Welcome to the Tiki Central 2.0 Beta. Read the announcement
Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

Pages: 1 20 replies

I need some help. We are moving from San Diego to Oregon. I would like to stop close to half way and still see Tiki as per the TRT. It looks like Modesto is close.

My questions are:
Is the Tropics Motel in Modesto in a safe area?

Should we stay at another motel and just drive to the local tiki joints?

Are there better Tiki locations in Sacramento?

Is Modesto even worth it?

You answers will allow for my family to make a safe trip and any information is greatly appreciated. Thank You!

OB

no help?

you could stay at the Aku Aku in Woodland Hills in L.A.? no tikis left that i know of there - but authentic tiki style roofline.

S

If the Tropics Motel is the one with the little tiki bar, then it is safe enough. The bar is small and looks pretty good, but I've never seen anyone there into tiki. Just some local bar types. There is a restaraunt named Millies near by that has been there since the 40's or 50's and has been polynesian for almost that long. The food is fine and it's worth seeing. There's some place in Sacto called Hukilau (maybe?) but like most of Sacto it just doesn't quite have it. Hope that helps

T

The motel with the Tiki Lounge is a bit run down but there are some nicer old motels near Millie's. I would recommend stopping at the Tiki Lounge before dinner for drinks as it gets filled with partying college students on Friday and Saturday nights. Then head over to Millie's for drinks after eating. I didn't like the food at Millie's but there are some really good Mexican restaurants in Modesto. El Faro is one and is on the same street (McHenry) as Millie's and the Tiki Lounge (between them). There are some nice old buildings downtown.

OB - A warm tiki welcome from the Oregon tiki contingent! Where in the Beaver State will you be living?

thanks for all the info. it definitely helps. we will be living in the lovely confines of Salem, with hopes to find a place in portland ASAP, which i guess can't be quick enough.

The june gloom here is really takin' it's toll!

M

The exterior of the Tropics Motel was repainted and new windows put in just over a year ago so the outside looks good. They are slowly working on repainting some of the rooms. The room I stayed at was "clean" but very rundown. It was only $35.00 though.
Across the street from Minnies is a motel called The Chalet (or something like that). tHE rooms were in good condition. I think they were $45.00 a couple years ago.

I passed through Modesto last week and would very much advocate a stop there!

I wouldn't call the neighborhood along McHenry (where Minnie's, The Tiki and the Tropics are all located) totally safe but it's not creepy or horrible either. I've been there several times and never had a problem.

All three places are that rarest of gems: genuine, old-school Tiki. Minnie's and The Tiki survive to some extent through putting up with the business of vapid, noisy, 20-something Valley spawn; but they are nonetheless original, atmospheric and genuinely cool establishments. Where, of course, you can get very potent and palatable tiki drinks.

Ah, Modesto...tikiwise, sometimes being stagnant and backward has advantages, from, you know, a historical preservationist perspective 8D.

And Minnie's even has decent (not great...but decent) Chinese food. The deep-fried asparagus was actually really tasty.

The Tiki is the darkest damn bar I've ever been in, and that's a good thing. It does mean the pics below are a little murky, but I love that creepy mask object on the wall.

I really have a soft spot in my heart for the Tropics, too. It's the shabby country cousin to our oh-so-spiffy Caliente Tropics, but in some ways I like it better; it's so original. (And if you want REALLY original, try the Tropics in Indio...but I wouldn't recommend staying there, no...its one advantage is that unlike Palm Springs and Modesto it still possesses the gorgeous, original 60's "Tropics" neon sign; if I can find my picture I will post it.)

Anyway, the Modesto Tropics' Tikis rock, and don't miss the original Tiki sign by the swimming pool, and the Tiki in the office. I so wish I could buy the whole enclave and restore the Polynesian restaurant that apparently once inhabited the building next to The Tiki. Imagine....eat at the restaurant, get sloshed at the bar, and crash at the hotel. All within fifty yards of each other! Sound familiar?

