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M

Name:Tiki Bob's
Type:restaurant
Street:599 Post Street (at Taylor)
City:San Francisco
State:CA
Zip:
country:USA
Phone:ORdway 3-5857
Status:defunct

Description:
From the Book Of Tiki:
"....“Sneaky” Bob Bryant had worked as Trader Vic’s bar manager, but when they had a falling out in 1955, Bob moved down a block from the Trader’s Cosmo Place location and opened his own watering hole. An attempt to franchise his concept at the Capitol Inn in Sacramento was short lived. Bob also opened “Tiki Bob’s Mainland” on 333 Bush Street where he offered lingerie fashion shows to draw in the business crowd at lunchtime...."

The Sneaky Tiki was the specialty of the house, and the Super Sneaky Tiki was served in the signature mug that was yours to take home.

M

From a San Francisco Hotel Guide October, 1955:

Back cover of the menu:

A special of the day that is stapled inside my menu:

[ Edited by: martiki6 on 2003-11-17 21:30 ]

B

Hiyas,
How cool...I didn't think anyone remembered. I was practically raised in Tiki Bob's...My Aunt Florence bought out Bob in the 60's...my mom was a waitress/hostess there and I was stuck making crab puffs in the kitchen. We had the best 3.5 thick pork chops anywhere and our drinks knocked plenty of people out. Fact is I think I still have some mugs in storage and the original drink recipes on the original index cards. Not only was Bob the only one that came from Trader Vics...all the waiters and cooks all worked at Trader Vic's at one time.

Kal

L

On 2004-05-29 19:13, BornTiki wrote:
....all the waiters and cooks all worked at Trader Vic's at one time.

Kal

cool history and cool name, Borntiki!

This is truly wonderful! Thanks for the memories. What's the latest incarnation of the corner space? I remember the newstand (that moved to Geary) and Thrifty Car Rental, but can't seem to recall any others.

Hiyas,
Yeah...Harold's newsstand...Tiki and all. It's been awhile since I've been downtown...don't know what's occupying the space now.

Kal

Hiyas,
Yeah...Harold's newsstand...Tiki and all. It's been awhile since I've been downtown...don't know what's occupying the space now.

Kal

Hiyas again,
Been perusing this thread....shame there isn't any more Tiki bar's in San Francisco...'cept for Trad'r Sam's which is a dive...though I remember, what was it called?...P-38 Dive Bomber?...15-20 dollars? Came in a bowl...2 of them would do a good job of getting one blotto, other than the decor I've never considered the Tonga room at the Fairmont as being a real Tiki Bar. Good news though is Trader Vic's is opening a new location downtown in little while...lease has been signed and all that, last I heard.

Kal

M

On 2004-05-29 23:52, [email protected] wrote:
This is truly wonderful! Thanks for the memories. What's the latest incarnation of the corner space? I remember the newstand (that moved to Geary) and Thrifty Car Rental, but can't seem to recall any others.

The space is still empty.

BornTiki- It would be great if you could scan and post some of those recipes. Thanks for the background!

A
aquarj posted on Tue, Jun 1, 2004 4:39 PM

Fact is I think I still have some mugs in storage and the original drink recipes on the original index cards.

Wowee, I bet a lot of people here would flip a wig over a Tiki Bob show-and-tell session.

-Randy

[ Edited by: aquarj on 2004-06-01 16:41 ]

Kal, I met your aunt when I was researching for the Book of Tiki and she lend me the menu and the photo you see in the book. Could you tell us a little about Raffles down on Market Street, where some of the Tiki Bob artifacts migrated to? From when to when did your family run that place? I think very few Tiki Centralites know that Tiki Bob's lived on for a while in this reincarnation.

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki on 2004-06-03 00:13 ]

Here's the gang on our recent SF Tiki Crawl . We stopped for the photo opp. and tried to get a covert group to restore the white and black paint on Bob's tiki. Next year!

