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I'm looking for information (menus, ads, postcards) on Portland's old Kon Tiki, as well as any other defunct Portland tiki bars for a project I'm working on. If you have any materials from these and would be willing to share scans and information, please contact me offlist.

Mahalo in advance for your assistance!

TikiMaxton

Hi, I don't have what your looking for, but I have this cool red plastic box with writings that says Aloha room, Heathman Hotel (portland,ore) has a deck of cards inside it and has pictures on the card of the Aloha room, looks to be 50's-60's.. Know anything about that Hotel? Thanks

I do know about that place. The Heathman is still there, but the Aloha room is sadly long gone. I have a couple of postcards from there. Not really tiki, but kind of Mondrian/Modernist Hawaiian. i would have liked to have gone there...

From the 1957 restaurant guide book "Be My Guest In The Pacific Northwest" by Bill Spiedel. Jr. :

We in the Pacific Northwest have practically adopted the Hawaiian Islands as our own. Both the convenient overnight flights and the luxurious five-day cruise lure thousands of vacationers.

It is not surprising then to find the handsome Aloha Room, in the Heathman Hotel, filled with smartly dressed Portlanders- many of them leaving for or arriving from "The Islands" and celebrating the occasion in the sophisticated Polynesian-Hawaiian atmosphere of the Aloha Room.

The room is bedecked with articles representing the best of South Seas culture, which were acquired by Mr Heathman in his travels for use in the room and for sale in the adjoining gift shop.

Decor centers around a full-length mural, in resplendent tropical tones, depicting the arrival of King Kamehameha at a festival of the sea- "The Hukilau". The beautiful flower lei is seen everywhere as it is the age-old symbol of "Aloha".

General impression of the room is aquamarine with the dominating mural on your left as you enter, and a multicolored sheen of water cascading into a miniature tropical garden behind the bar.

As you become accustomed to the subdued lighting you commence to notice some of the finer details such as gracious, friendly waitresses dressed in sarongs- black, translucent tabletops inlaid with gold ferns and shells- hurricane lamps on carved wooden bases- brilliant red Anthirium and Ginger, flown in each week from the Islands, together with Vanda orchids which are presented to the ladies.

I do not wish to create the impression that the room is laden with bric-a-brac from the South Seas. What might be thought of as souvenir items are found across the hall in the Lanai Room- a combination gift shop and cocktail lounge. In the Aloha Room itself the South Seas atmosphere is deftly achieved by using accessories of museum-like quality.

The Aloha Room is very popular for after-theater and after-symphony parties- Portlanders are enthusiastic theater and symphony patrons.

Exotic South Seas cocktails, served in equally exotic containers, are one of the many enjoyable features. The menu offers a selection of curried, Hawaiian and Polynesian dishes which are served on trays of carved monkey-pod wood, surrounded by condiments and kept hot at the table. Another favorite is the Hawaiian Fruit Salad, served in a fresh pineapple hollowed out in the shape of a canoe.

Many guests have developed an avid taste for these featured Hawaiian and South Seas dishes. However, for those who prefer less exotic fare, the menu includes delicious entrees of a more familiar nature.

All in all, the Aloha Room is delightfully conductive to adventures in dining...and if you can't get away to Hawaii at the moment this can be a pleasant substitute.


I posted this on Tiki Central before, but after a fruitless search it seems it must have been on Ye Olde Yahoo Tiki Central. At the time I did an internet search for the address of the Aloha Room as given in the book (731 S.W. Salmon) and only came up with a reference to senior housing. I posted that information which wound up at a certain Tiki bar review site and into the book based on that site. Oops. Don't trust the internet for your homework, kids. The Heathman Hotel is alive and going strong (tres swank) and according to the friendly concierge I once spoke with they have absolutely no history of the hotel on hand. We can only hope the bits and pieces of the Aloha Room wound up in numerous Rose City basement bars and rec rooms.

PS: "Be My Guest In The Pacific Northwest" is a great book for anyone interested in NW restaurant history or restaurants of the late 50's. Bill Speidel's writing is so detailed it's pretty much the next best thing to having gone there. "Guest" is a companion book to Speidel's 1955 "You Can't Eat Mount Rainier!" (and later "You Still Can't Eat...") which featured recipes from NW area restaurants. Both books have great line drawing illustrations by Bob Cram. Some of the drink recipes made it into Beachbum Berry's "Intoxica" as did a few of Bob Cram's illustrations (uncredited, I think).

