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Don’t ask Garrett Martin of Paste Magazine, because he has no idea. https://www.pastemagazine.com/travel/strong-water-anaheim-tiki-bar/

I love Strong Water a lot. But I know they’re not a Tiki bar. They have never even referred to themselves as a Tiki bar either. Seriously, what the hell is up with these journalists who are so quick to lump nautical/pirate bars together with actual Tiki bars?? Isn’t the entire point of a Tiki bar to have actual Tikis in it?

He is the last person in the world who should be proselytizing about what Tiki bars should look like and what they should/shouldn’t have. Im dropping him into the hall of shame along with many other writers who often think Donn Beach opened the first actual Tiki bar.

[ Edited by Tikifish81 on 2022-09-22 19:09:04 ]


He lost me when he started to rabbit on about "cultural appropriation" in his "review"! Who the hell started the idiotic beat up about that and why is he even mentioning it? Trying to placate the "woke" brigade?


Anyone who uses the words 'cultural appropriation', especially a journalist, loses any and all credibility right away.

Excellent topic! We fight this problem all the time here in Flori-duh... People do not know the difference between a "Jimmy Buffett bar" or "Florida tiki," versus the admittedly broad yet authentic "tiki" bar.

The article - one word - douchey. Yeah, writers sometimes just don't know what they're talking about. But yes, they submitted a story and got paid and had it published. Yay.

I used to look for at least one carved tiki, but now that there are so many painted tiki carvings prominently displayed, I have narrowed down even further what I was willing to give a "pass" to.

Reminds me of the old "Big Bamboo Lounge" in Kissimmee (RIP!) that had lots of thatching but only one small tiki above the cash register. It barely qualified as "tiki," but man, it is still the number one most fun dive bar I've ever been to.

The really sad thing is people will refuse to educate themselves on this particular part of American pop culture, focus on the drinks only, and just continue to aid in the de-evolution of the Tiki Revival.

And a smaller subset still will dismiss any of Sven Kirsten's books and research just because he's a white European man. So stupid, it makes me head hurt.

This is a great topic and I think about it constantly! I think right off the bat, a Tiki bar needs tikis. That's a given. When bar owners remove or don't have tikis in their bar, they are removing the heart of what a tiki bar is. Second a tiki bar has a very distinct vibe that should be dark and mysterious. You just know when a tiki bar is a true tiki bar and when it's not. There's a certain feeling..


In a day and age where people are not sure what to say when asked to define what a woman is you want a tiki bar defined?

Might be a hard ask.

BUT I took LOTS of heat way back when I said that a Star Wars tiki bar was not tiki, and let me tell you not many if any took my side.

Then there was a Basketball tiki bar with sports tiki Bob mugs to match, it went on and on.

I am really old school in this area as I don't even want color changing or any really led lights in my version of a tiki bar.

You can put anything you want in your bar but then others have the same right to say that's not tiki etc.

I don't get pissed when people say something I have in my bar is not tiki it's just a person's opinion really and most times they are right as I have headhunter stuff and a few other non-tiki items.

But there should be a general guide for what a tiki bar is and that was put in writing in a book called the book of tiki.

Sven too takes some heat for his views on what a tiki bar is too, but he also has a few non-tiki items in his bar as well.

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