On my last visit I talked with the new managers of the Tropics. They told me the owner is an old guy who loves the place and won't change it. That made me happy. By their own admission, it helps them stay open to cater to welfare moms, alcoholics, disabled people, whatever--ya know, they get the monthly stipend and check into a hotel for a few days. But when I was there last, there was a posse of happy kids playing in the pool, the sun was shining, and what the heck.

It hasn't been torn down and replaced with a "Comfort Inn."

We had an amusing conversational exchange when I explained why I was taking pictures of the tikis: "tikis? oh, those statue things in th' parkin' lot? Wow--people like those? They think we're cool? You mean it? We're in a GUIDEBOOK!? REALLY??!!"

I would so love to get a gang of TCers together, reserve a big block of rooms at the Tropics, and have a Modesto party night. We could take over The Tiki, if there were enough of us.

I love these old places. I believe in putting my money where my mouth is and supporting them. Just my 2 coconuts and all that...

Pictures:

At Minnie's, you never know who might be looking in the window:

p.s. I am especially snappish about this subject matter right now as The Mooney Motel, my favorite old roadside inn in my mom's hometown Visalia, is being torn down and replaced by...

a "Dress Barn."

Yeah, that's real appealing, calling your customers cows. Our culture utterly (udderly?) mystifies me. I'll take the Mooooney any day :)

p.p.s. No, don't bother with Sacramento. They tore it all down.*

*unless you want to do the Chinese food/Polynesian drink thing, in which case I once again recommend the Eastern Empire, Howe at Fair Oaks. Only thing I miss about Sac. ONLY thing.

tikivixen,

you are one of the many guardian angels that seem to appear at the most perfect time in my life. thank you for such an in depth review and information, i am greatly appreciative. I will post a report. Moving day is july 21. Thanks again

OB

tikivixen,

you are one of the many guardian angels that seem to appear at the most perfect time in my life. thank you for such an in depth review and information, i am greatly appreciative. I will post a report. Moving day is july 21. Thanks again

OB

tikivixen,

you are one of the many guardian angels that seem to appear at the most perfect time in my life. thank you for such an in depth review and information, i am greatly appreciative. I will post a report. Moving day is july 21. Thanks again

OB

Well, Mr. Tikibar and/or I will have to host a welcome happy hour to celebrate the arrival of another Portland Tikicentralite. We're developing quite a contingent here in Stumptown and always welcome one of our own into the fold. Let us know when you're settled and we'll take good care of you!

On 2003-06-20 04:38, tikivixen wrote:
a "Dress Barn."

Yeah, that's real appealing, calling your customers cows.

"Dress Barn" is not as bad as "Pretty and Plump." Fortunately, the latter finally went out of business a couple of years ago.

Have you noticed that clothing stores with "WOMAN" in their names are always for fat chicks? Bleh.

On 2003-06-20 04:42, tikivixen wrote:
p.p.s. No, don't bother with Sacramento. They tore it all down.*

*unless you want to do the Chinese food/Polynesian drink thing, in which case I once again recommend the Eastern Empire, Howe at Fair Oaks. Only thing I miss about Sac. ONLY thing.

What, you don't miss Pancake Circus?

Cynful wrote:

What, you don't miss Pancake Circus?

Only a VERY good Fog Cutter could really get my back to Sacramento for the day.

But I do love Pancake Circus lots and lots, which is why I'm sure they'll tear it down as soon as possible. It's MUCH too cute and vintage to fit into the New Corporate Zombie State Capitol. :wink:

(Bitter? Moi? Nevah! er....)

OB seagull, this is the first I've read this thread. If you're passing thru don't miss the Tiki or Minnie's. They're not spectacular but they are vintage. It would be good of you to support them. Remind me as your moving date gets closer and I'll do my best to give you a tour. JT

Pages: 1 20 replies