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T

Name:Mauna Loa
Type:bar
Street:3077 West Grand Boulevard
City:Detroit
State:MI
Zip:unknown
country:USA
Phone:None
Status:defunct

Description:

The Mauna Loa is likely the least talked about extinct tiki restaurant there is. Search any engine for information, and nothing appears. It's as if it never existed. But in its day it was one of the most lavish, expensive and spectacular Polynesian palaces of the Midwest, if not all of North America. Located on a man-made lagoon at 3077 West Grand Boulevard and Cass Avenue in Detroit's New Center area, it was surrounded by palm trees, swaying, waving, and beckoning swanky Detroiters of the late 60's to come inside to another world.

Mr. Tikifish took me to pay homage to the site where it once used to be, but we found nothing there, not even the building shell. After The Mauna Loa closed, new owners opened an American seafood restaurant there, but apparently it caught fire and had to be demolished. The site of this once proud South Seas supper club is now the St. Regis hotel parking lot.

The Interior:

The Monkey Bar:
Situated in the centre of the Mauna Loa, the Monkey Bar's actual bar-top had 1,250 Chinese coins embedded in Lucite, as well as four-bladed fans from a Hong Kong saloon (I imagine they mean ceiling fans, not fan-yourself-like-a-geisha fans). The bar tables were brass bound hatch covers from trading schooners.

The Bombay Room:
This room was a formal dining area with 3,000 zircons imbedded in the filigreed teakwood panels that surrounded a sacred elephant shrine. The waiters wore turbans, though I have no idea if they were East Indian, or perhaps just some white guys serving up birdie num-nums while wearing dark make-up like Peter Sellers in The Party.

The Papeete Room, the Tonga Room, the Lanai Room and the Maui Room:
I don't know anything about these rooms, except the Oriental waiters wore Mandarin jackets.

The Mugs and Other Dinnerware:

The Mauna Loa mugs were specially designed for the restaurant. I know of four:

The Polynesian Pidgeon:
The main body is designed to look like a section of bamboo, and the handle is actully a bird, climbing up the bamboo. The drink that came in this mug was called Polynesian Pidgeon. As the menu says, "Two or more will stimulate you enough to give yourself away. Watch out!!"

Bob's Rum Barrel:
Shaped like a rum barrel. Holds the drink called, of course, Bob's Rum Barrel. "This barrel of varieties of rum specially blended and made for adventurers and lovers (sic)"

The Coconut:
Your standard coconut shaped mug. "Coco Aku: Coconut milk, spices and rums are delicately blended to suit the most discriminate taste."

The Signature Mug:
A funky little tiki man impetuously sticking out his tongue. This mug came in both black and brown varieties and held the drink they called Baha Lana. The menu cautions "you wouldn't really care what happens before or after you take this drink". The bottom reads "Design by Mauna Loa Detroit".

The Salt and Pepper Drums
These seem to be not too hard to find, even today. Perhaps they were sold in a gift shop, if the Mauna Loa had one. They are dark brown ceramic drums that read "Mauna Loa" with tan skins stretched over the top. The bottom reads simply 'Japan'.

The Sugar Bowl - A squat, round brown ceramic tiki head with lid. Bottom reads 'Design by Mauna Loa Detroit'.

The Menu:
I am missing the Main Course section of the menu, but I these items will give you a taste of the exotic flavours that awaited the lucky diners at the Mauna Loa.
Hot Appetizer Selections:

