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Name:Minnie's
Type:restaurant
Street:140 E. Harding Way
City:Stockton
State:CA
Zip:
country:USA
Phone:Ho-4-0953
Status:defunct

Description:
Hop Louie's first Minnie's restaurant opened in 1952. The Building is still there but devoid of Tiki and is now called Gong's.

I found this 1958 phone book add during my Stockton Tiki research several months ago. It advertises "Tropical Dinning in our Lanai..."

Note; The listed owners are now "Gong and Toy King Lee"


1958 Stockton phone book add

Here is another phone book add I found.

I'm not sure of the year but it is from the 1960's. They are still advertising Tropical dinning in the Lanai but now added to that is "specializing in Luau Parties".

The Gong Lee name is now prominently featured and a nice Hula girl is appears next to the Minnie's name.


Stockton phone book add, 1960's

Here is a 1974 Stockton Record newspaper photo of Gong Lee's Smorgasbord that I got a while back.


1974 Stockton Record photo

P

Here's pics of the Minnie's Stockton menu :

Thanks for posting that very rare menu, puamana!

The artist used this Matson Lines menu as inspiration, but did a nice job of his/her own, (I like how ship's name was changed too).

I'm guessing they owned a hotel too?
Same name, time and town , but different address.
I can't find any other info on this.

Register of the Minnie's Hotel (Stockton, Calif.) Records, 1951-1960

Thanks for doin the diggin on this unga, unfortunately that hotel was started and operated by Mrs. Minnie McLane who married a man last name of Dugger in 1954, and then in 1964 married a man whose last name was Palmer.

Bummer, that would have been a great new twist.

I have just returned from another Tiki expedition in the Stockton area and I made some new discoveries including these from Minnie's.

I made my way to the back of the restaurant determined to find the Lani that was advertised in the phone book. An old glass pained door opens to what was the Lani.

The place has electrical conduit and outlets exposed on the main restaurant wall as if this was once a outdoor type area that was later enclosed. Or an addition the the main restaurant. There is even a widow between the restaurant and the Lani as if it once looked outside. It is also several feet lower than the main restaurant.

As I went in I lifted up a white sheet and found an old small table that was covered in bamboo!

Next I looked up and all around finding these lamps. They look to me like nautical type that came from a real ship.

Next I lifted up another sheet and found an old bar with bamboo trim!

Happy Hunting!

Abstract,

I picked up a matchbook from Minnie's in Stockton. From the Gong Lee era, used the Hula Girl logo like your phone book ad.

Nice little description of the place on the inside of the matchbook.

DC

Wow, that's a great artifact DC! Very rare I'm sure.

Abstract,

This is the info posted by the seller of the matchbook:

The individual who brought the wave of tiki to the Central Valley is a man named Hop Louie. His first venture into tiki was opening up the restaurant “Minnie’s” in Stockton in 1952. The restaurant was named after his wife, Minnie Woo. In 1954, another “Minnie’s” was opened to the south, in Modesto, California. Both restaurants were outfitted by Oceanic Arts and served tantalizing Cantonese food and featured Polynesian cocktails. In the late 1950’s, the Stockton branch of Minnie’s was sold to Gong Lee and his wife, Yuen Toy. The restaurant still exists, but is known as “Gong Lee’s” and no longer contains a trace of the hawaiiana décor.

DC

Saw another matchbook style from Minnie's

This one is cool as it lists Louie and Minnie on the back cover.

DC

Nice artifact. I wonder who had it tucked away all these years. Mahalo for digging it up and posting DC.

On 2010-11-23 08:10, Dustycajun wrote:
Abstract,

This is the info posted by the seller of the matchbook:

The individual who brought the wave of tiki to the Central Valley is a man named Hop Louie. His first venture into tiki was opening up the restaurant “Minnie’s” in Stockton in 1952. The restaurant was named after his wife, Minnie Woo. In 1954, another “Minnie’s” was opened to the south, in Modesto, California. Both restaurants were outfitted by Oceanic Arts and served tantalizing Cantonese food and featured Polynesian cocktails. In the late 1950’s, the Stockton branch of Minnie’s was sold to Gong Lee and his wife, Yuen Toy. The restaurant still exists, but is known as “Gong Lee’s” and no longer contains a trace of the hawaiiana décor.

DC

I had drinks at Hop Louie in the Los Angeles Chinatown on Saturday. I'm assuming it would have to be the same person. It's been in business since 1941. Their bar is almost pitch black, even at 4 in the afternoon.
The pics are from yelp.com.
Upstairs dining room.

On 2012-10-10 21:14, tikilongbeach wrote:

I had drinks at Hop Louie in the Los Angeles Chinatown on Saturday. I'm assuming it would have to be the same person.

Yep, same guy. Please take a look at Tikicleen's The lost chapter: Hop Louie and the Stockton Islander one of the "All Time Great" Tiki Central posts.

Thank you Bora Boris!
Doh! I should have used the search function before I posted the Hop Louie question. Great night shot of the place though.
I love learning about the history of the different places on here. The old menus with the prices and food and drink descriptions are my favorite.

That Menu looks like it's in great condition. Where did you find it? Thanks for posting PTD!

We found the matchbook on the left yesterday in Oakdale, CA. The other we have had for years. No dates so I don't know which is older. Wendy

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