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Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

South Seas, San Diego, CA (restaurant)

Pages: 1 13 replies

Name:South Seas
Street:3877 Pacific Highway
City:San Diego

Here's some strange stuff I found. The place is South Seas - A Unique Tahitian Setting. I found this menu cover and two weird cut-outs of the same image that is on the menu. Luckily one of them has text on the back. It tells more about the artist than it does the restaurant. It sounds like the decor was polynesian, but thats about it.

[ Edited by: Tiki Shaker 2009-07-03 13:47 ]

Here's the matchbook. Looks like another cool pre-tiki bar that had the Rain On The Roof feature. And no children allowed, I would guess.


My first thought is, considering the location, that the place was torn down during WWII. But then I noticed that sentence on the menu about January 1953. In that case, the building might actually still be there.

TikiG posted on Thu, Sep 10, 2009 8:49 AM

"What's On Your Mind" ?!!!!

Love that black velvet painting, man! Inspiring..

Very interesting post! My grandparents moved to San Diego in 1940. And my grandmother has told me that in the 50's they went to a restaurant in San Diego where it would thunder and rain. She seemed to recall that you could put a coin into a machine somewhere and it would cause thunder and rain. Not sure if this is the place she was remembering or not. But I'm sure that in the 50's San Diego didn't have too many restaurants that rained.

Zeta posted on Thu, Sep 10, 2009 12:00 PM


Found this over the weekend. It is the back page ad for San Diego Nite Life dated August 10, 1940. The small pamphlet appears to distributed by the American Legion, San Diego.
I believe there is a much newer ashtray (seven digit phone number) from the South Seas at the Lava Flow Inn.

Nice Pre-Tiki menu!

It is hard to believe, I really searched for more info on that menu painting at the beginning of this thread, and all I can come up with is the South Seas Restaurant connection:


I swear I have seen postcards of this image, it seems so NOT related to Polynesian pop - yet to cocktail lounge art. I guess the first black and white drawing is the original, indeed looking somewhat like a Sigmund Freud portrait inspired by Freud's findings about sex and the sub-conscious.

Just got this nice napkin from the South Seas - rain on the roof!



I wish this was still there, since I'm in San Diego. But as of recently, it was a Golf Mart and even that was closed down. Who knows what it is now.


Here's a great article on the South Seas:


Mahalo Ari.

Dad found this recently.

This appears to be after 1947 when the restaurant was sold to the Clark brothers


Ran across this photo in a Sun Maid raisin salesman's scrapbook the other day...

Captioned: San Diego, Calif. Vans Market - Pacific 100" N. Sutherland

The scrapbook looked to be from the late 40's.

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