B

Hmmm...let's see, that was some time ago, I always remember going to or being at TB's and that was in the '60s, I usally got to sit at the booth next to the fish tank where the crew would distract me with yd. long straws, Tiki mugs filled with 7up and grenadine syrup and all I could eat Sesame fried chicken. The crew was Perry the Bartender, he was very good and could mix with the best of them, very old school, Jimmy, a very nice man and one of the more popular waiters and of course Walter, he would smile and bow, all the while cursing your mother for having the nerve to give birth to you, in cantonese of course, and making it seem as if he was simply repeating your order in chinese, he was also in charge of the salad dressings, he's the only one who knew the whole recipes. There was Jimmy the cook, never saw a duck deboned so quickly, he was a great cook...and there was this one cook...always smoked...always had this cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth with a 3 inch long ashe that he never got in the food, ever. The food in the polynesian genre is simply cantonese cooking usally with a island flavor. Of course that's changed now but then that was the norm. The walls, most noticeably the ceiling in the bar was of the old corrugated tin sheets...frugality being embraced, these were plastered in chinese newspapers dating from the 50's and remained there 'til the end, as did most of the fixtures, the various Fugu, velvet paintings of naked women, lit glass globes and netting, spearguns etc.. They mostly were there till the end. Raffles #1 at Market near Polk? I think, it 's the Fox Plaza building, actually coexisted with TB's, it came along later. It catered to the business crowd, lunch, happy hour and dinner...wasn't a Tiki place inasmuch as it was polynesian themed. The waiters at TB's also moonlighted at Raffle's for lunch a lot. Raffles #2 was on Market and 1st St., it also catered to the business crowd. We became 'uninvolved' in the late '70's...TB's never recovered, alot of regulars had passed on and times were changing as they are prone to do. Raffles #2 closed some time before TB's. So that left Raffles...Aunt Florence(not my real aunt, I was just raised calling her that) continued on with her daughter Kim taking over Raffles for a time. I totally forgot that some of the 'stuff' from TB's ended up in Raffles, but I hate to say it...a lot of stuff didn't and I know it wasn't saved, shame really. So if any memorabilia shows up, be cynical, aside from mugs( we served a lot ), there really wasn't much that survived...and if the attempt to repaint the Tiki is a success...it should be Brown and off-White.

[ Edited by: BornTiki on 2004-06-05 12:58 ]

B

Hmmm...let's see, that was some time ago, I always remember going to or being at TB's and that was in the '60s, I usally got to sit at the booth next to the fish tank where the crew would distract me with yd. long straws, Tiki mugs filled with 7up and grenadine syrup and all I could eat Sesame fried chicken. The crew was Perry the Bartender, he was very good and could mix with the best of them, very old school, Jimmy, a very nice man and one of the more popular waiters and of course Walter, he would smile and bow, all the while cursing your mother for having the nerve to give birth to you, in cantonese of course, and making it seem as if he was simply repeating your order in chinese, he was also in charge of the salad dressings, he's the only one who knew the whole recipes. There was Jimmy the cook, never saw a duck deboned so quickly, he was a great cook...and I there was this one cook...always smoked...always had this cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth with a 3 inch long ashe that he never got in the food, ever. The food in the polynesian genre is simply cantonese cooking usally with a island flavor. Of course that's changed now but then that was the norm. The walls, most noticeably the ceiling in the bar was of the old corrugated tin sheets...frugality being embraced, these were plastered in chinese newspapers dating from the 50's and remained there 'til the end, as did most of the fixtures, the various Fugu, velvet paintings of naked women, lit glass globes and netting, spearguns etc.. They mostly were there till the end. Raffles #1 at Market near Polk? I think, it 's the Fox Plaza building, actually coexisted with TB's, it came along later. It catered to the business crowd, lunch, happy hour and dinner...wasn't a Tiki place inasmuch as it was polynesian themed. The waiters at TB's also moonlighted at Raffle's for lunch a lot. Raffles #2 was on Market and 1st St., it also catered to the business crowd. We became 'uninvolved' in the late '70's...TB's never recovered, alot of regulars had passed on and times were changing as they are prone to do. Raffles #2 closed some time before TB's. So that left Raffles...Aunt Florence(not my real aunt, I was just raised calling her that) continued on with her daughter Kim taking over Raffles for a time. I totally forgot that some of the 'stuff' from TB's ended up in Raffles, but I hate to say it...a lot of stuff didn't and I know it wasn't saved, shame really. So if any memorabilia shows up, be cynical, aside from mugs( we served a lot ), there really wasn't much that survived.

O

Oh,how I remember the great times at Tiki Bob's. The drinks, the munchies were the best. Lunch at Raffle's in Fox Plaza was almost a daily need. Does anyone have the recipe for the salad dressing? Would love to have it.

For anyone curious...

I recently (1) picked up a copy of The Book of Tiki and (2) moved to San Francisco. While a trip to the Tonga Room at the Fairmont hasn't happened yet, we did need to grab breakfast while passing through downtown so we vectored past the former site of Tiki Bob's. At the location now is "The Crepe House" which is pretty good. I forgot a proper camera, but here's what my phone recorded:

The iconic pillar, in its new color - this turned out somewhat artsy.

More natural colors... looks a bit like a banana:

A really bad view from across the street, as we were running to catch a bus:

Sadly, no obvious indication of the location's former life.

I'm so glad the Crepe House has kept the Tiki Bob pillar.
The last time I saw the building, it was a closed Enterprise Rental place!!
I thought the iconic pillar was doomed at that point. What a surprise to see that it's been kept and enhanced...and is still the focal point!!

