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Ren Clarks Home Bar

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Here is the screen door at entrance to the house. Note the magicians hat with the rabbit.

Here is another view of the bar.

Here is a view looking from the bar of the diorama and water feature.

Here is another view of the diorama. Note the creek in the diorama ends into the water feature below.

Here is a close up of the diorama.

Here is a view of the aviary with the access opening to bring birds into the bar area.

here is another shot of the bar area with aviary in background.

Here is a shot of us removing bamboo from the bar area.

Here is the shot of the uhaul trailer loaded up.

Here is a shot of our daughter with the tiki going into it's new temporary home.

Here is the concept drawing of his signature tiki which goes with carving in the picture above.

Here is the Front picture of an opening invitation to polynesian village.

Here is the inside picture of the opening invitation to the polynesian village.

Here is the back picture of the opening invitation to the polynesian village.

The current owners of the house bought it two years ago. They told us it had been sitting abandoned for four years and there was a family of racoons living in the house when they bought it. The only way to describe this 4800 sq ft house is TOTALLY AWESOME. The house is full of exposed wooden beams that were hand chiseled no saw marks on the beams. two inch thick solid wood doors throughout. The stage had two hidden doors one on each side of the stage. the one to the right when facing the stage led to ren clarks office. the owners told us back in the day the office had one wall floor to celing lined with photos of stars that had been entertained in his house. when facing the stage the secret door to the left led to a passageway to a large bathroom/makeup room. The bar was built at the same time as the polynesian village and by the same people. Down the hill from the main house there is a 1200 sq ft building that was his aviary for breeding birds. It was later converted into a two bed one bath guest home. One cool story the owners told us was back in the day ren ordered 40 turtle shells from Mexico which he planned to use as lighting reflectors in his yard. 40 large live sea turtles showed up at the house. I guess they ate a lot of turtle soup and steaks up at the polynesian village for a while. There were six of us taking down his home bar and all the bamboo in the room and it took us eight hours to do it. This bar and all the bamboo will be rebuilt into our new home when we find it and we will post pictures of it in its new setting when it is done and all tc'ers are welcome to come by the bar for a drink



That's so awesome. Thanks for sharing those pix.

GROG posted on Tue, Jul 14, 2009 10:42 AM

An incredible find and opportunity for you guys. Congratulations.

That is so amazing! Congratulations!

Glad to see that the goods went to a member and not a garbage collector!
quite the thing to take on but it sounds like you have it covered.

..someone mentioned there were tiki mugs and other items there...were you able to find any more relics ?? was the box of severed head mugs really in the attic?? LOL

Awesome, Bifcozz!

It looks like you did a great job on the salvage. Amazing that the house sat vacant for 4 years. I love the idea of an aviary with access to the bar so that you can let the birds fly in. I'm also drooling over those paper items! Did you get to keep those too? Fantastic concept sketch for the tiki and that invite is beautiful as well. It looks like that picture of the tiki on the front of the invitation is the image that made it onto the dinner plate as well. Thanks for sharing!


[ Edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2009-07-14 12:25 ]



Great stuff. What a great future project the reasembly will be, look forward to the photos when the bar finds a home.

Those paper items rock too.


Thanks for sharing the pictures. Ren would be proud how you
made all that stuff disappear.

Did you happen to find any Ren Clark swizzles while you were taking the bar apart? :D

Thank you for sharing this with all of us.

Dreams do come true! Too bad the owners didn't leave the bar intact, but glad you guys got it!


thanks for sharing. I love this logo.

Wow, just wow. It's like being asked to haul away the treasures of Solomon's Temple, or the Great Pyramid. I can't imagine why the new owners would want to tear this out, but I'm glad it's going to be preserved in some form.


What a score. I agree, this is the score of the year.
What would sweeten the deal is if there was a stash of Severed Heads in the Garage that wasn't known about.

What a story. What history! What a discovery...akin to such great archeological finds as the Mask of Agamemnon!

