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Don the Beachcomber, Palm Springs, CA (restaurant)

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Name:Don the Beachcomber
Street:1101 North Palm Canyon Drive
City:Palm Springs

There have been numerous threads that included information on the Don the Beachcomber restaurant located in Palm Springs. There is no separate entry in Locating Tiki so I figured I would start one.

Palm Springs opened as the third Don the Beachcomber restaurant in March of 1953, following the Hollywood (1933) and Chicago (1940) locations. The restaurant was located in the newly constructed Sunset Towers building on Palm Canyon Drive.

These articles from the Desert Sun document the opening with Donn’s ex-wife and owner Sunny Sund, manager Bud Bachtold, and host Pat O’Dea (both of whom came from the Hollywood restaurant).

The building featured a modest A frame flanked by two Tiki poles.

A rendering from Sabu.

A few more news photos of the restaurant exterior and interior.

Photos from Bigbro of the closed building from the 1990s.

Here is the original sign that was spotted some years ago resting somewhere in the desert.

"Hank Riddle (left) and waiter at the Palm Springs Beachcomber's, circa 1979"

The restaurant became popular with the Palm Springs in-crowd, including Frank Sinatra.

And Hoagy Charmaichael who was card carrying member of the club.

Sunny seemed to be a regular.

This photo from 1962 shows that Palm Springs also had the chopstick case for local celebrities similar to the Hollywood location.

Another article shows the Aloha Nui Beachcomber certificate that was handed out to important customers. I have seen a few of these but have not been able to purchase one.

This photo from the 1960's shows the Tiki mugs in action, including the Don the Beachcomber bust mug. I think this is the first time I have seen that mug in situ.

Cantonese Cuisine indeed.

The article from the Desert Sun shows that Sunny Sund sold the interest to the Don the Beachcomber restaurant to the Hilton group in 1961.

A few more ads from various years.

The last ad I found for Palm Springs was from 1978. It featured a rendering of the Marina Del Rey UFO building and a nod to manager Nash Aranas and host Mark Pinion. I am assuming it closed in that year.

Part of the restaurant is now fittingly occupied by Bootlegger Tiki.


[ Edited by: Dustycajun 2016-02-06 07:41 ]

Cool, thanks for pulling all of this together into one place DC!



How did I miss this... another great post Dusty!

Mahalo Dusty!

Saw this large magazine recently

Dated September 1980

Somehow 1980 doesn’t seem that long ago.


On 2016-05-04 21:43, nui 'umi 'umi wrote:
Somehow 1980 doesn’t seem that long ago.

Yeah....until you check out that guy's hairstyle and "Burt Reynolds" 'stash. Bet he's got a Trans Am in the parking lot too.



A few more mid 60's from the Palm Springs DTB..I did't spot these anywhere. From the cool Palm Springs Historical site. https://pshistoricalsociety.org/index.html

A Guest Check

Parade Car

Corner Sign

Parade in Front of DTB


Mahalo forvthe post Orgot

Here are a few more photos from the Historical Society website.

Nice shot of the building entrance

You can see the personal chopstick case in this photo.

And here is a press photo showing Sunny Sund's daughter Karen in Sunny's Queen's Chair for her 12th birthday party at the restaurant.



Sunny lived in Las Vegas for awhile and that's why she was a regular there, just like Sinatra was a regular at her house!

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