[ Edited by: Conga Mike 2006-08-25 13:11 ]

M

The pillar is structural- they could fill in the face, but they can't get rid of it.

Which is good.

T'is always good to see the ol' guy still smilin', oblivious to the tides of time and taste. Sort of a Zen smile, ain't it?

Wonder if they make rum crepes....

M

Just found this site. So Great. Not too many memories of Tiki Bobs though. Many great times there. Just got back from hnl, when there check out La Mariana Sailing Club. See ya fans.

T

I used to go to Tiki Bob's in the late 70's. There were three of us who made a regular trip there from the eastside about once a month or so. I remember those great pork chops. I also recall they had some kind of baked or fried banana dish which I haven't been able to find anywhere else or to recreate myself - it was soooo good. That's a recipe I'd like to have.

C
Catman posted on Fri, Aug 3, 2007 3:56 PM

Well, well, well; Tiki Bob's identified!
When I was just a pup my saintly neighbor, the late Winston Norman, would periodically invite one or another of the neighborhood kids to join him and son Scott to the San Francisco Press Club as guests, for weight workout, swimming, hot dogs & snack - about as clean fun a dad, son, and friends could possibly enjoy.
We'd park in one of the downtown highrise lots (that's all those buildings did, as far as I could tell), and at some point in our journey would pass by Tiki Bob's for a few under-aged chin-up attempts on our favorite icon's smiling face.
We were too young to actually go in, of course.
Years later I took myself on a walking tour and was very sad to learn that after all those years of anticipation, Bob's was no longer open for business, and looked pretty unhappy himself.
It is delightful to see his happy mug asmile again, albeit with new color scheme and enhanced features.
Next trip to The City I'll have to make a pilgrimage, perhaps suggesting adding a Tiki Beverage section to the menu?
Or a fruit-and-umbrella desert crepe???

B

Aloha all,
Yeah Tiedup2...those were banana fritters. Use Tempura batter and split bananas...deep fry till a nice light golden color. Don't forget the whipped cream...it's key. These are also great with Coconut ice cream...most of what you can buy in the stores have pineapple bits in it...you don't want that. Dreyers used to make our ice cream...don't know if it's still available, but I'm sure there's an acceptable substitute out there. And Catman, that's tragic that you never had been to Tiki Bob's. Really, even more so considering that you were never too young to go in. Granted, kids weren't allowed to sit in the bar area, but they were always welcome in the dining room...I spent many a night there growing up.

Take care all,
Kal

[ Edited by: BornTiki 2007-09-20 15:23 ]

[ Edited by: BornTiki 2007-09-20 20:14 ]

Hey Kal. Check out TIKI MODERN, the Tiki Bob logo Tiki is in there four times, three of them in its OTHER personifications. You probably would not remember if Bob Bryant or Florence ever became aware of these other uses..?

  1. The menu cover (again)
  2. The Elvis mug
  3. The Bali Hai New Orleans ashtray
  4. The Hawaiian Village Tampa cocktail menu

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2007-09-20 18:17 ]

B

Hiyas,
Nah...neither Bob or Florence ever new about these. Believe me, if Bob or Florence ever knew, they would have tried to get their piece of the pie...no matter how small it would have been. Besides...Dragon Lady Flo was too cheap to hire a lawyer.

Kal

D

i'm finding out little bits of Tiki History talking to my family.. Kai ~ your "Aunt Florence"'s youngest daughter Suzie, married Patrick (my cousin's best friend from highschool). i'm meeting up with relatives this weekend, i hope to get more info. at least now i have names to refer to!

its funny, my relatives know that "oh elicia likes that tiki stuff" but fail to realize Tiki Bob's and Trader Vics is the stuff i want to know about! to Uncle Fred, it was just a job...

ok. off to find out more about the Mystery Photo on Grant Ave..

OK, these connections are just too amazing. Hmm, now I have to ask: As a school kid in Hamburg, Germany, I grew up next door to a Chinese family that owned a restaurant, and I went to school with their sons, Leo and Anthony Ling. The younger, Anthony, became one of my best friends in school. Were they perhaps related to the Tiki restaurant industry somehow? Is it all part of the "Big Design" !?

Sorry to interrupt Sven and Dogbytes, but I have to say that the Tiki Bob mug and the Suffering Bastard mug are two of my favorites. I was really pleased to see that Munktiki revamped the Suffering Bastard with the "Wannabe Bastard" mug. I would love to see Tiki Bob updated. Anyone with me on this?

M

Do a search for "Roberto Loco"

'S okay, I was not really being serious with my question. :)

Bosko did at least two different "Mod" versions of the Tiki Bob design, both really cool, and I kick myself for not having secured one. Mebbie someone could post some pics?