Ren had no kids, I assume...if the house was passed onto his sister. As sad as it is that the original environs got destroyed, it is amazing that it all was standing until now - and we all got to see it, and Bifcozz got to keep it :) !

I thought I had posted an old newspaper article I have about Ren Clark and Milan Guanko's work on the Polynesian Village here somewhere, but now I can't find it via Search. And I am far away from my archive, and will be for months, sorry.

Wonder who did the original drawing for the logo Tiki...and Biffcozz, when you have time, can you blow up that rendering of the Polynesian Village at the bottom of the invite? And who was that Asian woman in the mural, she looks so distinctly rendered.

I guess we will never know what exactly the inspiration for the severed head mug was. I am only assuming that the fact that Ren used a Guillotine in some of his magic acts led to a cross over concept.


Great post! Lucky Racoons. Glad you are able to save it. Here is the man himself...

As both a magic photographer and writer for Tiki Magazine, I am thrilled that this bit of Tiki/Magic history will live on in the home of TC member. We look forward to seeing photos of it in your new home, and I'm sure many of us will take you up on your kind offer to drop by! Wow. Just WOW. You lucky, lucky people.

Found this photo in my laptop files, (but not the article with it, dang):

And then I had clipped this from e-bay:


We did not get any mugs. The mugs that were pictured on the bar were new mugs you can get at k-mart
we got the concept drawing and the invitation and they were the only two paper items there.
we did not find any swizzles in the bar but here is a picture of one we collected several years ago.

Here is the closeup you asked for and an add we found from the place.

How long was this place open. Do any detailed photos exist?

DETAILED photos of any mid-century Tiki Temple are a bit of a tall order. But there is a nice interior shot from Ren Clark's Polynesian Village brochure in the Book of Tiki :) ...and also in Tiki Style, if I remember correctly.

OK folks, what this thread needs now is some pix of the logo Tiki mug and the salt and pepper shakers, I remember they had the same patterns on the Tiki's head.

Here's a couple of shots of the mug from other threads on TC:

..i have a swizzle from the hawaiian room in the emerson hotel that uses this same tiki.....i'll post a pic later tonight.

Interesting evolution, made possible to trace by the now added pieces of the puzzle:

I had always wondered where the ceramics took all that x-tra body ornament from, since the logo Tiki on the plates and print items did not have it. I now believe the mug designer made it up (...and made the head a little to small for a Tiki).

The swizzle was based on the rendering again, you can tell by the eyes.

I earlier wondered who did the original rendering, because its execution is too professional to be done by Milan Guanko.
It must have been a graphic designer. Yet the basic Tiki design is one of Milan's many styles, I have seen that Tiki face before in his work. I cannot find a better example right now than this Kapu Kai interior. If we zoom into it, we can sse the support post behind the cash register:

But the un-Polynesian ornamental touches are unlike any of Milan's work, who kept his carvings simple. So did the designer take his inspiration from another similar Guanko design, and added to it....OR did Milan see this Tiki first in the designer's rendering, and then added its features to his repertoire, carving the Kapu Kai post AFTER the Ren Clark logo Tiki? Aaah, Tiki archology is full of profound mysteries... :)

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2009-07-17 06:05 ]

Amazing find Bifcozz!!

Here's a set of salt and pepper shakers using the same tiki design. These are from the Islands, Phoenix.


On 2009-07-17 03:07, bigbrotiki wrote:
DETAILED photos of any mid-century Tiki Temple are a bit of a tall order. But there is a nice interior shot from Ren Clark's Polynesian Village brochure in the Book of Tiki :) ...and also in Tiki Style, if I remember correctly.

Oh, yeah! Page 44, to be exact. I didn't realize that was Ren Clark's. Good thing I've got 2 BOTs, so one is always close at hand! :lol:

Here is a nice cloth napkin from the Polynesian Village.

I've got a postcard around somewhere I will have to post.

This is such a cool discovery!


...and here's that swizzle that uses Ren's logo Tiki but is from another place (or?):

found this photo in my I-photo files and cannot double-check. It's definitely one of the rarer and cooler Tiki swizzles, in my opinion.