[ Edited by: woofmutt on 2004-06-21 23:20 ]
[ And then on 8/17/08 woofmutt realized he posted "Lanai Room" as "Lania Room". Geez. ]

[ Edited by: woofmutt 2008-08-17 10:02 ]

L

We in the Pacific Northwest have practically adopted the Hawaiian Islands as our own.

yea, dude. and we want it back!

B

I have a yellow cocktail stirrer with a hula girl figure on top. Aloha Room-Park Haviland Hotel is stamped on it. A google search turned up a little. Said it was a hotel in downtown Portland, but no address. Could this have been the same Aloha Room? Maybe the hotel changed names.

On 2004-06-21 23:16, woofmutt wrote:
It is not surprising then to find the handsome Aloha Room, in the Heathman Hotel, filled with smartly dressed Portlanders-

What would be surprising, in this day and age, would be finding a "smartly dressed Portlander". Apparently there was a time when folks in this town dressed well, but it was obviously a long, long time ago, in a world before Columbia Sportswear and Abercrombie & Thrift...

CT

The Kon Tiki at the Portland Sheraton (now DoubleTree Lloyd Center) opened on September 27, 1959, three days after the hotel itself opened. The Kon Tiki closed in 1980 or 1981. The space is now conference rooms and the "business center" for hotel guests.

This picture showed up on lostoregon.org.

Thanks so much for posting that! This is the first paper I've seen on this place - it was around for so long, but it feels like it never existed based on the material you can find on it. Very cool.

On 2010-08-04 15:32, Const Tiki wrote:
The Kon Tiki at the Portland Sheraton (now DoubleTree Lloyd Center) opened on September 27, 1959, three days after the hotel itself opened. The Kon Tiki closed in 1980 or 1981. The space is now conference rooms and the "business center" for hotel guests.

This picture showed up on lostoregon.org.

I have 4 chairs that came from the Kon Tiki when it closed down. It's a bad photo but the rattan is painted light yellow color and the vinyl is green.The original owners got them at the restaurant auction then used them for patio chairs.

Sweet! I am in possession of (but not the owner of) one of the outriggers that came from Kon Tiki by way of the Jasmine Tree. It currently hangs from the ceiling of my bar. Its mate hangs above the bar at Thatch.

On 2010-08-05 08:55, sputnikmoss wrote:
I have 4 chairs that came from the Kon Tiki when it closed down. It's a bad photo but the rattan is painted light yellow color and the vinyl is green.The original owners got them at the restaurant auction then used them for patio chairs.

On 2010-08-05 10:34, TikiMaxton wrote:
Sweet! I am in possession of (but not the owner of) one of the outriggers that came from Kon Tiki by way of the Jasmine Tree. It currently hangs from the ceiling of my bar. Its mate hangs above the bar at Thatch.

Cool, how about a photo of the outrigger?

Does anybody have info on the Bali Hai in Portland. I found an image of this matchbook a while ago and have not been able to find out anything else.

DC

Dusty! I had never heard of the Bali Hai in Portland. Here is what the Oregonian says on Sept 9, 1960.

"Tuesday, two hours before showtime, management of the Bali Hai was still hammering in the last few island influences in hopes of making their 4 o'clock deadline. Anita O'Day (songstress for 12 consecutive days at the Bali Hai) and fiance' sat in a corner and waited to rehearse. Miss O'Day, formerly with Woody Herman and Gene Krupa bands, didn't have much to say about any of it."

"At any rate, give or take an hour, the Bali Hai opened on schedule Tuesday evening to a packed house."

I will see what else I can dig up!

Sputnik,

Nice research, so the Bali Hai opened in 1960. Hope you find out more.

Here is a postcard I have from the Kon Tiki in Portland. Lots of Tikis out front.

You get a peak at the inside through the open door.

DC

The description from the back of the card.

DC

1

On 2010-08-05 08:55, sputnikmoss wrote:
I have 4 chairs that came from the Kon Tiki when it closed down. It's a bad photo but the rattan is painted light yellow color and the vinyl is green.The original owners got them at the restaurant auction then used them for patio chairs.

