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Name:Bora Bora
Type:restaurant
Street:1040 Columbus Ave
City:San Francisco
State:CA
Zip:
country:USA
Phone:
Status:defunct

Description:
I grabbed these images of a matchbook from the Bora Bora restaurant located in San Francisco featuring a rather unique Tiki. I have not been able to find any other information on this one, so I thought I would post it and see if anybody has heard of it. Maybe Trad'r Bill can do some of his stellar research on this one.

DC

DC, you probably already noticed this, but 1040 Columbus Ave. was the one-time location of Skipper Kent's. (Thanks Ms. Bifcozz for pointing this out!) Neither I nor the bifcozz's know anything about the transformation... yet :)

S

Drink menu was just on Ebay. I know Robert Van Dorpe, first GM at the Mai-Kai, was involved with this project, but not a lot of detail beyond that. At this time he was very close with DtB and they worked together on many projects. Could Don have been involved here? I will try to find out.


Cover art by Herb Kane. Van Dorpe always got Hawaiian artists into his projects as much as possible. He was a huge patron of Herb and really helped cement his status.


The names are changed, but have similarities to DtB and TV drinks, not unlike every other place around.


At the bottom we have the Mai-Kai's Mariano Licudine recipe the "Derby Daiquiri", but right above it, the "Black Magic" renamed "Motu Magic"!

They always seem to have them drawn the same when they rip them off. The straws, swizzles, garnish, they tend to put them in the exact same place...

I bet this was a late 70s to 80s venture at the time when DtB was opening up in failed Tiki establishment locations.

It would be funny to find Don was involved and they ripped off the Mai-Kai who ripped off him!



Mai-Kai Memories Series Custom ceramic mugs!

[ Edited by: Swanky 2011-11-10 09:42 ]

Great menu! Though it seems to come from late in the game. But then again, when did businesses stop using letters in their phone numbers?
Wonder if that swizzle ever got made. Judging by the rarity of the menu, the place might not have been around for long.

S

On 2011-11-10 21:43, bigbrotiki wrote:
Great menu! Though it seems to come from late in the game. But then again, when did businesses stop using letters in their phone numbers?
Wonder if that swizzle ever got made. Judging by the rarity of the menu, the place might not have been around for long.

Sven, that's a good point I had missed. The drink prices! This is not a 1980s menu with those prices. It would point to something more like 1963 maybe, when BVD left the Mai-Kai. Did Steve Crane take over the Bora Bora space? The 57-ish Mai-Kai menu has the Black Magic at $2.75 and Derby Daiquiri at $1. Exactly the same as here!

I would also say mid to late 60s, now.

Gentlemen: I must be gettin' old, or why did it take me THIS LONG for my Tiki spidey senses to start tingling, and get the "click" of where I had seen this Tiki before !!!:

http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=41150&forum=1

So is the Bora Bora actually the "place up North" where this legendary "bad luck" Tiki came from? If it actually stood outside the old Skipper Kent's on Columbus Avenue, why have no photos of it surfaced so far? Was its existence there so short?
MORE questions! :)

OGR

As far a the phone number thing, a few sources say 1967 in Southern California. I know it was early 1968 in Northern Virginia.

What great info has come out on this location - nice job connecting the dots with the logo tiki Bigbro. Still hoping we'll find the Robert Van Dorpe connection...

I dove into the newspaper archives and found some great info... it involves socialites, murder, intrigue... and Don Ho :)

In 1965, the Bora Bora Club was owned by SF nightclub tycoon George Lavery. After a night of hard drinking, a violent fight broke out between Laverly and his newlywed socialite wife, Gail Woodfield Lavery. The young wife shot and killed her husband during the altercation - the deceased had apparently threatened her with bolt cutters during the fight.

The Bora Bora club survived this incident long enough to host the one and only Don Ho in his first mainland appearance(!) in November of 1965.

But the Bora Bora was closed by the time this article was written in January of '67

On a lighter note, the Bora Bora also held Karate lessons M-F from 6-8 PM and 12-2 on Saturdays :P

Enjoy!
-Trad'r Bill

Great diggin', Bill!

Yup that's some bad luck alright, getting shot by your wife. But we have yet to confirm it actually stood there.

Wow, some great developments on the Bora Bora here. The Bad Luck Tiki, Skipper Kent, Don the Beachcomber. Will we ever know the real story? Keep diggin Trad'r Bill.

DC

Nice work TB!

S

I did not get around to talking to Bob Van Dorpe this weekend. This history is my first question next weekend. Thanks for names to drop to jog his memory Bill.

I know he was part of the project. I just do not know his entire role and if had become close with DtB by that time. I should know more next week.

S

Came across THIS bit today about the singer Marie Mariterangi, who performed in the Molokia at the Mai-Kai in 1965. It says she first played at the Bora Bora in 1960.

I should be talking to BVD soon to see what he recalls about the place.

My blog post on here is HERE.

S
Swanky posted on Mon, Jan 9, 2012 8:59 AM

Bob says the Bora Bora project was his from the start. He arranged the financing, created the drink menu, etc. He also mentioned Marie Meritarnagi before I could ask as one of the performers who came through there. I know that he left the Mai-Kai in October of 1963, so the 1960 date for Marie is wrong. It has to have opened in 1963 and probably 64 or later.

Tim, is there any chance Bob can confirm the existence of that Barney West Tiki at that location? That puppy is a huge, two stories tall statue that IF it was made for the restaurant (and put there) would not be easy to forget.

