Welcome to the Tiki Central 2.0 Beta. Read the announcement
Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

Tiki Central / General Tiki


Pages: 1 2 58 replies


This is a swell place!

I saw a couple of you mention Florida...I live just slightly north of Tampa and Clearwater. I have been trying to generate interest in a Tiki event in Ybor City, Tampa.

Is anyone nearby?


I'm near Orlando, but there are a few of us scattered around the state. Have you been to the Tahitian Resort in Holiday, FL. (next to Tarpon Springs)? It's a great place.

I live on the Holiday side of New Port Richey, so I am quite familiar with the Tahitian (though I have never stayed there).

The restaurant next door used to have some Tiki masks on the walls, I believe. But one day I drove by and the place was a big pile of rubble. A fire, apparently.


Rain posted on Sat, Aug 10, 2002 11:18 PM

ahoy, one more florida boy here. (for now, anyway.)
i missed hukilau, so i'd definitely be interested in a tiki event here.
especially since they STILL haven't built tiki island adventure golf.

Rain! Hows things? I put up a post with a link to some photos of the tiki golf, and I know there have been some reviews of it, unless this is a different one. Haven't seen your fine work on ebay for awhile.
And I still have some blank canvases, but I'll wait for you to get yer move out of the way.
Hope all is well!
Tiki Gardener
Long lost Florida fun at

Rain posted on Sun, Aug 11, 2002 7:20 AM

howdy TG!

i was incommunicado in wisconsin for 6 weeks or so, so i had to put the ebay thing on the back burner for a while.

i'll look for that link! maybe i'm looking in the wrong abandoned mini-golf lot for this place...


Hey Rain

Good to see your moniker on line again. I still treasure my moari/space alien plate that we transacted last year. Hope everything is well with you.


Rain posted on Sun, Aug 11, 2002 9:35 PM

howdy howdy.
nice to be back.
i never did get around to getting regular ceramic glaze and doing those plates - i still have a box of greenware sitting here on my shelf. oh well.

so, i know this topic is FLORIDA, but what's the scene like in chicago? anyone? anyone?


Another Florida Tikiphile here.

Relocated from AZ

Now a Sebastian Inlet local


Just remember it's a damp heat...


I'll say

right now there is thunder over my house that seriously sounds like someone just blew up the moon

I lived in Miami for five months while working on a film shot mostly around South Beach. My wife and I regulrly visited the Mai Kai in Ft. Lauderdale. I feel it is still the best Tiki bar in the world, with the defunct Kahiki coming in a close second... just my opinion.

I remember there being some other small Tiki/Chinese places in Lauderdale. That place is suffering greatly from a sweeping conservative ignorance, though. Latin fever was real high when I was there too, and not Xavier Cugat, mind you. Latin girls look good, however.


Having grown up in Ft. Lauderdale and currently living on the South Beach, I will cop a plea of ignorance on behalf of the citizenry and tourists engulfing my hometown. One only has to look at the last presidential election to figure this one out.

As to the conservative tag, I will admit that the locals have long sought to squelch anything fun or risque (see the chasing away of Spring Breakers in the late 80's, the Two Live Crew arrests, continuous fights against Strip Clubs, Topless Donut Shops and Car Washes). However, South Beach rose up and flicked a bird at those folks (chasing most of the stodgy retirees away). Even though South Beach has lost most of its edginess and luster to commercialism and wealthy South Americans, it still adheres to the liberal devil-may-care manifesto.

And the Mai-Kai still thrives! One of my earliest feelings of sexual frustration was sitting at the adjoining table watching the Mystery Drink Girl perform for some middle-aged business types.

Rain posted on Thu, Aug 15, 2002 6:35 AM


topless donut shops....

You wouldn't woo at the topless doughnut shops if you saw the girls at the Mai Kai... ok, they still wear clothes (barely), but are far more sensual than most of the ecstacy/cocaine addled strippers in Southern Florida.