That is a sin to paint those chairs yellow.They should be striped and redone in the natural
rattan and varnished .Leave the original vinyl alone.Need any help let me know.

Here is another relic from the Portland Tiki past.

A matchbook from the Zombie Zulu.

Vintage Roadside just did a new shirt for Oasis with this logo.

On 2010-07-19 20:32, Vintage Roadside wrote:
Here's the world's first look at one of the three new designs we'll be launching at Tiki Oasis this year.

Portland's Zombie Zulu. Circa. 1950 - 1958. Hope you enjoy it!

Any more info on this one?

DC

On 2010-08-06 13:03, Dustycajun wrote:
Does anybody have info on the Bali Hai in Portland. I found an image of this matchbook a while ago and have not been able to find out anything else.

DC

I just read in Tiki Road Trip II that the Bali Hai may have become a Pantley's Pagan Hut...

Well it's true! I just missed out on this matchbook on ebay from the Pagan Hut that was located at 10th and Stark in Portland. Never knew there was another Pagan Hut outside of Depoe Bay.

Cool!

DC

Wow! 10th and Stark was a revolving door of names.

Sept 1950- South Seas opens as a 24hr steak house

Dec 1954- Rosini's opens as an Italian restaurant and Reef Lounge. Ben Adams and Tony Rosini are the operators. Ben Adams operated the South Seas and was brother of Eddie Adams, operator of the Zombie Zulu). This venture enlarged the restaurant at a sum of $50k and featured chicken,steak, and seafood as well as Italian food. Phone number CA-7-5093

Jan 1960- Pagan Hut has a delayed opening due to the freighter containing their Polynesian decor was docked in Seattle and had stop in Vancouver BC and Longview WA before delivering in Portland. It opened in March 1960. Everything from floor to ceiling was new and imported from Japan,Philippines,Tahiti,Hawaii,Mexico,and Hong Kong. It had 25 palm trees inside some 14 feet tall and wall to wall carpeting.
The Pagan Bar held 38 people and the dining room was set off from the Hut by a continuous wall of Japanese screens and tropical plants. The restaurant was open from 7am to 2am.

Sept 1960- it's advertised as the "Bali Hai (formerly Pantly's Pagan Hut)"

June 1962-advertised as the Showcase Supper Club phone number CA-7-6564

Feb 1963-opens as Julie's Club phone number CA-6-1161

Sputnik,

Nice research, amazing connection between the owners of the different places including the Zombie Zulu. Where do you find all of the Portland info? The Oregonian?

Here is another maybe pre-Tiki place from Portland's past, The Tropics hosted by Jack Bain. It was located on SE Yamhill. A couple of matchbooks were on ebay recently.

Any info on this one??

DC

The Oregonian now has a searchable online historical archive. It makes researching really fun and easy. Awesome matchbooks by the way! The Tropics sounds like it was a little rough and seedy.

1942-Jack Bain band leader and democratic nominee for State Legislature was denied a restaurant and service license.

1943-Jack Bain arrested for serving alcohol without a license. Released on $250 bail

1944-Jack Bain received a $100 suspended fine for violating fire code. He had opened the windows and allowed patrons to throw cigarettes out onto the awnings below.

1944-Jack Bain sued by bartender Helen Jensen for a personal injury. She states that she was trying to remove a drunk patron at 4am on Jan 1, 1944 and she was kicked in the groin.

1945-Bartender robbed at gunpoint by two men of the nights receipts of $200.

I couldn't find anything that described the interior or entertainment

Sputnik and TikiMaxton,

Since the two of you have some items from the Kon Tiki, I was wondering if you have a handle on the whereabouts of anything from the Portland Trader Vic's. All I know is that they had an auction of much of the stuff after they lost their lease.

On 2010-08-15 12:47, sputnikmoss wrote:
I couldn't find anything that described the interior or entertainment

Jack -the bane of the Tropics! Nothing on him as a band leader, either. Sounds like this was some gangster hang out, cool!

Dustycajun,

The only info that I have to add about the Bali Hai is that Jimmy George, it's co-owner, passed away about two months ago. He ran it with George Dussin for several years. If I see Jimmy's cousin I'll ask her if she has any Bali Hai swag.

