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Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

Kona Hut, Laguna Beach, CA (restaurant)

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Name:Kona Hut
Street:209 N. Coast Highway
City:Laguna Beach


The Kona Hut restaurant was located on the Coast Highway in Laguna Beach. I have seen this matchbook on ebay and I have always wondered about this one.

The back of the matchbook is dated 1954.

I found this news clipping from February 1956 indicating a fire. That may be why we have not heard more about this promising place.


I was bopping around different posts around here and noticed that this place is located in the same address as the Laguna Beach location of Christian's Hut. I wonder if "Kona Hut" was just the localized name for the same business as opposed to a separate business. (eg The San Diego location of Christian's Hut was referred to as "The Hut" and later "Bali Hai.")

The similarity in the design of the matchbook posted above and one of the matchbooks shown on the Christian's Hut post would seem to indicate that this might be the case.

Or am I just stumbling unto something that is already common knowledge?

Excellent observation Cosmoreverb! Never noticed that same address before. My guess is that the restaurant started as the Christian's Hut, it was owned by Art LaShelle and Red Skelton. I found this clipping from 1953 that confirms it was there before the Kona Hut.

This article after the 1956 fire says it was the Doll House before Kona Hut, so I am thinking that it changed ownership and they changed the name to Kona Hut sometime in 1954.

As in the fine Tiki transmission tradition, just a slight variation to the matchbook was all that was needed for the change!


Pages: 1 2 replies