Shanghai Crab Roll 1.85
A fluffy combination of exquisite delight.
Polynesian Puff 1.65
A stuffed sensation from the Islands.
Hikoki Tidbit 1.50
The Polynesian meatball.
Rumaki 1.60
Water chestnuts and spiced chicken livers, rolled in crisp bacon.
Puffed Shrimps 1.95
A for real Oriental preparation
Napuka Fishfang 2.25
A sweet and sour fish presentation on a bed of romaine, with hot plum sauce.
Hawaiian Barbecued Ribs 2.40
Meaty baby back ribs marinated in Island spices from our Polynesian ovens.
Nuku Hiva Drums 1.75
Specially marinated chicken upper rings, a masterpiece of island culinary art.
Cha Siu 1.90
Slices of lean pork loin, cured in barbecue sauce.
Bali Miki 1.95
Sweet soya cured slivers of selected beef on bamboo spears.
Avaku Pillow .95
The Chinese egg roll.
Taipi Beef 2.45
Oriental seasoned tender beef cubes on picks, served in Kobe.

Delightful, Exotic Dessert Presentations

Hawaiian Snow Ball 1.25
French Vanilla ice cream rolled in shredded coconut with crushed pineapple and chocolate syrup.

Captain Bob's Banana Boat Flambe 1.25
Baked banana with kumquats and coconut pineapple ice cream flamed at your table.

Orange Blossom Flambe 1.25
Stuffed orange with brandy ice cream flamed with orange brandy at your table.

Mauna Loa of Snow with Fresh Fruit
A sensation of fruit arrangement made from selected tropical and continental fruits.

Article from The Bay City Times, Sunday August 20 1967

BAY CITIAN WAS ART DIRECTOR-DECORATOR - PHOTO
An artist's sketch above shows Detroit's new Mauna Loa restaurant, one of the most expensive of it's kind ever built in the Midwest. Circled areas show the hand-carved bird heads, some of hundreds of authentic artifacts imported from the Pacific Archipelago under the art direction of Florian E. Gabriel, 39, a native Bay Citian who was art director and decorator for the building.

BAY CITIAN HELPS DESIGN 'MAUNA LOA' - ARTICLE

A former Bay Citian can confirm the authenticity of the elaborate Polynesian décor of Detroit's newest, luxurious restaurant, the Mauna Loa.
Florian E. Gabriel, 39, son of Mrs. Rose Gabriel, 1701 S. Chilson ave, was art director and decorator for the $2.25 million restaurant nestled on a man-made lagoon at West Grand Boulevard and Cass Avenue.
Gabriel, who now resides in Los Angeles, and George Nakashima, chief designer of the Mauna Loa, also have designed lavish restaurants in Montreal, Portland, Dallas, Chicago, Cleveland and Beverly Hills.
Their latest accomplishment provides patrons with a make-believe trip through the Pacific Archipelago and India. On the site a waterfall rushed down a hill of volcanic lava into a lagoon surrounded by flaming tiki poles and seven palm trees.
The interior design, said the 1945 graduate of Bay City Central High School, "is a fusion of many exotic locales," all authenticated since the plans were begun two and one half years ago.
Gabriel, who attended St. Hedwig school, spent three years in Special Services of the Air Force after high school graduation. Later he studied four years at the Art Center School, Los Angeles.
Ten years ago Gabriel, whose sister, Mrs. Clarence Meier, and a brother Robert still live in Bay City, became art director for Stephen Crane Associates in Beverly Hills. (Crane owns the Luau Restaurant in Los Angeles). Gabriel and Nakashima have been advisors for the Crane firm the last four years, but are no longer in its fulltime employ.
The Mauna Loa's foyer is a ceremonial hut with a red box hanging from the roof. In the islands, when a Polynesian swain takes his maiden into this hut, it indicates they will be married, said Gabriel.
The heroic island figures and the tiki poles with carvings are authentic, as are the glowing blowfish and an enormous war canoe from Samoa.
The bar, imbedded with 1,250 Chinese coins, has four-bladed fans from a Hong Kong saloon, Bar tables are brass bound hatch covers from trading schooners.
The Bombay Room, formal dining area, has 3,000 zircons imbedded in the filigreed teakwood panels that surround a sacred elephant shrine. Turbaned waiters serve diners there, while in the Papeete Room, the Tonga Room, the Lanai Room or the Maui Room, the Oriental waiters are Mandarin-jacketed.
The upstairs banquet area is of a Mediterranean décor with hand rubbed woods, burnished bronze statues, three interior pools with tropical plantings and waterfalls and a bar-b-que pit.
Mauna Loa has both American and Oriental kitchens, plus a third one to serve the banquet room. Visitors are welcomed there, but not in the service bars where island drinks are mixed with secret formulas.
Gabriel and Nakashima will revise and add to the Mai Kai restaurant in Fort Lauderdale and work on another Mauna Loa, this one in Pittsburgh that will be headed by the Detroit project's 40 local stockholders.

