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Olu Oaksu, Springfield, MA (restaurant)

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Name:Olu Oaksu

I came across this menu and swizzle on ebay from a restaurant called the Olu Oaksu that was located at the Oaks Inn in Springfield, Mass.

The menu is clear borrow from the Kon Tiki menu. Another example of what Bigbro recently coined:

The Tiki transmission tradition of Polynesian pop.

Could not find any info on this place, maybe the east coast tiki folks have some intel.


MOST interesting, because I have never seen the term "olu" used in Polynesian pop before. I had picked it out of the Hawaiian dictionary 10 years ago to christen my Leroy Schmaltz-carved Moai in my front yard "Big Daddy Olu", meaning "Big Daddy Cool":


To find that it actually existed in Tiki culture is a pleasant surprise!

"Olu" can also be translated as "pleasant, cool, comfortable" or as "coolness; softness, grace, slackness; comfort, amenities; courtesy, kindness".
I could not find anything for "Oaksu", (the little I could decipher in the menu posted, they translated their name as "Gracious Oasis"), but it seems highly likely that it is their own word creation stemming from their main business, the Oaks Inn. Funny. :)

Zeta posted on Tue, Sep 8, 2009 7:31 PM

Very olu!

Picked up the matchbook and the menu from this place.

Looks like the owners had a few hotels and restaurants.

Olu Oaksu was the Polynesian Room located at the Oaks Inn.

The description on the menu makes the room sound pretty nice, would be great to uncover a photo some day.


Nice artifact DC.

An April 24th 1965 article in the "The Afro American" newspaper mentions that Russ Jackman and his Orchestra will be performing at a Republican committee "jamboree" in the Polynesian Room at the Oaks Inn.

There are also a few banquets and wedding receptions mentioned being held there in several old newspapers.

I'm sure this was a nice place in its hay day but like so many old hotels and restaurants it was not maintained and became rundown and ruined.

Property records search shows this info:

Three-story motel, 24,450/SF, 72 rooms, with 150.18' frontage on State Street and 197.0' frontage on Thompson Street. Excellent visibility on a heavily traveled artery at intersection. Daily/weekly guests. Located on bus route. Built in 1955.

Minutes to downtown Springfield and STCC College, AIC College and Springfield College.

These photos are approximately a year old

Local TV news filmed and reported the demolition of the hotel on May 9th of this year. Unfortunately there was no mention of the hotels link to Americas Polynesian pop culture history.

Pages: 1 6 replies