Welcome to the Tiki Central 2.0 Beta. Read the announcement
Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

Pages: 1 2 67 replies

Name:The Outrigger (Trader Vic's)
Type:restaurant
Street:Hotel Benjamin Franklin
City:Seattle
State:WA
Zip:
country:USA
Phone:
Status:defunct

Description:
I did a search and could not find a specific post for this location. I picked this postcard up today and thought I'd post it. Great interior shot. Note the outrigger bar top in the background.

[ Edited by: uncle trav 2009-10-10 11:14 ]

Ahm lookin'..ahm lookin'.... Wo ist es? :) ?

I hope to have the pic up soon. The magic picture thingy is a bit slow on my side of the world today.

Sorry for the delay.

Here's a closeup of the bar.

Trav,

I never really noticed that outrigger on the bar before, nice pick up.

I have three other postcards from this place:

Here is another interior, one of the three TV cards that have people in it! (can you name the other two?)

Here is an exterior shot.

And this is after it changed to Trader Vics.

Vic changed his Outrigger locations to Trader Vic's because soooo many Outriggers cropped up.

I have some menus, will post later.

DC

Great cards Dusty. I don't remember seeing the first one before.Thanks for posting those. Here is and ad for the Outrigger from Mimi's collection showing the bar from another angle. This place has that small, low ceiling, cozy felling that was so great.

http://www.arkivatropika.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?item_id=203


"Anyone who has ever seen them is thereafter haunted as if by a feverish dream" Karl Woermann

[ Edited by: uncle trav 2009-10-10 15:24 ]

Trav,

Great looking bar.

I have a menu and matchbook from the Outrigger.

The menu has the same graphics as the Trader Vics Ashtrays.

Also saw this interesting menu on ebay with a ships bow rendering.

DC

Wow! That last menu I have never seen. An artist rendering of the ship's figurehead above the outside entrance. I think there was a section of the restaurant called the Captain's Cabin That had nautical decor and was built up like the interior of a ship.

Right you are Trav.

The room was called The Ship's Cabin. Here is the write up from Tiki Road Trip.

The second TV's to open, cool.

DC

Here is an early photo of one of the dining areas of the Outrigger. I lightened the photo to show the corrugated tin roof and garden area in the background. Looks like fog cutters are being served. And on a side note has it been slow around TC lately or just my imagination.

Trav, seems like some website is mixing up its Seattle Tiki temples. What you have there is the Kalua Room at the Hotel Windsor, not the Outrigger:

I humbly stand corrected. Well now that is a mighty fine interior shot in it's own right. Is there a thread for this location as well?

Unfortunately this classic postcard got mangled on Page 110 of Tiki Modern, but you can find it analyzed here:

http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=4194&forum=1

and more info here:

http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=68&forum=1&vpost=436

But back to the Seattle OUTRIGGER:

Looking at this and the material above it becomes clear how Trader Vic's tried to brand the Polynesian outrigger canoe as a logo for the franchise --and how it clearly was a Pre-Tiki concept: A Polynesian outrigger was used over the entrance, in the bar, and on matchbooks and menus.

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2009-10-11 15:59 ]

The Ben Franklin Hotel in Seattle turned into the Westin Hotel. It's a cool looking twin circular tower hotel similar to the Marina towers in Chicago.

My dad worked in the Westin Building right next door to the twin towers back in the 80s and used to "lunch" at the Trader Vic's. Now I know what he meant by "lunch".

I think that The Islands restaurant in Phoenix used the same artist for their menus as the Outrigger.

DC

[ Edited by: Dustycajun 2009-10-31 00:07 ]

I respectfully disagree. The Islands' artist COPIED the Trader Vic's menu's style, and did an OK job...better than some of the other copycats which took a shot at the "scenes from hedonist native life" concept that was initiated by Kay and other TV artists.

Bigbro,

Thanks for that clarification, I don't know much about the old TV menu artists, but they sure were the best.

I came across this image on the internet that looked like the same Tiki from my postcard, I am assuming this is also from the Outrigger in Seattle?

DC

Costumed waiters serving ostrich meat at Outrigger Restaurant, Seattle, 1960

"Waitress serving customers inside Outrigger Restaurant, Seattle, September 1959" - We've already identified this one as from the Kalua Room earlier in this thread. How about the photo above from the same archive? Did they get that one right?

[ Edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2010-01-04 12:17 ]

I know you must be joking, but here I am in earnest:

I don't think so! Even if Vic had a "dress like a Roman" day, the lack of any T.V. serving ware, ROSES on the table, and not one fishnet float in sight, even as some dressed down version of the Captain's Cabin Room this photo does not pass. :D

Here is another Outrigger menu from my collection.

