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Mai-Khi , West Allis, WI (bar)

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Street:5630 W. Lincoln
City:West Allis

The Mai-Khi has been mentioned a few times in the threads but I thought it deserved a spot in locating Tiki. The Mai-Khi was located in the suburb of West Allis. The street shots are the most up to date images from google earth. The location appears to be right in a residential neighborhood as are so many small bars here in the mid west. The entrance seems to be mainly intact with torches and a great A-frame and lava rock details. The location appears to have been a brew pub as the last occupant but now appears closed. After a long search I was able to find only an ad for the restaurant from 1977. The ad states "an intimate Polynesian atmosphere with one of the largest pirhanas in Milwaukee" I guess they had smaller pirhanas at other bars? Looks to have been a great little getaway in the past. Maybe some more info will turn up. This would be a great location to do some local research on. Thanks.

Here the ad I was able to find from 1977.

The exterior as it looks today.

Closeup of the A-frame.

From this view remnants of the old painted sign are visible on the side of the building.

My bad attempt at how the sign may have looked back in the day with the logo tiki and font style.

A matchbook from the collection of Mimi Payne.

[ Edited by: uncle trav 2011-05-09 07:36 ]


This place had two levels, a Polynesian atmosphere at at least one aquarium it could have been a very cool spot. Now all we need is some interior shots. I am almost sure that the large Tiki in the ad is a ripoff from another restaurant but I can't place it at the moment.


Well I neglected to check Tiki Road Trip first. So I looked up The Mai-Khi and as always James T. has some good info on the location. Seems the owner since 1973 sold the bar in 2000 which is when it was "de-Tikified". Also James states that the sign lettering on the side of the building was made of wood. Don't forget to check your copy of TRT first for some great intell.

Cool A-frame, with those torches sticking out. Amazing they left it standing, while the left side of the building looks completely renovated. Something tells me it looked a lil' diffrint before 2000...

Oh and then there is the ad, with the Link Paola/Outrigger Rum Tiki:

How did it end up (from the foot hills of L.A.) in Wisconsin!

Maybe Link Paola's Chinese cook moved there and opened his own place?

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2011-05-09 13:20 ]


Trav, I was wondering about the origin of the name "Mai-Khi" when I came across it on the web as a Chinese (Hokkien dialect) phrase meaning "Don't Go"... an inside joke perhaps?

Sven, let no good tiki graphic go unrecycled!


Another incarnation of the Link Paola/Outrigger Tum Tiki, cool. Someone has a photo of that Tiki relocated to a Canadian Tiki Bar!

Here nighttime photo of the Ma-Khi when it was the Bobblehedz Sports Bar.

Also the thread that first posted the link and discussed the Tiki-Beer connection.



Thanks for the memories, DC, totally did not connect that fun thread with this place (cuz there was no image of it posted in it)
Now you know what I was talking about at the Red Lion when I described the Lowenbrau Keller. We should go there sometime and check how it looks now...

Here is another ad with that Tiki, this one features the Mai Tai special and you keep the galss.


On 2012-01-31 12:15, Dustycajun wrote:
Here is another ad with that Tiki, this one features the Mai Tai special and you keep the galss.

Now THERE'S a custom that I support: Who needs the Tiki mug if you can keep the serving gal!

(Sorry Scott, just HAD to use that :wink: )

It's only you rich and famous authors and artists that get to keep the gals, the rest of us just get some lousy old mug!


But there is a "catch" to this custom!:

As cryptic hieroglyphs found on ancient scrolls relate, you had to CATCH the gal before you could keep her:

On a recent excursion to Milwaukee, we drove by the remnants of the Mai-Khi,
only to find this guy in a nearby thrift shop.....

Thinkin' this must have been that free Mai Tai glass they mentioned in the ad?


Wow! That would be a great glass for a freebie.

Serendipitous moment. Friend of a friend of a friend met former Mai-Khi barmaid.

West Allis (pronounced "Stallis") is blue collar suburb of Milwaukee (pronounced "Muh wok ee") which grew around Allis-Chalmers, manufacturing agricultural, construction, mining machinery. Factory closing devastating to local economy as thousands unemployed. I have heard baby boomer generation children did not apply themselves in high school because they thought they would work in union with the grandfather and the father for the tractors and diesel shovels happily ever after.

Mai-Khi street level typical workingman's bar. The piranha was a dark grey colour, approximately 20" / 50cm length X 10" / 25cm height. Did not remember piranha's name.

Second bar upstairs was for the tiki. Typically open weekends or private party. "Pillow room" separated from main hall by bamboo and bead curtains for lounging while sipping flaming bowl drinks with long straws. She recalled orange aku bowl (scorpion bowl) for five to six people with six different rums, the heavy clear tiki glass as pictured in preceding comment for the mai tais, and tiki mugs.

With closing of Mai Khi, became Bobblehedz, now defunct. https://www.facebook.com/Bobblehedz-127825113938514/ I do not get to Stallis very often except for summer Saturday morning farmer market for vegetables. Self-described as sports bar although I classify one rung up ladder from shot-and-a-beer joint. More pool and darts than cribbage and sheeps head.

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