I agree about South Beach, though. News Cafe has the best tomato soup I've ever had, and things seem to be getting better, as far as an appreciation of architecture goes.

I'm 27 years old and the retiries have never bothere me. I'm not about ageism, wherebye only teen and young adult nightclubs are my basis for judging the verve of a city environment. I take case more with the conservative ignorance emanating from the Boomer community (who lost the plot with regards to a social consciousness and aesthetic discernment in the '70s, but especially after they voted Reagan in for two terms). That was my beef... too many station wagons, mini-malls and cookie-cutter neighborhoods. I deeply missed seeing Eichler's and Netra's while in Miami.


Love the Mai Kai cocktail waitresses! They are pretty AND friendly (rare here in California).

Rain posted on Thu, Aug 15, 2002 1:13 PM

the mai kai's waitresses are great, but that's because the mai kai has the best of everything around, if you think about it. well, except for the gift shop - it's a little lacking, but still - talk about an oasis.

Lages posted on Thu, Aug 15, 2002 6:15 PM


I'm a new user, so be kind. I am also a Florida boy. I live in Bradenton, which is just south of Tampa. The nearest place to me with a "South Seas" flavor is the Bai Hai Hut, which is on US41 (Tamiami Trail) between Sarasota and Manatee counties.

It is a quaint and kitchy little place with a very pleasant atmosphere. No tiki golf, although there is a "Pirates Cove" putt putt on 41 also. No tikis...although they do have live alligators you can feed.

Who says we don't know how to live out here in the sticks!



My aunt and uncle live in Marco Island (population 500). I recently went there with my wife, an while driving down the main road, we noticed that the Marriott hotel looked like it was built during the '50s or early '60s. We pulled in, went around back and found that there was indeed an A-framed back entrance and a whole host of fine Tikis (looked like Coombs carvings), and a sad little Tiki bar, were the Ma Tai was watered down and had little effect on my psyche. Still was kind of nice.

Furhter probing led me to find that there had been quite a few Modernism/Tropical-themed places on the island in the '60s. Seemed to have been a small paradise, until....


Ah Bradenton- cool town- been there many times myself. I also like Anna Maria Island- I've actually been to that bar you mentioned- a little place, right?

Check out Sunken Gardens- no tikis, but verrry tropical!

Aloha! I'm considering a move to open a restaurant in Boca Raton, but I don't know anything about it...and are there any locations of interest to a tikiphile...I'm also looking forward to carving with Sabal palm...is it easy to carve? Mahalo, Grey

Anyone know if The Muggler's have increased the next generation of tiki worshipers yet?
It became something of a joke during Hukilau to find the pregnant Wahine from Orlando. I think we questioned about six different ladies on this subject before we finally found Mike and his wife at Trader Vics.

[ Edited by: Kailuageoff on 2002-08-16 08:06 ]

Rain posted on Fri, Aug 16, 2002 8:11 AM

re: son of muggler (or daughter)

no, not yet - we have a jack & jill shower to go to in a week for them. and i'm pissed because target doesn't have any more of those teeny tiny tiki tshirts.

Rain posted on Fri, Aug 16, 2002 8:13 AM

re: chefgrey

it's been a while since i was in Boca Raton, but if you're a lover of florida tropicana, you should dig it.

i don't have personal experience with it, but palm of all sorts is supposed to be MUCH easier to carve than your pines and oaks, etc.

Have you been over to Tiki Island Golf yet? I remember you were the first one to locate where they were building it. I took a few photos, but they are too dark to bother posting them.

Rain posted on Fri, Aug 16, 2002 8:29 AM

actually, i went to tiki island adventure golf last night!
as far as locating it, though - i had the wrong lot pegged, so i didn't know they had actually built it until tikigardener said he had photos.
i know the Muggler and Wife and two other friends beat us there as well, so i think i was the last of the lot to make it. it was a so-so consolation prize for missing out on Hukilau.


re: Chefgrey

Nothing much of interest Tiki-wise in Boca Raton. Boca long ago stripped itself of its former old-Florida charm. However, do not miss the neighborhood surrounding the Boca Raton Resort Hotel (as well as the resort itself). That area was developed in the depression era 30's by Addison Mizner and is done in lush Spanish Mediteranean style.

