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I'm going to Cleveland next week with my gf was wondering if there are any cool tiki bars to visit. I know the Konahki has been torn down. She said she was there when she was little. Anything left ? B.Z.

T

Having grown up in Cleveland, I go there about twice a year to see my family. I always look for Tiki, and now that Sea World is gone, there's nothin' there.

As I wrote elsewhere:

"There ain’t no Tiki in Cleveland! We have scoured the greater Cleveland area, and there is nothing Tiki anywhere.

Tiki-hunting disasters in Cleveland:

The Bamboo Palace at 16610 Lorain is just a really dirty Chinese restaurant.

Tradewinds at 319 E. 200th St. in Euclid is a local pub. No Tiki.

The Bali Ha'i restaurant on Euclid Avenue is another Chinese restaurant, but there is a small lounge. Behind the bar, you may spot one or two Tiki mugs. Aside from the cool signage though, there is no real reason to stop by.

The Beachcomber in Grand River, Ohio (about 45 minutes east of Cleveland) used to be a Tiki Bar, but like the Kon Tiki (in the Sheraton Hotel) in downtown Cleveland, it is now gone.

The Islander Grille is at 7581 Pearl Rd. in Middleburg Heights. A few doors down is the Islander Cleaners(!) (7563 Pearl), and around the corner is The Islander Apartments (7711 Normandie). Clearly there was a Polynesian Dynasty in Middleburg Heights at some point, but there isn't so much as a stick of bamboo left in any of the three locations. Nothing Tiki whatsoever. Reports indicate that there was once a mighty Tiki Temple on the spot, however.

If you drive east on Pearl road from these spots, you WILL find a googie ice cream stand, an equally cool bowling alley, another googie car-wash, and a few other semi-retro buildings. There is also a great old-skool drive-in on Miles Road in North Randall. The Sea World that was located in nearby Geauga had a Hawaiian themed area with Tikis, but that has long since been dismantled.

All hope is not lost, however. Those desparate for a Mai Tai can find some satisfaction:

Bamboo House Chinese Restaurant, 640 Dover Center Rd, Bay Village, OH (440) 871-1966
Bamboo House still has its original 1960s decor, and some of the best Chinese food in town. Try their gingery homemade sweet-sour sauce and homemade egg rolls, the honey chicken, and the pork egg fu yung. Suffering Bastards are served in Tiki Mugs, while other tropical drinks are served in panda mugs.

Dragon Gate Chinese Restaurant, 8701 Brookpark Rd, Parma, OH (216) 661-0800
Dragon Gate is an old-fashioned Cantonese restaurant has been a Parma institution for decades. Sample the sizzling Hawaiian dishes, pupus served in native style with flaming hibachi, Tiki-patterned menus, and exotic drinks. Also of interest is the golf driving range behind it with the neat super sized golfball and their own retro vending machines that dispense beer."

...

P

Alex Bevin Rules!!

I searched the archives looking for Canton, Ohio (my home town) and found this thread. My uncle was the main bartender at what I believe was called The Bali Hai in Canton.

It was definitely a huge Tiki Bar and lots of gangsters and show-biz types hung out there.

Anybody got a line on this place? Anything from it I can buy or trade for?
Any scrap of info at all?
I've been searching for a while. I tried not to bug anybody here, but I mean - when you discover that the author of Tiki Road Trip is a 'homie' - you just gotta ask.

[ Edited by: pablus on 2003-12-18 20:30 ]

T

Pablus -

Bali Hai in Canton?

Man, China is a long way to go for a Tiki Bar, but...oh, you mean Canton, OHIO.

I'm going to Cleve-O in February. If you can dig up the address of the Bali Hai, I'll drive down to Canton and investigate the site.

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