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Name:Ports o Call
Type:restaurant
Street:Berth 76
City:San Pedro
State:CA
Zip:
country:USA
Phone:
Status:operational

Description:
The Ports o Call restaurant is located at Berth 76 in the Port of Los Angeles at San Pedro. I have several old postcards showing the restaurant building and grounds.

Here is the great A-frame building and the Sampan in the lagoon that surrounded the front of the restaurant.

Here is another postcard of the restaurant and lagoon

Looks like the used rick-shaws to transport guests like the Islander

The entrance to the restaurant, more great boat and lagoon scenes.

This postcard gives you an idea on the size of the restaurant and the surrounding lagoon and gardens.

A close up.

Here is a close up of the Ports o Call sign

The sign font was used on the matchbook

which also had a cool map and a Chinese Junk

The Ports o Call was owned by a restaurant chain that also operated The Reef in Long Beach, the Pieces of Eight in Marina Del Rey, and The Castaway in Burbank. Polynesiac posted this clip from a Ports o Call menu that listed the other sister locations.

Bigbro posted these Paul Page albums that were dedicated to each of the restaurants

as well as this menu cover.

Here are a few photos of the current restaurant.

I have never seen a photo of the inside of the restaurant, sure would be nice to find one for this thread.

DC

The glory of the Ports O'Call is gone. The interior now looks pretty much like a Marie Calendars. The only remnant of the old restaurant are these vintage beachcomber lamps in one room:

I took these pictures back in 2004, but the lamps were still there last year when I checked.

Amazing to see the size of the tropical landscaping that was there once! It's still nice to sit on the deck and see the big ships go by, but ever since "The Sea" store is gone, I don't come down there that often.

Sabu,

Thanks for the pictures of the lamps, at least something is left. Be nice to see what the original restaurant looked like (or any of the other ones in the chain for that matter).

Bigbro,

Is the Sea Store closing you are referring to the Tally Ho ship's salvage that you posted these pics for??

I have wanted to go there ever since I saw these .... is it too late?

DC

No, that's still there. "The Sea" was a giant warehouse store full of nautical items, beachcomber decor and every type of sea shell under the sky. They had a full sized whale hanging from the rafters. They were sort of the nautical version of Oceanic Arts. They took over some of Danny Balsz's Tikis when he began selling them off (like the famed skull-holder Tiki). They closed not too long ago, like 5 years? I would post pics if I could but I ain't home. There is some more info on TC, but I can't find it via Search. Maybe Sabu can elaborate.

Hey, I dug up two in my lap top :) :

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2010-03-16 00:11 ]

The sea closed back in the '90's
Here's a link to a posting by Bigbro with a few pics of the sea:
http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=23887&forum=1&vpost=304091&hilite=The%20Sea%20San%20pedro

PS - when they closed they donated the whale skeleton to the Cabrillo Aquarium and we have pieces out for touch

Last I heard, Tally-Ho is closing (Alan said he wanted to close by Dec. 2009) but he's still open for now. Before he decided to close (retire) he would pretty much only rent stuff. Now he'll sell his antiques and nautical flotsam, but not at bargain prices yet.

I'll post my pics of Port o call later tonight after work.

This is a picture of Ports O' Call sometime in 1961. It's a great shot that really shows how the restaurant was completed before the surrounding whalers village and was a tropical oasis surrounded by industrialization and the powerhouse that is the Port of Los Angeles:

A little off topic, but this is an artist interpretation of the expansion of the Port's O' Call restaurant into Port's O' Call Village (a replica of an east coast whaling village) from the parent corporation that owned the restaurant in 1961. It shows how the restaurant will fit into the village:

The construction of Ports O' Call Village in the early '60's:

Port's O' Call restaurant view from the water:

The Blue Cover Menu:

Inside (With map of location and location of other restaurant-the reef- owned by the parent company):

Back Page:

"Orange" Menu cover:

Related to "The Reef" which has it's own thread by Sabu over here:
http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=32146&forum=2&hilite=the%20reef

And Info about the parent company and other restaurants by bigbro here:
http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=17991&forum=11&vpost=305460

I still haven't come across any interior pictures of the restaurant. I've been interviewing our volunteers at the aquarium, but haven't struck gold yet. They've all been there, but haven't produced any pictures of the interior...yet.



