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Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

Beachcomber Hotel and Restaurant,, Harrisburg, PA (restaurant)

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Name:Beachcomber Hotel and Restaurant,
Street:3500 Walnut St.

Not much to go on again with this one but maybe we can fill in the blanks. The interior decor of the restaurant is right up there with the big names. Looks like it was classic all the way.
Here's the interior shot.

A photo of the staff

A couple of menus from Mimi's collection. Fantastic mugs on the cocktail menu.

[ Edited by: uncle trav 2009-06-20 18:29 ]


Cool ! Thanks for posting uncle trav! I've never seen an interior pic of the Beachcomber before (my home town!). Here's another menu pic, and a few of the mugs...


Great pics from the Beachcomber, always nice to see the inside of these old poly pop restaurants.


Thanks for posting the menu and mugs.

[ Edited by: Dustycajun 2009-06-21 16:21 ]

Thanks DC.
Puamana those are some fantastic mugs. Are they marked? They look like they were designed after OMC mugs but by a different maker. Thank you for posting those.

Picked up a matchbook from the Beachcomber Hotel.

Here is the inside of the matchbook.

This is one of those cool hidden Tiki gems.


Cool! I have those same two mugs as well as the large ceramic tiki that is in the drink menu photo.

They have the "three Tiki" table lamps as well. And those table tops are reminiscent of Nakashima tables with the use of the heartwood and sapwood.


That's so cool to hear about the Beachcomber. I remember being a very small child and watching people dance on tv. For some reason, the tiki revolution was televised back in the day.
For how long and on what channel? I have no idea.
Does anyone remember this?

I scored the menu that Puamana had posted some years ago with the drink photos.

The menu comes with a coded drink chart, some great names and stories here.

There certainly were a few crypto mugs on the menu.

The mugs for drinks 1 and 2, the Impatient Virgin and Cafe Grog are intriguing.

And the number 11 snake mug - Suzie Snake. Also 14, the killer Moai volcano bowl - Mystery Volcano.

Number 5 the Headhunter is also cool.

And finally, the signature Tiki.



Very cool DC....I spent some time in Harrisburg and "who would have thought" that this place existed on Walnut St. Funny how Uncle Trav mentioned Nakashima, as he was living and had a studio in NEW HOPE, PA...Perhaps a connection?

Some of these look familiar...

The Suzie Snake Mug looks like an Oceanic Arts Cobra Mug:


The unnumbered Tiki statue presiding over the mugs is this one from the Ken Ocorr mold:


The #14, the killer Moai volcano bowl - Mystery Volcano - is a different color variation but looks much like this one:


Found this photo of the bar at the Beachcomber on-line.

Must have been on the other side of the dining room wall you can see in Trav's original photo.



Doing some searching on the Harrisburg Beachcomber, and of all things I found 20 minutes of local TV footage live from inside the Beachcomber!


The quality is pretty low, but you get a couple new angles on the room. You can see the Beachcomber sign behind the stage in the middle of the long wall in the original photo. Looks like by the time the video was shot they had added a baby grand and an organ. Must have had a lot of live music.

There's also a passing close-up on the tables and one of the carvings:


Thanks Bam Bam for the videos. I stopped in yesterday. It’s currently the second Indian restaurant to occupy that location, and the new owners could not have been more gracious. They had no information about the early tiki bar. But they were interested to see these posts and learn about the history of the building. The space has been cleaned out and renovated many times over. The only vestige of the tiki lounge are the two “lava rock waterfall” features that flank the front door on the interior. The current owner tried to revive the waterfall but he said that it didn’t look quite right because the water pumps didnt function properly. Based on the historic photos in this forum, the current space has the same general interior form (three square posts that line the central part of the room by the former “stage”. Alas, my high hopes of finding a stash of dusty matchbooks, menus, photos or mugs from the former Beachcomber were dashed. But discussions with a long-time Harrisburg native confirmed that the Beachcomber was once a swinging and popular tiki lounge in its day!


Update! Or perhaps, more accurately, the pieces have finally clicked together!!

Back during TC's dark days I scored FIVE Tepco three-footed tiki bowls right in my own backyard - and for a pittance! I've been wracking my brain for ages how a set of matched bowls like this made it all the way from Trader Vic's in CA to PA, when the thought struck me that these AREN'T branded as made for Trader Vic's. Then, I started looking back at regional bars that might have had more upscale drink ware. One stood out that used the same three-footed tiki bowl in brown - the Harrisburg Beachcomber!

I am thrilled to think that I have a tangible connection to the old place, and four of the five are in pristine condition. There's no hard evidence, but circumstantially I believe these five bowls may have been spirited away when the Beachcomber closed, or stopped using the bowls.

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Congrats on a very cool find. Love it when the pieces all fall in place. Man! I started this thread back in 2009. Thanks for the update

It just goes to show how invaluable a resource TC really is. Without the menu posted almost a decade ago I never would have made the connection.

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