(I assume the Maunal Loa Pittsburgh never happened...)

T

I found this article in the microfiche files at the Detroit library after searching all of 1967, looking for something on the Mauna Loa. I warn you,the writer goes off tiki-topic every once in a while, but I still think this is a spectacular vintage news find. The photos from the article aren't of very good quality but I will post them later... or maybe I should keep them for my own site so people will still have a reason to go there... I am giving away the farm here!!!

The Detroit News, August 20, 1967
The Mauna Loa: Million Dollar Gamble, Polynesian Style

Money lenders take a cynical view of the chances for success of a plush restaurant . Loans to build them often are backstopped with demands, that the building be designed in such a manner that it may be converted into another use.
A top eastside restaurant, for example, had to be located an built so that if necessary it could be made into a funeral parlour. Fortunately, the transition has not had to take place.
Robert L. Fenton, an astute 37 year old lawyer, is well aware of the mortality rate and high risk of his latest enterprise. He is president and leading stockholder of what may be the Midwest's mnost lavish new eating place, the Mauna Loa, nest to the financially troubled hotel, the St. Regis, on West Grand Boulevard.
Fenton is not thinking the unthinkable. And neither are his investors, which include such sports celebrities as Al Kaline, Hank Aguirre, Milt Plum, Walter Burkemo, Wayne Walker, Ted Lindsay and Gail Gogdill. the 42 others in the syndicate are such business and professional men as Eugene Bordinat Jr, of the J. L. Hudson Co, and many Detroit lawyers. The architect and contractor also have a slice.

The restaurant will cost 1.6 million when all the bills are paid for such things as imported lamps, weatherised palm trees, ($1,500 each), authentic South Pacific artifacts, lutes and indoor waterfalls and pools.

"We beleive it is the most expensive restaurant ever built of it's kind in the Midwest:, says Fenton. "But we don't have a doubt that it will not be supported in Detroit".

One of the contractors pointed out that if it does fail the structure is so designed that it can be converted into an office building. The interior decorations would be yanked out, the waterfalls dammed and the two-level building divided up into offices.

But what a shame, say most people who already have dined in the place which opened last week.

And thus would collapse the heady dream Fenton has been dreaming since 1964. A partner in the law firm of Fenton, Nederlander, Tracy, and Dodge, the restaurantbusinessis a new venture for the tax and corporation law specialist who six years ago parlayed his friendship with golf pro Walter Burkemo into a career managing sports celebrities.

"It was about six years ago that Wally Burkemo, then the pro at Franklin Hills, gave me a hurry-up call," recalls Fenton, a University of Michigan Graduate.

"He was coming on strong in the National Open, and tolk me he was beseiged by offers to endorse things in case he won. Wally wanted me to handle the negotiations. I flew to the course. But he blew a couple of putts and ended up fourth or something and some of the offers faded away. But he wanted me to handle his investments. That was the beginning."

Fenton, who speaks several languages including Russian, says that a few years ago Al Kaline heard about tax benefits that could come from such things as deferred compensation programs, and wanted him to handle his contracts.

"The word spread in sports circles," said Fenton, an intelligence officer for the air force in the Korean War. " A Few years ago these big sports stars were spending their money as if it was water. Then they started thinking about salting some of it away when they got too old to play. One word led to another and pretty soon about 15 top stars were letting me handle their contracts."