S

On 2012-01-09 09:50, bigbrotiki wrote:
Tim, is there any chance Bob can confirm the existence of that Barney West Tiki at that location? That puppy is a huge, two stories tall statue that IF it was made for the restaurant (and put there) would not be easy to forget.

If I remember, I can send him th epicture in the mail. I asked him about Oceanic Arts and Barney West and he did seem to recognize the names at all. That isn't exact evidence and sometimes when I am able to remind him, he recalls names, and maybe he just seems to recall. 50 freakin years ago and I am shocked at what he can remember. He rattles off all these names and I am sure they mean somethign to other people, but not to me. Some day I will edit my interviews into somethign listenable that the truly geeky can hear. Trying to share with those in the know so info gets to the best uses.

On 2011-11-11 17:45, Trad'r Bill wrote:
What great info has come out on this location - nice job connecting the dots with the logo tiki Bigbro. Still hoping we'll find the Robert Van Dorpe connection...

I dove into the newspaper archives and found some great info... it involves socialites, murder, intrigue... and Don Ho :)

In 1965, the Bora Bora Club was owned by SF nightclub tycoon George Lavery. After a night of hard drinking, a violent fight broke out between Laverly and his newlywed socialite wife, Gail Woodfield Lavery. The young wife shot and killed her husband during the altercation - the deceased had apparently threatened her with bolt cutters during the fight.

My name Richard Synnestvedt, The Bora Bora club was a place I went to on every liberty
I had. I knew all the intertainers personally. I used to sing with Marie Matitarangi from Tahiti in Quinns bar when the floor show wasn't playing. I have all there pictures in black and white. I was stationed on the USS. Ranger CVA 61 at that time, stationed at Hunters Point Naval ship yard. I was eighteen years old and never had to buy a drink in that place ever. I never had to pay for anything. This place was like heaven on earth to me. I will never forget it. Everyone connected to this restuarnt was so warm and beautiful. I only have the fondest memoriesa of it. I was the only sailor that went there. I had a whole box of their match books but was lost some where in time. I very ofton wish I knew what happened to all of them. I never had so much fun and laughter, never before or after. Tareva Matitarangi, Rava, Kuulay and Otilla. There was John and Emeil Itchner the drummers. Call me if you would to. I would like to hear from you.
Richard Synnestvedt 918-688-2881

The Bora Bora club survived this incident long enough to host the one and only Don Ho in his first mainland appearance(!) in November of 1965.

But the Bora Bora was closed by the time this article was written in January of '67

On a lighter note, the Bora Bora also held Karate lessons M-F from 6-8 PM and 12-2 on Saturdays :P

Enjoy!
-Trad'r Bill

O
Otto posted on Thu, Jan 2, 2014 12:20 AM

On 2012-06-24 20:49, flitewave wrote:

My name Richard Synnestvedt, The Bora Bora club was a place I went to on every liberty
I had. I knew all the entertainers personally. I used to sing with Marie Matitarangi from Tahiti in Quinns bar when the floor show wasn't playing. I have all there pictures in black and white. I was stationed on the USS. Ranger CVA 61 at that time, stationed at Hunters Point Naval ship yard. I was eighteen years old and never had to buy a drink in that place ever. I never had to pay for anything. This place was like heaven on earth to me. I will never forget it. Everyone connected to this restaurant was so warm and beautiful. I only have the fondest memories of it. I was the only sailor that went there. I had a whole box of their match books but was lost some where in time. I very often wish I knew what happened to all of them. I never had so much fun and laughter, never before or after. Tareva Matitarangi, Rava, Kuulay and Otilla. There was John and Emeil Itchner the drummers. Call me if you would to. I would like to hear from you.
Richard Synnestvedt 918-688-2881

I know I'm a little late on catching this thread, but did anyone ever call/contact Richard regarding his amazing comment above?

G

On 2012-01-09 09:50, bigbrotiki wrote:
Tim, is there any chance Bob can confirm the existence of that Barney West Tiki at that location? That puppy is a huge, two stories tall statue that IF it was made for the restaurant (and put there) would not be easy to forget.

Here's a photo of the Barney West Tiki at Bora Bora. that's my friend Conrad's dad and uncle, John and Emeil Itchner on guitars.

[ Edited by: googuse 2014-05-29 23:18 ]

Great photo! That is certainly A Barney West Tiki, as we can see here:

It's good to see where that one was used!

But we were actually asking about a photo of the Bora Bora LOGO TIKI, in situ at the S.F. restaurant:

http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=41150&forum=1&start=0

The above photo was taken at the Redondo pier in L.A.:

http://redondobeach.patch.com/groups/arts-and-entertainment/p/redondo-to-revive-giant-tiki

In this article, Leroy of Oceanic Arts is quoted:

The city called Leroy Schmaltz, co-owner of Oceanic Arts in Whittier, to identify the tiki.
"I knew where it came from originally," Schmaltz said. The tiki stood outside a restaurant near San Raphael. "That restaurant kinda went defunct."

The re-erecting of the Tiki has come to a grinding halt, it seems, even "Team Tiki" on FB has given up on the slow Redondo Beach city government:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Team-Tiki-Redondo-Beach/121437071269482

I wouldn't be surprised it it sits in some city official's backyard who just wants the whole thing be forgotten...

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2014-05-30 17:25 ]

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