I finally found a Tiki Bob matchbook. It took me forever.

And here's another "borrowed" Bob on the back of the South Pacific Restaurant matchbook from Florida.

Wow - just read this thread for the first time... the first-hand accounts are amazing!

Here's a nice exterior shot.

And a great interior view.


"Anyone who has ever seen them is thereafter haunted as if by a feverish dream" Karl Woermann

[ Edited by: uncle trav 2009-08-16 18:28 ]

Nice, Uncle Trav - I don't think I've seen that interior shot before... it really gives you a clear idea of the layout.

I've seen other "lingerie lunch girl" photos before, but not this one:

...the newscopy is priceless

Date: 1959 Mar. 30.
"These diners at a restaurant - Tiki Bob's - here are enjoying cheesecake provided for them by the management, but it isn't the edible kind. Restaurant owner Bob Bryant has run up his lunches from 45 to over 450 daily by providing 'fashion shows,' with heavy emphasis on lingerie. Police issued an edict to have the shows stopped, claiming 'there is a time and place for everything.' But there was no raid 3/30 as model Rene Mills displayed a swim suit.".

Found it at the SF Public Library: http://sflib1.sfpl.org:82/search~S0?/dRestaurants+T/drestaurants+t/1%2C17%2C26%2CE/frameset&FF=drestaurants+tiki+bobs&2%2C2%2C

-Trad'r Bill

L

I was wondering if anyone has an image of the Tiki Bob menu.

I checked Critiki and it wasn't there and if its in the Book of Tiki I don't own it (horror of horrors I know!)

Any help on this would be appreciated . Thanks!

On 2009-09-09 16:59, leleliz wrote:
I was wondering if anyone has an image of the Tiki Bob menu.

Here you go.

An yes there is a full page shot of this in the BOT - buy the book.

DC

[ Edited by: Dustycajun 2009-09-09 17:15 ]

L

Thank you for posting the menu DC.

1

First Tiki Bob menu is mine-second one is RugbyMatts .
Also a vintage shot of one of the lingerie shows.
Check out the tiki mugs .Someone should bring this luncheon concept back .

Aloha -Trader Billy

[ Edited by: 1961surf 2009-09-09 21:00 ]

T

On 2009-09-09 20:23, 1961surf wrote:

[ Edited by: 1961surf 2009-09-09 21:00 ]

No THAT'S what I call lunch!

Tiki Bob

On 2009-09-09 16:59, leleliz wrote:
I was wondering if anyone has an image of the Tiki Bob menu.

I checked Critiki and it wasn't there and if its in the Book of Tiki I don't own it (horror of horrors I know!)

Any help on this would be appreciated . Thanks!

That Tiki Bob menu cover is actually one of the handful of images that is reprinted in both, The Book of Tiki AND Tiki Modern.. :D

On 2009-10-16 18:01, bigbrotiki wrote:
That Tiki Bob menu cover is actually one of the handful of images that is reprinted in both, The Book of Tiki AND Tiki Modern.. :D

Will it score a Hat Trick with an appearance in The Look of Tiki? :D

Naaaw...unless Tiki Kate finds a vintage shirt with him on it! Which, observing her tenacity, is entirely possible! :)

On 2009-10-16 18:40, Bora Boris wrote:

On 2009-10-16 18:01, bigbrotiki wrote:
That Tiki Bob menu cover is actually one of the handful of images that is reprinted in both, The Book of Tiki AND Tiki Modern.. :D

Will it score a Hat Trick with an appearance in The Look of Tiki? :D

On 2009-10-16 18:59, bigbrotiki wrote:
Naaaw...unless Tiki Kate finds a vintage shirt with him on it! Which, observing her tenacity, is entirely possible! :)

Ooooo. That will be my mythical Holy Grail shirt.

[ Edited by: Tiki-Kate 2009-10-16 19:36 ]

That, or, (if it ever existed), a 40s Don The Beachcomber blouse with the Cannibal Carvings on it... :)

Noticed two what look to be mugs sitting just to the left of the fish tank in the interior shot postcard. Does anyone have one of these mugs they could post a photo of? Here's a not very good closeup.

On 2009-11-30 11:22, uncle trav wrote:
Noticed two what look to be mugs sitting just to the left of the fish tank in the interior shot postcard. Does anyone have one of these mugs they could post a photo of? Here's a not very good closeup.

Judging by the color of the left one, that could be that Otagiri blonde-wood-Moai-with-eyes as seen in the upper row, middle, here:

I don't recall ever seeing one with a Tiki Bob logo on it, though.

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2009-11-30 12:36 ]

maybe im squinting a tad too much, but they look a lot like the skipper kent's otagiri moai mugs in the two tantalizing colors of brown and "gray" (aka; yellow puke).

Pages: 1 2 93 replies