Here are some better images of the Zombie Zulu matchbook from ebay, including the nice feature sticks on the inside.

DC

Wonderful. I want that T-shirt! And those matches... :)

On 2010-11-30 10:30, bigbrotiki wrote:
I want that T-shirt! And those matches... :)

The shirt is easy, $20.00

https://www3074.ssldomain.com/vintageroadside/ProductDetail.aspx?ID=73&Cat=62

The matches not so easy.

DC

These cool matchbooks from the Jasmine Tree Tiki Bar (reincarnated to Thatch) are popping up now and again on ebay. More orange for the Portland Tiki color scheme, I like that.

Here's the link to the reincarnation story.

http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=20918&forum=1&hilite=jasmine tree

DC

DC, congrats on that T.V. St. Louis find also....I just was browsing thru the Andres Bumatay thread and my Tiki memory got triggered, by a photo I took in the 90s of one of the Bumatay Tikis in front of the Royal Hawaiian in Long Beach:

A Bumatay in Portland, how nice.

Here is a nice little ad from the Portland Kon Tiki I found on Flickr.

It is shaped like the Steven Crane's famous Kon Tiki Ku mug.

DC

S

Or Alaskan art:

We posted a 1963 newspaper ad for the Kon-Tiki on our Facebook page today. I tried to post it here but it's a .bmp and not a .jpg so it wouldn't accept the file.

It's a fun ad showing a tiki looking quite excited by the idea of a $2.85 steak.

Here's a link if anyone wants to take a look.

http://www.facebook.com/VintageRoadside

[ Edited by: Vintage Roadside 2011-06-28 17:27 ]

Here you go.

Bear

On 2011-06-28 18:57, Brudda Bear wrote:
Here you go.

Bear

Thanks Brudda Bear!

Well the Tiki transmission tradition keeps going in Portland. That address at 10th and Stark popped up again in this matchbook I got from the South Seas restaurant.

So that makes three Poly Pop places at the same location when you add in the Bali Hai and Pantley's Pagan Hut.

DC

Back to our originally scheduled progam, a matchbook from the Kon Tiki in Portland.

DC

The Kon Tiki chef was Danny Woo.

DC

It looks as if it was pretty swanky. Vaguely reminiscent of Portland's new Trader Vic's. Those fishing float lights look VERY much like the ones that now hang outside the Alibi. They've been recently refurbished but those floats have hung outside the Alibi for as long as I remember, and they were old when I first saw 'em 13 years ago. Wonder if they were salvaged from the Kon Tiki? Much of what was in the old Jasmine Tree (some of which made it's way to Thatch and still resides in Hale Pele) was salvaged from Kon Tiki, or so I'm told, so a trip to Hale Pele is about the only way to catch a glimpse of the former glory of Kon Tiki.

Vintage Roadside has some amazing photos of the Portland Kon Tiki that were sale on Etsy for a while.

And a luncheon menu that I have in my image library.

DC

Another photo of the Kon Tiki interior that was from a table topper card.


Love that big PNG Tiki on the back wall.

The back side of the card had Chef Danny Woo.

DC

G

Recently posted by Vintage Roadside.

T

Just saw this picture posted on a Dead memories of Portland site.

Tikidon,

That's awesome! Great to see how the restaurant façade fit into the hotel building. Can you post a link to that site, I can't seem to find the photo.

Now check this out! I spotted this photo that was sold on ebay with Stephen Crane and famous Tiki architect George Nakashima reviewing the final details of the Portland Kon Tiki restaurant with the Sheraton manager Louis Baronello in August of 1959.


Great to see some new stuff surface from this location.

DC

T

The picture was posted on a facebook site called Dead memories Portland. I always wondered where the exact location was when I was looking around in the area. It was good to see it. Great to see your photo of them planning the Kon Tiki too.

Z

DC - Great pic with George Nakashima. Too bad we can't see the rendering that Steve is holdind, I'm sure it's incredible.

AAA

I could be wrong but I believe it would be across the street from Loyd Center where the Double Tree hotel is.

T

Here it is today, I was in the area this morning.

It would be cool to do a Photoshop comp of the old Kon Tiki facade on the current hotel. Might try to get a shot from the angle of the previous (vintage) shot and see if I can match them up.

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