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

edited to change date of first photo

[ Edited by: polynesiac 2012-02-23 19:53 ]

awesome.

Thanks much, Polynesiac! Great material and link tracking. Love that "Tropical Island" air shot, I had no idea it originally sat there all by itself like that.

Polynesiac,

Some great stuff, thanks for posting all of that.

I picked up another postcard showing the entrance sign and a better view of the large ship's mast in the background.

DC

Just got another postcard showing the lush grounds of the Ports o Call

and a better view of the signature sign.

The back of the card - sounds nice.

DC

I scored one of the Blue menus from the Port's o Call.

The drink list includes a drink named after each of the four restaurants in the chain.

Reef Bowl

Castaway

Pieces o Eight

and Port's o Call.

I am assuming that each of the restaurants offered these reciprocal drinks.

DC

...of which one of them was recently served at the Tonga Hut, while the Paul Page song of the same name was being played:

http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=36432&forum=17&vpost=529446

I didn't know that ALL FOUR restaurants had not only their own songs, but also their own drinks! Someone should throw a Paul Page listening and drinking party!

On 2010-11-03 12:47, bigbrotiki wrote:
I didn't know that ALL FOUR restaurants had not only their own songs, but also their own drinks! Someone should throw a Paul Page listening and drinking party!

BigBro,

I like the way your thinking here, four songs with four drinks. So, who's going to set this party up? I'm in!

DC

CJ

has anyone been to their brunch? I guess you get a free boat cruise with purchase

Spotted this fan style menu that was used for drinks at all four restaurants (on ebay).

DC

Another view of the Ports O' Call from the water. This one from the Feb 1963 issue of "American Yachtsman"

Just scored this great postcard from the Ports o Call restaurant in San Pedro. It is a double oversized postcard that also features the The Reef restaurant in Long Beach.

The back of the card provides a description of each photo.

Some close ups.

An exterior photo of the entrance with the lake. You can see a rickshaw standing at wait. Wonder if they borrowed that idea from the Islander restaurant in LA?

The Albatross Bar and Cocktail Lounge that looks like an old ship (borrowed from Steven Crane's Kon Tiki Ports White Cloud).

The Tahitian dining room.

Love those dark Tikis.

Next, the Waikiki Ballroom.

The last photo is actually from the SS Princes ship that docked at Ports o Call and must have traveled to Long Beach as it is featured in The Reef card as well.


A rendering from the back of the card.

A map showing both Ports o Call and The Reef locations.

And finally the description on the back of the card.

I posted the other part of the card in The Reef thread.
http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=32146&forum=2&start=15&1717

Sweet score on this one!

DC

Jumbo Postcard luck is upon you, D.C.! :)

I wonder what happened to these guys...

They were clearly carved by Andres Bumatay, here the Royal Hawaiian Laguna Beach Tikis for comparison

Love the degree of his stretching the Tiki form to almost abstraction

C

I've been slowly going through and scanning my late mothers slides, photos and negatives, and came across this visit (one of a number) we made to Ports O' Call in September 1965 (at least that's the date on the Kodachrome slide).

I'm (Brent Walker) in the front with the nautical flag shirt. My brother Blair in in the stroller, grandpa Harry Walker's next to him, my dad Jack Walker is apparently pretending to be a tiki in the back, my mother Doris Walker took the shot. (Can't remember who the family is on the right, but they were friends of ours and look familiar.)

You can just see the top of the a-frame. Before anybody asks, this is the only shot (unfortunately), though there are a couple of photos of a kid marimba band elsewhere in Ports O' Call the same day.

