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Tiki And Bowling Meet In Franklin, North Carolina!

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Urban archeology can strike at any moment! Me and the lovely wahine took the short drive up highway 441 from our home in Clayton, Georgia, to the town of Franklin, North Carolina, today for a little thrift shopping, when we passed a billboard that made our jaws drop..."Tiki Lounge, New at Franklin Lanes", complete with two cartoon tikis. Now, aside from the modest paradise built into our basement and aside from the occasional mug or artifact, one is not accustomed to seeing tiki culture of ANY kind around these parts. Needless to say, we proceeded in short order to said bowling alley. The first thing one notices upon entering the lobby of Franklin Lanes is the great interior of the place...very well preserved classic bowling alley with some neat streamlined architecture and a nifty Mondrian-like multicolored skylight. Then the tiki lounge.. a super-well crafted bamboo facade with a very skillfully made Tiki Lounge sign...Prior to entering I spoke to the manager and asked how they came upon the idea...he said the father and son ownership were planning on opening a lounge in the alley for a while and had thought a South Seas (Yes! He actually said South Seas!) themed place would be a neat idea...He then told me they were from Fort Lauderdale (home of the greatest Tiki Bar of all!). I said "I'd love to meet him sometime", and he told me that he was in the other room....Frank Myatt, the proprieter of Franklin Lanes, was a great guy...We spoke about the Mai Kai, whom he has been a patron of since day one and was a personal friend of founder Bob Thornton...He also was a patron of the old Polynesian Room at the Yankee Clipper. He also said that the architect of the Mai Kai and the Yankee Clipper (another personal friend) also designed the space-age interior of said Franklin Lanes. I have to say again I was struck by how friendly and approachable everyone there was, and how open to the tiki style the owner was. The bar itself features an absolutely wonderful full-length thatched canopy and complex bamboo framework, as well as a few tiki torches and elaborate masks of Indonesian origin. I'd love to be carving them a couple of genu-wine tikis soon, have sent them some pictures of my wares along with my info. There is also a hearth. The backbar area and back wall is nicely framed Lauhala. Rick the bartender is a very nice guy, plys his trade smooth as silk (actually wearing a Hawaiian shirt!), and is a schooled pro, which should yield a very good drink. There's no tapa, net floats, or puffer fish lights yet but the place just opened. There are also television sets, but the trappings of Tikidom that are there are straight-up, which is very nice, and the idea that you can go BOWLING and enjoy a TIKI bar in the same place is right out of heaven!

[ Edited by: Basement Kahuna on 2003-11-29 23:52 ]

This is excellent news Kahuna! Thanks so much for posting the photos!

You're welcome, lovely Tikigodess....I'll meet you there! (Respectfully, of course.)

Youch!!! That's really Cool Lookin' Stuff, Too! And to think... We plan to be up in those parts next weekend. Thanks so much for the Heads Up, BK!

Cool find my carving bro. I'm on my way to your hood. Soon.

Neato old-school tiki lounge. I especially LOVE that billboard, a photo of which would be worth framing. They obviously "get it". Thanks for posting this BK, this is a great find. I hope you don't have to drive far to get there, so's you can hang there often.

You can bet your ass I'll be there 'knockin over pins and 'knockin back Mai Tais as often as possible...Chiki-you have the suite here if you wanna stay a night or two!

I forgot..if you want to shoot them a line on the Tiki Lounge their e-mail is: [email protected] Mahalo!

Frank Myatt, Jr., one of the owners, sent me a closeup up their billboard today.

That is beautiful! Do thank him for me. It is now also a screen saver.

This story instills hope for the future! Seems they've done a super job on decor. Do they serve up tropical cocktails? How 'bout a drink report? With such a connection to the Mai-Kai there must some tiki tipplers there.

-Weird Unc

So when are we goin' bowlin'??? I'll try to come up in the next couple of weeks!

On 2003-11-29 23:31, floratina wrote:
Neato old-school tiki lounge. I especially LOVE that billboard, a photo of which would be worth framing.

I do believe that's a http://www.Pariarts.com design. They sell stock & custom designed signs. I've keep hoping I'll get one as a Xmas present.


Thank God The Tiki Bar Is Open
Thank God The Tiki Torch Still Shines...

[ Edited by: Feelin' Zombified on 2003-12-01 14:05 ]

Great pics, Basement Kahuna. I used to paint billboards myself, and being a tiki bowling alley freak, I must say thanks!

Tanks, Sammy....good to have you here at Tiki Central! Aloha!

Thanks Basement Kahuna, it's good to be here!



Nice artwork Sam. Glad to have you aboard!


Thanks, Scotty. I'm working on more tiki stuff - anything I can do for the advancement of TIKI!


[ Edited by: Sam Gambino on 2003-12-02 12:59 ]

What a kick to see our artwork on the billboard! We made the Tiki sign for Franklin Lanes and they used the artwork from it for the billboard.
Glad to see that the sign ended up in such a nice home. Best wishes for a long and happy future to the new bar! And it looks beautiful too!

We've been hand making these personalized signs for a year and a half now and they're very popular.

Check out this Tiki Bar sign and many others at: http://www.pariarts.com

So cooool!!!

[ Edited by: pariartspaul on 2003-12-20 11:57 ]

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