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

Tiki Central / General Tiki

What is to be the plight of Tiki Bars?

Pages: 1 5 replies

Just wanted to ask your esteemed opinions....Now, I am thrilled by the opening of all the new tiki bars lately...it helps offset some of the closings in recent years...but I was just wondering as to the plight of tiki bars in regards to the younger generation...it seems that most of the newer ones play so much hip-hop, top 40, and techno, and feature such other irreverences that it makes you wonder...do you think there will ever be a return to tiki's more Exotica and Hawaiian oriented roots on a larger scale. or will this era of neon and pyro tikis eventually lead to overkill and discard and the subsequent underground hibernation that we've had to sustain, Cicada-like, for the next go round? Hell, I know I'm babbling... but just wanted some guesses from you guys...Mahalo, Grey

Grey, Could not agree with you more. It would be so wonderful to hang with my fellow Tiki friends in a truly authentic setting with backround music that really sets the tone. Lyman, Denny, etc. If I had the backing I would open one up ASAP. Just my thoughts. -T

GECKO posted on Tue, Aug 27, 2002 4:51 PM

I hear the new Tiki's gril&bar in Waikiki will be playing a lot of the hapa-howlie style music such as little brown gal, hula hands, etc.. That'll be cool. I went to the Royal Hawaiian in Laguna Beach 6 months ago and I didn't care for the music they were playing. Just didn't go with the decor. Maybe I was there on the wrong night? If you want to feel that old Hawaii, you must go to La Mariana's on a Friday night! I don't know how many times I have wrote that but, I think we're on the same page about wanting that feeling of the old Don the Beachcomber atmosphere. That's a great place for it. Let me know when you're on da islands chefgrey2, I'll show you exactly what I'm talkin bout brahda!



Bad news, good news.

The bad news is that I don't think we will ever return to the times when exotica music and tiki bars dominated popular culture, and one might even argue that this genre never did dominate the popular culture. Unfortunately, we cannot not stop the progress of time and the music that so eloquently documents the times (even though I am listening to exotica music even as we speak).

However...having said all that, we currently have this amazing technology that allows us to keep contact in ways our forefathers and mothers never thought possible. The great explorers started this by sailing to the south pacific, and then the commercial airlines made it possible for people to experience exotica in ways they never thought possible (I just noticed in the Sky Mall catalogue today that there are two resin tikis for sale made by Tepco). The point is that we have taken all of this to a new level through the internet and Tiki Central and although my viewpoint may be limited to this particular site, I have witnessed first-hand how this site allows us to connect and assemble in ways that our parents, grandparents, and great grandparents could not possibly have imagined! How is it that I can meet all these great people at Tiki Oasis II, or meet Tiki Bong and Sven at the Orange County Pubcrawl, or even begin to imagine that I might meet Gecko in Hawaii someday?

So I guess this a very long way of saying that the fate of tiki (and bars) lies with us. It is bound to disappear and go underground again. That's a given! So the question is -- will we keep it alive?

I would love to hear from the rest of you.


Uncle Arty

Uncle Arty is correct in saying that the future of a truly authentic tiki bar lies with us - Tiki Centralites.

The Tiki Centralite Tiki bars that I have visited are very much as true to detail as say a vintage Don's or Vic's.

And do we really want Tiki (bar or not) to go mainstream. Going mainstream is what eventually grinds good things into the dirt.

I don't want to sound pompous, but 99.976543% of the mainstream population I do not find a)interesting, b) moderately intelligent and/or c) anyone I'd want to raise a Mai Tai with (present company obviously excluded).

Besides, I've always preferred living next door to the Mainstream family. I like to peer into their window every now and then and watch them preparing their Kraft macaroni and cheese and watching 'Survivor'. They are sheep to be herded around by television (KILL YOUR TELEVISION!).

So it is up to us alone fellow Tiki Centralites to perpetuate tiki and his bars. So be TIKI!

You all make very interesting, pertinent points.I would just like to state that I believe interest in the tiki culture will be around as long as Western Civilization is. I tell you guys and gals, when I was a young teenager/twenty-something I was heavily into the punk-rock scene. I played in bands,damaged my hearing,everything. I was born in 1964 and I remember a few things from my early childhood believe it or not. I enjoyed them but as I grew into a teenager they were deemed by my peers to be uncool. Doing drugs and all that B.S. was "cool". What a total lie that was. It didn't take me long to realize that my folks (believe it or not!) were actually smart and cool to boot! Some of us missed the really cool things about pre-Vietnam war America and we recognize that. Tiki bars and the culture of it are so campy that they are a total gas. Plus, visiting Polynesia can infect a person with the tiki fever. I don't think it will disappear. I also believe that a purist movement will grow stronger as interest in this somewhat underground culture continues to grow. Slovak

[ Edited by: SlovakTiki on 2002-08-31 15:12 ]

Pages: 1 5 replies