The Mai Kai. Wow, what a place! For those of you who don’t know, this fine country of ours used to have many “Tiki” palaces in the 50′s and 60′s – an exotic escape from grey conformity of American life. They fell out of fashion and most of them closed in the 70′s and 80′s. In recent years there’s been a Tiki Culture resurgence, but that’s a story for another time. The Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale is not only a survivor of the original craze, but it is simply the best tiki location I’ve seen so far. (Click here for some history)
Let’s go on a photo tour, shall we?
Your tour guides, Steve & Joyce.
Joyce and her little friend
This, my friends, is a Tiki.
I didn’t have any good photos of the entrance as the place was packed with people and cars. We had reservations for the 7pm show, so we spent some time enjoying the Molokai Bar, which as you can see, is intended to be the interior of a wooden sailing ship.
Let’s go check out the Mai Kai gardens…
We enter the gardens…
The main dining room – not so easy to take photos. Here’s a little video.
Then… the floor show!
…with some damn fine fire dancing. You’ll have to go and see it for yourself.
In our on-going quest to find unique and interesting places, we stopped to visit the Wreck Bar. What the heck is that, you say? Opened in 1956, the Wreck Bar is designed to make you feel you’ve entered a partially submerged wooden shipwreck. The portholes look out into the hotel pool and if you’re there […]
“Drink writing” is a hell of an occupation. There are moments when I stop to consider whether certain subjects of my scrutiny really should be subjected to scrutiny. Take tiki: Lavishly garnished drinks, sometimes served in anthropomorphic vessels, may seem the embodiment of silly excess. …but there’s more to it, isn’t there? http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/28/magazine/tikis-comeback.html
Pete’s Monkey Skull VooDoo Lounge is in the blogging news: http://www.tikiwithray.com/tiki-vip-3-peter-andrijeski-seattlebars-org/ Well, yeah, the photo does not do the place any justice but isn’t that just the way it is? The p0int of this article is about Pete’s work documenting the bars of Seattle. Every Bar In Seattle. And many others. Got some time on […]
From the article: Happily, the modern tiki era now has its own Magna Carta: Martin Cate’s Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki, which comes out tomorrow and he wrote with his wife, Rebecca Cate. It’s a lavishly illustrated, seriously researched, 350-page tome with more than 100 recipes, along with a well-written history […]
While swizzle sticks have been out of mainstream cocktail culture since the ’70s (beyond old-school tiki lounges and swanky hotels and casinos, that is), the steadfast devotion to this cocktail accessory on the fringes demonstrates that it’s more than just a plastic freebie; it is, rather, its own form of accessible pop art, a bar’s […]
http://punchdrink.com/articles/diagnosing-the-tiki-psyche/ Essentially the entire escapist legacy of tiki can be traced back to his original vision and innovations. “You can almost think of Don the Beachcomber as Tolkein,” says Al Sotack, bartender at Death & Co. and Pouring Ribbons and a pop culture obsessive. “There were influences before him but he’s the one who really pulled the whole imaginary […]
Hey kids! You heard it here last! At Portland’s annual celebration of Polynesian-pop fantasy, anyone with a love of Hawaiian shirts and rum can live the good life, if just for a weekend. Real-life tiki god Martin Cate—owner of San Francisco’s Smuggler’s Cove—takes us inside the tropical fever dream that is Tiki Kon. http://punchdrink.com/articles/inside-tiki-kon-portland-with-smugglers-cove-martin-cate/
DJ Drew Groove organized a Mid-Century Modern Dinner Party – featuring exotic eats from yesterday’s tomorrow. And we were there! Click on any image to see a larger version! Joyce poses in her black cocktail dress, pink apron next to many fine dishes And Joyce’s fine “salad” of jello, cream cheese and miracle whip! yes, […]