Yes, Ports O Call in San Pedro (Peedro, as the locals say it) is a completely different place now. It's cool to see the pics of the place in its former glory.
I still like to drive around and see the sights in San Pedro. They have embraced their maritime history more than Long Beach has and as a history buff I appreciate what they've preserved, or at least not torn down.

DC-those pics of the interior of PoC are the first I have seen!! Fantastic!!! I can't believe how lame the inside is now in comparison. Thanks for the close ups of the images as well, I'm definitely doing a version of those tikis on the inside.

Found these in a bowl of matches at a little antiques shop in Colorado. Strange how these things travel. I bought them assuming from the name it was some sort of polynesian restaurant, glad to see my $1 gamble paid off.


T-shirts based on vintage tiki matchbooks: TikiTees

Immortalize your name for eternity by contributing to The Tikipedia!

[ Edited by: TikiTacky 2014-02-21 13:43 ]

[ Edited by: TikiTacky 2014-05-03 12:51 ]

http://www.sanpedrobeacon.com/2013/11/20/ports-ocall-redevelopment-plan-a-hit-with-residents/

There are plans to tear down all of Ports O Call Village and build something flashier. The leases for all of the businesses run out at the end of 2014. They picture something like the San Antonio Riverwalk, which has 90 percent chain stores and restaurants if you've never been. If San Pedro wants to attract money spending visitors they will have to make more changes than putting up new building's.

Sounds like they are trying to create a retail/dining/entertainment complex similar to The Pike in Long Beach, CA and we know how successful that is.

On 2014-02-22 14:29, King Bushwich the 33rd wrote:
Sounds like they are trying to create a retail/dining/entertainment complex similar to The Pike in Long Beach, CA and we know how successful that is.

I've never understood the desire of developers to build "New England fishing villages" on the West Coast. People don't want see fake NE here. We have our own distinct architecture.

Two thoughts:

  1. They build "fake New England-style fishing villages" out here on the east coast too in the theme parks.
  2. If they re-build Ports-o-Call somewhat like the Pike was, and if they do it well, then they might end up with something like the Kemah Waterfront on the Gulf Coast southeast of Houston. The Kemah Waterfront rocks and I think has been popular enough to keep growing since I was there a number of years ago.

Here's a circa 1970's picture of the Ports O' Call Restaurant.
The photograph is from the Materials Testing Laboratory Photograph Collection, Los Angeles Harbor Department Historical Archives. I bet that would be a cool photo archive to go through.
L.A. Waterfront originally posted it on Facebook.

I picked up this red version of the Ports o Call menu.

It is a luncheon menu so it does not list the Tiki drinks, it instead offers the "Old fashioned" lunch drinks of the day!

Now the really interesting thing about this menu are the restaurants listed on the back.

I have never heard of a Castway in Pomona or of the Rum Runner in the Port of Los Angeles. Some investigating to do on those locations.

DC

I was excited to find a reference to the Rum Runner located in the Port of Los Angeles. Could it be another hidden Tiki spot from the Specialty Restaurant chain. It was used as a set location for the 1972 Mod Squad episode entitled "I Am My Brothers Keeper".

I found a You Tube clip of the scene that was shot here Rum Runner

A bit disappointing, marginal 1970s nautical décor. And what about that waitress costume!

I read that the Rum Runner burned down in 1976.

Now, onto what about that Castaway in Pomona ....

DC

On 2014-05-05 11:17, Dustycajun wrote:
I was excited to find a reference to the Rum Runner located in the Port of Los Angeles. Could it be another hidden Tiki spot from the Specialty Restaurant chain. It was used as a set location for the 1972 Mod Squad episode entitled "I Am My Brothers Keeper".

I found a You Tube clip of the scene that was shot here Rum Runner

A bit disappointing, marginal 1970s nautical décor. And what about that waitress costume!

I read that the Rum Runner burned down in 1976.

Now, onto what about that Castaway in Pomona ....