Also Spanish River park is a beautiful park and beach.

For a more retro experience, check out the Atlantic Avenue corridor in Delray Beach. Good restaurants and galleries. Get a cup of chowdah and a beer at Boston's on the Beach. They also serve a decent Rum Runner.


Saw the movie "Follow That Dream" (1962) at the Parkway Theatre last night (Thrillville). Enjoyed seeing the Florida locations. Made me want to return to Florida again even though I just went there last January. I don't know if it's just the tropical setting or what, but I love it there despite their political situation. Guess I'll have to make it an annual trip.

It's looking more and more like we should do some type of tiki gathering in Florida. Maybe at the Mai-Kai. If we did, when would be a good time to schedule it?


After Hurricane Season. Winter is a perfect time because it gives everyone a chance get away from the cold and snow (who live in that kind of climate). I long to get away from the rain by January myself even though I live in Northern Cal. I say January up to Spring Break time (when Florida should be avoided) is optimal.

Lodging can be cheaper in non-winter months. But, if booked a reasonable time ahead, lodging can be pretty cheap in Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood during the winter. Of course, if one avoids major hotels and stays at a smaller motel. Miami Beach and the Keys are more expensive.

I used a free ticket to fly there last Jan. but my friends paid only $200 RT on Southwest because they booked well in advance and the plane did stop once on the way. A rental car only cost about $150-200 for a week.

Kailuageoff said:

"Anyone know if The Muggler's have increased the next generation of tiki worshipers yet?"

Not yet. She's due the end of September so it is getting close.

Anyone know what it would cost to have special tiki mugs made? I was thinking it would be fun to make a tiki mug imprinted with the date of birth/name/etc. Maybe a design similar to Shecky, with a Daddy tiki holding a little baby tiki.

Maybe a flamingo-pink glaze to make it more Florida-like.

That would be cool, and much better than cigars!


Tiki mugs for new borns... Great idea! If you put a nipple on it, you would really have somthing.

Anything Tiki-related in the Panama City/Ft. Walton Beach/Destin area?
That's my home away from home.


stingray, I was just there a month ago in the Ft. Walton beach area for business. I ran across a few tiki things, but didn't find much exciting. There's a roadside tiki carver on the highway between Pensacola and Ft. Walton. There's also a "tropical decor" megastore in Ft. Walton with a bunch of miami-blue tikis outside. If you want a tattoo or piercing, there are about a million choices (presumably for spring-breakers). Some of the hotels are pretty amazing, and I think some have Polynesian style dining options, but I didn't have time to really explore. The sand and water are fantastic though. Anyway, I've been meaning to post some pics with captions - maybe this Sunday.

Business will probably bring me back there in the next few weeks sometime - how long are you around those parts?


Treasure Island is a good place to visit. Although it is infested with tourists, there are many cool 1950s era hotels to see, a cool original diner, and reasonably good thrifting/antiqueing. There's even a cool old miniature golf place (the Polynesian Putter) that features a cement maori. Plus Indian Rocks Beach is just north on Gulf Blvd. You can park at Tiki Gardens beach and later visit the Indian Rocks Beach History Museum where some of our collection of TG memorabilia is currently on display.


Aquarj said "There's a roadside tiki carver on the highway between Pensacola and Ft. Walton. There's also a "tropical decor" megastore in Ft. Walton with a bunch of miami-blue tikis outside."

Yeah, the guy on the side of the road is Charlie Knight a.k.a Palmtiki. Very good prices, very nice work I think. He has done a great deal of the tiki work in the surf shops around there. I mentioned him back in March after I got a great deal on a 4' tiki.

