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Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

Trade Winds, Inglewood, CA (bar)

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Name:Trade Winds
Street:334 Market Street


One of the three South Seas restaurants that were owned and operated by Joe Chastek was the Trade Winds, located in Inglewood. According to information posted by his daughter, Joe opened the Zamboanga fist, then the Trade Winds and then went on to fame and fortune with Vagabond's House on Wilshire. Her story:

"My father, Joe Chastek, first was introduced to Polynesia when he and a high school buddy stowed away to the Philippines when they were both 17. After that, he became so immersed in the culture that it literally became his whole life until he died in 1995. He was one of the first to open a nightclub with the South Seas motif. His first was the Zamboanga, where he entertained movie stars and sports celebrities. The Zamboanga was featured on the TV Biography series that discussed early 1940's South Seas nightclubs in Los Angeles. His second nightclub was the Tradewinds. His third, the Vagabond’s House was on Wilshire Blvd in LA, and was incredibly popular with, again, movie stars and sports celebrities."

I just got this souvenir photo folder from the Trade Winds. It appears as though Joe Chastek was the original "Trader Joe's"! He sure liked his monkeys! (these ones had tails)

Here is the photo from the inside of the folder with more monkeys.

I found one other photo dated 1945 from the Trade Winds that shows the restaurant interior.

Nice little table top drink card, must find....

It appears that the Trade Winds became a happening Jazz club in the early 1950's. I found this recording of a jam session with of Charlie “Bird” Parker and Chet Baker from June of 1952.

Its hard to read but the back of the album describes the Trade Winds restaurant.

And a little story of the place and the recording that references some Poly Pop elements:

"The newly released CD, Inglewood Jam: Bird and Chet Live at The Trade Winds captures a jam session in a Polynesian restaurant in Inglewood, California, on June 16, 1952. 'Jam session' is a euphemism for playing for free. An unpaid Tuesday night in the 1950s in an obscure club in the suburbs of Los Angeles with about 20 people in the room must have been a downer. You can practically hear the gloom, the opiates, the flash of color in a black-and-white world."

Sabu had posted something from this place in the my Trader Vic's copycat thread, but the images are unfortunately gone. Sabu, how about a brief Tiki Central visit and repost here?


Cool find! Chet Baker is a fave of mine...and then with Charlie Parker at a bamboo hideaway!


Bee bop jazz in a Polynesian Restaurant ?! Wow. That's very cool.

Otto posted on Sun, Mar 30, 2014 10:15 PM

Charlie Parker was the king of jazz for the Beats. Jack Kerouac wrote a poem called "Charlie Parker" and another poem about the history of Bebop Jazz. This is an incredible connection between The Beats (Beatniks) and the Tiki scene.

Somewhat odd menu cover from the Trade Winds with Joe "Monkeying" around.


Someone should make an evolution chart for the tropical bars' evolution from ape to Tiki icon :)

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