Welcome to the Tiki Central 2.0 Beta. Read the announcement
Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

Club Samoa, New York, NY (restaurant)

Pages: 1 9 replies

Name:Club Samoa
Street:62 West 52nd Street
City:New York

Picked up a postcard from Henry Finks Club Samoa, a very cool looking pre-Tiki place located on 52nd Street in New York.

Nice tapa and bamboo at the bar

Also found a matchbook on the web.


There is an ad somewhere with Lilly St. Cyr performing there....must find it.

On 2010-06-23 12:57, bigbrotiki wrote:
There is an ad somewhere with Lilly St. Cyr performing there....must find it.

I'd like to see that, did Lilly really perform form the 40's to the 70's?


Opps double

[ Edited by: Dustycajun 2010-06-23 21:12 ]

Nice, this place is classic pre tiki. We need to have a local NY urban archaeologist search for artifacts, or even just the building. The exact address is not showing in any listing. Any volunteers?

Here is another matchbook from the web with the same image. The picture is a little better.

This other image is also a matchbook I think. It says Club Samoa N.Y.C. in small letters at the bottom. I'm puzzled as to why there is no other picture or identifying info on this. Also no strike area for matches.

you can surely see it in this picture of 52nd street, NYC, 1948

according to wiki, it later became a strip club. The whole area has changed, so I doubt there is any remnant. In fact, the street view of that address looks like a parking garage or maybe the bank.


"yer jus not tuned into the series of tubes yet, let it soak in".

[ Edited by: Lucas Vigor 2012-11-15 10:16 ]


I love these old tropical joints and 52nd St.(swing alley) in nyc in the late '40's, man I'd love to have been there! Everyone from Django Reinhardt to Charlie Parker was there!

Also on the alley in the late '40's was Lilly St. Cyr doing a reverse strip (starting nude in a bathtub ending up clothed).

But the Club Samoa also also reached out to prurient interest as swing alley degraded.

With the post war baby boom the night out at a club for a tropic escape or an evening of hot jazz was replaced by an evening in with the kids and TV, killing an era.

aloha, tikicoma

p.s. I don't think this one was the hippies fault. :P

Researching the film short "Samoa" by Disney, I ran into this tiny piece of film data in IMDB "52nd Street (1937) AKA Samoa" Uwhaat? IMBD did not explain the connection. What does a famous NYC street have in common with an island in the middle of the Pacific? With little research I tied the relationship together with Club Samoa, one of the famous joints of that era on that street. And I knew this research would lead me eventually to TIKI CENTRAL so here I write.

I am really interested in pre-tiki locations and dates, so I was trying to figure out when Club Samoa opened. The earliest recorded date was 1940 and closed by 1946 by a NY Times article but this film was shot in the late 1936 or early 1937 and apparently the club was already established at that time. For such an established joint it must of opened longer than 6 years. Anybody have better dates? We know it closed as a strip joint and earlier it was a burlesque joint which puts it in the 40s but was it ever a Jazz club in the 30s or a speakeasy in the 20s when 52nd street was permitted to go commercial?

P.S. I got to see this film.

[ Edited by: creativenative 2018-02-08 01:15 ]


Closed by 1946? That's odd the New Yorker cover is from 1948 and the color photo above it is also dated from '48 and the neon is lit. I'll see if I can find a date for the 2 I posted with the stripper.


I've found references in Billboard for it being open into the early 950's and to '55 in other articles. 1940 is the earliest date I found for Club Samoa but it was referring to when it was a 52nd street jazz club... that may be where the confusion lies in the references to its jazz era which ended in the mid 40's to be replaced by the strippers.

Pages: 1 9 replies