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Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

Jade East, Towson, MD (restaurant)

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Name:Jade East
Street:2 West Pennsylvania Avenue

This restaurant is the source of the relatively well-known green "buddha" mug with the yellow interior.

Based on current research, it operated from as early as 1964 to as late as its closing in 1975. It had seemed that there was nothing particularly tiki about the place aside from the mug, but some articles found in the Baltimore Sun from 1972-74, as well as several ads run in the Baltimore Sun during the same era, clearly identify it as a "Polynesian Restaurant."

these iconic mugs seem fairly widespread, and i was pleased to find out that the establishment that must have distributed quite a few of them in their over 10-year run, was 'polynesian' instead of just chinese with a drink mug.

the exterior was unassuming, with what i assume was a later facade upgrade including some chop-suey signage and chinese calligraphy. the building itself was actually built around 1896, and was Towson's first post office. the structure was later home to a series of restaurants; Baldwins, and 2 West before becoming jade east.

this newspaper ad from within its last year of operation clearly identified the restaurant as polynesian, although there is no tiki iconography in this or any ads reviewed to date.

these newspaper articles provide an interesting perspective about things that we now consider culturally 'tiki,' but as more of an outsider.

here is a quote ported from an old jade east mug ebay listing:

On 2002-07-24 16:28, powerofthetiki wrote:
I can remember when I was growing up in the late 60’s my parents had what I would call a somewhat Tiki bar in the basement. They had Shag style prints on the knotty pine walls and some other Tiki style decoration’s spread around. Friends and neighbors would come over once or twice a mouth the blender would be whirling around mixing up frozen drinks. After one or two drinks everyone would head over to the Jade East in Towson for dinner and drinks. Then they all came back and partied and dance the night away.

and here is the ooga mooga link: http://www.ooga-mooga.com/cgi-bin/all/mug.cgi?mode=view&mug_id=1913

[ Edited by: Johnny Dollar 2012-04-25 06:32 ]

Iscah posted on Fri, May 25, 2012 9:50 AM

Nice research! I don't think I've ever run across one of those mugs, either-- I'll have to keep an eye out.

thanks - if i run across any more jade east mugs at a decent price, i'll pick it up for you. :)


I'd appreciate that, thanks! =)


I think the Jade East was definitely Tiki

On 2012-06-01 08:30, pa'akiki wrote:
I think the Jade East was definitely Tiki

whoa... waiiii.... where did you find that image?? :D

ok, i would still love to see a scan of the other side of that postcard!

i just got outbid on this matchbook cover on ebay, but at least i saved the scan.

some snazzy matchbooks recently run across!

Pages: 1 9 replies