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Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

Castaway, Stockton, CA (restaurant)

Pages: 1 23 replies

Street:321 W. Weber Ave

Restuarant/######## Lounge, Built in 1973 and demolished in the early 1980's,

While on Tiki safari in Stockton this summer, I came across a man who owned this cool MCM place.

MCM Home attached to small apartment complex

This guy told me about a Polynesian restaurant on the downtown waterfront called The Castaway. A few weeks later I found this phone book add at the library.

1980 Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co.

Then I went back to the library a couple days later and found this Polk City Directory add.


Earlier this month I managed to find these old newspaper pics.

1973 construction

1973 manager showing off some Polynesian decorations

1973 just after opening

1975 New Manager

This restaurant was owned by the Specialty Restaurant Corp. This Co. has two other Castaway restaurants in operation today. One is located in Burbank CA, the other is in San Bernardino CA. There may be others. It cost $500,000 to build in 1973.

The Castaway advertised an Aloha luncheon from 11:30am to 4pm and every Wednesday was Luau night.

The Stockton Castaway was demolished in the early 1980's and is now a parking lot.

Happy Hunting!

[ Edited by: abstractiki 2009-10-17 22:35 ]

[ Edited by: abstractiki 2009-10-17 22:36 ]

Great research as usual Abstractiki.

Here is a postcard I have from the Castway in San Mateo.



I have to thank you for this post. I used to take the Greydog bus from San Jose to Stockton in the summer to see my dad who lived at the Lost Isles Marina in the Delta (just down from the Tiki Lagoon Resort). I would walk over to the Castaway Restaurant and he would bring his boat down and pick me up at the dock. I remember having lunches there. One of my first ever Poly Pop experiences as a young lad.

Here is the write up from my dad's book on the Castaway.


Wow! you're welcome Dusty, thanks for the story and book info. Me and my friends used to go to Lost Isle with my friends dad in his day-cruiser, 1979. They had an island with a cabin on light 19 right down the channel from Lost Isle. My family now is now part owner of that Island, so i go by there several times a year. They closed lost Isle permanently early this year. I never remember seeing any tikis there but it would be a great place for one. :)


DC, Great memories and postcard....Castaway cards are far and few between. Abstactiki, Super job on more of your tenacious digging. I was the GM of the Castaway in Troy, New York on the mighty Hudson, before Specialty leased it about 16+ years ago and then it closed after a few more years. All the interior was sh#tcanned...I wish I was around there then and knew was going to happen. It then became Casey's, Fresno's Mexican, and then vacant. It is supposed to be resurrected as a Dinosaur BBQ soon . Those places (as all of the Specialty Theme Restaurants-94th Aero Squadron etc.) were an operations nightmare. Included is a partial shot of the Menu cover, a business card and a photo of when the Hudson came within a foot of flooding the dining rooms. I have some more stuff around "somewhere", I just need to find it. Thanks for the memories...oh the stories....OGR


1973 just after opening

Remember the term "fern bar"? That looks like a fine example of Poly pop mixed with fern bar. In San Diego we had Lehr's Greenhouse, the ultimate fern bar.


*On 2009-10-19 20:56, Or Got Rum? wrote:*Those places (as all of the Specialty Theme Restaurants-94th Aero Squadron etc.) were an operations nightmare.

There is a 94th Aero Squadron still open in the San Fernando Valley.

Great post and great research. Those newspaper images are fantastic and personal stories are priceless. Thanks for sharing.

Here's a link to the San Mateo Castaway thread in locating tiki with some outstanding urban archaeology.

The specialty restaurant group at one time operated a ton of themed restaurants (including the reef in LB, port's o' call in San Pedro, the proud bird, etc), here's a link to the restaurants they manage today (including 2 Castaways!) http://www.specialtyrestaurants.com/restaurants.html

Polynesiac - putting the "F" back in "ART"

[ Edited by: Polynesiac 2009-10-20 17:37 ]

Thanks OGR, Jab & Polynesiac! I don't remember "Fern Bars" but I do remember in 73 everyone seamed to have hanging plants in their homes!

The San Mateo Castaway Expedition thread is one of my favorites. I was planing my own expedition out there and found out that it has now been demolished and all debris removed.

Here are two black and white aerial photographs of the Stockton Castaway Restaurant. I found these at the Bank of Stockton archives. I took the other one last week. It shows approximately where the Castaway building was located.

Note: Hotel Stockton in the background of the last two pictures.

[ Edited by: abstractiki 2009-11-04 21:03 ]

At the Lodi City Library I found a 1979 "Guide To Stockton" with this report on the Castaway.


I also found that at some point the Castaway was turned into the "Waterfront Cafe". This report was in Hal Schell's (Dustycajun's late father) 1995 book "Cruising California's Delta".


Here is a piece of paper ephemera that shows that all these places were part of the Tallichet restaurant group:

I wonder how many CASTAWAY restaurants they had. They were not affiliated with the CASTAWAYS in Miami and Las Vegas, but his one is obviously (by comparing the logo) one of theirs. And I wonder if the Reef was, too, though the logos don't match.

