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Tiki Bar in Jacksonville, FL?

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Hello, my first post. Shag led me to tiki who led me here. Have a date in Jacksonville any good Tiki Bar's there. Got the Mia Kia locally, but that does me no good as I'm in South FL. Will be there for Hukilau. Got Shecky #119 along a bunch of other great munktiki stuff, going through that big ole box of packing peanuts and picking out new Tiki's I'd forgotten I'd ordered was the best. Shecky's cool, what's the divot thing on mini-shecky? Whose is the buttcrack? My drink, 2 oz Stoli, 2 tbsp rose's, shaken with crushed ice, strained and garnished with crushed ice, served in the Lil Bastard (A gimlet). Aloha

JTD posted on Sun, May 18, 2003 8:04 AM

I really, really hope I get contradicted on this, but I havn't found a real tiki bar in this area in the 7 years I've lived here. There are and have been the occasional open air/thatched roof bars, but nothing that comes close to 1% of the Mai Kai.
Gary of "BadAss Tikis" carving fame is out at Jax Beach. Website is (strangely enough) http://www.badasstikis.com
I'll keep doing research though. :)


[ Edited by: JTD on 2003-05-18 10:36 ]

Rain posted on Sun, May 18, 2003 8:31 AM

i lived in st. augustine for a year and a half, and i unfortunately never heard about any tiki bars in the jax area (including st aug), either.
seems like jax beach would be prime for that, since there is all that pseudo-surf culture and there are tons of bars & restaurants littering the coast.
what tiki central needs is a benefactor with bill gates money. "no tiki bar in jax? there is now."
ahhh, to dream...

[ Edited by: tikifreak on 2004-01-09 12:31 ]


Very sorry to hear about your daughter. We'll all be pulling for her and a speedy recovery.

All the best,


I have a matchbook for a place called "Trader Glick's" in Jacksonville. The art work blatantly rips off Trader Vics graphics. Probably opened and closed fairly quickly.

Here's the info. on Trader Glick's from the matchcover.

Trader Glicks
World famous for over 30 years
Open daily from 3 pm
Hawaiian Specialties - Steaks
A Tank Full of Live Lobsters
Every Kind of Florida Seafood
4172 Phillips Highway
Jacksonville, FLA

(I guess I was wrong about it opening and closing rather quickly. Maybe it is still there?)
Anyone up that way might also want to look for the Aloha Motor Lodge & Restaraunt in Hilliard. Address is RT.1 at intersection of 301 and 23, St. Mary's River at FLA. - GA. state line. The postcard shows a large A-frame building and swimming pool. The card looks to be from the 60's, but the building might still be there.

Rain posted on Wed, May 21, 2003 7:27 PM

i'll be driving the east coast from orlando to rhode island in june - i'll see if i can find that place and report back.

JTD posted on Wed, May 21, 2003 8:35 PM

I'll drive by there tomorrow to see if the original building still exists, but reverse address directory came up with....

Gibbs Tire
4172 Phillips Highway, Jacksonville, FL


I'm very sorry to hear about your daughter TF. I'll say a little prayer for her tonight.

[ Edited by: tikifreak on 2004-01-09 12:31 ]

JTD posted on Fri, May 23, 2003 6:40 PM

Gibbs Tire - now Apple Tire. 4172 Phillips Highway is indeed a tire store. But it is a nasty, dumpy little cement block building that I cannot believe was ever a Tiki anything, let alone for 30 years. I'll ask around amongst the old-timers re: Trader Glick's, but based on the existing evidence, it is not promising. :(

  • JTD

I'll check the address again when I'm at home... and verify it for you. If you can get an old phone directory, it might be listed there.

Bumping this old thread as I am coming to Jax later in August for a job interview. So how has the tiki scene improved since these last postings? Anyone, anyone, Buehler, Beuhler?

There is a tiki bar (meaning there are tikis and bamboo used in the decor) in Jacksonville Beach near the peir, fronting the ocean. Not vintage, but not the usual Florida "tiki" hut either. Wahine Marian and I visited Mr. and Mrs. Neptunetiki last weekend and they showed it to us. I would hang there.

Still no new "real" tiki experiences in Jacksonville. Perhaps the last "real" tiki was the old Garden of Tiki restaurant, but I missed seeing that because it closed shortly before I discovered tiki. If there are any tikiphile ohana in Jacksonville who want to get together for a cocktail party, road trip, etc. please get in touch!

I'm looking to open a Tiki Bar in Jacksonville, Florida and mainly targeting the Atlantic Beach/Jacksonville Beach area.

