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Have not seen this discussed yet and I am curious if others have classified Tiki places as to their Tikiness.

A little background. My wife and I have really started getting into the Tiki culture in the last two years, so I do not call myself anywhere near an expert. But we have been trying to hit any Tiki style place wherever we go.

We have come up with a three tier classification for these places.

The top classification is Full Tiki. These are places that go all in with the Tiki feel and décor as well as the authenticity to their drinks and presentation. For instance we visited Trader Vic's and Tiki Tango in Atlanta this past weekend. We visited Frankie's in Los Vegas last year. These are all Full Tiki.

The next level is Tikiesque. These are places that follow the Tiki drink authenticity and presentation, have Tiki inspired decorations, but don't go full Tiki. Here in Nashville we have Pearl Diver that falls into that classification. We visited SOS Tiki in Decatur GA this weekend that falls here (honestly it is on the edge between Tikiesque and Full Tiki).

The last level is Tiki Adjacent. These are places that follow the Tiki drink authenticity and presentation but don't really follow Tiki décor. Best example is Chopper here in Nashville. It is a Sci-Fi/Tiki bar based around robots.

So what does the community think? Have you all been classifying the places you visit?

It would be interesting to see pics of full tiki and tikiesque so we can see the difference.

It would be interesting to see pics of full tiki and tikiesque so we can see the difference.

So here are some pics of Pearl Diver which we call Tikiesque (note that these are not mine but found online).proxy-image (5)proxy-image (1)proxy-image

And here are some from Tiki Tango that we call Full Tiki. (Again, not my pics but found online.)

proxy-image (4)proxy-image (3)proxy-image (2)

[ Edited by jeffbouldin on 2022-04-23 08:35:34 ]

The TC community has been rating the Tikiness of bars and restaurants for many years using the TiPSY (Tikis Per Square Yard) Factor. I don't recall exactly who came up with that acronym, but it may have been James Titelbaum, the author of "Tiki Road Trip," which came out a few years after Sven Kirsten's seminal volume, "The Book of Tiki", of it may have been Sven himself. I'm sure that someone with a better memory than me will chime in with a more authoritative answer.

I'm not sure that I can define exactly what TiPSY is either, as it seems to be kind of a subjective reaction to a place based on the overall Tiki vibe.

That is an interesting way to rate it. And I will agree that it is very subjective. My wife and definitely go by the vibe or feel.

Apparently, it was Teitelbaum who came up with it. Here's a quote from him that clarifies his criteria somewhat:

One thing Teitelbaum likes to see in a faux-Polynesian venue is a high “TiPSY Factor,” an acronym for “Tikis Per Square Yard.” “It’s a term I came up with after a few too many Zombies,” he says. “When it comes to tiki bars, more is more. The more faux-Polynesian and nautical artifacts you can cram in there, the better.” With those words of wisdom, I began my experiment to see how the human mind, body and spirit would be affected by seven straight days of tiki hedonism.

Full article is here:


At Critiki.com, you can see how other Tikiphiles have rated a location by a number of fixed criteria (Drinks, Lighting, Service, etc.), plus there's another subjective rating called "Tilt" which like TiPSY, isn't terribly well-defined.

[ Edited by MrBaliHai on 2022-04-23 15:55:14 ]

Would you call lounges or restaurants that lean heavily into Hawaiiana, make decent tiki drinks, and have tropical plants and decor and in many cases Tikis, "Tikiesque" or "Tiki Adjacent"?

In Japan we only have a few tiki bars in the entire country. One is Trader Vic's in the New Otani, which I do go to every year on my birthday (well, not during COVID unfortunately, so maybe this year).

