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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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Dear Brethren,

About a month ago, I was looking for a birthday present for Doctor Z - the man who has every tiki mug. Being a cheapskate, I began hunting E-bay for hidden tiki-mugs without any of the usual keywords and managed to snag this beauty for a few bucks.

... then of course told Doctor Z that I spent a week's paycheck on it.

I would have never known which "Bali Hai" this mug came from if it wasn't for the two swizzle sticks that came along with it. The seller assures me that they are all from the same place: The Bali Hai in Lynnfield, MA, near Boston.

Doing a little research on the web, I find that lo-and-behold, the place still exists! Here's the website:
http://www.2nite.com/balihai/home.htm


It's got this nice little A-frame and everything. And the homepage states that they serve Polynesian, Chinese food, and Island Drinks.


Inside it looks like a typical Chinese restaurant with nice beachcomber lamps.

The address is 93 Moulton Drive, in Lynnfield.

I wasn't able to find any previous references to this restaurant on Tiki Central or in Tiki Road Trip. Has anyone on TC ever visited? Would anyone like to visit and give a report? I'd love to add this place to the "Locating Tiki" forum if it's authentic.

Here are a couple of reviews from another website:

"This restaurant used to be great - I ate there many times. I recently went back after about 10 years and it was a big disappointment. It had definately gone down-the-hill. Except for the bar area, which was busy and very loud the restaurant was almost empty. There was a news paper write-up posted in the entryway - rating this restaurant the best in the area ---- it was from 1987."

"The Bali RULES!! Lester is pound for pound the best bartender in the Suntaug Lake area! I recomend the happy-talk platter...Good place to meet drunk chicks."

S

Hey Sabu,

I actually stumbled upon this place last year during my "New England Tiki" adventure while driving down Highway 95. I didn't give it much of a chance then, but I will be going back for "New England Tiki II" this October and will give you the full report. This place is conveniently located within a few miles of Kowloon, one of my favorite Tiki haunts in Mass.

Here is the thread I posted last year:

https://tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=1255&forum=1

Also, if I'm not mistaken, I think JT does have a write up on the Bali Hai in Tiki Road Trip.

I can tell you more about it on Saturday if you'll be at Trader Pup's.

Thanks Arty!

I probably looked it up under the wrong State in Tiki Road Trip. I'll try again when I get home. Can't wait to hear from your next visit.

Sabu

S

Oh yes, the Bali Hai is still up and running. It's feeling its age and, perhaps, has lost some of its shimmer, but it is still alive and kicking!

C
CHRIS posted on Fri, Aug 22, 2003 6:13 PM

The Bali Hai is showing its age. The lamps are authentic and there are several tapa cloth drums hanging in the entry/cash register area. The bar lacks any type of atmosphere - sports and keno. Sometimes they have mugs for sale - OMC with the foil sticker. The plates must be 20 years old - yellow border with a little island scene; they sold me one for $10.50. Can't vouch for the drinks; I usually have a long drive after I visit.

R
Rain posted on Sun, Aug 24, 2003 10:55 AM

thanks for the update, chris. kailua geoff and i might be investigating a few places in the area in september.

Providence, Warwick, Greenville, North Shore MA. The New England Tiki scene is growing. This is beginning to look like a social gathering is in order.

[ Edited by: Midway Cafe on 2003-08-24 11:11 ]

My trip to the Boston/Providence area was cut short last week (only two weeks instead of five, thank Gawd) when the trial I was attending was settled out of court. The big bummer, however, is that I was not able to meet up with Rain and do the Kowloon as planned.
The Kowloon was more than an hour from where I was, and even further for Rain. Since he arrived late from Florida the day we were supposed to go, and I was too slammed with work to get back with him and set up an alternative plan, it didn't happen. Oh well...
I was staying in Plymouth, Mass. and did find a local Chinese place called the Ming Dynasty that served Mai-Tais, Zombies, Suffering Bastards, Scorpion bowls, etc. So if anyone is ever visiting the Mayflower and Plymouth Plantation, they might want to stop in for a beverage even though there is no tiki atmosphere.
I also checked out two promising sounding places near where I was staying that didn't pan out. One was called Orchid of Hawaii near New Bedford. The other was called the Hawaiian Garden in Halifax. The Hawaiian Garden had a cool sign out front, a tropical mural near the bar and the same tiki pole inside that is on the outside of the China Sea restaurant in Providence. Otherwise it was smoke-filled and hopeless. The Orchid of Hawaii was a very modern Chinese place that just sucked.
I also stopped into a place in Hyannis on Cape Cod called "Tiki Ports". This place must have been a full-fledged tiki joint at one time. There were tiki poles out front, a lava rock fountain at the doorway, bamboo light fixtures and a tropical mural over the bar. I didn't have time to get a drink, but the place was full of beer drinking locals anyway who didn't want me taking pictures of the bar (I did so regardless).
Hopefully Rain will get to the Kowloon and also be able to check out a place called the Hukilau in Chicopee that some friends in Florida told me about. There seems to have been a lot of tiki in New England at one time, so maybe more discoveries will be made.
KG

Bali Hai in indeed in TRT, on pages 140/141.

T

In response to Midway Cafe's post, I think we should have a Northeast Tiki gathering! I'm in Connecticut, but I could easily make it up to the Boston area for an event. What do the rest of you New England TC'ers say? I'd be willing to help organize the event. Let's discuss.

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