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Name:Whanga Rei Bar & Grill
Street:4905 N. Golden State Blvd.
Phone: 209-667-0154
Status: operational

Whanga Rei is under construction and will be a Maori style restaurant with a full service bar. It's located at the conjunction of Golden State Blvd., Taylor Rd. and Highway 99. Currently there are 2 artists from Hollywood who are constructing giant waves inside the restaurant that will hang over hungry diners. There is also Maori style Tattoo lines painted onto beams on the ceiling. A volleyball court is also in the plans with giant tikis and huge rootball tikis at the entrance to the parking lot.

[ Edited by: Jungle Trader on 2004-11-14 21:42 ]

The expected opening date is June 24. The interior is really looking good. Unfortunately there will be very few tikis outside the restaurant at that time. Those will be placed at the entrance to the parking lot (off Golden State Blvd.) near a huge fire cauldron in the next few months.

New opening date set for July 1.

are there other "maori-style" restauraunts on the mainland here or is this a groundbreaker?


Hey JungleTrader! Is there going to be a grand opening at the restaurant?

all that is known is the opening date of july 1st. jt was unaware of any grand opening event...or at least he didnt let on to one happening. i do know that there wont be many tikis on opening day. jt is loaning them a few, until he gets back from hanging with gekko on da islands. (lucky bastard!) :)

after that, hoping to arrange a little get-together to go check it out.


Aloha, on da islands right now.
There won't be a "grand" opening.
We're having problems getting the 10 ft. palm logs transported to the site although they may have been delivered by now. No worries here. I just met Gecko at La Mariana the other night. Fantastic place, no place like it on earth I say.
Gotta go, talk later.

New opening July 8. Delays with fire code/construction and liquor license.
Blessing in disguise, that gives me time to carve.

Hey JT - can't wait to see those pictures of your carvings in the restaurant!

As for the inside, there won't be many "new" tikis for TCer's. I have loaned the owner some of Bosko's tikis and some of my old ones. There will be a few new ones outside, when driving into the parking lot. Unfortunately those will not be 100% carved till a few more weeks or so. The owner definitely wants to try to stay as close to Maori style as possible, which I commend him for that. Because Maori style is in short supply, we are using what we have for now, so it will change.


Wow it sounds like my kind of place. I wish I was out there to help you dive into that pile of logs. I think I couild find a tiki or two in me. Can't wait to see the pictures.


Hey Jungle Trader! We are thinking of going there this Saturday. Let us know if you will be around!

Hey Woo. c ya tonite at Minnie's.

For all the Tiki purists, you'll be disappointed in Whanga Rei. Just a little forewarning. A mechanical bull has been installed. Lotsa young people who don't care for lounge music or exotica. Live rock bands. As for me....hey my tikis are on display....that's good for me and tiki, besides, the place is only 50% complete. Lotsa work ahead of us. Lots more tiki stuff coming.

Wao Nahele Kalepa Kumula'au Hale

[ Edited by: Jungle Trader on 2004-07-09 20:13 ]

On 2004-07-09 20:12, Jungle Trader wrote:
Just a little forewarning. A mechanical bull has been installed.
Only your tikis could survive/save that.

Ahhh, Whanga Rei, we just hoisted the first tiki. It took 10 guys to do it, (no tractor yet). We had tried earlier with 4 guys and the tiki nearly fell on one guy but he ran fast enough to get away. My strong refrigerator dolly was like a toothpick when the tiki landed on it and bent the hell out of the bottom plate. When we finally placed the tiki I was in awe of how tall it stood. Because the palmwood is weathered it looks old and very primitive like it's been there a long time. Pics soon.

2 new 10 footers at Whanga Rei

right on! its about time they get some permanent tiki going on those premises! where is that first tiki placed jt? was that behind where we were sitting on opening night?

that will definitely make the place that much cooler. im so proud of you vic!


Yes, Cleen that's where the first one is. The tongue one is by the entrance to the inside bar. These beckon travelers on the 99 and Taylor Rd. You can see them from the 99.
Why thank you my dear.
Care to join me for a drink Fri. or Sat.?

Wao Nahele Kalepa Kumula'au Hale

[ Edited by: Jungle Trader on 2004-07-21 21:24 ]


Way to go Jungle Trader. those are Big and Awesome. Can't wait to see the inside.


What A Laugh! Tried to move away from Whanga's NZ as it is affectionally known & it popped up again only minutes away.
I live in Tracy, CA (30 mins drive from Whanga rei)but grew up in "Whangarei", New Zealand.
I will have to come over and check it out!
Haere ra!

Here is the article I spotted in the NZ national paper:

It's a small world after all! "Whangarei" is now only minutes drive from Tracy.


'Whanga Rei' becomes safe place to dine in US

By JON STOKES maori issues reporter
An American has not let accuracy get in the way of moves to open a Maori-themed restaurant in California.

Californian Jeff Thompson has opened a family restaurant in Turlock, about 80km east of San Francisco, named Whanga Rei.

In a news report in the Turlock Journal Mr Thompson said he liked the name Whanga Rei, for its connotations of safety and protection for travellers.

"Basically, Whanga Rei is a safe harbour," he said.

Mr Thompson has decorated his restaurant with "the symbols of New Zealand's tribal group, the Maori", in the form of giant tiki.

While impressed by the appreciation for Maori culture, Waikato university senior Maori lecturer Tom Roa said he was surprised by the unusual use of the word Whangarei.