What a awesome thread!!! It's great somebody, Bifcozz, was able to save this home bar and not just any home bar!!! A bar with some true history!! That Tiki carving is awesome and truly one of a kind!! Really.... how much cooler does it get??
One of the great Tiki Establishments and the owner had his own bar at home! That's great!! And to think that this was untouched and survived all these years is another story on it's own!!

It sure makes you think about all the other possibilities out there!!
I know for a fact that there was a home bar done at the same time The Waldorf Hotel's Polynesian Rooms were done here in BC and that the builders of these rooms did a home bar in Vancouver with the same theme. Still working on that one though! The house was for sale last year so still trying to track the owners down.

Anyways, great find Bifcozz and great job saving it and doing all that work!!
Thanks for sharing!! If you didn't do this post we all never would have seen truly one of the greatest finds on here!!

I know I have a few pictures saved here of some of Ren Clarks. Let me look and see what I can find.

Mahalo, TabooDan


Okay, here is a picture of a cool mug, known as the Fertility Goddess, that was from Ren Clark's that I saw a while ago:

It was also used at The Mauna Loa and a few other places.

I think Bigbro or someone asked to see photos of the inside of this place. Well, these are the only pictures I have ever seen of this place.

Here is a picture of the inside of the bar area of Ren Clark's:

The next picture is a close up of the bar area and behind it:

A little hard to see but look at all the mugs lined up along the back and up on the shelves either side!! All the named ones are there! The Fertility Goddess is lined up right there beside this awesome Wahine mug:

This Hula Bust mug is a Matt version but you see them glazed as well. The famed Severed Head mugs are right there on the right shelf along with some skull mugs!!

You can also see the same style of Logo Tiki they used in mask form right behind the bar. It looks to me that this particular mask may have been made from concrete or plaster as there are two more either side that come out of the rock wall. They look integral.

Hopefully a few of you dig these pictures!!

[ Edited by: TabooDan 2009-07-18 16:42 ]

NOTCH posted on Sat, Jul 18, 2009 8:53 PM

WOW! Thats Amazing !
I cant believe that interior was all still there after so many years.. Heck I would have Borrowed, stole, fight for the money to make a bid on the house .
But you got a great deal and I'm glad a TCer got it and will take good care of goods..
Man, LUCKY!!


GREAT Thread

What I always love about TC. You think something like this could never happen, then it does!!! ZOWIE Thortiki

A really intriguing tidbit of information I found trolling for information about the Polynesian Village and the Western Hills Hotel. Apparently the Hotel (and maybe the Village?) was highlighted on a 1955 episode of The Home Show with Arlene Francis. The entire episode was filmed there, so assuming Ren Clark's was in place by that date, one might suspect the producers would have included the PV too. Many of The Home Show episodes from the 1950s are around, though not easily available - so, if anyone has a nearby source (Museum of TV, etc.) for early recordings, this would be a fun little research project to see if anyone could turn up a FILM of the Polynesian Village (and someone sipping on a severed head).

Poi for thought...


Sorry, but there's no chance the Fort Worth Polynesian Village was in place as early as 1955.

Does seem early, but how do you know? It would be a simple matter to look up the business listings in Ft. Worth to see when they first appear. I noticed the opening invitation included in the lot purchased on eBay includes an opening month/day, but no year!


An excerpt from an older article in the Dallas Morning News which does not clear up the date issue with specifics, but I also have seen a notice in the Ft. Worth paper of the Hotel being auctioned/sold in 1964. The "35 years" ago in the article would put the date of Clark's ownership in the early 1950s, though still no proof in that of the opening date of the PV.

I especially like the description of the rainstorms - the Tonga Room all over again.


