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The Tiki Bar (i know, it needs a better name...)

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I wish i had known about Tiki Central long ago. The info and the culture on this site are amazing, and the tiki bars on this forum are incredible! Here is the bar i've built over the last few years. I don't have many early photos because i had no idea i would take it as far as i have, but tiki-life is hard to keep on the 'hobby' level without evolving into obsession.
The bar is built on a raised patio that is half covered with a roof. Because i am only renting the house i had to build a separate frame to extend the roof over the rest of the patio. There are only about a dozen holes made in the exterior stucco walls to support a shelf and to hang the bamboo wall coverings and lights. I dread the day it happens, but this bar can be moved when the time comes.
I've tried to keep the place as 'natural' as possible. most of the lighting is concealed. no plastic, no TV, no clocks. there is a laser beam / smoke machine behind the bar, but they are 'mystically powered'. I was going for a shipwrecked theme of sorts.
the inspiration for the bar came from my times at The Kahiki, and from the lone Kahiki mug that i dug out of a box as i was moving my ex-wife out of the house. I don't have a large mug collection, but its growing slowly.
some early photos:

a rainy grand-opening, back in 2004.

here are some recent pix:

the Ivy on the "rain wall' has grown to overtake most of the roof and encircles the bar. i thought of re-naming the place Lumi La'au hihi (The Vine Room), but i can barely pronounce that when sober...

the shelves are made of recycled Teak taken from a 50 year old deck (once owned by Gerald Ford). the interior lighting of the bottles and shot glasses is concealed so theres no direct view of any light bulbs to blind you.

not a lot of tiki mugs yet, but growing. we drink a lot of shots here.

i used the same recycled Teak to frame the stucco seatwall, trying to look like an old boat deck. also turned some arbutus trunks and a redwood plank into that exterior bench and shelf.

some artifacts of the shipwreck.

this is Teek, the guardian of the bar. he's also made from the same recycled teak decking. he's the first carving i completed, and actually functions as a marionette. arms and legs are articulating, head swivels and nods. I'd never made anything like this before, but i was 'inspired' by a woman (and a lot of Rum).

the back of the bar erupts with smoke and there's a laser in there somewhere. its hard to photograph and is probably my next task to upgrade.

night pic, my steady hand...

i've carved some fun toys out of 'feather rock', like this volcanic drink warmer. its not just for brandy, actually, hot absinthe is quite good (and by the time you've even considered drinking that, moderation is no longer in the vocabulary).

i'd love to hear any comments or critiques. there's a ton i could learn from you all.
i know the place could use a better name, but without knowing about all the amazing home bars on this forum i thought The Tiki Bar might not have been taken!
I'm getting a lot of inspiration from everyone else's pictures, so expecting a summers worth of changes to keep this place evolving.

Be Well,


I LOVE the simplicity of the structure. Very clean lines. This is a great example of making a tiki environment out of not much (an outdoor patio). ZAZZ !

Great job! Looks like a really cool bar/outpost with all the wild growth covering the outside of it. Beautiful at night too.
You definitely already knew what you were doing before you found Tiki Central. Welcome to the site! :)


Welcome to TC! Love your space! Cool dog too!


[ Edited by: WestADad 2010-05-05 05:33 ]


Nice job, man! Lots of cool visual elements in there. I would like to see more shots/info of your volcano warmer. Enjoy!

A Tiki Marionette!!! I love that! and the drink warmer!!!

Cool ingenuity. Place looks great. Finding a name should be easy with the whole shipwreck theme.

I wonder how many home Tiki Bars are direct outgrowths of a woman moving out! Mine started out that way too!

I love your bar, it looks very comfortable.


I like how it has evolved. Allowing the Ivy to surround your bar looks great and gives it a natural flavor, like being one with nature. The lighting at night sets the mood. I need to capture that for my bar. If you make more changes, as we all do, please keep the pictures coming.

GROG posted on Wed, May 5, 2010 9:53 AM

Nice tiki bar. GROG like.


Very simple, Very cool!!

Bar looks great man! It looks like you've got an awesome layout to start with, which must have made the project that much more enticing. Now that you've found TC, I'm sure there'll be many, many additions in the future. Good luck!

Excellent! I love your necklace.

