: The Chin Tiki, the Pago Pago in Chicago...and the ones I missed documenting: The Seven Seas, the Tiki Porn Theater...someone should start a thread on it!

Too bad, the one for the "Tiki Restaurant" would have been great! Tikicoma, that Martin Denny poster now graces the pages of my "Sound of Tiki" booklet, it was lent to me by a dedicated collector friend. When I first saw it, I thought it was fake - it was such cliche! :)

Oh, that stripper menu is fantastic!

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2012-02-05 17:28 ]

T

Not sure if this is the same place, but it seems likely...

Topless makes it's debut at the Tiki (Hut) Restaurant...

Spokane Daily Chronicle December 7, 1966 (page 36)

Tri-City Herald December 8, 1966 (page 6)

Spokane Daily Chronicle December 8, 1966 (page 2)

-Tom

T

First thing I've found from the Tiki, a matchbox. The letter exchange of the phone number, may have been used into the '70's around here, so no help in dating it.

aloha, tikicoma

T

From a 1967 Seattle visitors guide...

Cantonese dancers? Oops dinners. OK I need new glasses :lol: (or eyes).

Nice tiki! This would be the year after It went topless (the restaurant not the tiki).

aloha, tikicoma

OGR

Repeat pic...Wow...almost same time...good job Tikicoma

[ Edited by: Or Got Rum? 2013-04-27 18:51 ]

J

Wow, yet another example of bump 'n grind inside the Tiki bar.


(Left to right - Tiki Bob's, Zamboanga, Tropics)

The whole Tiki Revival burlesque crossover may indeed have a legitimate historical precedence. Yes?

TNT 1/21/1974 p.A1 Patron kills bouncer at Tiki

I am trying to find any and all information related to this topic.
Patron kills bouncer at Tiki

Who killed who? Why? Where exactly?

I'm researching a story on it.
Thanks.
JZ Murdock

T


Picked up 5 of these coasters last weekend, they came from a household where the guy had been a doorman at the Tiki Restaurant apparently during the topless era. The tiki cartoon looks like the one from the Martin Denny poster and I got the email address from his wife so I may get more info from him, lets hope.

aloha, tikicoma

On 2015-08-05 22:27, tikicoma wrote:

Picked up 5 of these coasters last weekend, they came from a household where the guy had been a doorman at the Tiki Restaurant apparently during the topless era. The tiki cartoon looks like the one from the Martin Denny poster and I got the email address from his wife so I may get more info from him, lets hope.

aloha, tikicoma

Nice one, Bob! That sounds like a promising connection…

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2015-08-06 07:28 ]

AAA

I picked up a set of 5 as well from Craigslist that arrived today. I would be happy to share a few. I like to track down as much paper ephemera as possible from the northwest.

T

Through a local facebook history group I was finally able to track down a photo of the tikis' building. It's hard to see but there's some sort of a outrigger/canoe prow on the peak of the roof. This was from 1969 so after the restaurant had turned into the night club.

T

Screen Shot 2021-11-11 at 3.06.14 PMDenny newspaper ad So early on in the Tiki restaurants life it had great live Exotica music.

T

But was replaced by a different form of exotic entertainer... tikis girls

This picture was for sale a couple years ago with a few others but the only interesting detail was the pole beside them... tikis pole 69-70

The pole made me want to see more but didn't find more for almost two years, until...

T

I came across this newspaper ad... The Tiki goes topless ad

With a view of the front of The Tiki! The Tiki ad exterior close up

Then just over a month later I saw a post on the Witco Decor fb pages post about the Mbulu Ugulu mask.. Witco Decor post blurb

When I realized that I was seeing the front of The Tiki again! Screen Shot 2021-11-10 at 10.29.33 PM

I let Heather Pleasant know where that building had been and she believes that its carved decor was made by Witco...

T

So I zoomed in on its details...

Its Mbulu Ugulu and roof finial... Screen Shot 2021-11-10 at 9.51.15 PM

The carved beams around the entrance... Screen Shot 2021-11-10 at 9.53.11 PM

And under the entrance what appears to be a fernwood tiki! When the Tiki first opened the Seattle Worlds Fair had ended only months before... the '62 worlds fair had a bunch of fernwood tikis from just a few feet tall to giant sized... so who knows? Screen Shot 2021-11-10 at 9.53.38 PM

Then a month later I came across this photo from 1969 showing that it was a two story building. I had heard that upstairs was the lounge where the musicians then later the dancers performed while the lower level had the restaurant... 1969

In 1978 a fire totally destroyed the building... it had been the Peking restaurant for just a few years but a Korean gang running a protection racket torched it. You can still see the Witco carved entrance going up in flames in the lower righthand corner...Screen Shot 2022-03-16 at 9.36.23 PM

that's all for now.

[ Edited by tikicoma on 2022-03-16 21:57:07 ]

[ Edited by tikicoma on 2022-03-17 14:03:02 ]

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