Includued were such people as Roger Maris, Pat Studstill, Carl Sweetan, Marty Pavelich and the others now in the Mauna Loa syndicate.

Fenton's labors for the spots figures not only include helping them get new and sweeter contracts, but advising them how to invest their surplus money.

It was his roster of celebrities that led to the reaization of the Mauna Loa.
"I was on the West Coast for a client", says Fenton, "and got the idea of building a Polynesian type restaurant. That type of place booms everywhere they're built. I figured Detroit was ready for one. I talked it over with the sports people and they agreed it would make a good investment.

"Hank Aguirre thought perhaps a Mexican restaurant would be better, but Hank's Mexican and partial to that food. Finally everyone, including Hank, wanted to take a slice. We found other business and professional people here who also agreed to invest and that's the way it started."

Fenton's idea, based on exhaustive reseach, was to build a place so exotically plush it would dazzle Detroit diners. Once eyes get accustomed to the romantic darkness of the interior as conceived by Florian Gabriel, the decorator, M. George Nakashima and George Pelham Head, the designers, the sight indeed is quite bedazzling. Sounds are muted by heavy rattan ceilings and pandanus leaf walls.

For more than a year Fenton's law office in the Guardian Building became the stagin building for the restaurant, Special crockery, silverware and trays were stored in one section of the offices awaiting a building.

Fenton has been beset by labor problems, material shotages, and other headaches. He expected to have the place open in May.

"Key personnel such as Joe Spada, his "mixologist" who carries the secret recipes for exotic rum-based drinks in his head; John S. Karydes ,catering manager, B. F. Enriquez, for erly of Washington's Mayflower Hotel, now assistant manager of the Mauna Loa, Kurt Mecklenburg, a volatile west german chef and Jimmy Mark, a goateed chinese cook, have been on the payroll for months.

His General, manager, Jerome L. Cohen, former manager of Chicago;s Playboy Club, was assig ed a year ago. Cohen also is an investor.

"To get these men", says Fenton, "we had to hire them even if we didn't have a restaurant ready"
Detroit-born, Fenton once workec for the Atomic Energy Commission as an intelligence officerf and observed seven atomic detonations.

For the past several weeks, he has lived at Mauna Loa, named after a live Hawaiian volcano, he had to get his meals elsewhere, Pots in the huge stainles steel kitchen did not start bubbling tilll last tuesday.

But the lighted waterfalls flowing from nearly every corner and even behind the huge bar, romantic lights glowing from stuffed blowfish, shells and papier mache globes, werre a welcoming sight to Fenton and his associates,

Before it oopened Fenton reflected some of his apprehension by interviewing passersby watching workmen put finishing touches on the Mauna Loa's entrance.

"Do you think it will be a good place?" he asked a pair of secretaries who work at the General Motors Bilding, across the street.

"Well, it ought to be" replied one, "i hear it cost $21 million to build"."That shook me a little", says Fenton, "because if the public gets the idea it cist so much to build the prices will be to high for such peoople as the secretaries and workingmen to eat"."Our idea is just the opposite. We made it lavish". continues Fenton. "a shopwpiece to attract people, but the food prices will not be any higher than an ordinary restaurant"

HE pointed to an 8 page menu listing such esoteric far east foods as

cha Siu, Avaku Pillow, and Napuka Fishfang, carrying price tabs of $1.75 to $2.00. The high ticket foods will be the traditional American steaks, the restauarant will feature far east foods, but there also will be gourmet dishes from all parts of europe and the United States.

"Building a restaurant has been an education for all of us." - Fenton mused as he stalked through the dimly lighted dining areas, crossing bridges over strweams created by the water gushing over real lava.
" But the delays and extra expenses we ran into have been worth it," headds. He sipped a tall drink created by Spada. "In fact we were so ecxcited about i we may build another just like it in another city".