If there have been any recent spottings of a Tiki Bar or similar bar anywhere in the Jacksonville area, please let me know.



The closest thing to a tiki bar that I know of is the Trade Winds in St Augustine. Build it and they will come Delta. Let me know if you need any assistance.

On 2011-01-26 05:02, Jax Tiki wrote:
The closest thing to a tiki bar that I know of is the Trade Winds in St Augustine. Build it and they will come Delta. Let me know if you need any assistance.

Thanks, Jax. I'm working on the business plan now and will have it completed by May. I will keep you posted. In the meantime, do you suggest any areas of Jacksonville over others?

I'll reach in and bump this thread too... I've been here 15 years now, and the closest real tiki that Jacksonville has had, to my knowledge, was the Garden of Tiki restaurant at the intersection of Atlantic Blvd and Monument Road. Sadly, it closed about 6 years ago. But that's all I can say for Jacksonville at the moment, and I do hope it changes! There is quite a bit of retro SWING culture here, but it has not connected with Polynesian pop, Hawaiiana, or tiki. Maybe someday? What this place needs is a small and intimate tiki experience, small enough to remain in business, and then expand if business warrants. I am reminded of Frankie's Tiki Room in Las Vegas. Here's to Jacksonville and future tiki!

I'm bumping this thread, it's been a whole year since my last post to this thread... Are there any tiki ohana in Jacksonville? I just got back from The Hukilau tiki fest in Fort Lauderdale, wow, had a great time! Still hoping for a tiki revival here, soon, in northeast Florida. I have a fairly well-stocked bar and make my own syrups. It would be very nice to have a monthly get-together with local tiki fans here in Jax.

Okole maluna!

I've been Google searching and just found the news below (4/17/2012) for Jacksonville. A new Polynesian restaurant, with a "tiki lounge," is part of the plan but only time will tell how tiki it will actually be. If we could get a group of Jacksonville tiki aficionados together, then maybe the owner would be interested in organizing some sort of opportunity for us to show him how we would welcome his business and help get the word out to our tiki friends? Let's hope this establishment will be serving true craftsmanship in their cocktails with fresh juices and syrups. We need to see good and true tiki (and not just pop-culture Hawaiiana) return to Jacksonville. I'm going to visit this chain's web site and look for more detail later this afternoon. If you're a Jacksonville tiki aficionado, please send me a note. AceExplorer 'at' gmail dot com.

Da Big Kahuna Restaurant & Tiki Lounge has plans for Jacksonville Beach
Submitted by Gary Mills on April 17, 2012 - 3:35pm
GARY T. MILLS/The Times-Union
Work is under way in Jacksonville Beach to transform the former Tento Churrascaria into the Da Big Kahuna Restaurant & Tiki Lounge.
Jacksonville Beach, already home to Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine, will soon welcome more of the aloha spirit when Da Big Kahuna Restaurant & Tiki Lounge opens later this year.
With building permits in hand, work has begun transforming the former Tento Churrascaria at 526 First St. N. into the Polynesian-themed restaurant.
The restaurant will be the third of its kind for owner Steve Tsuchiya, who opened his first Da Big Kahuna eight years ago in Hawaii, followed by a second restaurant in Fort Lauderdale nearly two years ago.
If the Jacksonville Beach location is anything like Tsuchiya’s Fort Lauderdale restaurant, look for a taste of Hawaii not just on the Da Big Kahuna’s menu and décor, but also on stage: the Fort Lauderdale location hosts a weekly hula show on Fridays, according to the restaurant’s website.

Found their website:


It's cool that they have hula dancer shows, but I'm not sure that you're going to get much real tiki beyond that.

The one here isn FTL is cool place for a Beach Bar (foam tikis and Jimmy Buffet) - not so much for the enthusiastic Tiki snobs. Every Friday night Polynesian Proud puts on a floor show - they are really good! Just keep an eye out for the occasional over-drunk tourist or Spring Breaker. Jacksonville will make a good fit.

My thoughts exactly.

You need to keep an eye on the thread for the The Blowfish Bar in Flagler Beach. TikiTom periodically has parties there that bring tiki folks from all along the coast -- as well as just being really swell parties!

And if you're ever down the Space Coast way, we'd love to have you over to The Storm Shelter.

Hello, I was also at The Hukilau and had a great time! I live in Jax Bch and would love to get together for some quality cocktails. I have not tried them yet, but Roy's restaurant claims to offer a vintage Mai Tai. If anybody wants to get together please let me know, I'd love to meet some local Tiki fans!

