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Starting my tiki bar

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I've recently become interested in tiki. I'm learning that what I've done doesn't adhere strictly to pure tiki - I'm still learning. But I'm not done and I will improve.Bar Lounge

Looks like a relaxing place to hang out!


Great start there Otterdog! Turn on the Les Baxter, make yourself a Mai Tai and relax! Looks like a nice space too.

[ Edited by TIKIGIKI on 2023-01-17 14:02:48 ]

Thanks, Maddog.

Thanks, TikiGiki! I'll do just that!


Question: does it ever rain there where you are?

Yes. Not much, though, since it's a desert. But we've had a surprisingly lot of rain (for here) this winter.

If you're asking out of concern for what the rain might do to the bar, you're right. It doesn't rain a lot here, but the rain that we do get can't be good for the particle-board plywood that the bar is made from. i'm not sure how the heat of the summer will affect it, either. But we'll only be here for 18 more months. So if the bar doesn't survive past that, it's ok. I'll build a new one wherever we land next. Have a great day.

No, it's just that I have never lived in Abu Dhabi for any length of time and wondered if it ever actually rained there. I can see you have sails but I assumed they would be more for the intense sun. I agree that particle board and water do NOT mix at all well but unless the bar is standing in a puddle for a while it shouldn't suffer too much damage in a shower. Water gets in around the edges, not the flat surfaces. Give it some short legs, maybe made from cut off plastic pipe sections to raise it above the dampness of the floor.

Once bitten by the Tiki bug, it's permanent I'm afraid!

Welcome Otterdog! You've now entered the deep and twisty rabbit hole known as tiki. I'd warn you to turn back before it's too late, but we already know that it's too late!

Nice start to your tiki space. We all have to begin somewhere and you're already way ahead of where I was when I first discovered tiki. The important thing is to remember tiki is a journey, not a destination (not to be confused with commercial tiki bars, which are definitely a destination!).

I look forward to your contributions to Tiki Central!

Hi Tikigiki. I’m really very excited to learn that the tiki bug is permanent. You know ho sometimes people say that something was missing in their life and so they found religion? I think I found tiki instead. It seems like a great thing to become obsessed with.

Thanks Prikli Pear! I don’t want to turn back! I want to join the cult!

Just be aware that a Tiki Bar, once started, is NEVER finished! You will enjoy the ride!

We have all been there, my I suggest going forward, start using solid wood (If available in the Desert?) it will last longer and you can refinish it when the weather and sun take its toll over time, I bought one of those build it yourself TikiBar's when I first fell into the Tiki Hole, it didn't even last 6 months outside, I then built from scratch using real wood etc, using the old bar as a template, I still had it 6 years later and l gave it away when I moved.

Thanks, ATP. I’ll stick with this one as long as it lasts and then build a new one when I move in the summer of 2024. I love the way everyone here describes their tiki appreciation. I think this is a hole I’m going to enjoy. Are there tiki conventions?

[ Edited by Otterdog on 2023-01-21 11:59:25 ]

I sensed that! I’ve been telling a friend about my tiki bar and he asked when it would be done. I answered: “Oh, it will never be done.” He replied: “It’s like that, is it?” “Yes. I can tell I’m just going to get obsessed with this.”

In the USA we have Tiki Events, which are more party than a Convention, booze, Tiki marketplaces, Seminars, Exotic Dancers, bands does that appeal to you?

You had me at “exotic dancers!” 🤣


Man finding tiki in Abu Dhabi must be hard!

"Virginia but in Abu Dhabi" sounds like govt work.

Good luck with your build.

Actually, we have a Trader Vic's (very popular in the Gulf - they exist in Oman, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia (though I suspect the ones in Saudi are non-alcoholic). In Abu Dhabi, we also have a Pacifico Tiki Bar.


Sorry, but I did spend a while on that website trying to find something, anything "Tiki", ....well apart from the vaguely "bamboo-ish" chairs. Do they even have any Tikis? Bit hard to be Tiki when the whole place is massively surrounded by that "Disneyland Modern" style of architecture that's so popular in Abu Dhabi.

[ Edited by TIKIGIKI on 2023-01-22 12:50:27 ]

No need to apologize. I haven't actually been to the Pacifico yet because it's been closed for renovations until very recently. And Trader Vic's only barely scratches my tiki urge, too, despite its long history. But, living here, I get excited for small things.

Re: "Disneyland Modern" architecture in Abu Dhabi. I'm with you. I describe Dubai as "Arab Las Vegas."

Tiki Bar I picked up a ship's wheel and a replica Mark V diving helmet this weekend in the Souq in Muscat, Oman. I think they are the icing on the cake!


Great additions! Keep going!

Lookin' good!


Maybe invest in a largish potted palm? Perfect climate for one, and it would really help your atmosphere too.



I've been thinking about that. It would look great if I don't kill it. I don't have a great track record with plants, though. And with this being on my roof and the summer approaching, it will get brutal up there in a few months. Maybe in October.


Nice! A Tiki Bar build-out is best when it's very personalized. Find those bits and artifacts that scratch that itch for you, and it will become a much more enjoyable space.

Also, a wise word from Spike's latest tour video of his home bar: layers! I would think of what is not only on the bar itself, but what is behind it, what is above it, what is on the other side of the room from it! The ultimate goal is to have a space for immersion and escapism, no? Looking forward to seeing more!

Thanks, Bam Bam. On that very note, it's been on my mind to find a sign that says the name of the ship I served on when I was in the Marines - LHA3, USS Belleau Wood. In my imagination, a tiki bar might be a place where some old sailor or maritime wanderer memorializes his life at sea to some extent. I'm not quite that, but I did deploy on ship for 6 months. So a sign with my ship's name on it would look good right behind the bar. Have a great day. I'll keep your advice in mind as this thing evolves.

In my imagination, a tiki bar might be a place where some old sailor or maritime wanderer memorializes his life at sea to some extent.

This highlights one of the unspoken but imho very important, even key, elements that brings together a good tiki bar: it tells a story.

Thanks, Mike and Marie! Good point!

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