The other Tropical Decor place? Ugh, not worth the stop. Mostly caters to people decorating condos. Nothing that stands out to "us". Very overpriced, simply because of the area.

I get down to Destin about once a year and whenever possible. Used to go several times a year.(Ex-girlfriend had a townhouse condo ON the beach...hardest thing I've ever done was break up with that condo.)
It's a good 12 hour drive from Ohio.

My business only took me there once but, if we could, we'd move down there in a heartbeat.

I am really only "intimately familiar" with Destin & FWB. Been to Panama City & Pennsacola, but don't know my way around there as well.

Thanks Randy!


Treasure Island is threatened by new development!:

Hey I also live and carve tikis in florida (Miami) and have a pretty good amount of friends who "worship tikis" and would be stoked on the idea of a florida tiki gathering .if it does materialize, ya can count on the kreepytiki gang ,and Boneyard Kreepers Klassic KARKLUB to make it.I know some really kool artist, and Surf bands who can help the cause too .anybody out there wanna talk about getting it together email me at : [email protected] ."worshipin'Tikis in miami" Kreepytikijaksin...


On 2002-08-20 12:36, TheMuggler wrote:
Kailuageoff said:

"Anyone know if The Muggler's have increased the next generation of tiki worshipers yet?"

Not yet. She's due the end of September so it is getting close.

Anyone know what it would cost to have special tiki mugs made? I was thinking it would be fun to make a tiki mug imprinted with the date of birth/name/etc. Maybe a design similar to Shecky, with a Daddy tiki holding a little baby tiki.

Maybe a flamingo-pink glaze to make it more Florida-like.

That would be cool, and much better than cigars!


Saint Thomas could make that mug very reasonably. He can copy any mug you show him or make an original design. Go to Pseudo Pots and contact them.


About Ft. Walton area tiki stuff, here are some photos. No comment on the "tiki-ness" of these images.

Roadside palm tikis from Charlie Knight.

Outside Alvin's tropical decor store. Ouch, the color!

Another unusual roadside attraction on the way back to Pensacola.


Unbelieveable!! Don't these guys ( this charlie knight, Bula Bula, and endless others ) feel kinda weird just completely ripping off Wayne Coombs! If you were an artist, or claimed to be, wouldn't you want to be a little original. These hacks don't even try. They just do their best attempt of Wayne's style, which usually isn't very good. If you were gonna rip someone off so badly, wouldn't you be ashamed to put your name on it! Not these guys. So, so lame.
Don't support these guys, expose them.

kool tikis, weirdo kolorz though,hey ,the guys who rip off other artists .....I say drown ina giant scorpion bowl.

Right on brother Jaksin... drown em in a giant scorpion bowl, pour in some 151 and light a match!!!

Hey, thanks for the pics! My original profile pic back in the old Yahoo! days had a pic of me picking the colorful tiki's nose or something...I know Alvins Island(s) well.

We've discussed the artistic rip off thing before and of course, they do say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery or something like that...don't they?

Good lord, where do I start with this?!

Personally, I think Palm Tikis stuff is great. I have a 4' one in my room and we just love him! Charlie Knight is a really down to earth guy who will walk away from his carving and BS with you for a few. You don't get that from many people...anywhere!
And, don't get me wrong here, he isnt just trying to sell you something. He offers great deals, but is genuinely a nice guy.
If you don't like his stuff, he tells you who else carves in the area. He tells you the difference between this palm and that wood and the other... He tells you who he has worked with (and for the life of me, I can't remember!) and says openly that this is where he adopted his style.

Many painters imitate Shag - why? I do not know. His work has never really done that much for me. Original, yes. Appealing? Not really. Are these other painters & artists ripping him off, or simply his style?

Artists sometimes get their inspiration from other artists or their partuicular style. Throughout history this has been happening.

