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Name:The Plantation Tahitian Room
Type:restaurant
Street:7th St. & Blackhawk Rd.
City:Moline
State:IL
Zip:
country:USA
Phone:
Status:defunct

Description:
I picked this card up this weekend. A little pre-tiki perhaps but interesting. The story involves a millionaire a mansion and a murder and to top it off a ghost. Great classic stuff. The link below tells the story.

http://www.qconline.com/progress98/places/237.htm

[ Edited by: uncle trav 2010-06-02 11:53 ]

Great find. What strikes me as so poignant with these Millionaire mansions and their family stories is that the wealth that could build and sustain such a castle was often so brief that it lasted only for one or two generations. I always theorize that once such a thing was attained, the drive to continue in that vein was lost to the next generation.

Trav,

Nice link to the story on the Plantation in Moline. I got that post card a long time ago and never really researched the place. Murder and Ghosts... cool!

I have seen a few menus from the Plantation and the Tahitian Room on the web but did not get them. I grabbed a few images.

DC

I picked up a postcard showing a topless Tahitian Maiden that came from the Tahitian Room at the Plantation. I remember seeing something in the past that this was a painting on display at the restaurant.

I found this little story on web that confirms the nude was on the wall at the Tahitian Room.

"Putting on the dog, we’d find our way to Moline’s Plantation. Always, “The Plant,” the absolute “in” place. Lovers cooed in little grass huts while Sinclair Mills leaned into the keys to sing “House of Blue Lights.” Women blushed, but guys couldn't’t keep their eyes off the screen of a bare-bosomed Tahitian maiden."

DC

On 2011-01-18 12:44, Dustycajun wrote:
I picked up a postcard showing a topless Tahitian Maiden that came from the Tahitian Room at the Plantation. I remember seeing something in the past that this was a painting on display at the restaurant.

I found this little story on web that confirms the nude was on the wall at the Tahitian Room.

"Putting on the dog, we’d find our way to Moline’s Plantation. Always, “The Plant,” the absolute “in” place. Lovers cooed in little grass huts while Sinclair Mills leaned into the keys to sing “House of Blue Lights.” Women blushed, but guys couldn't’t keep their eyes off the screen of a bare-bosomed Tahitian maiden."

The picture of the nude was a backlight transparency and was there until the restaurant closed after owner Nick Cherikos was murdered in a robbery scheme by an employee. I ate many dinners at that restaurant in my youth and early adulthood. Sinclair Mills was great on the piano, and after he left Moline, was in Chicago, at a place on Walton, off Michigan where I saw him play as well.
DC

Hey everyone. It's funny what you find while searching the internet.

Stanley Wiedner was my father. I would love to know where the menus can be acquired especially the one with my dad's signature.

I was born in 1949 and remember the plantation and the Tahitian Room. I was the one that was eating all the bananas that would be hang from the ceiling in bunches.

The photo above shows my mother "Ellen Rita" left and "Stanley" right and with them is the background at Dee Cross(left)and her daughter Jean (right)from Dubuque, Iowa.

Later I remember my mother telling me that the bookkeeper Nick Cherikos later stole the restaurant out from under my dad. Stanley Wiedner died in 1967 in Tucson, Arizona. My mother "Ellen Rita" passed away in 1977 in Los Angeles.

Rick, all these kind of paper ephemera like vintage menus, postcards and photo folders are usually acquired on E-bay. There also are some vintage paper collector shows on weekends in larger cities, usually billed as postcard collector shows. Sometimes there are collectors clubs, like for matchbooks, or swizzle sticks, that you can join and trade in.

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2013-04-03 07:03 ]

A friend of mine sent me this excellent interior photo of the Tahitian Room at the Plantation...
I would guess it's 40's/50's? Definitely appears to be much later than the typical postcards and other ephemera that sometimes turn up from here...

Check out those tapa cloth patterned table tops!!

Not entirely sure how long the Tahitian Room was there... I grew up in the Quad Cities, and my
parents remember going to the Plantation in the late 60's/early 70's. The entire place wasn't
tropical-themed, just the Tahitian room. The mansion is still there... sadly I think there's a bank in the building now. When I was a kid, it had become Velie's... a nice restaurant, but in a bland-ish 80's way.

Not Tiki, but definitely in the same classic nightlife spirit, was Marando's Supper Club, formerly The Tropics, in nearby Milan, IL (where my folks currently live.) Classic mid-century entertainment was the norm there - Guy Lambardo, Jimmy Dorsey, Clyde McCoy... you get the idea - as well as a hidden gambling room. Decor was more tropical South Pacific/Cuban night club than Tiki; My parents fondly remember going to Marando's with my grandparents, adjoining to the delightfully named (but sadly, also not Tiki, according to my parents) Tamboo Tavern down the road. You can see some fun stuff from Marando's here:
http://www.marandosrestaurant.com/

The Quad Cities was not an especially exciting place when I grew up there in the 80's/90's, so it's really quite cool to see some things turn up from these fantastic classic places I've heard my parents talk about my whole life. Sadly, there seems to be little to no information or photographic evidence of them floating around on the internets...

You don't know what you got 'til it's gone, I guess..

--Pete

M

Just scored this great Maraca Rum Ba Cup from the Plantation. Has noisemakers in each maraca.

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