Chances are good that Fenton,l exhaustedfrom months of tension, will take a breather.

When the doors finally opened last Tuesday, Fenton sighed and reckoned he now knows what it feels like to be a mother.

TD

Tikifish-
Thank you so much for all that wonderful information. I had a conversation with someone about a week ago that had been there and said that the place couldn't be described. She said it was absolutely amazing!
I really had no idea that so many big names (at least in Detroit) were involved in the restaurant. It's a shame that there is no evidence of it left, except for the drum s and p shakers. :(

I do beleive if it had survived it would have been on par with the Mai Kai and the Kahiki, if not surpassed it...

Just another Detrot tragedy...

P

Those are some great vintage articles on the Mauna Loa ! Thanks for posting those & all the great in depth info. Here's a few menus from the Mauna Loa:

T

I have a copy of the 2nd one but the first one is beeeyooteeful! I had not seen that before. Is it just the same menu, different cover? I wouldn't mind peeking inside!

P

Here's some pics of the inside of that first Mauna Loa menu:

T

Thankyou!!! I always wanted to see what the main courses were. The 'Foods from other lands' is quite a surprise!
I was planning to have a tiki dinner night with a few friends where I made several dishes off the Mauna Loa Menu, but I'm not sure Beef Stroganoff is up my alley!!!
Ah well, I can always make the pupus.

A rare find. Mauna Loa matchbook found in the wild in a big ol' jar of matches. Anyone else found any of these before?

G

I find this interesting. The Mauna Loa cost $2.25 million in 1967 to build. In 2006 dollars, that's $13.5 million. To compare, a typical Cheesecake Factory costs about $3 million to build at 11,000 square feet, which is considered expensive by today's standards. That gives you a sense of what it cost to build these huge tiki palaces build back in the day, versus the cost saving generic boxes they build today.

I am from Detroit born and raised in fact I lived right down the street from where this place was and had never heard of it before. A real Detroit tragedy to be sure.Imagine a restaurant that cost that much to build in the sixties. I sell lighted palm trees these days that can cost 1,500 each.
They would have been a good customer of mine.
Thanks for the info and articles!

UT

Here's my small tribute to the Mauna Loa. I know a few more folks have some other great items as well. All we need now are some interior or exterior photos! It was only open for such a short time it has almost turned into a ghost. This is the perfect time of year for digging around in the local libraries and newspaper archives for some hidden treasure. I'd love to do some digg'n myself but Detroit is a far poke for a day trip.

On 2008-01-03 08:39, LightedPalmTreeGuy wrote:
I am from Detroit born and raised in fact I lived right down the street from where this place was and had never heard of it before. A real Detroit tragedy to be sure.Imagine a restaurant that cost that much to build in the sixties.

That's because it existed for barely two years or so. The Mauna Loa is the prime example of how much the cost of building a Polynesian Palace and doing it right had risen by 1967. That and the fact that there was no rich Hilton or Sheraton hotel chain behind it, PLUS the fact that the Tiki trend was on its way out, ...PLUS the downtown riots, made the place go bankrupt pretty quickly. That is why any ephemera from it are so rare. I don't think they ever had time to even print postcards. I have never seen one. Also notice how the matchbook artistry of the 50s was becoming extinct.

Uncle Trav, you have been such a valiant and active contributor of Tiki archeology here on TC, here ya go:

These are from a restaurant magazine from the O.A. archives. I heard a rumor from Leroy that after the Mauna Loa group went bankrupt, someone tried to run it as a Safari-style place, serving wild game like monkey and ostrich...didn't last either.

That would have been THE bankruptcy sale of the century to attend. WHERE did all those carvings go !!? I know that the Chin Tiki took over the bar with the embedded Chinese coins and put it up in their upstairs lounge, but that was all I recognized there....hey LightedPalmTreeGuy, is the Chin Tiki building still standing? Someone should document it's destruction.

