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Name:Aloha Club
Type:bar
Street:613 Ferry Street
City:Martinez
State:CA
Zip:
country:USA
Phone:
Status:defunct

Description:

I have seen a few matchbooks on ebay and flickr from the Aloha Club, a pre-tiki bar that was located in Martinez, CA. The matchbooks advertise Seaman's and Sportsman's center.


Close up of the interior rendering, lots of bamboo, rum and some murals.

Sabu had posted a menu from this place many years ago but the pictures are gone now, maybe he can add that here.

DC

Here are some fresh scans of the drink menu from the Aloha Club. Mine is post-dated 1944. One of the first items I collected where I actually "got" that they'd copied the famous Beachcomber image from Don The Beachcomber's. It would be interesting to research which restaurant or bar stole the image first. Was it this one? Or was it maybe one of the Beachcombers in New York or Florida?

:up: I like how in the matchbook that DC posted, the beachcomber is playing a ukulele and whistling a tune. In this picture, he's much seedier, with his hands in his pockets and smoking a cigarette. Wonder which came first. The hula girl's arms and hands are very expressive.


:up: Tropical cocktails finally on the last page, including a Zombie

:down: And here is the cocktail napkin. This is one of 4 or 5 generic tropical-themed napkins that were used in the '40s. They would have been part of a salesman's sample box of napkin designs. Once chosen, the bar's name and address were printed in the blank area in upper left-hand corner of the napkin. I've got several from different bars with this same design.


[ Edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2011-09-10 00:09 ]

Nice Sabu, thanks for adding the menu and napkin. That is the seediest beachcomber yet.

I have that same napkin from Damon's. What other locations do you have?

Monte Proser opened the Beachcomber as early as 1940, so I'm guessing that old Monte was the first to swipe the Beachcomber logo just as he did with the Zombie drink.


DC

O
Otto posted on Tue, Oct 4, 2011 12:14 AM

On 2011-09-10 08:14, Dustycajun wrote:
Nice Sabu, thanks for adding the menu and napkin. That is the seediest beachcomber yet.

DC

Note how the beachcomber guy aged, just like DtB!
At first he's a young ukulele playing bum, possibly smoking?
Then he's unshaven and playing pocket pool while slumped over from an obviously severe hangover - so severe that he is not even watching the hula dancer!

K
kraken posted on Thu, Oct 6, 2011 2:14 AM

A little more research on The Aloha Club.

The address given is now just a parking lot. It's in the oldest
commercial section of Martinez, very close to the Southern
Pacific depot, now also defunct. The W.E. Greene listed as the
proprietor may well have been a descendant of the W.E. Greene
who was a Superior Court judge in Martinez back in the late
nineteenth century.

A somewhat earlier version of that menu with the extremely
dissipated beachcomber is listed (as sold) at an auction site:
http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/the-aloha-club-bar-menu-martinez-ca
This version identifies the mixologist as Bill Bettencourt, on whom
I can find no other information.

K
kraken posted on Thu, Oct 6, 2011 6:18 PM

Just finished talking with a Martinez native who was
a young woman in the days of The Aloha Club. She
says its heyday was the World War II era, when myriad
people (especially servicemen) were in or passing
through Martinez.

Lower Ferry Street was the center for Martinez' bars
back then, and The Aloha Club was considered rather
risque because its clientele included women. (The
others were for blue-collar males getting off work.)
As you can see from the interior illustration's depiction
of a drumset and piano, The Aloha Club featured music
and dancing (mostly jitterbug), plus that exotic flavor
unknown at Martinez' other saloons.

Just flavor, though. No one connected with the club
was know to have any connection to the Pacific islands.
Nor anyone in Martinez, actually, except one person
who claimed to be half Hawaiian.

The proprietor, W.E. Greene, was a black man who had
previously operated a very small business on nearby
Main Street. He was generally known as Nigger Greene,
which was not an insult in that time and place--his son
went to high school with my source, who says he was
treated like anyone else.

K

Hey, Zazzle! How about a T-shirt of the
Aloha Club matchbook cover. The one
at the top of Dustycajun's post.

T

Well, that's strange. I just made a shirt from this matchbook art and was trying to find some information on The aloha Club when my search brought me here, and I see what I assume is a request to create this shirt on my Zazzle store. Happy coincidences! :D

Anyway, I just crafted it, it should be available in a few hours after Zazzle approves it. Be sure to change your settings to allow viewing of adult items, as I had to give the shirt an R-rating because it has nipples (sigh).

Another matchbook from the Aloha Club with some nifty graphics.

DC

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