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Tiki History - The Hawaiian in Long Beach

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This week, we look at a defunct tiki restaurant in Trader Pup's neighborhood; The Hawaiian in Long Beach. Again, I've got some postcards and Puamana has the menu, (menus?).

Located at 4645 E. Pacific Coast Hwy, it is now a Pep Boys. Don't know if any of the original building still exists.

LeRoy and Bob at Oceanic Arts remember this place. It looks like it was probably the closest competition for Sam's Seafood at the time. The postcards read: "The Hawaiian invites you to enjoy an Hawaiian Holiday of Fine Food, Tropical Drink and Good Hospitality"

In the second photo below, the sign says:
"American and Cantonese Food"
"Fashion Show Tues Fri"

Fashion Show?

Does anyone else out there remember this place?

Here are the postcards. Puamanu will soon post photos of the menu.


[ Edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy on 2003-06-04 13:56 ]


Here's 2 menus and a souvenir luau mailer. The first one is a lunch menu:

Next is a tapa style dinner menu, printed on a natural fiber paper:

Although there are no illustrations of drinks or possible mugs they may have been served in,
here is the tropical drinks list :

The tapa style menu came with this small souvenir mailer inside, advertising their luau in August of 1958...entertainment was by the Paradise Quartet, featuring George Kainapau:

Wonderful stuff!

Do I smell a book? If not you two should seriously think about getting something going.

Trader Woody


I agree! It seems like Sabu has enough material to do a really great specific book...


I'm not completely certain, but back in the day (and still at two places I know of in downtown SF) "fashion show" at lunch meant "lingerie show". Ladies (I'm guessing local models or even lingerie store employees) would walk around the bar wearing lingerie and selling raffle tickets to the businessmen who were enjoying liquid lunches. Winner got the lingerie they were modeling to bring home to his wife. Or girlfriend. Or mistress. Or J. Edgar. Just like the liquid lunch, it's (not suprisingly) fallen out of favor for businessmen. The restaurant that does it here does it at 3:00pm to time with downtown contruction workers ending their shift. It's still called a fashion show, and it's kind of fun. Once. Then you feel dirty.


Do I smell a book? If not you two should seriously think about getting something going.

Dang... I'd sure pick up a copy of "Dawn of the Dead Tiki Bars" or "The Mystery of Eat-here Island" or "The Menu was in Rapanui" or "Tiki Must Dine" or "The Polynesian Ruins of North American Pop-culture"

I like the wizard of oz.

Thanks all,

Truth be told, I would love to be a part of some book-writing endeavor, but right now it's fun just sharing and combining my collection with Puamana's and showing the results to you all.

What I'd like to do eventually is do a book that is as dense with eye-candy as Sven's BOT, but gives some in-depth history of each of the places featured. Maybe a two to four-page layout per tiki bar, full of postcards, menus, napkins, matchbooks, mugs, swizzles, and maybe some photos that the old owner still has lying around, with the spaces in-between filled with history and interesting anecdotes about the place - like Martiki's "fashion shows". To do this, I need to interview the people who owned and worked at these tiki bars while they're still alive. This is an opportune time to do so. Did these owners know each other? Did they like each other? Were they competitive?

Because of the interviewing necessary, I'd probably just want to concentrate on the history of Los Angeles tiki. I'm discovering a paper trail of new places all the time.

In any case, it would have to be a collaborative effort. All my time and money goes into just collecting postcards and matchbooks. I'd have to join with other collectors to show the menus, mugs, swizzles and photographs. And despite the impression that I give, my collection is woefully small. Sure, it takes up five big binders right now, but every week I look on Ebay, more than half of what I discover is brand new to me. For instance, look at this matchbook I just purchased that came from the Tiki Kai in Lawndale (I don't have it in my hands yet, so this is a blow-up of the auction photo):

I had NO IDEA that such a splendid-looking tiki bar existed in Lawndale, even though I grew up next door in North Redondo.

So, since I've only been collecting less than a year, I still feel my collection is inadequate to a book. I know that there are other collectors who Sven knows about who do not post here, but who have collections and knowledge much vaster than my own, and it makes me want to be thorough when writing a book about tiki.

I'll keep you posted, though. I need to get to the interviewing part of the job next.


[ Edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy on 2003-06-04 22:56 ]


Nice collection of info on The Hawaiian! I've got one postcard, and a couple matchbooks, but no menu yet. I really focus on Long Beach business memorabilia from 30s-70s, so it is great to see some I'm into, that go beyond just Tiki!

I'll be doing some site photography tomorrow, so I'll stop by the Hawaiian former site and get a couple photos. If it is where the Pep Boys is at, there is no trace of the original building, as that Pep Boys is a huge warehouse type location.

And go for the book! I hope to do the same for the LB collection some day...


I think everyone here would enjoy a detailed book
with more information on each Tiki establishment. I'm sure you would get may people to contribute like they do on this board. Would sit nicely alongside The Book Of Tiki.

Tim, I'll be your groupie. I wanna help!


Here's what The Hawaiian site looks like today:

There's no trace of the old grounds left at all, all new construction & landscape.


Wow. Seeing the visual comparison of Sabu's postcard of the vintage building exterior, to the Traderpup's present day photo of the site where it stood... it's just so darn sad that so many places like the Hawaiian are gone without a thing remaining. Thanks for posting that photo, Traderpup. It makes one appreciate even more whatever can be found, whether its a matchbook, postcard, etc. Sabu has a good point, that now is the time to talk to people that owned or worked at these places, for more stories, information & history, while they are still alive.

Thanks for the legwork, Pup!

Very discouraging photo. I think I need a zombie. Thank God Sam's Seafood still exists a little further down PCH.


Those Photo's look so much Like the Hawaiian Village in Tampa Florida. It was located on North Dale Mabry Hwy. just a few blocks south of where the Tampa Bay Bucs 1st Stadium was built.
What I best remember of the Hawaiian Village was that they had the best Stone Crab Claws I have ever had. That was 30 years ago. How I wished I had gone there more often.
Just remember Sometimes "You don't know how good you have it until you don't have it anymore.

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