R

I got the rather fragile black tiki mugfrom the Mauna Loa a couple years ago and then just recently got the S&P's along with green and red swizzles. Seeing those pictures makes you realize the extent of the loss, it also seems strange how a place like this and the great Kahiki were only 3 or 4 hours away from each other. Anybody got a time machine?

UT

Thanks for the kind words Bigbro. And those pictures WOW!!! I would have loved to be there it it's prime. Thanks again.

C
Chub posted on Wed, Jan 9, 2008 9:50 AM

Here are some of the Mauna Loa pieces I have in my collection. The 4' tiki was found on Craigslist in Detroit. Person I bought it from said that at one time they had many more, but most were rotten, so they got rid of them. Aaaarrrggg!!! Notice that on both sides there is a hole where a bamboo railing would probably go into.

The magazine scan came thanks to Bob and Leroy over at O.A.

Two different matchbooks.

Drum and Cauldron mug


[ Edited by: Chub 2008-01-09 09:54 ]

[ Edited by: chub 2008-01-09 13:09 ]

Nice!!! :)

UT

Damn Chub!!! Nice collection you have going there. I see that the post you have is shown on Bigbro's post on page 1. Man I'd love to find one of those to put in the "Ceremonial Garden" down in my lounge. I'd have to add on a bit though to make room. Vintage Michigan is hard to come by these days. Thanks for posting.

On 2008-01-03 14:46, bigbrotiki wrote:
I know that the Chin Tiki took over the bar with the embedded Chinese coins and put it up in their upstairs lounge, but that was all I recognized there....hey LightedPalmTreeGuy, is the Chin Tiki building still standing? Someone should document it's destruction.

I'll field this one, bigbro. It was still there on Monday, but there's a construction fence around it and the adjacent buildings, so the time might be nigh. I happened to ride the "People Mover" for the first time when I was just there, and you can see it from the train, too (for now.) So, this must be the bar that's turned up at Livonia Chin's, then. Had a Mai Tai on it recently and didn't know its history went beyond Chin Tiki.

TT

Oh really, it went to Chin's? It's a huge f#$%in' bar, right? With Chinese coins embedded in resin? That must have been quite a moving job to get it over to Livonia....

Well if they got that thing out of there, it proves that the the Chin Tiki must be an empty shell by now. They must be sitting on a bunch of cool Witco. Wonder where all the plastic plants went.

The difficulty with getting pictures of a Tiki temple being torn down is that no one knows what day the wreckers will do it. Wonder if there is some kind of permit office that can give that info...

On 2008-01-16 12:08, bigbrotiki wrote:
Oh really, it went to Chin's? It's a huge f#$%in' bar, right? With Chinese coins embedded in resin? That must have been quite a moving job to get it over to Livonia....

Well if they got that thing out of there, it proves that the the Chin Tiki must be an empty shell by now. They must be sitting on a bunch of cool Witco. Wonder where all the plastic plants went.

The difficulty with getting pictures of a Tiki temple being torn down is that no one knows what day the wreckers will do it. Wonder if there is some kind of permit office that can give that info...

the chins livonia location is way too small to house the whole thing..they must have cut a part of it out and installed it that way...any witco and tiki worth salvaging is already either in the chins livonia location or being stored in marlin chins garage at his house (according to marlin himself)...i doubt there's anything left worth salvaging from the place except moldy plastic plants. The chins are well aware of the collectability of tiki stuff and i don't think they left any behind.

C
Chub posted on Fri, Jan 18, 2008 10:28 AM

Here's a pic of the Mauna Loa as it still was standing in the mid-late 1970's. I'm guessing by the car out front, it could even be the 1980's. Sad to see it with the facade falling off and a For Sale sign on it. The Mauna Loa was torn down ( not sure what year)for the expansion of the St. Regis Hotel next door.


