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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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Swanky posted on Wed, Sep 4, 2002 7:27 AM

I've seen it come up a few times here, and this weekend I got news from someone who has been there. Kiliki and I were chatting with the drummer for Los Straitjackets, and he says the Cuban Trader Vic's has been meticulously restored to it's 1959 decor. It does not have the TV name, but otherwise it is immaculate. He says all the old tourist places have been restored. He was there 3 years ago.

So, next time we go to Cancun, we may have to take a side trip to Habana and see the old grand Tiki bar!

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thejab posted on Wed, Sep 4, 2002 1:19 PM

A friend of mine went there a couple years or so ago and wrote this review for the Tiki Bar Review Pages. JT, I hope it's OK to show this without your permission:

"Of Havana, Steph writes they still have bamboo wall coverings and sort of a nautical theme everywhere but, with the exception of outside the front door, there is nary a tiki to be found inside. Outside the front door are two enormous tikis, about 7 feet tall. The kitchen still uses those huge cauldren type ovens that Trad'r Joes currently uses. They have the original menus there but they have added the words "Ron Cubano" (Cuban Rum) on all the pictures of barrels. They also still had some of the original mugs with the hula girls on them. Although I understand why, the greatest tragedy is that the bartenders do not know a thing about tropical drinks. The closest we got to one was a Pina Colada from a mix. We were staying in a private home in Havana that, oddly enough, had email. So my husband emailed home and got the recipies from the Grog Log which we handed over to the Bartenders the next day. Who knows if they will be put to use."

Steph knows about good tropical drinks, too, because she and her husband have served me some excellent ones at their house in the past.

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Swanky posted on Thu, Sep 5, 2002 7:33 AM

Can anyone say this is not how the Havana Vic's was? I mean the decor. I'd like to see some pictures from the original one.

I wonder if The Grog Log is available there? Trader Vic's Mai Tai mix? Perhaps we should smuggle these INTO Cuba!

A

Here are some photos that are posted on the old board. There are more over at Yahoo. The place looks real cool. These were originally posted by "Tikiboystudios"


Can you believe my "friend" was on the island and didn't know about or visit the place. Curse those damn mojitios!

T

What I heard was that they used the original blueprints to restore it, but that was just a rumor. Would they really have the money to do that in Cuba? Who knows? It's a shame about the bartenders. If it was an official Trader Vic's the drinks would almost surely be better.

T

Looks good to me from the photos!

Well some (most )people are poor but very nice and in good spirits. They sure have money to build sports complexes though.

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Swanky posted on Fri, Sep 6, 2002 8:23 AM

The guy from Los Straitjackets said that the old tourist places had been nicely restored. The surroundings may be run down, but they still want the tourist dollars they can get. He said it had been restored to it's 1959 state, which indeed implies they went to the original blueprints.

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