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Hurricane Cove, Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, CA (restaurant)

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Name:Hurricane Cove
Street:305 Crescent
City:Avalon, Santa Catalina Island

I recently picked up this nice matchbook from Hurricane Cove located in Avalon on Santa Catalina Island. I like the graphics.

The back of the matchbook, I seem to remember seeing something like this before!

I have grabbed a few images over time showing the interior - a classic bamboo pre-tiki place.

Here is a menu from Mimi Payne's website that has Don Lake listed as the owner.

And an earlier menu and different matchbook from the web.

There was another pre-tiki bar located down the street called the Waikiki Club. You can see more about that here.

http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=32863&forum=2&hilite=waikiki club


[ Edited by: Dustycajun 2011-05-07 16:17 ]

Grabbed this image of an ashtray from the Hurricane Cove restaurant, forgot to post it.


[ Edited by: Dustycajun 2011-01-08 06:42 ]

Here is another postcard from the Hurricane Cove which featured a huge bamboo piano bar.


Wow, that is sorta... plain! And that mirror? I'd wanna look at something else than myself getting soused while sitting there....or maybe people started talking to their mirror image after a couple of Zombies? :)

Here is another postcard from the more modern "pink seat" era of the Hurricane Cove. A nice mural behind the bar, along with a few sparse Tiki masks.



The pink stools not that bad.

The pink bar pad not that bad.

The pink rattan or bamboo on the upper.....

I just tasted throw up.

IIRC, in the 50s they would have referred to that color as coral. But, yeah, bathroom fixtures and tile I can see, however bamboo should never be painted that color, ever.



That color is Coral, Ben. CORAL. Very mid century modern.

Btw, the complementary color to Coral is Teal, so Teal is the color that the upper bamboo should be painted. :wink:

Edit: I guess Bruddah Bear and I posted this at exactly the same time.

"It's Mai Tai. It's out of this world." - Victor Jules Bergeron Jr.

[ Edited by: Mai Tai 2011-10-07 23:14 ]

Man that back bar painting is great, wish there would be a better, larger photo of it! So much lost art...

It finally proves to me that this place, like the many other "The Hurricane" pre-Tiki joints in America, was based on the Nordhoff/Hall book...

and subsequent Dorothy Lamour/ Jon Hall movie of the same name:

Scenes from "The Hurricane" WERE actually filmed on Catalina at the Isthmus - like quite a few South Sea movies in the 30s and 40s.

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2011-10-09 09:52 ]


Here are a few items mined from the internet on this place:

A local gossip columnist comments on the entertainment at Hurricane Cove...

The Catalina Islander August 14, 1947

From the following article, we learn that Johnny Piacentini and Vince Scari managed Hurricane Cove in the late 1950s; also note the reference to a new Chinese restaurant to be called the Jade Pagoda (any connection beyond name to Hop Louie's Jade Pagoda in Los Angeles?)...

The Catalina Islander December 14, 2007

From the Avalon Lions Club History 1947-2010 at http://www.mixbook.com/photo-books/interests/lions-club-history-book-4861565, comes the following 1964 photo that includes Johnny Piacentini, the Hurricane Cove manager...

In the memoriam section of the Avalon Lions Club history...

Hurricane Cove goes out in a blaze on Sunday, March 4, 1979, along with the Waikiki Hotel (any connection to this... http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=32863&forum=2?)...

The Press-Courier March 5, 1979


Tiki Tom D,

That fire did burn down the Waikiki hotel and restaurant that is featured in the other Tiki Central thread.

At one point the Hurricane Cove was owned by "Oscar"


I'm just sayin'.....

Picked up this dinner menu from the Hurricane Cove under the ownership of Don Lake.

Nice graphics and bamboo font.

Back cover

There's that saying again!


Great font and graphics, even if they do not relate to the original theme anymore.


My wife and I just returned from a short visit to Catalina. We spent our honeymoon there in January 1970 when the Waikiki and Hurricane Cove was still in business.

