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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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Name:Pieces of Eight
Type:restaurant
Street:Fiji Way
City:Marina Del Rey
State:
Zip:
country:USA
Phone:
Status:defunct

Description:
In recognition of John-O's upcoming Nautical Crawl and the recent posts on The Reef restaurant, I thought I would start a thread for the Pieces of Eight restaurant located in Marina Del Rey.

One of the eight (at least) restaurants operated by the Specialty Restaurant company in the LA area that had various degrees of Poly Pop and Nautical themes.

The best image of this restaurant was the rendering posted by Bigbro from the Paul Page album of the same name.

I picked up a souvenir menu postcard showing the fighting ships.

Location map in the MDR harbor.

Menu inside

Lunch

Drinks & Pupus

Matchbook

I posted this menu under the Ports o Call Restaurant, but I think it came from here.

The building is still there and is now Shanghai Red's. Still got some of the old bones.

DC

I found this menu on the net:

It also has their logo font that can be seen on the Paul Page album cover:

I loved his "Pieces of Eight" song so much that I put it on my "Sound of Tiki" CD :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxX-Sfu-I_0

The exterior rendering you show above is actually a postcard. Jeff Berry also borrowed it to illustrate the Pieces of Eight cocktail recipe. It's a cheap card on thin, non-glossy, yellow copier stock. Here's the caption, no date:

This place went one step beyond nautical decor and clearly tied in the concept of treasure...

...which means pirates, with Polynesian pop. Here's an interesting little piece on the history of the coin:

"It was the coin upon which the US dollar was based, and it remained legal tender in the United States until the Coinage Act of 1857 discontinued the practice. Because it was widely used in Europe, the Americas, and the Far East, it became the first world currency by the late 18th century. Many existing currencies, such as the Canadian dollar, United States dollar, and the Chinese yuan, as well as currencies in Latin America and the Philippine peso, were initially based on the Spanish dollar and other 8-reales coins."

And a good image that explains the name, as the currency was measured by weight of its precious metal, and thus could be cut up into eight pieces:

One piece was 8 Reales

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2011-04-21 12:58 ]

TS

Just before I got to the bottom photos of DCs post, I was thinking "I wonder if this is that Shanghai something restaurant location?".....lol, I ride my bike by there every so often when I do my 40 mile round trip bike ride...It is a nice looking spot. Very lush, and the water fountains/pool sounds nice as I ride along the bike path..Great stuff guys!

Here's an artist's rendering of the Pieces of Eight from "American Yachtsman" magazine, February 1963. There was a large article on the booming construction in Marina Del Rey and evidently this restaurant was the first in the community. I got a chuckle over how the magazine editors got the theme of the restaurant wrong, but based on its name alone, it's an understandable mistake. I've also included a close-up of the artist's signature just in the hopes that someone might recognize it.


:up: there was probably better detail on the original painting. The picture in the magazine was very small.


[ Edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2011-05-29 21:13 ]

L

Great to see all of this -- mahalo!
I've been there countless times over the years. My family had one of the very first boats there when Marina del Rey was built in 1963 (I was 12) and I've been in PO8 all while it was open and also after it changed to Shanghai Red's. I've even played music in there over the years, until I moved to Hawaii in the early 1990s.
Back in the beginning there was just a dirt road leading down to PO8 and no other buildings around it. They used to always have a guy in a pirate costume out on the main street waving people in, with a large bird on his shoulder, of course. Anyone find photos of that?

[ Edited by: LikaNui 2011-06-17 21:12 ]

That sure is a great rendering Sabu found. I managed to track down a photo of the interior of the Pieces of Eight restaurant. Looks nice, but what's up with the ferns? They were actually used frequently in the Specialty Restaurants.

The story that went with the photo.

DC

Hi all!

I am currently looking at another of those daisy-style drink menus, only the one in front of me lists only "Castaways - Pieces of Eight - Ports o' Call". I was recently hired as the menu archivist for the Los Angeles Public Library and any help you experts can provide me on when this menu would be from would be a great help!

I apologize for the quality of my camera pics - we'll be doing real scans sometime in the coming year.

I'm wondering if the press release at http://ashleycreates.typepad.com/files/alf-writing.pdf (scroll down to pg 11) indicating the Reef burned 23 years after opening would date this menu in 1981...

Thanks for any help dating this!

Stacy McKenna
Menu Archivist
Los Angeles Public Library

[ Edited by: stacymckenna 2014-10-20 11:14 ]

[ Edited by: stacymckenna 2014-10-20 11:17 ]

[ Edited by: stacymckenna 2014-10-20 11:18 ]

[ Edited by: stacymckenna 2014-10-20 11:20 ]

News photo of the sign, exterior A-Frame and a bad-ass 1965 Buick Wildcat at the Pieces of Eight in Marina Del Rey.

DC

The Killer Shrimp restaurants in Marina Del Rey and Hermosa Beach are serving the "Pieces of Eight" cocktail. I tried one and it was pretty good.

PiPhiRo,

I had the Pieces of Eight a few times when Killer Shrimp was in Santa Barbara for a little while, not bad. Here is a youtube link on the recipe with a nod to the old restaurant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f0aTCh0Jik

DC

Found some old photos on-line from the Pieces of Eight Restaurant.

Another rendering of the The A-Frame.

Some photos of the building

A postcard.

Exterior landscaping.

Views from the harbor.

DC

Dang Bruddah
Drinks are on me...

Keep 'em coming, DC!

If you're out on an urban archeological expedition to take in the glory of mid-century Marina del Rey, you can still make a quick stop at Killer Shrimp as they still serve the 'Pieces of Eight.'

We posted a possible Pieces of Eight sighting on the tikis in TV thread a while back: outside shots from Mannix final season (1975).

And from Mannix season 6 (1972), possible indoor shots of Pieces of Eight:

[ Edited by: mike and marie 2017-04-09 15:38 ]

Pages: 1 12 replies