Ninety Years of Classic San Diego Tiki, 1928-2018 – The Book

Ninety Years of Classic San Diego Tiki, 1928-2018

Celebrating San Diego’s Polynesian Pop Culture, Tiki Restaurants, Bars and Cuisine

By Martin S Lindsay

Full-color 8″x10″ softcover edition, 224 pages. San Diego: Classic San Diego Books, April 2019. ISBN 978-1-732816-4-04

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About this Project

The book started out as a general story about how families, restaurants and bars have contributed to the cultural history of San Diego. After several years of research, I realized I had waaaay too much material for merely one book, so I separated out the tiki section as its own story…

Ninety Years of Classic San Diego Tiki not only encompasses the history of these Polynesian Pop wonders, but also includes biographies of the people who were instrumental in their success. You’ll find a fascinating collection stories, ephemera, long-lost photos, urban archeological finds, and even some recipes!

Mucho Mahalo to all my Ohana,
Martin S. Lindsay

 


 

Table of Contents

Foreword

Introduction

Pre-Tiki

  • (1928-2011) The Aloha Cafe, Tijuana
  • (1935-1946) The Tropic Cafe, (1946-1965) The Hula Hut, Sailor’s Row/Downtown
  • (1937-1977) South Seas Cafe, Midway/Five Points
  • (1937-1990s) George Joe’s Chinese Village, Sailor’s Row/Downtown
  • (1937-1943) The Island Cafe, Coronado
  • (1938-1970) Bradley’s Puka-Puka Rum Bar, Bradley’s 5 & 10, Horton Plaza
  • (1939-1974) Aloha Inn Cafe, Hillcrest
  • (1943-1967) Tahiti Cafe, National City
  • (1945-1960) The Hurricane, Hillcrest
  • (1945-1957) Johnnie Blackett’s Copacabaña, East Village
  • (1946-1951) South Seas Room, Chi-Chi Club, Downtown
  • (1946-1960s) The Tropics Cafe, Tijuana
  • (1947-1965) Sheng Haw Low, Sailor’s Row/Downtown
  • (1949-1969) Luau Room, Hotel del Coronado
  • (1949-2013) Whaling Bar, La Valencia Hotel, La Jolla
  • (1950-1965) The Aloha Club, Sailor’s Row/Downtown
  • (1951-1965) The Java, Horton Plaza
  • (1936-1942) Vick’s Cafe, (1942-1950) Vick’s Tropics, (1950-1952) Vick’s Tropical Nut House, (1952-1970) The Tropics
  • (1952-1953) Lanai Room, Casa de Mañana Hotel, La Jolla

Classic Tiki

  • (1952-c1962) Zanzibar Room, Topsy’s Drive-in, Midway
  • (1953-1998) Kon-Tiki Bar, Kona Kai Club
  • (1953) Christian’s Hut, (1953-1954) The Hut, (1954-✔) Bali Ha’i
  • (1954-1974) The Polynesian, La Jolla
  • (1954-✔) The Islands Restaurant and Dragon Room, Hanalei Hotel
  • (1957-c1974) Skipper’s Twin Palms, La Jolla
  • (1958-✔) Catamaran Hotel, Mission Beach
  • (1958) Kon-Tiki Room, Catamaran Hotel, Mission Beach
  • (1958) Voyager Restaurant, Kona Inn, Shelter Island
  • (1958-1964) Menehune Max, Pacific Beach
  • (1959-1962) Pagan Room, Town House Hotel, La Jolla
  • (1959-1965) The Mai-Kai (never built), San Diego
  • (1960-1967) The Luau, La Jolla
  • (1960) Polynesian Room, Hotel Del Mar
  • (1960) Polynesian Room, Town & Country Hotel
  • (1960-1965) Ports O’ Call / Tahiti Restaurant, Half Moon Inn, Shelter Island
  • (1960-1970) Tahitian Room, U.S. Grant Hotel
  • (1960-1961) The Tiki, Chula Vista
  • (1961-1973) Club Bali, Rolando
  • (1961) The Tiki Room, Pacific Beach/La Jolla
  • (1964) Tahitian Lounge, Kona Kai Club, Shelter Island
  • (1965-✔) Trader Mort’s, Shelter Island
  • (1966) Tiki Hut, Town and Country Hotel, Mission Valley
  • (1966-✔) Wong’s Golden Palace, Rolando/La Mesa
  • (1968) Loma Luau, Point Loma
  • (1968) Luau To Go, El Cajon Blvd
  • (1970-c1974) Don the Beachcomber, Sheraton Inn, Harbor Island
  • (1970) Mai Tai Lounge, Hilton Inn (OceanHouse), Mission Bay
  • (1971-c1985) The Tapa Room, North Park
  • (1972) Flores’ Tiki House, Chula Vista
  • (1974-✔) Mandarin House, La Jolla
  • (1976-1995) Tiki Room, Wendel Hom’s Teapot Inn
  • (1977) Polynesian Room, Catamaran Hotel, Mission Beach

Modern Tiki

  • (1980-1983) Don the Beachcomber, Vacation Village, Mission Bay
  • (1980-✔) Szechuan Mandarin, Grantville
  • (1980-1981) Tiki Hut Polynesian Fast Food, #1 National City, #2 Parkwest
  • (1980-2013) Mandarin House, Park West
  • (1984-c1998) Polynesian Princess, San Diego Princess Resort (Vacation Village), Mission Bay
  • (1988-2014) China Inn, Pacific Beach
  • (1996-1997) Mon-Tiki, Gaslamp Quarter
  • (2004-2010) Mister Tiki Mai Tai Lounge, Gaslamp Quarter

Tiki Resurgence

  • (2006-✔) High Dive Bar and Grill, Bay Park
  • (2007-✔) Bar Pink (opened as The Pink Elephant), North Park
  • (2013-2018) Cat Eye Club, Gaslamp Quarter
  • (2014-✔) Fairweather, East Village
  • (2016-✔) Miss B’s Coconut Club, Mission Beach
  • (2016-✔) Atomic Tiki, Gaslamp Quarter
  • (2016-✔) False Idol, Little Italy
  • (2016-✔) The Grass Skirt, Pacific Beach

Notes

Acknowledgements

Bibliography

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