Thanks for the info Pop! :)

Yea! looks like these were all connected, check out this news report:

Breaking News: Tallichet, founder of Specialty Restaurants, dies at 84

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Nov. 2, 2007) Industry pioneer David Tallichet, the founder of multiconcept operator Specialty Restaurants Corp., died Oct. 31 after a battle with cancer. He was 84.

A former World War II pilot who maintained a lifelong fascination with aviation, Tallichet launched his career in the restaurant industry in 1958 with the opening of The Reef in Long Beach, Calif., a waterfront restaurant that remains in the company's portfolio.

Specialty Restaurants, based in Anaheim, now includes 24 restaurants, including such brands as Baby Doe's, the 100th Bomb Group and Castaway. Most are either aviation-themed or known for their prime waterfront or hilltop locations.

Even after he retired, Tallichet remained involved in the company until his death. He is survived by four children, including John Tallichet, chairman of Specialty Restaurants, and Bill Tallichet, who is general manager of The Reef.

Here is Specialties website:

Bigbro wrote- "I wonder if the Reef was, too, though the logos don't match."

Bigbro, were you refering to the Reef in Stockton?


The news articles I have on the Stockton Reef don't mention the Tallichet Restaurant Group or Specialty Restaurant Corp. It does mention three partners as as operators, Elves Marengo, Pete Massei and Frank Yip. They also mention that the building's basic construction was done by Emile Merlo of Stockton.


I was discussing this thread with my family at Thanksgiving (in Stockton), and my brother mentioned that my mom has a book that has a photo of the Castaway in it. The book is called Stockton Historical Landmarks and it catalogs some of Stockton's oldest landmark buildings. In the center spread that features several landmarks in the same shot, the Castaway can be seen in all its glory in the foreground.

The photo appears to be taken from the top of the structure directly to the west of the Castaway.

Here is the cover of the book, and a typical photo.

The center spread is the only color photo, and the caption reads "Downtown Stockton and the new marina - 1976 (Five Stockton historical landmarks are visible)"... perhaps it should read SIX Stockton historical landmarks are visible, including the Castaway!

Close up of the Castaway.

This is the view of the Castaway I remember as a kid, driving past it and seeing it from the freeway. As with the Islander, my family never went there, and in my mind, I thought it had something to do with Gilligan's Island, since that's the only reference I had to the word "castaway".

Since Abstracttiki has had such success with the photo archives of the Bank of Stockton, perhaps a search through other local bank archives would be fruitful.
Union Safe Deposit Bank, according to the cover of this book, has been around since 1897... It's Bank of the West now, but perhaps they still have something in their archives worth perusing.

Thanks for your posted comment tobunga, I like this color picture. After a minute or two i went back and compared it to the B&W Bank of Stockton photo and it's somewhat interesting that they were taken just seconds apart based on the person walking by the Van in the middle of the picture.

Also interesting that the B&W picture ended up in the the Bank of Stockton Archives and the color picture ended up in the History book by Union Safe Deposit Bank.

The building that the photographer was standing on to take the picture is still there today.

I'll pay Bank of the West a visit on Monday.


Awesome, Abstractiki!

Keep up the great sleuthing, and keep us posted on any new news about Stockton's golden era of tiki.

Oh, any info on the original Minnies on Harding Way? (It's now Gong's, a Chinese restaurant... tried to go there over Thanksgiving weekend, but they were closed for the holiday weekend!)



[ Edited by: tobunga 2010-01-02 20:26 ]

Mahalo Tobunga, I do have a few things from the Stockton Minnie's I ran across during my Stockton Tiki research.

I guess Stockton's Tiki History would not be complete with out a thread for this place. Ive been so busy with the other Tiki sites I just hadn't gotten around to doing it yet. Look for it soon.

I also have something on Stockton's only poly pop motel that I'll post soon.


On 2010-01-01 12:32, abstractiki wrote:
Mahalo Tobunga, I do have a few things from the Stockton Minnie's I ran across during my Stockton Tiki research.

I guess Stockton's Tiki History would not be complete with out a thread for this place. Ive been so busy with the other Tiki sites I just hadn't gotten around to doing it yet. Look for it soon.

I also have something on Stockton's only poly pop motel that I'll post soon.

AWESOME! Can't wait to see what you've uncovered!


Check out this menu from the Castaway that I tried for on ebay. Great rendering of the exterior, what a beauty.

There was a Castaway drink and a Tiki Bowl.


Very cool! This outrigger style is something I don't remember seeing before.

I wish this place was still there. We could get a couple of Tiki bowls, motor on over to Windmill Cove for some rum, hit lost Isle for some Mai Tais and back to the Castaway for a $6 Top Sirloin!

I believe that is actually the Castaway in Burbank...the way it once looked like.

Pages: 1 23 replies