Say you go into a Museum Store in the mall, you love this mini statue of Venus...so you buy the little statue and sit her proudly on the pedistal in your living room. Now, is she any less a work of art because she was not actually fashioned by the hands of her original artist, but rather by a mass-producing machine in Korea somewhere?
No. Not to you. Because you will never have that original sculpture. To you, she is the perfect imitation for your lifestyle and home. She is still a work of art because this imitation (that someone is making money off of and it's not Michealangelo!) represents the perfection of the original.

Just my two cents. And while I agree that 'artists' that put their stuff on ebay with a certain style reference to intentionally miss-inform a buyer are wrong on many levels, I think the carving styles from one to another (be it handed down or adopted) just as sculpting styles are done in the same fashion, are not "rip offs". If that were the case, then everyone who has carved a tiki or totem pole from 1950 on would be guilty of "ripping off" their styles from another. Tiki's, as a whole, are NOT original. They are adopted styles.

And before we start bashing artists unjustly, I think we should realize that style is simply a way of doing things. A way of learning and a way of being taught to do things. It's art. It's how they make their living. It is a liveleyhood for some. So to say "Don't support them" is in and of itself a lame comment to make.
You don't know these people! They don't CLAIM to have something original - they are trying to ad their own touches to something that has already proven successful. That IS, by the way, "Trying".

Botton line is that I'm just jealous that with all of my artistic talent, all of my awards, all of my skills - I don't have a FRACTION of the skills, creativity and drive that these artists have.

And I have the balls to say it. If anyone of you could quit your lame assed jobs today and live in a nice quiet area and make tikis and make friends all day, my guess is that you would probably do it.

So, why don't you? Certainly you could do better because you would at least "try"...am I right? Surely YOU would be creative enough to have something original...right?

CardCheat, tell me, what in the hell do you know about "trying" to carve original tiki's?

Next time I see you along side the road selling your tiki trinkets to feed your family, I'll be sure to tell you how lame your stuff is and how you don't even try.

But don't worry CardCheat. I'll still buy one or two. If only to keep the "tiki dream" alive.

That is what I thought this was about people! Supporting those who are making the effort to keep that vision going.

Or, maybe I've missed the whole damn tiki boat here. Obviously it's just "my" vision.


Okay, Easy, easy.......

Let's start with you're right. I'd never give someone a hard time for trying. Never.
And this guy might be a really nice guy. I'm sure he is.
I'm kinda new here, so if you already talked about this sorry to bring it up again. But it's something that really bugs me.
It's hard to explain to someone who doesn't make a living as an artist, but let me try.
You say imitation is a great form of flattery?
Okay, you work for a company, you're working on a project, working on numbers, retail? anything. You figure out a new way to do something. You have a great original thought that's really gonna help out you're company. Save money , increase quality, sell more stuff, etc. You show it to a co-worker, or someone sees you're proposal on you're desk. They go and tell the boss you're ideas, and put thier name on it! They get a big raise? Promotion? Would you be flattered?

You're right, copying someones work is a great way to learn. I've been so excited by techniques that other artists have come up with that I will sit and study and copy, until I figure out how they did it. Then I will incorporate it into what "I" do.
Hey, if you copy someones stuff, and keep it for yourself, cause you really dig it, cool! Maybe give it as a gift, give it too the artist, or show it to them, they may be really flattered. But when you put your name on it, and run a buisness selling it, not cool.

Big difference between inspiration, and copying. You mention shag. Shag has some very obvious inspirations. He'll tell you who they are. Yet he takes what they've done and makes it his. Look at Wayne Coombs, Shag, Crazy Al, Bosko. They all do tiki, they all have seen the same traditional tiki we all have seen. Yet all thier carvings are different. When we see them, we know who did them. Our friend Jaksin, I believe is the guy who does Kreepy Tiki. When I see his stuff, It's brightly colored, airbrushed. He's from Miami, I assume he's into cars. He took himself and his environment and brought it into his tiki.
There is so much room for personal interpitation in tiki. It's so easy. Maybe that's why I say this gut isn't trying. If you were gonna take the time to learn the carving techniques, wouldn't you eventually want to do your own work?
To take something as you say "has already proven sucessful" To make your living. Well what the heck! sell some Disney stuff, put Mickey Mouse on your sign. Do your own Disney sculptures, with your name on them of course. They sell good! Hey , invest in a CD burner, sell some bootlegged Brittany Spears CD's. Put your picture on the cover! They've proven to be big sellers! Get it? You can't do that.
And what about the guy you're stealing from? That's how he makes his living! His creativeness,skills,and ideas, are the tools of his trade.
You Say you are jealous of the skills these people have, artistically. They got these skills from endless hours of learning, practice, experimenting, etc. That's the hard part. It's easy to take after someone else has figured it out.

