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The Lei Over Lounge

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I think it was 2006...I was in a Target store. Went to the garden area. I came upon a display of their Mai Tiki items. There was a gazebo, bar, fountains, etc. I had not been aware of what tiki was. At that moment, I transported myself to a wild South Pacific beach. I had to find out what this tiki business was all about. I came home, and started my online research, which led me here. After a few days of not coming up for air, learning all I could from all of you knowlegeable folks, I started my hunt for tiki items. OF course, that meant ebay for me. Nothing in the wild...very little in any case, in Pittsburgh. I threw budget to the wind, and bought, and bought, and bought. My coworkers were ready to commit me. I had a huge tiki party that was so beautiful, then they at least understood the madness. I have a tiki bar permanently in my big garage. Now, for background, I live in a former frat house for PITT. Not just any frat house, but the Phi Gamma Deltas, better known as, yeah, you may have guessed, THE FIJIs. So they threw a yearly FIJI island party here. The karma is special in this place. So, while the house is humongus, I always wanted the tiki bar in the basement. A couple of years ago, I had a mason come and clean the stone and repoint the sandstone foundation walls of this really big room down there. But, it still needed electrical, plumbing, new concrete floor, etc. And it was cold and damp. So, looking around, I realized no one goes into the living room. My idea hatched, and for 3 or 4 frenetic days, I worked, barely coming up for air, creating the Lei Over Lounge in my former Formal Living Room. Yes, the ceiling still needs to be delt with, and the big brass chandelier must be replaced with a south seas paddle fan. But the rest is great. I wanted to share, since you all are so generous sharing your fabulous creations.
Among the most prized items I have are: the Witco ship over the fireplace...I bought it on ebay from none other than Bigbro himself. I have a gorgeous Mr. Bali Hai from Velvet Glass. I have a hand painted Kona Club tiki mug from Crazy Al.I have two three foot tall tikis I bought at Oceanic Arts and had shipped back to Pittsburgh. LeRoy and Bob were so nice, I also was able to get one of their anniversary mugs, and two huge glass float lamps. Anyway, enough chatter, I will post some photos. Oh! the name, Lei Over Lounge....well back in the day I was a Pan Am stewardess. So, the play on words as well as you may notice some Pan Am paraphernalia in the lounge. YOu can't miss Anna...the vintage mannequin dressed in my first Pan Am uniform from the late 70's. She is the official hostess of the lounge.
First, Anna

Looking through the bamboo chain curtains into the lounge:

the bar shelves with tiki mugs:

Back bar with flash:

four distinct seating areas, this one is the peacock chairs. One has a black apron from the new Don the Beachcombers, plus one of those big "granite" tikis sitting on a chair that needs to be mounted on the wall. I brought a "thatch" umbrella in for that seating group.

A second seating group of a rattan couch and two chairs:

with flash:

Another treasure, one of three tiki masks I bought here in Pittsburgh from RustbeltCat. Look up his story about his find from the Connely Inn. Amazing. I have two of those atomic age mirror shadow boxes too. I love the way they look with the tiki stuff in the lounge.

Looking from the front window into the lounge, the red bar seats 6. I have a Witco bar making the L on the end. One Witco stool is on the end, the other inside the bar for the bartender. I also have a Witco bench thing that I put a Chinese Checkers vintage set we had growing up on the table there. Looks cool.

Bigbro's ship from ebay, as well as a Witco sword found on local Craig's list

A small tiki bought as a gift for me from a friend, along with some other things I thought looked neat on the Witco bar, under the fake palm tree.

So that's it for now. Hope you like it, and as I said, I welcome feedback and suggestions. Can't wait to entertain there. I have a karaoke machine in the lounge as well as a stereo with turn table, and several vintage exotica albums. I am thirsty now...maybe a Mai Tai is in order. Too bad Anna the hostess is not able to whip one up for me!


Nice, I love the blue mermaid mug/vase and I love the overall feel of the Lei Over Lounge.

Is the blue mermaid a version of the glug jug - it gurgles when you drink from it?

I like that bamboo chainmail curtain, I don't think I've ever noticed that before

PS - you're right, a tiki bar is much more useful than a formal living room :D

Be good to yourself and to the ones you love
Life is short, smile while you still have your teeth.

[ Edited by: MadDogMike 2011-11-30 19:59 ]


I got the blue mermaid thing at a thrift shop, but it's not old. They are selling them online. I got mine under $10. They call it a vase at the stores that sell them new. I don't know. I liked it because it reminded me of the big wooden ship mermaids. And the color is a great punch to all the browns too. Here is a link to one of the online sellers of the mermaid: http://www.atwestend.com/Catalogue/coastal_3/mermaid-vase

Wow...this is nothing less than FABULOUS!!! Love the airline collectables. I also really like that Mermaid mug. You did a great job and bet you have really had fun partying there.
CHEERS :drink:


i would sure like to hang out in this paradise, wendy


This is a really cool lounge, I especially like the island pictures and Pan Am stuff. I've been collecting that for my tiki bar.


What is MY girlfriend doing at your house?!?! But seriously, nice bar!


ToddVegas, she just won't leave! Anna insists on hostessing, so why should I object? Thanks for the complement. I have to tackle the ceiling for sure. And I bought a bunch of nice bamboo polls and hopefully I can create a roof over the bar once the chandelier is gone.


ToddVegas, she just won't leave! Anna insists on hostessing, so why should I object? Thanks for the complement. I have to tackle the ceiling for sure. And I bought a bunch of nice bamboo polls and hopefully I can create a roof over the bar once the chandelier is gone.


Panampia, wonderful bar and beautiful hostess! The Pan Am connection reminds me of my own retro status as a frequent flyer on Eastern Airlines, another defunct historic airline with its origins in the 1920s (though then known as Pitcairn Aviation).

BTW, have you ever visited the original Pan Am headquarters on Whitehead Street in Key West, now known as Kelly's Caribbean Bar, Grill and Brewery for actress Kelly McGillis, who started it? There were a few historic artifacts on display when I last visited.


Good to see that my outrigger is swimming in such happy waters! :)

Too bad that ABC's PanAm will most likely not be continued.

Wow! I mean really WOW! and right here in Pittsburgh?!
I've gotta step it up with my space!
And you need to host a party :)


TikiTomD, yes, I have made the pilgrimage to Kelly's on Key West, and had lunch there. That was back in the day when I was still a stewardess and Pan Am was still in the sky...
bigbrotiki, your outrigger is a prized possession. I also have 1 copy of The Book of Tiki, 1 copy of the small version, and 3 of your Tiki Modern. One is open for reading, two are still sealed. I love your books, and learn from your vast knowledge.
Pittsburgh pauly, pm me sometime, and I will invite you over to see the Lei Over Lounge in person.
Thanks for the complements. I really appreciate it.


Dig the name of your lounge! The Pan Am memorabilia and theme is a perfect blend for that escapeism feel and looks like a good spot to listen to Marty Lush make his onboard announcements from A Tikiyaki Orchestra cd! Speaking of Tikiyaki Orchestra you might want to use one of their props that they had at their last show. Maybe a framed photo shot of a plane leaving the mainland over Pittsburgh (with the name Lei Over Lounge highlighted) headed towards Hawaii or some other tropical destination. This is the best screen shot I could find but you get the idea. Okole Maluna!

From a few years ago ❤️ ![](Uploading 4119F6BC-45C8-4815-9C1B-6B67383CCEDA.jpeg…)

Pittsburgh pauly… Make sure your uploads have finished before saving.

Pages: 1 17 replies