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Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

The Islands , Phoenix, AZ (restaurant)

Pages: 1 29 replies

Name:The Islands
Street:4839 7th St.

Another location you don't see much info on. It would be great to see all the different relics from this place. I have never seen the inside or outside for that matter. All I have in my collection is the Ku mug. Did a Google Earth search and didn't see anything that looked like it could have been a restaurant. Thanks.

[ Edited by: uncle trav 2009-10-26 12:20 ]

OK then, how about THIS:


DC did a nice post with all the key paper ephemera here:


No wonder a search didn't bring it up it was buried in the "Big Ten" thread. I did find this menu image with a link to the site. http://www.flickr.com/photos/98716109@N00/196733647/


Here is a great post from Zulu Magoo on the Islands with some interior photos.


Another matchbook listing all of Tommy Wong's restaurants.


Oh yeah!...man what a great exterior that place had!

Great stuff. Would have loved to check that place out. Here is a swizzle with the generic Moai found on so many others.

[ Edited by: surfalaia 2009-11-10 15:14 ]

Decided to move the photos I posted on the Big Ten thread here, makes more sense.

The menu graphics are outstanding and match the Tikis that were located in front of the restaurant.

The Tikis are shown on the postcard.

I wonder why they didn't use that image on the matchbook?


I recently tried for this Islands menu on ebay and managed to grab the images.

A nice menu cover with a rendering of the restaurant exterior. Nice tag line!

Some great photos of the drinks

So here is the weird part, the Islands served their Barrel of Rum drink in a mug that came from the Latitude 20 restaurant that was located in Torrance, CA. I am assuming that the Latitude 20 must have closed and the Islands bought the old stock. Tiki Transmission again.


Here's a bucket mug from the Islands.

I found another matchbook from the Islands that may shed a little light on the restaurant development. The first matchbook I posted was from when the restaurant just opened (the "New Fabulous Islands") had a rendering of the restaurant exterior with a different Tiki than the logo rootball Tiki that showed up later on the postcards and menus.

The new matchbook I found has a different rendering of the exterior that includes the rootball Tiki on the front and back.

The later matchbook includes new rooms called the Tiki Room, the Tapa Room and the Cannibal Room. I'm thinking they added the rootball Tikis later after the restaurant was first built.

I was poking around the internet and found these great interior photos of the restaurant from the Window Rock High School staff party dated 1964.

Check out those drinks.


OK, now pan up a little...then pan to the left.... :D

Cool pics, looks like someone overdid the saturation a little.
That blue menu cover is nice, here is a letterhead with that rendering:


Hey Tiki Kats and Kittenz,
I was cruisin' around in Denver, CO, Saturday afternoon while waiting for the hot rod cruise night in Golden to get busy. My co-worker and I are poking around in the Brass Armadillo Antique Mall off of Hwy I-70. In the deepest corner of the back booth I hear this, “Psst. PSSSSSST! Hey you...” “Me?” I asked. The voice said, “Yah...yah you. Commere.” So I look in the corner to see this black Maoi poking his mug out from behind a faux painting of some victorian dancers in an ornate frame. A place, I might add, that I would not normally have looked toward. He says, “You gotta help me man. You gotta get me outta here. I have been stuck behind these kids for a year or more. You gotta get me outta here.” So I pick him up. Fi ve smackaroos. My buddy said, “For that price you can’t loose”. All the while, I’m thinking that is indeed a fair price by which to save this poor soul. So then I figure I have to look at the bottom. It says “THE ISLANDS, Phoenix, Arizona”. Well, I have not heard much about that place. And, being the newbie that I am, I said to myself, “Self. I bet the cool kats and kittns on Tiki Central will know what to tell me about my very first Tiki Mug find.”
Sunday morning (today), I get on TC and do a little snooping around for black Moai mug postings and find very little. I look up THE ISLANDS in Phoenix and find very little. But wait, ther is a post on TC specifically about THE ISLANDS. I read it and find that there is just a small amount of artifacts or information on the site concerning THE ISLANDS. So, I am proud to contribute to this post with a bit of new found information. I looked in the cool artifacts posted above and saw no black Maoi mugs that I can discerne. So for our mutual enjoyment, here is my five smacker prize.

