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Trouble at Lanai Liquors

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So I popped into the Lanai Liquors this afternoon on my way home and I notice the place looks a little sparce... Whatever. So I make my way over to the booze wall to have a look and all of a sudden the guy behind the counter tells me he can't sell me any liquor.
I tell him, "It's O.K. I have I.D." and he tells me that his license has been revoked!
I couldn't find out what happened because he went back to muttering to the broad he was muttering to when I walked in. Anyway, just thought I'd relay the news. I have a feeling the days of the Lanai are numbered...

I had a friend, in San Mateo, do some snooping for me just a month ago. One of the stops I forced him to scout was Lanai Liquors. He got in a conversation with whomever was there at the time (the owner maybe) and walked out with some old liquor advertising (gigantor CuttySark bottle, etc.). When (the owner) was asked about tiki releated items my friend was told that just a few days before someone bought the two tikis above the front door.
Sounds like it's been a slow death for ol' Lanai Liquors. Shame. I'm Thirsty.


I haven't spoken to the guy for a while but about a year ago he told me that he made better money selling porno mags than he ever did selling booze. That was until his wife made him stop selling them.

I guess that was a bad move.

I wonder what he did to get his liquor license revoked!


On 2004-03-18 17:54, cynfulcynner wrote:

I wonder what he did to get his liquor license revoked!

He angered the tiki gods by even thinking about NOT selling the Tiki to Randy!! :)

Well it finally happened.
I drove past the Lani Liquors yesterday and the beautiful sign is GONE. It looks like the whole place has been gutted and will probably be converted to something really swell in no time.

What a shame. Lanai Liquors was a marquee tiki location on Shelter Island. I wonder what happened to the tiki? I hope they didn't just dump it.

Hey PolyPop,
Ooops. I'm talking about the Lanai Liquors in San Mateo. It used to be next to the Lanai, a beautiful tiki establishment that was torn down years ago.
Didn't mean to alarm ya'.

Hang on... that was my mistake! For whatever strange reason, I pictured Trader Mort's!! Oops...

At least we know that the Lanai Liquors tiki is in safe hands with one of our own.

"RIP- Lanai Liquors! " Having been born and raised in San Mateo, I am glad I read this AFTER my birthday.

Lanai Liquors lost their license for selling to minors.
There is a new tenant that is making it a Delli.
They gave the sign away last week. I don't know who got it, but they came with a crane and set it in the back of a utility truck in about 20 minutes. I got this information from the neighbors at Danmar cabinet company.
Somebody got a steal on that neon. I wouldn't be surprised if Track 16 in Santa Monica didn't get it.


Thanks for the update Royale. Being out of town, I guess we were both unfortunate and fortunate in a sense, to miss the final blow. It's hard to shake my own ghoulish lust for that sign, but at least it's good to know that someone took it somewhere (hopefully not the dump) instead of just destroying it as with the fate of so many other great signs.

Within just a few yards of that location, the old Villa and BK motors signs have also gone to googie heaven recently. Makes it feel just a little more urgent to get out the camera and shoot the other local signs while they're still here!



On 2004-07-14 15:41, Unga Bunga wrote:
The awesome Aquarj Thread.


Within that thread is this link to photos of the Lanai Tiki AND the now gone, fantastic neon sign!


My folks moved us there in the early seventies from San Francisco (I spent the majority of my adolescence trying to get away... nothing to do and people perfectly content with that) and I'm ashamed to admit I had no idea the restaurant or liquor store even existed. Where was it?


The Lanai was part of Villa Plaza, at the current location of the (Radisson) Villa Hotel, around 40th and El Camino in San Mateo. The plaza contained the hotel, the Chartier restaurant, the Lanai restaurant, and Lanai Liquors. Now it's just the hotel, which still mainly fronts on El Camino and has a nice midcentury style, but which has officially become a Radisson. Plus the Walgreens, the seemingly inevitable replacement of all former tiki establishments.

Thanks all for the nice comments and references to my adventure with the Lanai Liquors tiki.



Here's a little update on this thread. Look what my wife spotted the other day!

What's that object behind the fence under the tree? A neon sign?

The neon palm tree looks familiar!

If no bells are ringing yet, take a look at this picture from 2002.

Naomi was just driving by when she saw it, and had to stop. This is within a mile or two of the former Lanai Liquors. Wonder what they're planning to do with it. Wonder who "they" are.

Updates on some other factoids in this thread. As mentioned on another thread, the "Radisson" Villa has been boarded-up, fenced-off, and scaffolded for several months now, with a "for lease" sign in what used to be the hotel diner fronting on El Camino. Related because that hotel used to share "Villa Plaza" with the Lanai restaurant and Lanai Liquors.

Some of us met Ali the bartender at the "Cabana Bar" in the Villa hotel a couple years ago, which was kinda fun because he used to tend bar at the Lanai restaurant. I wish I had gone back and talked to him more, and given him a copy of the Grog Log. It'd be fun to get his take on more recent developments across the bay in Alameda too (Forbidden Island, that is).

Also, I made all my Lanai related web stuff accessible from one webpage a while ago. It's still sparse, but at least it's an onramp to a road paved with good intentions for things to come.


Eagle-eye Naomi!!! Nice find...
I was talking to a neighbor of mine and word has it that the Villa is being converted to senior living condos and/or apartments.
I'll let y'all know if I hear anything else.


Damn! I wish I was there right now. I would save the tree from a fate worse than...

Wow! I probably would have accidentally found my way in to the Villa had I known. And that Lanai website... where was I? Asleep at the wheel.

By the way anyone go check out the Castaway sign that was hanging by a thread? Also, those damn nice monkey pod tables that will soon return to the earth with the rest of the building.

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