Mr Roa said the area was named after Rei Pae, who was abandoned at the site by her twin sister Rei Tu during a journey on the back of a giant bird from Waikato to be with their husband-to-be, Ue-oneone. He said the name had since been shortened from Te Whanga a Rei, or the wait of Rei.

However, word meanings can change when separated. Rei can mean whale bone, treasure and to grimace with teeth, and whanga, harbour, waiting or to wait.

Restaurant customers will no doubt prefer a safe harbour to waiting with grimaced teeth

[ Edited by: kiwilad on 2004-07-23 15:38 ]

Welcome to TC kiwilad. Please join me for a drink this coming weekend, if you can, at Whanga Rei. Bring any design ideas you have. I'd like to pick your brain.

Wao Nahele Kalepa Kumula'au Hale

[ Edited by: Jungle Trader on 2004-07-25 22:14 ]


sounds like a very cool restaurant, I assmue it's now open...I might be comming up the 99 this weekend, I'd love to stop by for a drink. anyone know the phone number?


Congrats, thats really cool to have a story in a NZ paper. way to go and WELCOME KiwiLad enjoy our site.

[ Edited by: Benzart on 2004-07-28 19:59 ]

theronpk, let me know when you're coming up, I'll be there Friday night. I inserted the phone number for Whanga Rei on the original post above.

Funny article. I love how words come to mean many different things, and when taken out of context (like the language itself) a string of beautiful words to one ear, is total nonsense to another. That being said...

JT, are you going to safe harbor to wait with grimaced teeth? :D

Grimaced teeth? No, hanging tongue maybe.

My latest at Whango zee Tango

Now here we have Chongolio's surfboard art gracing the hallowed Whanga Whanga Bar with lovely....I'll call her "From Russia with Love"


JT love the new guy you have placed there, wow is he awesome, and I like the Chongolio bar board and the bar broad ain't so bad to look at either.:wink:

On 2004-09-10 19:24, Jungle Trader wrote:
Now here we have Chongolio's surfboard art gracing the hallowed Whanga Whanga Bar

There's a surf board in the picture?

(That's a beauty Randy! Oh ya. and the surf board too.)

Hey, that board looks pretty good up there. Thanks for postin' the pic JT.



Update from the Northern Advocate - Local newspaper in Whangarei.

"Whangarei's translation from Maori is "cherished harbour". The sea provided sustenance for the Maori people of the area who were all well established when Captain Cook arrived in 1769. It wasn't until 1839 that William Carruth, the first settler to the district arrived. Over the next few years numbers built up to 50, however in 1845, warned of impending plunder by Hone Heke's warriors, the settlers evacuated the township and it was several years later before Whangarei was resettled. From then on development was steady with the sea being the only means of transport for many years. In 1934 the first all weather road was put through to Auckland."

[ Edited by: kiwilad on 2004-09-23 23:22 ]

Whanga Rei Bar and Grill reopens April 1. Rumors were being spread about that Whanga Rei lost there liquor license for selling to underagers. That is a complete lie, probably propagated by the competition. Too bad for them the hottest Bar in the Inland Bay area is about to get even hotter. sssssssssizzle baby. The owner wants me to carve as customers watch but it's actually kind of boring to watch, imo. Plus it's just a downright dirty gig anyway.


hmmm...i like that "carving as they come in" tactic! and it sure isnt boring if you are carving a large penis. :)

i'd watch. (what does that say about me?)


Tiki Envy!

Mrs. Tikicleen~ You are definitely a master of innuendoes.


On 2005-03-09 17:20, Jungle Trader wrote:

"Inland Bay area"?

Oh, come on.

  1. yeah, right.

  2. the first two words are an oxymoron!

Where's your Valley Pride?!

Yeah, Inland Bay. You heard it right. We're tired of being treated like a red-headed stepchild. So, we're getting an Extreme Makeover, aka The Swan. Now kiss the little frog........

Whanga Rei has been sold and there's talk of it being converted to a sports bar. Goodbye Whanga Rei.
Don't worry, I'm trying to save the tikis.


On 2005-04-30 08:44, Jungle Trader wrote:
Whanga Rei has been sold and there's talk of it being converted to a sports bar. Goodbye Whanga Rei.

SHIT! Please keep us informed and if possible, a heads up of the closing date so that I may go pay WR it's respect, if it does come to this.

U.B., it has been sold to a new majority owner, meaning the previous owner Jeff, who owned over 50% of the company sold his shares to a new investor. The remaining shares belong to various other investors who all have a say in what happens next. It WILL be converted to a sport's bar. I'm not sure yet whether the tikis will stay or go. I have talked to the new majority owner, but only briefly. We'll see.


dang, that place was sick

This just in and no kidding, the new owner, upon converting Whanga Rei to a Sport's Bar, wants me to carve a helmet and put it on top of a tiki. I would rather die.

That carving you brought to the Crawl already has a "helmet"...and it sounds like it matches the new owner's personality.

A helmet?!? Mankind is doomed!

How is this placed pronounced by yhe local clientel, with a W or an F as I'm pretty sure it is in NZ?

Anyone interested in 10 foot tikis? The tikis I carved are now for sale by owner. I made an offer for all 8 but the owner didn't like my offer. Keep in mind these are very large and heavy, you'll need a crane or tractor and heavy duty truck to transport.

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