Perhaps one of the most notable accomplishments of Clark's life as a magician was the Sunken Galleon club in the Western Hills Hotel that Clark owned about 35 years ago.The Fort Worth hotel and its mystical nightclubs were written about in Time magazine, Clark said.
The Sunken Galleon featured an aquarium in which, every hour on the hour, a gong would signal the appearance of a nude woman swimming inside the tank.
Of course, it was all an illusion, but the woman, Clark said, was real. Clark would not reveal his secret for magically projecting the woman's image into the aquarium.
Guests were doubly mystified when they discovered that they could speak to the woman and she would speak back, Clark said.
"They just couldn't understand that,' Clark said. "And she would go through the motions as though she were swimming. It really attracted a lot of people.'
To enter this magical club, guests had to pass through a ship's hatch door and into a diving bell. At the push of a button, the guests would feel the sensation of motion as though they were descending into the sea. By looking out of the portholes, they would see marine life -- colored pictures of sharks, barracudas and an octupus that caused many to scream when it would appear to lunge at the porthole.
The club itself was built with materials brought back by Clark from an actual West Coast shipyard. It was built in a way to give guests the sensation that the ship was lying on the bottom of the ocean.
Another club in Clark's hotel was painstakingly made to resemble a Polynesian village, complete with a tropical storm. The sounds of thunder and flashes of lightning would become louder and more frequent until rain would eventually start to fall around the room. Then the lights would go out.
"It was very realistic,' Clark said. "Because of my magic, people would really talk about the place. I really outdid Trader Vic's and Don the Beachcomber.'

The Dallas Morning News
Fort Worth magician recalls lifetime of illusion
At 83, he still enjoys parlor tricks
Kathy Jackson The Dallas Morning News
Published: May 22, 1986

According to my perpetual calender, June 20 fell on a Monday in 1949, 1955 and 1960 if that helps to narrow down an opening date.

If all my research concerning the peak period of Tiki culture (outside of California) is correct, the Village was built in 1960 then.

P.S.: Where did the June 20 date come from?

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2009-07-22 12:48 ]

On 2009-07-18 15:37, bigbrotiki wrote:
...and here's that swizzle that uses Ren's logo Tiki but is from another place (or?):

found this photo in my I-photo files and cannot double-check. It's definitely one of the rarer and cooler Tiki swizzles, in my opinion.

okay brougham, this was the swizzle i mentioned earlier except mine is brown with edmonton hotel on it...from canada, maybe?


On 2009-07-22 12:46, bigbrotiki wrote:
If all my research concerning the peak period of Tiki culture (outside of California) is correct, the Village was built in 1960 then.

P.S.: Where did the June 20 date come from?

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2009-07-22 12:48 ]

bigbro, Monday June 20 is on the invitation posted on page 1 of this thread.

Ah yes, right...good thinking. If it was only open from 1960 to '64, it explains why the mugs and other stuff (What about any MENUS!?) are so rare. I wonder if it was not the Polynesian Village, but the Western Hills Hotel that went under, and dragged the Village along. Ren Clark certainly spared no expense building it, maybe they overextended themselves.

What a revelation you uncovered! Whatever happened to Ren Clark has been bugging Sven for years. (Now he can prode us about something else.) Very glad to see that nice tiki recovered. What a magnificent centerpiece it will be in your bar.

Taboo Dan,

Where did you find the pic you posted? I have some more info on Clark I will post in the next few days...



Hey GK, Looking forward to your info.!!
I believe I saved these from an old Ebay auction that I saw. Maybe someone has the originals on here but these are from a few years ago and I thought they were very rare so saved them.
They sure are some of the better shots of any Tiki Bar out there! Behind the bar showing the rares are very hard to find and these are great with all the mugs right there!

Paipo posted on Wed, Jul 29, 2009 1:53 AM

Boning up for the next swap, came across this (from Arkiva Tropika):

Another swizzle, from the collection of Tiki Kate, found on critiki:

This tiki sure got around!

Maybe someone employed at Ren Clark's migrated to the Emerson Hotel's Hawaiian Room after Ren Clark's closed in '64, and brought the image of the Tiki with him. (There was a great urban archeology thread here on the Hawaiian Room, which went far but then sorta petered out.)

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