As for me doing it because " certainly I would do a better job because I would at least try". I do make a living as an artist. And I do try very hard! I spend a lot of time coming up with creative solutions, and yes something original.
I don't carve tikis, but I will tell you 100% that if I "tried", when I was ready to put my name on them, and sell them, They would be unmistakenly ( is that a word?) mine.
When you stop to tell me they're lame,at least I'll know I did the work. And I'll be proud of it.

Sorry to ramble on, but this is something that goes on in the artworld, and makes it even harder to make a living at it.

This guy seems to be a friend of yours 75, so I'm sorry if I offended you or him. A great way to support your friend would be to go to him, and tell him you think he is a very talented carver, and you would like to buy an "original" of "his"! Something that he totally came up with! I bet he'd be pretty stoked!

Hope no hard feelings,


Your point is well taken. Although I still don't see a compairison between burning Britney Spears CDs and carving or painting something. I suppose it's the difference between actual "human hands" doing the work as opposed to allowing a machine to do it for you.

No. No hard feelings. In fact, I appreciate your reponse.
But Charlie Knight is not a friend of mine. He would not know who I was if you asked him. I was just a customer who appreciated his customer service skills, as well as his product.

The fact of the matter is that I get frustraited at someones attempt to "boycott" the work of another and encourages others to do the same.
And, frankly, I would have had (pretty much) the same comments had they been made about your work. I don't care who the person is, as long as they are not selling the works of someone else off as their own.

And, again, my view on this is that I try, in my own small way, to support everyone that I possibly can that makes an attempt to keep this cool thing we refer to as 'tiki' going.

As for Palm Tiki / Charlie Knight; He will tell you how he got started in this, and with whom he trained and learned. He explained that he and the other guy had done this together for years before he set out on his own. They had carved for many bars and (mostly) surf shops.
He makes it sound as if "this" is how he was told to do it and "that" is how he does it.
And, I firmly believe that he does try to put his own style into it as any artist would. (I still can't remember who he had learned this trade from.)

When we talk about copyright infringement and ripping off artists like Shag, I keep my mouth shut because I generally agree with the comments made. (If I did disagree, I did not feel educated or qualified to make a logical comment).

Again, I would have had the same reaction to your work - not knowing what it is, or what it looks like - if someone had made similar comments to your work. If that places me in a category of being your friend, then I've made a new friend in the world today.

I like to think that we are a 'pro-tiki movement'. Not because I am a worshiper, but because it represents to me a happier time in history. It represents friends...conversation and laughter combined with exotic lounge music. It represents silly drinks with funny names in cool looking mugs. Naturally, it represents good looking women in grass skirts. (Preferably topless). It represents a paraidise.

So, sorry to come off so strong with you. I just feel strongly about being supportive...and stronger about being anti-suportive, I guess.

And, again, your point is well taken. And obviously you see mine as well. That is the beauty of debate and discussion. Thanks.

I appreciate your posts and your comments.



I just joined today. I'm in south Florida and a Florida gathering sounds like fun.

TikiJaksin, myself and a few others are starting to go over a few ideas. We'll let everyone know when we are further along with it. Welcome aboard!

[ Edited by: Kailuageoff on 2002-09-03 15:00 ]

Pages: 1 2 58 replies