DC

Aaaah! Missed that little credit. Cool scene! Note: Always yell at a suspect from 30 feet away so that even if he is on drugs, he still has time to make an escape :)

That interior looks like a set, to bad we didn't get to see more of the exterior

Another menu from the Ports o Call.

nice description of the rooms and services available.

The drinks.

and the food.

DC

Just wanted to say thanks Dusty for posting all that rare ephemera you hunt down!

Gotta love all that hand-drawn text and fonts! Nobody does that anymore: http://www.houseind.com/fonts/signpainter

On 2010-03-17 14:40, Polynesiac wrote:
The sea closed back in the '90's
Here's a link to a posting by Bigbro with a few pics of the sea:
http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=23887&forum=1&vpost=304091&hilite=The%20Sea%20San%20pedro

PS - when they closed they donated the whale skeleton to the Cabrillo Aquarium and we have pieces out for touch

Last I heard, Tally-Ho is closing (Alan said he wanted to close by Dec. 2009) but he's still open for now. Before he decided to close (retire) he would pretty much only rent stuff. Now he'll sell his antiques and nautical flotsam, but not at bargain prices yet.

I'll post my pics of Port o call later tonight after work.

I went to Tally Ho on Saturday and Allen still isn't selling anything for bargain prices. It was a lot of fun to look around and ask questions. He is a retired longshoreman and he spent a few evenings at Shanghai Red's. I bought some netting.

Not sure what location this came from so I'll post it in all three

On 2016-05-08 10:12, hang10tiki wrote:
Not sure what location this came from so I'll post it in all three

I remember someone gave one of these to me when I was a kid in the 1960's to put in my aquarium which I did. Sadly, the item is long lost. I lived in Long Beach, CA back then so it likely came from San Pedro's Ports O'Call. I do not remember the inscription on the stem.

And speaking of Ports O'Call, a makeover is coming

L.A. Times-$100-million makeover of Ports O' Call

Kool

Treasure Craft Ports O'Call


Worst sound ever, slurp of an empty tiki mug through my straw!!!

[ Edited by: hang10tiki 2017-05-22 08:10 ]

Beginning of the end for Ports O’ Call Village

Press Telegram:shop owners get vacate notices

O
Otto posted on Fri, Jul 7, 2017 12:52 PM

I thought I would add the article from the Press Telegram because links expire and die out but Tiki Central will live on forever
and on that note here is an older article about the redevelopment, aka demolition of history.
http://www.dailybreeze.com/government-and-politics/20160820/even-when-its-gone-ports-o-call-will-live-on-in-san-pedros-collective-psyche

Photo essay




This is what will replace the old Ports O' Call. There was another photo of the new development but who cares?

Mostly the story focused on local business so I left out a few paragraphs



So Oct 2 is last day for stores but restaurants can remain open. It would be fun if someone would organize a gathering at the Ports O' Call restaurant before Oct 2, 2017?


http://www.tikiaosis.com

[ Edited by: Otto 2017-07-07 12:53 ]

O
Otto posted on Fri, Jul 7, 2017 1:23 PM

On 2017-06-17 15:06, King Bushwich the 33rd wrote:
Beginning of the end for Ports O’ Call Village

Press Telegram:shop owners get vacate notices

Is anyone planning a meet up or one last gathering there before its demise?

Eviction notices for small shops in Port O'Call village is October 2, 2017. Some shop owners have tried to delay this date

Press Telegram:Ports O’ Call Village merchants vow court fight over looming evictions

Here are some postcards from it's past

The Port of Los Angeles is pressing forward to evict Ports O’ Call Restaurant

Daily Breeze: Ports O’ Call Restaurant eviction imminent?

March 20, 2018 at 5:30 PM - Save Ports O’ Call Restaurant Rally
Warner Grand Theatre
478 W 6th St, San Pedro, California 90731

Facebook: Save Ports O'Call Restaurant Rally

Petitions: Save Ports O'Call Restaurant

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