Faz, with that necklace you could be the FlavorFlav of Tikidom :)

Welcome to TC, great looking space. Definite probable cause for a shipwreck inspired name: assorted flotsam & jetsam, recycled materials, jungle overgrowth. Hmm, I like that word "flotsam", maybe it would fit in a name?


Good God its amazing! You may have to buy the house in order to keep the bar intact.

Question: How did you anchor the poles into the wall? The ones that support the thatch roof?


Love the way it looks after dark. Instead of Brandy you should heat up a good tequila like Chinaco or Abondonado. Goes down smooth.


this is awesome! Thanks to everyone for the kind words. Sharing the bar is the best part of having it!
I'm newly inspired, so more changes will be coming this summer. I'll have to work on my camera skills as well. the lighting in the bar at night is one of my favorite elements, but tricky to capture the mood on film.

Ashman, the drink volcano is made of carved 'Feather Rock'. that stone cuts like butter. i use either a dremel with a cutting wheel, or a drill with a rasp bit. its hollowed in the center and covers a can of cooking fuel. It took a few tries to cut the proper angle on the lip that holds the glass. too high and it doesn't work, too low and it overheats and breaks the glass. it works best by rolling the glass back and forth in the grooved wood to heat the glass more evenly.
We've cooked just about everything behind the bar. Rum, Tequila, Bourbon, Barenjager, Ouzo, whatever. it all seems a little better with a bit of heat. Really, though, the best is the Hangar One Absinthe. heat it up til it just starts to steam a bit, hold the glass 2 or 3 inches above your lips and pour about a half-ounce shot right onto your tongue. you wont even need to swallow, it just absorbs right into your body. as you may have guessed this should be and probably will be your final drink of the night! even if you have another drink, you won't be tasting it anyway!

JackLord, i really wanted those timbers to look like they were jutting out of the roof, so thank you for the question! The thatch roof hides the view of the 2x4 framing that is above the timbers. the two side beams are bolted to the posts, but the center one is bolted to a 2x4 above the thatch. the bolt is concealed with rope so the beam looks like it tied to something, but its hidden from view.
the thatch is just a 6' bamboo screen, but when you double those things up they hide a lot more and they create amazing shadows and tricks of light.

i was busy in the yard this weekend, started more than i finished, so more developments and pictures to follow....


That bar is quite the work of art. Are you a carpenter by trade? I love the whole thing but especialy the guardian.

Sicen it uses so much teak wood why not call it the Teaky Bar?


i had a great weekend playing with The Tiki Bar. no grand changes, but a lot of spring cleaning and tinkering. i took my time and got to enjoy to enjoy a lot of the finer details of this place. theres been a lot of happy accidents throughout the evolution of the bar, and many of those have become my favorite elements. I took some pix too, and thought i'd share.

heres a view from the yard looking into the bar. the tiki theme has carried out to consume the whole backyard. i've got a new toy coming in next week, so i'll get pix of the yard up soon.
That cheap reed fencing that i used to thatch the roof was one the best discoveries i've made. I used it because it was so cheap and easy, but from the inside of the bar i'll show why i like it.

the roof is that 6' tall reed fencing sold at home depot and garden stores. i initially just had a single layer but wanted a bit more concealment of the structure supporting the beams. i added another layer so that when looking up, the view would be improved . the 2nd layer is what creates the cool shadow pattern on the floor and walls, so its really improved the view of the whole place.

the lighting changes as the day goes by, highlighting different areas at different times.

in the afternoon it shines through the rain wall and lights up the shipwreck artifacts. the sunset picture high on the wall finally gets the late afternoon sun. as the sun sets behind the neighbors roof, the sunset pic get the last rays of light as well.

i hadnt enjoyed that little detail for a while because the Ivy had overgrown the whole roof. i've removed over half of it, and had some fun winding the ivy back around where i wanted it. I'll admit to being pretty lucky having a climate where the bar can be outdoors year round.
I've seen that same reed fencing used in many other bars on this site and wonder if anyone else has tried doubling it up and using it for that effect.
Its just getting dark now, so i'm gonna take some night pix to show some other lighting tricks i've found.
be well!