And another matchbook style I have.

I just picked up the yellow matchbook on ebay.

DC

[ Edited by: Dustycajun 2010-07-28 16:51 ]

Here is another matchbook I have from the Outrigger with a nice little rendering of the building.

In a "Tropical Manner", I like that one.

DC

Here is the souvenir postcard mailer I picked up from the Seattle Outrigger. Same graphics as the menu.

The inside of the mailer has a write-up on the different rooms within the restaurant and renderings of the Tiki Room, Garden Room and Captain's Room.

Bigbro,

The Captain's Room rendering sure looks a lot like the funny photo that Sabu posted with the servers dressed as Roman soldiers, I think the photo may actually have been from The Outrigger.


DC

Well I'll eat my own words!:

On 2010-01-04 12:23, bigbrotiki wrote:
....even as some dressed down version of the Captain's Cabin Room, this photo does not pass. :D

Great visual memory, D.C.! That is the same place, no doubt, down to the stars on top of the posts, AND, something I totally neglected to note in my previous post, a South Seas map mural (!) with Tahiti and the Society Islands behind them (...with, perhaps, some Covarrubias icons!)

This could be a promotional event for one of the many Roman Empire movies of the 50s, like Ben Hur or Quo Vadis:

Ben Hur was shot in 1959, and Spartacus in 1960. On second thought though, the above scene looks a little bit too silly and the bespeckled guy too geeky for such serious films, and Seattle was not exactly a film town. Hmm....

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2011-03-20 07:23 ]

Maybe they were trying for the King Kamehameha look but the local prop store didn't have it and somehow convinced them the roman solider look was the closest thing.

Yesss, that must be it! But what about....the ROSES!? :D

J
JoeB posted on Wed, Mar 30, 2011 5:29 AM

Brings back memories. Late '60's as a rookie used to work the vice squad in Seattle. After chasing/arresting prostitutes all night, the crew usually dropped into Trader Vic's or another friendly hangout for a couple shooters to unwind from the pressures of the chase. Trader Vic's was the first one I went to. Had my first exotic drink (a Planter's Punch) there. It was fantastic. Then got into Mai Tai's. Never lost my taste for the sweet drinks.

[ Edited by: JoeB 2011-03-30 05:32 ]

Here is an old menu spotted on ebay from The Outrigger in Seattle that sports a nice Tapa pattern. Maybe a new look for Taco Central cups on the West Coast?

The back of the menu features this Tiki image that was used on another menu from the Outrigger restaurants located in Seattle and Denver.

DC

I have been wanting to make that Tiki into a mug ever since i found that menu many moons ago...but nobody let's me. :(

On 2011-07-31 10:57, bigbrotiki wrote:
I have been wanting to make that Tiki into a mug ever since i found that menu many moons ago...but nobody let's me. :(

Sven,

GREAT mug idea. Maybe you could pitch it to the operators of the new Trader Vic's in Portland. It is after all a design unique to the Pacific Northwest.

DC

T

Thought i'd post pictures of the matches that were in two of the covers Dustycajun showed earlier.

sorry about the focus I'm not used to using a scanner. I love those fat matches!

aloha, tikicoma

M

Hi, never posted here but here goes...
Just went over to an estate sale yesterday round the corner from my place and picked up a coffee can of matchbooks, a tiki mug and an Aurthur Lyman lp all for $5. Anyway the can contained 9 OUTRIGGER matchbooks (6 unused and 3 with a few matches missing). Too bad I never met the old bastards before they kicked the bucket!
Found a pic of the same ones online...

The only difference is the striking strip is black and not white like in this pic.
I'd like to trade with anyone who has other old spare tiki matchbooks. I don't actually think it's permitted to send matches in the mail though?

T

Vintage cocktail napkin from the Outrigger that I lost the bid on.

I wonder who got it?

Aloha, tikicoma

Outrigger sign on the Benjamin Franklin Hotel February 1950.

On the left side of the Outrigger sign is a sign that kind of looks like a palm (?) shaped sign going down but I couldn't make it any clearer.

Image from u of washington digital image web site.

aloha again, tikicoma

Here is another photo of the hotel building with the Trader Vic's sign at the top.

DC

Here is another photo of Trader Vic's with the Space Needle in the background and the Monorail track in front.

That is some modern cool!

DC

Found a few old advertisements from 1958 for the Outrigger at the Benjamin Franklin Hotel.

