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Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

Hula Hut, Tucson, AZ (restaurant)

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Name:Hula Hut
Street:1811 S 6th

History: Per Vintage Roadside http://www.vintageroadside.com

Known as a place to hear live jazz in the 1950s, legendary performer Anita O'Day sang at the Hula Hut as did "Queen of the Boogie" Hadda Brooks in 1957.

From the descriptions that we've uncovered, the Hula Hut lived up to its name by featuring all of the tiki decor and drinks popular in the 1950s. A great North Coast Journal article written by Joseph Byrd sets the stage:

"The Hula Hut's facade was bamboo, cluttered with flotsam and fishing nets; inside it was lit with torches...Primitive masks and "tribal" carvings were prominent, and tropical-themed fabrics festooned the booths. Hula girls were languorously draped around the printed menu, which featured exotic rum drinks, sweetened with fruit juices, flavored syrups and liqueurs. Beverages were usually served in equally exotic vessels, each with its garnish of fruit and oversized straw."

Thanks to some quick detective work by Drew and his Tucson friends we've been able to determine the Hula Hut burned down in the late 1950s. Since Hadda Brooks played there in 1957, the fire must have been sometime between 1958 - 1960.

Well here is a little more info for y'all. First off, the Hula Hut feature matchbook that was the inspiration for the cool Vintage Roadside T-Shirt (as seen on ebay).

Turns out that the Hula Hut burned down TWICE! If it wasn't for Bad Luck, they would've had no luck at all.

First fire was in 1957 with Anita O'Day scheduled to sing for 10 days.

The Hula Hut reopened later that year - with Tikis!

Fire struck again in 1958.

The owner went bankrupt in 1959 - at total loss.

A few newspaper adverts.

Camera Day?

Come on, say it with me - Hula Hut!


Great detective work Dusty! We didn't know about the first fire. Seems like the place was a bit cursed in that final year.

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