Thanks Wayfarer, i'd considered the Teaky Bar, or Teek's Bar, or Teek's Teak Tiki Bar.
Teek is the name of the marionette/ guardian of the bar, so that just make sense.
hard part is getting anyone who comes over to bother calling it anything but The Tiki Bar. thinking i'll need to carve a little sign to make it official.


very cool. love the viney look from the interior space. And the shipwreck parts! I just want to come sit and watch you pour cocktails.

I like the reed fence as a roof. I'll have to do that when I get a bar started. (Hopefully by next month)


I'm hoping for some advice here. I've got a new toy to play with over the long weekend. it may be a lot of work, but the reward should be worth it. Circumstances are keeping me at home over the holiday, but i can always escape to miles and decades away just by walking out my back door!
I have friends who don't believe this hammock can be saved, so of course i'll need to prove them wrong. now i just need to figure out how...

the bamboo posts and poles have a lot of sun damage and old stain on them. I'm hoping theres a product to clean off the stain and something that might brighten the wood back to its original color? If they cant be restored, then i'd settle for re-staining them. i've never succeeded in staining bamboo without it quickly fading in the sun. is there a protectant that can help the color last in the sun?
The rattan of the hammock itself has the same old stain, but so many surfaces and hard-to-reach areas that sanding or even wiping any chemical on it seems impossible. i'd guess re-staining is the only option. the old stain can be rubbed off pretty easily though. coating with new stain seems like it would rub off just as easily and ruin your clothing. (with some of my friends, clothing is not optional...)
is there a sprayable product that can coat the hammock and all the hard-to-reach areas?

I'll have to replace the string that holds the edges of the hammock together. not sure if this should be done after staining, or if they should be coated together? the whole thing will flex a lot while using it, so more challenges keep coming to mind.
I've salvaged a few other types of wood before, but this is my first attempt with bamboo. any help would be greatly appreciated and rewarded (one hammock ride and beverage per posting).

oh, i also dropped a few bills at Oceanic Arts over the weekend, so thanks to TikiFarm i now have to build another shelf! and thanks to Sir Pupu Pants and Taboo Dan and all you other master craftsmen out there i'm now insired to upgrade a few areas i had considered 'done' before. thanks to everyone who keeps raising the bar on this website!!
be well, Faztiki


Very nice Tiki Bar. I especially like the drink warmer. I need to build myself one of those.


The grass is always greener on the other side...
i've always enjoyed the best seat in the house at my bar, the one behind the bar mixing drinks and looking out upon the merry faces. Since upgrading my wireless connection i'm finding myself out there at all times of day and sitting at the counter looking INTO the bar. well, this new view has just created ten more projects for me.
heres some pix of the part i'm most excited about.
first, heres the problem. i painted the ceiling as a temp fix years ago and then forgot how ugly it is. I decided to screen the ceiling with the same reed fencing that is used throughout the bar.

heres the solution. since attaching reed fence to the ceiling could be done easily, i decided to go another route and spend days and days routering wooden beams to support the stuff.

I've been playing around with different finishes, but will likely skip the lacquer or staining. i love the wire-brush on burnt wood finish. redwood grain really stands out.

the fun parts...

the light rope inside is held in place in the groove, but that also hides the rope itself from view, so its only indirect light that is visible. this is still too bright for my liking so i'm switching to a rope with the 'chase' feature, where the bulbs flicker on and off so only half are lit at any time, and without seeing the bulbs i'm hoping the whole thing appears to flicker rather than chase in a pattern.

i wouldn't have thought up this project without the motivation from other TC'ers. here's my 'shout out' to my favorite bar on this site so far. anyone recognize this pattern? I'll pour a Pirate's Torch for the first ten guesses.

there is a wider third beam for the center of the ceiling. just stenciled the design tonight. I'm learning how to carve this stuff as i go so it may be weeks before the ceiling is done. hopefully i'll be posting pix of a finished project some day soon...

be well,

Hey Faz, great, great job. Genius way to incorporate the lighting. No doubt your place is going to be a creative inspiration to others.
The process really is at least half the fun, isn't it?
Have a great weekend!
John (Mr. Pupu Pants)


Damn faztiki, those lighted beams look great!