Rick, I'll take you up on that, let's explore Roy's and talk tiki soon! We need Jacksonville tiki folk to come out of the woods and build a local ohana. I'll be in touch to discuss when we can plan a visit to Roy's. We'll post details here - all are welcome!

Tyler, awesome tiki carvings! And I see that you have been commissioned to do four to be installed at Da Big Kahuna. They look great! Can you post opening day info here so that we can celebrate, er, attend, and support the bar, the owner, and you? Would like to be at the opening, and also would enjoy meeting you. Maybe Rick can join us too.

Tyler, Very nice looking carvings! I'm really psyched for Da Big Kahuna to open! I hope they have some good tiki drinks. I'll be keeping an eye out for their opening date & plan on being there! Hopefully we can convince them that they ought to have a weekly Exotica music night.

[ Edited by: CarvingBike 2012-04-29 16:59 ]

I've been riding my bike by Da Big Kahuna to see how it's progressing, today I found out that they plan on opening up this Tuesday evening. I'm planning on checking it out opening night, anyone want to join me?

I'll definitely come out and join you, sounds like it will be a good night! I'll be wearing shorts, flip-flops and a Florida-themed shirt with a pseudo-Hawaiian print that includes lots of pink flamingos.

I sent email to "[email protected]" asking for a confirmation, and I'll post again here when they respond. If this really happens (which it sounds like it will -- thanks to CarvingBike for the heads up!) then this would be an open invitation for all the northeast Florida tiki o'hana to come out and join us for an informal meet & greet.


[JUST CONFIRMED - Da Big Kahuna Soft Opening on Tuesday 5/8/2012 at 5pm in Jacksonville Beach. More details below. Let's identify ourselves as "the group from Tiki Central" as we arrive with a group size of about 6? I'll see you there around 6pm. Thanks to Rick for calling this to our attention. --Frank]

Aloha Frank,

Thanks for your email.. We are very excited to be in Jacksonville and will definitely welcome you and your group! We are planning a soft opening tomorrow at 5pm.. Meaning that it may be a limited menu, and we are still waiting on a lot of our tiki decor to come in from Hawaii! During this time, we hope to get any kinks out of our operation, as we look to perfect our operation before Memorial Day weekend.. We will be planning our Grand Opening soon after that, and I will be glad to put you and your group on our invite list for the VIP portion of the Grand Opening as well.. Once again, thanks for your interest and welcoming us to Jax Beach!!

Steve Tsuchiya
Da Big Kahuna Restaurant & Tiki Lounge


I will be going home to JAX next week for business. WooHoo!! I'm stoked there's a TIKI hang out there now. Any local TCer's interested in meetin' up for a mai tai or 2? See ya there!


Clintiki, I'll commit to meeting up with you, set a convenient evening in your schedule and we'll see who can make it out there. Will reach out to the others who have emailed me here, it's time for a gathering of the Jacksonville ohana!


Mahalo Ace. I will let you know what my time will be out there next week. I will be leaving here from Indiana either the 18, or 19th. The 20th (Friday) will probably be the best night to meet up if that suits you & the others. Really excited for this to go down. JAX Ohana, at last, at last! I will PM you before I leave here and give you my cell# so we can plan. Again Mucho Mahalo!..


And if you can only make it half-way down, I'm sure we can get some of the Brevard folks together for a tiki gathering that weekend!


Shoot Tiki Hard Bop, you're only 2 1/2 hrs. down the 95! That's definitely close enough for a visit. Lemme see how my plans go over the next few days and I'll PM ya. What a bonus that would be, mahalo!


Several of us in Jacksonville are meeting up at Big Kahuna at the Beach on Friday evening, July 20th, after work starting around 6pm or so. This is an open invitation to anyone who can join us. Hope to see you there!


Hey Frank! mahalo for meeting me down there at Da Big Kahuna last Tuesday. It was a great experience to meet a fellow tikiphile & enjoy those Mai Tai's (even thought they were a little weak! lol) Can't wait to get some of yer drink recipes through email. Please PM me with yer email, and I'll keep in touch. Thanks again my friend. Take care & may the tiki gods smile down upon ya!


I don't know if any of you are interested, but I can give you some first-hand information about the old Trader Glick's on Phillips Hwy in Jacksonville. My dad owned that place, but it was closed shortly after his successful suicide on Father's Day in 1971. My stepmother was an alcoholic and had no idea how to manage a business, so that's why it collapsed. Seems her forte was spending my father's money, not participating in earning it.

If I recall correctly, my father opened Trader Glick's somewhere around 1966 or 1967, maybe as late as 1968. His big claim to fame was a former restaurant on the St. John's river front called "The Lobster House." See....



