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

Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

Tiki, Milwaukee, WI (bar)

Pages: 1 2 replies


Street:2000 S 6th St

Based on old newspaper ads from The Milwaukee Journal, Tiki specialized in tropical drinks served in an “authentic Polynesian atmosphere with picturesque outdoor garden and dancing under the Tiki Hut.” There were take-home mugs for Tiki’s specialty drinks: Tiki Special, Surfer, Forbidden Skull, Big Kahuna, Tiki Luau, Head Hunter, and Dr. Fu Manchu. An ad from October of 1975 stated that Tiki was celebrating its 11th anniversary, so that would indicate it started operation in October of 1964. James Teitelbaum’s Tiki Road Trip, 2nd Edition lists a defunct “Tiki Bar” at 6th and Rogers that “closed since approximately 1990” with no other information. That location corresponds to the street address of Tiki, so it is presumably the same place. A contemporary street view from Google Maps shows an abandoned store at that street address with a “Tropical Café” sign, highlighting “Food – Sports – Lounge”…

With a name as generic as “Tiki,” I’ve not been able to find any photos, postcards, mugs or other ephemera from this location’s past, so perhaps the Tiki Central Ohana can help flesh this out…

Here are some newspaper ads from 1975 and 1976:

The Milwaukee Journal October 31, 1975

The Milwaukee Journal May 7, 1976

The Milwaukee Journal July 2, 1976

The Milwaukee Journal October 22, 1976

The Milwaukee Journal October 29, 1976

The Milwaukee Journal December 17, 1976


Hi Tom. Great job on the urban archeology. The facade stone looks like it my have been meant to look somewhat tropical back in the day. I'll do some digging around and see if I can turn up some more info. Thanks.

[ Edited by: uncle trav 2013-10-21 14:20 ]

[ Edited by: uncle trav 2013-10-21 14:17 ]

Pages: 1 2 replies