Hey Faztiki, Just like you said you have been inspired by some of the people on here, well, you too are doing alot of inspiring!!
Great job on your place!! it looks awesome and I am jealous of your outdoor space! I am hoping to have my Lounge done soon but until then I will drool over yours!

Love your new lighted beams!! What a cool idea! They are great and you are doing a very good job with your routing and woodworking!!
Keep it coming and many Mahalo's to you!!



well, 9:00 and its too late to make any more noise out in the workshop, but i'm too excited about the way the latest project is coming together to quit thinking about it. so... pictures!
i guess just a couple will show what i've done tonight. I'm still working on the ceiling of the bar. these beams will support the thatch. the two finished beams at the outside, the wider one in the center. the design for that center beam underwent a half-dozen changes from drawing board to carving. i burned through a whole eraser because i just couldnt decide until sketching each design onto the beam. i think i've found the right design, though, only because it went from vision to drawing to carved in just a day and a half.

also received the 'chasing light ropes' with a controller that can vary the flashing of the lights and the intensity, even able to make it flash to music or voices. noveltylights.com has a pretty good deal on them, and cuts them to whatever length you want.

all thats left to do is a bit more router work, staining, burning and scraping, finishing, attach the lights, cut the thatch, hang the thing up, and then put the whole bar back together! ummm, thats actually a lot of work, but i'm pushing it hard this weekend. i better recruit some help. (although that usually just leads to drinks and planning ten new projects...)

thanks to everyone for the encouragement,
be well, Faztiki

I love the lighted beam idea. Can't wait to seem them in place!

Very kewl...you did a great job. Shout out to the hound too, bet he loves a good Tiki party!!! Nice carving for the lights.

I've always loved trying to hide light sources in unique ways, there is something very atmospheric about indirect illumination. I never thought of hiding the light in the ceiling beams, That is some brilliant work.

Good looking bar, it looks like a fun place to hang out.

For the hammock, you might try blasting it with a pressure washer, it should get the flaky stuff out of the hard to reach areas. Of course you'll want to test it on a concealed area first. Then once it dries you could hit it with compressed air to blow more of the dust and flakes out.

Then stain it and spray on some polyurethane and it should look great!

I used the same reed fencing on the Narrow Escape, and after a couple of years of weather it's looking pretty ratty. It's fine where it doesn't get direct sun and rain but on top of the roof it's decaying quickly. Also, the paper wasps love to chew the fibers for their nests, and I'm pretty sure there are several nests in the rafters...yikes.

Nice !


Mele Kalikimaka!


Hey TC'ers, thanks for the great feedback! Hope everyone has a happy new year.
I finally finished the overhead beams and thatch. i couldnt be happier with the results. it was tough to photograph. unfortunately the still pictures dont show how the 'chasing' light strands create a flickering effect as if the inside of the beams are on fire! i installed a controller for the lights that can adjust the rate of the flickering and the brightness, so the effect can be either very subtle or a flashy show or anywhere in between.

heres some night shots of the bar as well. the smoke effect is a lot of fun. the smoke pours out from behind both the middle and the upper shelves behind the bottles. half of the bar is covered under a solid roof so the smoke hangs overhead until it spills out above the barstools. theres a twirling laser light shining on the wall behind the bottles that gets a cool effect from the smoke as well.

I've got some repairs to do after a huge branch fell on top of the bar in a recent storm, but i guess i built the place well enough since its only some lighting that got knocked out. it could have been disastrous. I figured i owed the Tiki Gods for the good luck so i mixed some strong drinks and finally paid my dues to Tiki Central and became a grand member. i encourage everyone to donate before any bad luck pays a visit.
Here's to a great New Year!


Is it really almost Summer? must be, we already had our Annual Tiki de Mayo party. worked until the last minute pre-party on some changes to the yard and the bar. took a while cleaning up afterwards, but finally shot a daytime video of the whole yard:


more ideas brewing for this summer, and just got a whole load of rusty steel panels and weathered cedar palings. now what to do with those?


Dude - those red-lit beams are the sh!t - backstory please!