[ Edited by: Chub 2008-01-18 10:30 ]

On 2008-01-16 12:08, bigbrotiki wrote:
Oh really, it went to Chin's? It's a huge f#$%in' bar, right? With Chinese coins embedded in resin? That must have been quite a moving job to get it over to Livonia....

Well, it's just a piece of it then. It does have the Chinese coins embedded in the top. Maybe someone local can elucidate.

TT

OK, when I was about 8 or 9, my folks took me and my sister to the Mauna Loa. It was a big deal because it was EXPENSIVE and we drove 3 and half hours from Battle Creek to do it. You can't imagine how excited my crazy dad was to take us there. There was a river inside. There was a deep pool where on one night a week a diver would dive for pearls. I definitely had a drink in a pineapple. This is not the kind of thing we did often. I am so sad to hear that it is completely gone. I don't know what made me Google the Mauna Loa today. I'm really glad I did. I'll ask my mom (the only one of us besides me who is still living) what else she remembers about it. Wow.

OK, when I was about 8 or 9, my folks took me and my sister to the Mauna Loa. It was a big deal because it was EXPENSIVE and we drove 3 and half hours from Battle Creek to do it. You can't imagine how excited my crazy dad was to take us there. There was a river inside. There was a deep pool where on one night a week a diver would dive for pearls. I definitely had a drink in a pineapple. This is not the kind of thing we did often. I am so sad to hear that it is completely gone. I don't know what made me Google the Mauna Loa today. I'm really glad I did. I'll ask my mom (the only one of us besides me who is still living) what else she remembers about it. Wow.

when i met george nakashima, the architect (a year before he died) , i asked about the mauna loa...i guess it was only open for 8 months before it closed...there were too many investors and people involved with the place from the beginning...they started to lose money rapidly due to some of the folks embezzling money directly from the place and also giving away alot of free food, drinks, and such favors to friends, politicians, celebrites etc....eventually the place imploded on itself and went bankrupt...but, man that must have been some swinging time to be a regular there for those 8 months....imagine all the scandalous stuff you could have witnessed or even been involved in!! chins bought a bunch of stuff from the mauna loa during the auction...some of which was never used in chins, but just kept in storage...

[ Edited by: Tipsy McStagger 2008-01-24 11:14 ]

UT

Just wodering if anyone on TC had a copy of the drink menu from the Mauna Loa. If so could they share some good phtos or scans. Would be great to see. Thanks

P

There is a "lunch menu" from the restaurant on the bay right now, (not my auction), up in 22 days, with a buy it now for $100. Too much for me, but maybe someone here may want it?

Trav, I dug up this only slide I have, for you. I remember this being the page that featured the most theme mugs:

T
teaKEY posted on Mon, Feb 4, 2008 3:55 PM

Look at those prices. I'm really enjoying all this digging

On 2008-01-03 14:46, bigbrotiki wrote:

I had always assumed that my green, 3-faced lamp was from a Steve Crane location, but I guess it's safe to say it's a Mauna Loa piece as it was found in the Detroit area.

-Z

T

Some more pictures I found on the net. These are from the Detroit News Archives held by Wayne State University.

Hey!!!!!! Great stuff Tatto. Thanks for posting.

C
Chub posted on Tue, Mar 18, 2008 11:46 PM

Chub like what Tattoo find! Detroit Tiki is good.

[ Edited by: Chub 2008-03-18 23:47 ]

J
jmack posted on Sat, Apr 5, 2008 8:51 AM

Hi Guys,

It's funny that I found this forum! I Googled it after my grandmother gave me these 10 odd looking glasses. She said it was from an old restaraunt she went to in Detroit a LOOONG time ago (30-40 years ago). So now I have these 7 mint codition tiki cups right from Mauna Loa with the sticker on em and everything.

Its such a joy to read the history of this really cool restaraunt and its sad that it no longer exists. Here is a pic of the glasses.

Should I try putting them on ebay?