They must have thought highly of the big Tiki from this postcard as it was featured in both ads. The photo ad above also came from the same photo shoot as the postcard.

Also another great photo of the monorail buzzing past the Benjamin Franklin Hotel and Trader Vic's that was shown on Zulu Magoo's Tiki Architecture blog.

http://tikiarchitecture.blogspot.com/

DC

A few more old Outrigger ads.

This one shows the Captain's Room.


DC

Here is a photo of the manager Harry Wong at the Seattle Trader Vic's.

DC

This is from The Fabulous Baker Boys, the scene was set in an imaginary bar called the Luau Lounge in Seattle. The site I found it on inferred that this was actually shot in Trader Vic's Seattle not on a Hollywood set. Can anyone confirm this? Has anyone here been to the Seattle Vic's in the 80's or 90's?

The exterior shots in this movie are obviously Seattle but I don't know about the interiors.

aloha, tikicoma

T

This postcard from the Seattle Trader Vic's sold on ebay over a week ago.

aloha, tikicoma

T

Found a Seattle Outrigger menu last month and looking here didn't see any shots of the "bill of fare" so here it is.


The cover so you know which menu I'm talking about (no topless wahines for the provinces).

Looks like this menu was snagged by a sailor on liberty 7/5/52 and he came back on the 7th, must have like the place. No topless wahines and the Suffering Bastard renamed the Suffering Bar Steward, I guess the Trader didn't know that Seattle was practically founded on prostitution!
"All prices are our O.P.S. Ceiling Prices or lower. A list is available for your inspection." From 1951 to 1953 the US had price controls in effect but with rising wages they quickly ended.

The back cover and the final word
.

aloha, tikicoma

A few more news wire photos from ebay.

This photo gives a look at the interior


An this one is a cool shot of the ship's figurehead that adorned the front of the Trader Vic's restaurant

The story.

DC

Picked up a nice old news wire photo from 1949 showing an original artist sketch drawn for the Outrigger exterior.

Compared to the postcard.

The back of the card lists Victor N. Jones the as the designer. Have not heard that name before, anybody got something on him? Or could in be a pseudonym for Victor Jules Bergeron??

Cool stuff!

DC

Dusty! This brought up some interesting info. Victor N. Jones was, indeed an architect in Seattle and had a firm there from 1942-55. Before that he had been in a Seattle firm that won national recognition for main street store front remodels. He had been an architect since 1926 (UW grad.). Became local AIA president then retired to Maui in 1959.
In 1945 Jones & associates hired Lloyd Lovegren as associate architect for their Boise office (1945-50). Lovegren had been head drafting room architect for the Pacific Naval Air Force Bases in Pearl Harbor (1940-42). In 1951 he left to form a firm that received critical acclaim designing for Trader Vic. Lovegren designed several restaurants for Bergeron including Denver (1954),

Chicago (1957) and Havana (1958).

Also of interest to Poly-popsters would be the Dynasty Restaurant in the Ilikai Hotel Honolulu (1968).

aloha, tikicoma

On 2013-03-26 22:16, tikicoma wrote:
Dusty! This brought up some interesting info. Victor N. Jones was, indeed an architect in Seattle and had a firm there from 1942-55. Before that he had been in a Seattle firm that won national recognition for main street store front remodels. He had been an architect since 1926 (UW grad.). Became local AIA president then retired to Maui in 1959.
In 1945 Jones & associates hired Lloyd Lovegren as associate architect for their Boise office (1945-50). Lovegren had been head drafting room architect for the Pacific Naval Air Force Bases in Pearl Harbor (1940-42). In 1951 he left to form a firm that received critical acclaim designing for Trader Vic. Lovegren designed several restaurants for Bergeron including Denver (1954),

Chicago (1957) and Havana (1958).

Also of interest to Poly-popsters would be the Dynasty Restaurant in the Ilikai Hotel Honolulu (1968).

aloha, tikicoma

Wow, great research Tikicoma! Always nice to find out about the architects who made the Tiki magic happen. I am assuming that photo was from Denver?

DC

[ Edited by: Dustycajun 2013-03-26 22:23 ]

Yep, Denver 1954. Matched the wall, lamp, chairs and hanging starfish/shells in fishnet from the Denver Outrigger thread postcard and photos.

aloha

T

In the early 1960's in Seattle, if you were fortunate enough, you could go downtown to Trader Vic's for fine cocktails and exotic meal of...

SPAGHETTI?

aloha, tikicoma

Pages: 1 2 67 replies