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I was chatting to a friend last night who mentioned that in the 1980s he used to drink in a tiki bar in the Mayfair Hotel in London. He particularly liked it because it had thunderstorm effects. Now this friend, while not one of the faithful, knows his tiki from his Buffet, as it were, and swore it was definitely a full-on tiki bar. Anybody know anything about this?

That will be the old Beachcomber. What a shame that's gone!! There's an article about it in a past issue of Tiki News. (Can't remember which one off the top of my head). I'll post some excerpts when I get the chance.

Trader Woody

The Beachcomber article is in Tiki News #15, by Jay Strongman. (He's not the person who told you about it is he? I know he's a major player in the Club M scene).

Basically, the bar kicked off in 1960 and soon became a hit with the Hollywood on vacation crowd....Sammy Davis Jr (of course), Marlon Brando, Bob Hope, Henry Mancini, Cary Grant.....you know the type.

There was indeed a big pool with a thunderstorm, and it was stocked with terrapins & crocodiles!! They used to swap the crocs at London Zoo if they got too big.

Live bands played, with the house band being Bosko Holder and His Hawaiians. I've got an album myself of Bryan Smith & the New Hawaiians from 1978 which is bloody awful, and it features a very blurry photo of the Beachcomber (I think it's of the edge of the pool, but who knows?).

There was also a bed in the Castaway's corner which supposedly got a lot of action as well as a parrot that had been taught to say 'F*ck off'. Not Disneyland then.

Trader Woody

M

There was indeed a big pool with a thunderstorm, and it was stocked with terrapins & crocodiles!! They used to swap the crocs at London Zoo if they got too big.

There was also a bed in the Castaway's corner which supposedly got a lot of action as well as a parrot that had been taught to say 'F*ck off'. Not Disneyland then.

Just one more reason London is my fave city. too bad it's gone, sounded like quite a place.

Cheers,
midnite

that beachcomber must have been the one to inspire old billy butlins to make his own, I found this website http://members.tripod.com/butlins_memories/id352.htm that says

The beachcomber was amazing. Billy Butlin got the idea from a similarly themed club or bar in Mayfair London. Streams ran through an South Pacific themed bar down to a lagoon. The waitresses dressed
in grass skirts etc. At the back of the lagoon which included a shipwreck mock up, was the cyclorama. This was a volcano, that erupted every so often, during a tropical thunderstorm, where torrential rain fell into the lagoon.

But live crocodiles in a Tiki bar very "Live and let die"

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