A year or two before he died he also owned another restaurant/nightclub, later turned Dinner Theater, called "Trader Glick's Lobster House." I don't remember the address of that restaurant, I just remember that we had to cross a toll bridge to get to it, and that it was maybe a 30 minute drive from the Phillips Hwy.

Trader Glick's served both American and Polynesian food. And yes, there were tikis. Seems like that was the big thing at the time, or at least something my dad liked. I just remember being able to order all the egg rolls I could eat whenever we would visit my dad (my parents divorced when I was around 4 years old). I remember my dad always wearing those flowery shirts like in the photos above, and it seems like his waitstaff wore something similar. I also remember a Live Lobster Tank where customers could hand-pick what they wanted for dinner.

If anyone has any other questions, I'd be happy to try and answer them. Oh, and if you're wondering how I found this thread, every once in a while I do a little more digging into my father's life, trying to unravel the mystery of why he would take his life when he had children to raise.

Kind regards,

The Son Of Trader Glick

Son of Trader Glick:

Thanks for posting that info and the links to the photos and stories. Do you have any menus or interior photos of the old Lobster House you can share? I live here in Jacksonville and totally appreciate what you're doing. I've spent time myself observing and photographing some of the remnants of old Jacksonville history, and sadly, there is little or no tiki history left. Send a private message if you ever would like help photographing or looking for remnants of this kind of stuff.


Welcome Son of Trader Glick!

Although I'm terribly sorry to hear about your father's tragic end, it would appear that he lead a very interesting life. Hopefully, some contributors here can help you learn more about the restaurant.

AceExplorer & Hale Tiki,

Thank you both for for your replies. With regard to photos, my younger brother has all of that stuff. He was nice enough to make Xerox copies of the photos for me 20 some-odd years ago, but didn't trust me with the original prints. Guess you can tell there are some strange family dynamics at work here. Part of that is my fault because I wouldn't accept the standard family explanation as to why my dad took his own life. I wanted to know the truth. I've mostly discovered the answers I was looking for, but there still remain some questions that I may never find answers to. Memories fade, people die, and time moves on.

I remember Trader Glick's quite well. We would visit dad 6 weeks in the summer, 2 weeks at Christmas, and a week during spring-break. I was 11 years old when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon and I watched it from his house trailer located behind the restaurant. And yes, he did lead an interesting life.

Now, may I ask you guys a question? What's the interest with all this Tiki stuff? Is this really a hobby for folks?


The Son Of Trader Glick

Welcome to TC Son of Trader Glick.

I too am sorry to hear how your father's life ended, how sad for you. It stinks for you to have grown up without your Dad's presence. I hope learning more about something he liked will help you feel closer to him.

To answer your question Tiki is a hobby for many here and an obsession for most! Personally, tiki just makes me happy and puts a smile on my face!

On 2013-05-09 08:52, The Son of Trader Glick wrote:
Now, may I ask you guys a question? What's the interest with all this Tiki stuff? Is this really a hobby for folks?

Definitely, as stated by LoriLovesTiki, it is a hobby and an obsession. In my case, I grew up in Orange County, California, where there was a very high density of "Polynesian pop" in the form of tiki along with "space age" and "Googie" and several other prominent architectural styles. Later in life these things became something I just started to notice when I saw it in other parts of the country, in film and TV, and around me where I live. This happened to many others here to, and this is only one of the reasons why we are also very interested in Trader Glick's and The Lobster House. That interest goes much deeper though -- we want to learn about, and help preserve, whatever stories and materials your family may still possess. Your family had an active role in a very unique aspect of American culture in the middle 20th century. I believe that you and your family have interesting stories to tell, and I would like you to know that here on Tiki Central you have a very interested audience.

Now, having said all that, re-discovering tiki and Polynesian pop is also a helluva lot of fun. Therefore we also enjoy re-discovering the food and drinks that go along with, and are commonly associated with, the genre. So if you run into any menus from your father's establishment, or know of any chefs and bartenders who may have more information on what food and drinks have been served at your father's establishments, or recipes, we hope that you would consider sharing more with us. Your family's achievements and history are noteworthy and worthwhile to many of us who read these messages.

Please know that I would, as a Jacksonville local, be very interested in helping take photos or make scans of any materials your family can and would like to share.

Once again I'm very glad that you discovered this message system and shared your connection to Trader Glick's and The Lobster House. I hope and look forward to hearing more soon.

We can even say that Tiki is a way of life. Much as it was back in the mid-century. :)

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