On this trip, we met with her cousin, Manuel at the Marlin Club, a nautical bar in operation since 1946. Manuel has been living on the Island for twenty seven years. His wife, Karen was born on the Island. While we were having a Bloody Mary I asked Manuel if he had any information on past owners of the Hurricane Cove or Waikiki. Manuel smiled and said, Karen's Grandfather, Oscar Griffith was the original owner of Hurricane Cove.

I later spoke to Karen. She said she does not have exact dates but would attempt to get them for me.

David Renton was the architect for the Wrigley Family and designed the structures on the Island per the Wrigley request,(including the Casino). The Wrigley family did not want any tropical themed structures but Oscar and the owners of the Waikiki were able to prevail and had their businesses constructed the way they wanted.

Oscar had the place built per his vision which included a bamboo bar in 1938. He had lights, fans and audio to simulate a hurricane which were activated every hour. Oscar imported an expert in bamboo construction from California. Karen did not know the name of this builder.

Oscar had a band, Jimmy Lowe and the Sons of Hawaii played regularly at his place. Oscar had after hours for top named entertainers that played at the Avalon Casino Ballroom including Benny Goodman. Karen's mother at one time had a photograph of Benny Goodman and his band partying at the Hurricane. Unfortunately that photograph cannot be located. Karen said that her mother was a very tidy person and would toss items that she no longer had use for.

Karen does not have any memorabilia from the Hurricane but she may have a few pictures in a shoe box someplace. Karen will try to locate these pictures and scan and send them to me so I can post these pictures on this post.

I asked about Don Lake and Karen told me that Lake was a prominent Attorney in Los Angeles that did a lot of work for Oscar. Lake subsequently purchased Hurricane Cove from Oscar and had the place remodeled. Karen said that the Hurricane did very well and made her grandfather a very wealthy man.

Karen appreciates the research that Dusty Cajun and the other TC'ers have posted on this tread.



[ Edited by: TikiVato 2013-04-30 17:06 ]

[ Edited by: TikiVato 2013-05-01 21:03 ]

Tiki Vato,

Nice history, hope some pictures from the shoebox surface.


What a small world it is in California sometimes :)

Sometimes I think that if we all stick around long enough, well find out everything :D


I received this email from Karen this morning.

"Joe, I was digging around in my family attic when I uncovered this treasure! It was made at the Catalina Tile and Pottery Factory on the Island. The Factory closed in 1938, the last year Oscar had the Hurricane Cove. The bottom is stamped Catalina Ware, a name for Catalina Pottery.
I'll keep on digging for more! Fondly, Karen" I hope Karen finds some pictures too.


Those matchbook covers would make some great surfer t-shirts

Dang, TikiVato! That piece is incredibly rare. First of all, it's an obscure piece of Catalina Pottery - one of the most sought-after and highest selling pottery producers in the U.S. So the Catalina Pottery collectors would probably love to get their hands on it.

Then it's a rare pre-tiki collectible as well, so the tiki-mug collectors would go insane. I just can't figure out who would want it more.

I wonder what exactly it was used for. It's the same shape as several Catalina bud vases I've sold before. How tall is it? Catalina pottery pieces were often small, so that tourists could take them home on the boat as souvenirs much easier.


[ Edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2013-05-03 16:49 ]

Got this napkin recently.

Hurricane Cove by This Side For Writing, on Flickr

I got this email from Tim Miguel

"Hey, my mom, Wailana, was the entertainment at the Waikiki in the summers of 1960's as well as appearing at the Hurricane Cove. My brother and I would sit on the planter outside of the clubs and watch the people go by and look at her picture that was in the window. She was quite popular in those days. The Piasentini's, John and Mary owned the Hurricane in those days. My brother and I could never understand why everybody tried to get into the clubs to watch my mother dance, she was just our mother."

He also said that his mom was good friends with the owners of both the Waikiki and the Hurricane Cove as well as dancing at the Seven Seas in Hollywood and being on the Harry Owens TV show

Wailana at the Hurricane Cove

Luau at Hurricane Cove

Pages: 1 21 replies