If anyone is interested in purchasing these, shoot me an email! [email protected]

[ Edited by: jmack 2008-04-05 08:52 ]

You most likely made some people really happy with this find, I hope Trav, Chub and Tatoo got some of them.

On 2008-04-05 13:29, bigbrotiki wrote:
I hope Trav, Chub and Tatoo got some of them.

Ya know bigbro... if I didn't happen to find one myself 2 weeks ago, I'd almost feel left out :P

I got little curious about this photo and did a little messing around with it. Sorry about the color but this was the best way to see the relief panels on the exterior of the building. Thought it was interesting. Thanks.

Nice. I am planning to include various modernist concrete patterns (this one, Chin Tiki, Trader's Beverly Hills, etc.) in my "Look of Tiki" book

J
jmack posted on Wed, May 14, 2008 7:18 PM
C
Chub posted on Thu, May 15, 2008 8:38 PM

So Jmack, you sign up to tikicentral just to offer a mug to us here first; we respond by email, but get no response from you what so ever, and then you just put it up on ebay. Thanks dude! Hope the auction works out for you.

PS. This isn't the right place to be posting about ebay listings.

T

Chub, same here happened to me. Thought maybe the email got lost in space. And what about all the other mugs. Only one?

J
jmack posted on Thu, May 29, 2008 9:00 PM

oh sorry,

i just got flooded guys.. i didnt get a chance to respond to everyone, which is why i just came back here...

i posted another one up here...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200228042237

jmack please keep your commercials out of Locating Tiki. Don't worry people will still find your items for sale via any one of the other posts you've left.

Thank you.

T

I figured I would add this picture here as this was a great post until the eBay offers and mug talk came into it so let's get it back on track.

I came across this item and thought I would put a picture of it here.
It is something I have never seen before but it supposedly came out of the Detroit Mauna Loa. I say supposedly as it is not marked Mauna Loa but was reported as coming from the estate of a cook who worked at The Mauna Loa in Detroit, Michigan.

Back of plate. Maker Marked:

You might be thinking the same as me, just because it came from the estate of someone who worked there, how do we know it was actually something used there or sold??
Good question and I don't have the answer.
Everything I have seen from this establishment has the Mauna Loa name right on it. It was around for such a short time that I was thinking if they would even have something like this and again, without their name on it?
Even their utensils and that other documented plate had their name on it so why do this??

It looks like it could be possible as the frog is a symbol that was used by a few different Pacific cultures. At first I thought it looked quite Native American but I am not an expert.
Just kind of putting it here to see what some of you thought.
Will update if I get any more info.

Mahalo, TabooDan

UT

Hi Dan. Nice find. I don't think it was from The Mauna Loa Detroit though. The design looks like North West area Native American to me also. I did some digging on Mayer China and the number "261" is a date code. 2 being the second quarter of the year and 61 being 1961. The Mauna Loa opened in 1967. As far as I know they marked every thing with their name. Anything to do with the Mauna Loa is always worth checking out. Here's a plate posted by Sabu in the colecting tiki thread. Thanks for posting the plate.


"Anyone who has ever seen them is thereafter haunted as if by a feverish dream" Karl Woermann

[ Edited by: uncle trav 2009-01-03 05:10 ]

UT

And I see the same pattern plate is out on Ebay right now also from the estate of a former cook.

T

On 2009-01-03 05:39, uncle trav wrote:
And I see the same pattern plate is out on Ebay right now also from the estate of a former cook.

Hey Uncletrav, yeh, that's where I saw this one. I did not purchase one. I just thought it was an interesting piece.
I did email the seller and he said it was from the estate of the cook and that he took "boxes" of items home from the restaurant and that this was with it. He is not sure if he will be selling the items locally (In Detriot) or if he will list the items. Sounds like alot of stuff may be in the market soon though.

Good research on the maker info! I was hoping someone would do this and with that information, I would say for sure it is not a plate that was actually used at the Mauna Loa.

TabooDan

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