To celebrate, I bought a cheap Mai Tai mix and some pinapple flavored rum and had on-the-cheap Mai Tais (‘cuz that’s how Tiki Slob runs when he has no one to impress).
I have been traveling back and forth to CO from So Cal for the past 18 months. I have learned that he who genuinely searches for Tiki in Colorado will find Tiki in Colorado. See this link for that saga and the great assistance I got: http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=21061&forum=4&start=last&606

A hui hou,
Tiki Slob

Chop'em, drop'em and cruise'em. It ain't cool if they don't drool!

[ Edited by: Tiki Slob 2011-05-08 12:17 ]

Sorry I didn't get to meet you when you were in town, had to work the whole time. Glad you found the area Denver a good time!

Show me yours and I'll show you mine...
I have one of the Islands Moai mugs too, I found it here in Denver while thrift storing.
Mines a little different.

Thanks Beach Bum Scott, I like the logo that you have on the bottom. It looks more like their original logo. Nice piece. I am pretty excited about this one as it was my first purchase of a real mug rather than one made for the general public or stores. Thanks for responding.
I'll be back in Boulder, CO in June for more fun and games on business travel. I am going to try some of the places in the links that were provided by burlyque, tikibeeyatch and CucamongaChongo in the Denver Tiki post.
A hui hoe brudda.
Tiki Slob

I found a few more images on line from Tommy Wongs Islands Restaurant.

First up an older ad that does not have the rootball Tikis yet.

Another ad that includes the rootball Tiki and advertises the "New Waterfall Room".

Here is a magazine photo showing the interior - look at that loaded lazy susan!

Finally a slide from Charles Phoenix that shows an exterior photo.


[ Edited by: Dustycajun 2011-07-15 12:28 ]


Hi everyone! Here is a vintage cocktail napkin from the Islands in Phoenix.

Great napkin, have not seen that one before.

Two other menus types that were on ebay.


I didn't see this one on here

Dunno why nobody's mentioned it before..... Wally Turnbow's son (Wally was manager of The Islands) son posted in the Tiki drinks and food forum. He's selling some copies of his dad's and Dick Moano's book they published in 1963 (time capsules, brand new from the time of the Kennedy administration). Thought I'd post a link here, as I imagine some folks maybe don't check out that section of the site often. Hopefully cross-posting is allowed....




This article about Tommy Wong was just published in a local paper a few days ago: http://www.denverpost.com/voices/ci_26083607/what-i-know-about-immigration#disqus_thread

kiara posted on Fri, Nov 7, 2014 10:33 AM

On 2011-07-15 12:27, Dustycajun wrote:
I found a few more images on line from Tommy Wongs Islands Restaurant.

Here is a magazine photo showing the interior - look at that loaded lazy susan!


[ Edited by: Dustycajun 2011-07-15 12:28 ]

I recently got some slides that included some really nice interior and exterior shots of the Islands in Phoenix. Here's some of the better ones. There's a closer look at the Tiki with the Elvis-esque snarl that DC found in a magazine awhile back. The signage is pretty cool too. I hope you guys enjoy them.


This place had a great exterior and a great interior. I wish it was still operating.


Those are some great slides! Do you have others to post?

Here are some more ads from the Islands.

1959 ads - Looks like they had the rootball tiki early

Add from 1968 proclaiming the 10th anniversary - that puts the restaurant opening in 1958.
Does anybody have one of those salt and pepper shaker sets marked Islands?

One more


Nice, that place was definitely one of the Tiki power places. Those S&P shakers are the Milan Guanko logo Tiki ones from Ren Clark's Village.

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2015-03-18 07:49 ]

On 2015-03-18 07:47, bigbrotiki wrote:
Those S&P shakers are the Milan Guanko logo Tiki ones from Ren Clark's Village.

I have never seen a pair of those Ren Clark S & P shakers marked with the Islander logo.



I think I may have found the 10th Anniversary S&P set at a sale yesterday. Looks like they have tones of the ones in the ad above. Couldn't find them on OogaMooga.

Yes you did. A very cool find indeed!

Found this article from 1958 with Milan Guanko carving one of the Islands rootball Tikis during the restaurant buildout in 1958. Some nice detail on the interior design in the write up.


In addition to Milan Guanko carving the Tikis, the Islands hired famous bartender Popo Galsini to man the bar!


Pages: 1 29 replies