Tiki Bar 2 (Second) in Shizuoka, which is on an outcropping of some very nice beaches I intend to go visit when I can, which I tend to call Party City Tiki: Screen Shot 2022-04-24 at 8.58.54Screen Shot 2022-04-24 at 9.07.51

Back in Tokyo we have The Bushman: Screen Shot 2022-04-24 at 9.16.23 Screen Shot 2022-04-24 at 9.10.41

We actually did have a full on competitor to Trader Vic's near Trader Vic's. Bad call. The decor was "Full Tiki" high TiPSY ratio. But also upon close inspection lacked the build quality of some of the US and UK Tiki destination bars I have visited, even most home bars I see here are better, and the drink's weren't that good. I may have some photos somewhere.

But I think COVID did them in. I can't find them on the map again. Being that close to Vic's was a bad decision. Not sure how they thought that was going to work out for them!

EDIT: It's the Tiki Tiki Shinjuku, it has disappeared from Google Maps, but the website still shows one picture of the dining room. I'll have to investigate if it is still open, but the reviews on Critiki echo my feeling. Pale imitation of a Trader Vic's. Marked as a classic and yet...


Tiki Bar Head Hunter in Okayama is the best Tiki Bar I have ever seen photos of in Japan, outside of Trader Vic's, but it's all the way on the opposite end of the country on the Seto inland sea. It's definitely on my bucket list:

Screen Shot 2022-04-24 at 9.29.18 Screen Shot 2022-04-24 at 9.24.19

Oh, and here is the proprietor with some no name beach bum, I guess:

Screen Shot 2022-04-24 at 9.30.13

We also have many, many, many Hawaiin themed restaurants, but I don't know if it's even worth it to put them into this discussion.

[ Edited by SouthSeasKat on 2022-04-23 17:34:33 ]

[ Edited by SouthSeasKat on 2022-04-23 17:54:34 ]

[ Edited by SouthSeasKat on 2022-04-23 17:54:57 ]

There was a bar/restaurant called Tiki Tiki in Yokohama when I lived in Kichijoji back in the late 80's. It had a very high TiPSY ratio as I recall, decent cocktails, and their own set of unique mugs. According to Critiki, it rebranded itself as a "Hawaiian Bar" several years ago and stripped out most of the Tiki accoutrements.

I wonder if Tiki Tiki Shinjuku and Tiki Tiki Yokohama were two locations of the same chain. Based on the fall of Shinjuku and the rebrand of Yokohama, they must not have been doing very well.

Tiki in general does not seem to have much of a cache in Japan.

Even the bartenders at Vic's tell me they do more business in whiskey from people stuck at the New Otani for business meetings. People like me who come to Vic's FOR Vic's are rare.

[ Edited by SouthSeasKat on 2022-04-24 08:06:13 ]

Based on the description of the Tiki Tiki Shinjuku, it sounds very similar to the Yokohama location, even down to the hula floorshow. The one in Yokohama was pretty empty when I visited, but it was early in the evening, right after they opened. The decor seemed to lean heavily into that cartoony Party City Tiki style as well.

The Otani Vic's was dead empty the last time I visited, which would've been back in the mid-90s. One cocktail and appetizer was all that I could afford on my daily per diem.

I think my theory on the two Tiki Tikis is probably accurate then. Honestly, I was not impressed with Shinjuku when I went in 2019.

I have been to Vic's when it has been dead, I have been to Vic's when it has been absolutely hopping. The thing is, discussion with the bartenders has revealed it all has to do with conventions and meetings in or around the New Otani. It is one of the most profitable Vic's in operation, because they have a captive audience.

But they have very, very few Tikiphiles. I am one of the few "regulars" who exist, they say. As I go every year on my birthday or on other special occasions. I usually drop $150-$200 bucks in a night. But they do usually make me something for my birthday which has no charge attached.

I took one of my coworkers (who is much bigger, I am only 115lbs), and I downed like three Mai Tais and two Fog Cutters in like an hour and wasn't even tipsy. He had like two Mai Tais and was swaying. He was shocked.

Tolerance I guess, because vodka or tequila? Two and I hit the floor.

[ Edited by SouthSeasKat on 2022-04-24 17:06:12 ]

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