Simply Awesome! Well done!


who in their right mind would spend years building a tiki bar in a rental house? not me, i've never had a 'right mind'.
Until now... I just bought a house in the Santa Cruz mountains. so, it's time for the de-construction to begin!
I'm heading deep into the Redwood forest, and thinking a Sasquatch-themed-bar might fit better than palm trees, so the tiki bar is going into boxes for a while. I'd love it if some of the artifacts could carry on the good times, so if anyone in the SF or Monterrey Bay areas is interested in buying, trading, or just hauling away some of the goods just let me know. I'll get some recent pix of individual items posted as I disassemble ans decide what goes. I think i'll miss that giant bamboo hammock the most. that restored beautifully. I'll get pix up over the next few weeks. I'm out of the old house mid-january, so plenty of time to arrange pick-ups if anyone's interested. be well,

Dagg posted on Tue, Dec 11, 2012 10:15 AM

Seems a shame not to re-build... Such a nice space you have created. But congrats on your new home!


The links to your pics above aren't showing...any chance you can repost some of the photos of your finished beams and hammock?

[ Edited by: jimsflies 2012-12-12 04:34 ]

Have a friend who needs a bar...pm me info and price if you can. THANX


i finally got around to taking some pictures of the two big items i'd love to sell. it would be a shame to put these up in the garage.
the table and chairs are awesome. the chairs actually fold up. 6 chairs, but two need minor repairs. the rest are in great shape. no idea how old this thing is. its sturdy though.

the hammock was a wreck when i got it, but cleaned up well. i re-tied the whole thing and its strong and comfortable. i sewed a custom cushion for it as well. it rides very low so you can swing for a few minutes easily with a little push.

if anyone in the Bay area is interested in these let me know. I've got about $100 into each of them, so would be happy to get that back.
i also have a bunch of dried thatch i can give to anyone who can pick it up.
the bar itself and the shelving are going with me.
but what to do with those lighted beams?? i have about 100 hours of work into those. i can't imagine they would fit anyone else's space perfectly, but with a bit of work they could be altered. to sell them it would include the light ropes and the controller. if anyone is really interested i could figure out a price. probably a few hundred. i really would love to see those posted in someone elses home bar pix someday. theres more pix of those in my earlier posts.

best wishes to everyone on tiki central. i'll keep my eyes here for inspiration no matter what my next home bar may become...


heres a picture of the hammock.
fortunately i only have one of those tables to sell...

Faz thanks for sharing all the new pics. You have some realy neat things all around, hammock especially. Keep enjoying


ahhh tikicentral, its been a few years since I've visited, but feeling nostalgic tonight. I was digging into some boxes in the garage, found so many tiki memories all boxed up. its a shame. has me wanting to pull it all out and start building again! who knows, maybe a tiki bar in the redwood forest makes some kind of sense. maybe it doesn't have to.
great to see some familiar names still posting here. great to see tiki central alive and well. aloha!

Do it! The tiki gods are calling.....

I just looked at your pictures and your bar was great. I think it's time for a 2nd incarnation. If you do, be sure to post pics!


so long ago since ive posted here. so long since ive had my tiki bar heaven.I'm just posting now to keep the memory of my bar alive.I wish all the photos would display but i guess theyve been lost forever. i failed to back up a computer pre-cloud days and have lost all the old pix.
so glad to have this site and facebook to archive the photos.
so life has been good the past few years. i moved to the santa cruz mountains, surrounded by redwoods without a neighbor in site. i had built that beautiful tiki bar in a rental house, knowing it was temporary, but that added a sense of excitement for me, knowing it wouldn't last forever. its like the opposite of procrastination, amd i recommend it. put some deadlines on your bucket-list. get going and get that shit done!
the memories are priceless though. and looking back is worthwhile to remember what is possible.
my new house is my home. forever, this place is mine and now my improvements are much more involved and i'm building it to last. tiki style does not fit in here at all though, so my garage is full of the old relics. i do have a table to give, with chairs. see earlier photos if you are interested. i'll give it for free to a good home. needs some clean-up and repair though. but it is an amazing piece of art.
best wishes to everyone from past posts. i hope your home bars have grown and your lives have been richer for it!
oh yeah, and the lighted beams are available to the right home. id rather they light up someone elses life than sit in storage any longer. they really are cool!

Congrats on the new home Faz. Don't let the Tiki torch burn completely out, You may need an escape from all that redwood some day :wink:

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