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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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I read about this place in the Tiki Roadtrip and understand it had so-so reviews. Sadly, its the closest place I know of. Does anyone know the approximate age of the Hu Ke Lau? Does it have "old" tiki flair?

T

We took a trip up to the Hu Ke Lau about a year ago for the Polynesian floor show. Although we had a great time, it wasn't the quintessential tiki experience. The only tiki decor is in the dimly lit bar, and there's not much of it. The floor show was entertaining, but not terribly authentic. They did have the fire throwers, which was good. Food was OK, typical fare. Most drinks served in repro mugs (Wholesale Dynasty), but the pina coladas did come in real pineapples, which was nice. All-in-all, worth a trip if you don't have to drive more than 1 1/2 hours. As far as the age, I couldn't say, but looks to be from the '70s.

S

Aloha Tiki*Seeker,

I travel a lot for work so I am a bit of "tiki seeker" myself. I recently visiting the Hu Ke Lau in October. It's seems they have added several tikis in the past year that looked similar to the Wayne Combs style. The one thing that bothered me though was the cheesy animatronic alligator in the reception area. Fun for the kids, I guess but definitely out of place!

The Hu Ke Lau is much more kitsch than classic tiki but worth a visit if you know what your in for. I only stopped in for a quick mai tai but I could see the floor show from from the bar (through glass) and I was inspired by the flaming pupu platters.

I was pleasantly surprised by a few of the tiki points of interest in New England and I got a lot of good tips from people in your area. I'll be back again next October and will likely hit these places again. For more about this see my post on New England Tiki in the main discussion area:

http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=1255&forum=1

Keep on seeking!


Aloha,

STEN

Show Me The Moai!

[ Edited by: stentiki on 2003-04-26 14:02 ]

C

The HuKeLau.com website states that it has been there since 1965. Going there this weekend to the matinee show for the first time. Will be interesting to see what its like.

B

Hey seeker,

The HuKeLau is a pretty ok place. Decor is nice, the food is pretty good, but the drinks suuuuuuck.

I've been a few times in the past year, the last was the Valentines Day show, with a bunch of other TC'ers.

Cruise on over to the events page, and find the New England Tikiphiles thread, and say HI. We try to get together about once a month at various locations. If you want to read through the enitre thread, you can read about some of the places we've hit....

If you just want the Huke stuff, bottom of this page pappy posted some vids of the floor show... http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?mode=viewtopic&topic=16548&forum=4&start=240

Welcome aboard & dont be a stranger.

Six of us "New England Tikiphiles" went to Hukelau on Valentines Day and had a good time!

Some comments, reviews, and a few pics, can be found on the "New England Tikiphile" Thread. (around page 17 or 18)

http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?mode=viewtopic&topic=16548&forum=4&start=240

Bargoyle, JINX! :)

You beat me!

I was the one guy who liked the drinks, and I really loved the coconut chicken appetizers!

WOW, I completely forgot about Pappy's videos! In retrospect, they make that show look better than I remembered it!

[ Edited by: The Granite Tiki 2006-04-24 14:38 ]

Did you say cheesy animatronic alligator?

Sounds kinda.....bizarrely intriguing!

The large alligator is still there when you first walk in to the restaruant.

but it was not working....

The HuKeLau is doing a renovation this year after Mothers Day 2007 , so alot of stuff will probably go ...

As i stated i did ask about Tikis and he said there would be more Tikis...

They may want to update the restaurant and hopefully they will take a lesson from the Mai Kai Restaurant...

any one have any updates on the HuKeLau renovation?

R

We were visiting there on August 10, 2007 - and can offer this info up: when you come in, the area to the right of the front door (is it a gift shop?) is completely closed, under renovation. This was our first visit, so we could not compare to what it normally would be like. Our server gave us some info when she saw how into it we were. Did not see the alligator.

The dining area to the back right where the buffet section seems to be all redone, and was only finished just recently. There's an interesting ceiling treatment in there that is a gigantic improvement from the room in which the show is held. There are bamboo-framed booths back there.

Essentially they're doing a renovation of the whole place. Nothing seems to have been done to the big room where the show is held yet. I must say that the drop-in ceiling in there does take one out of the feeling of being lost in paradise to some extent. The bar area does have some classic lamp fixtures, although it was going to be used for karaoke later that night.

There's a Dynasty mug you can keep for ordering the namesake cocktail - and it comes with the words HU KE LAU molded right into the mug. Drinks were okay.

We had a good time, although I'm hoping to go back once it's all done. The unusual thing about the show is that it's quite long - nearly an hour. By the time it was over, we'd even thanked the servers three times! The other thing about it is that it clears out as soon as the show is over, almost. So we arrived at 7pm and were well on our way by 9:30. It doesn't seem like folks hang about in the atmosphere, drinking and talking like say at the Mai Kai.

Overall, though, I'd recommend it as worth trying along the 90-minute principle outlined above. Also, there are several hotels nearby should you need a place to stay.

Cheers,
Rupe

Well I finally got back to the HuKelau for my birthay on Thursday Night April 3rd.

The parking lot was PACKED TO THE RAFTERS! We panicked at first, but there parties that night using other rooms.

So we finally found a parking space and we entered through the front.

Vestibule looks about the same, but the dining area we sat in last year has changed completely!

It's gorgeous, and very retro looking.... with these faux stone walls, they are super! lovely lighting like the 1960's....

nice flooring, everything beautiful... huge tikis adorn the top between seating, there are several nice aquariums with tropical fish.... kinda looks like the mai kai!~ when we told the owner later, he said "no, that's old school" , but it will remind you of that~~ nice ceilings with hawaiian like trans-lights, really lovely, they must have spent some money~~
We ordered a Pu-Pu platter for $18.95 and it was a generous amount of food, we also ordered a side order of vegetable fried rice, and had that spiked punch in those great ceramic tiki mugs~ Yum~~~
Nice music played, it was quiet in that dining area... there is no more all you can eat buffet, that is gone.... but they do have an area where you can create your own stir fry, and i think that they have sushi too.
anyway, it was a nice evening and i want to go back again! The food is great there!

Yeah, the place would be the jewel in the crown around here if they'd put liquor in the drinks. Not merely weak, I think some are actually alcohol-free esp. if it's your second drink.

BK

I'm with Pappy! I'm a light weight & I could've had 16 of those things & still walked a straight line!

Not to pile on but they're not on the Northeast Tiki Tour this year--guess why!

I just went to the Hu Ke Lau for the first time for my birthday this past Saturday night. I really enjoyed it and everyone that came with us liked it as well. The drinks were most definitely watered down like others have said but the food was really good. We went for the Hawaiian show and it was a lot of fun (my sister got pulled up on stage and now has said she's no longer going out with me anymore). I'm planning to go back to just go for dinner (no show) to see what the other half of the place is like. I've been wondering if maybe the drinks were watered down for the show crowd? Eh...it was still a good time and I'm looking forward to going back.

--> jess

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