First general manager of the Mai-Kai Bob Van Dorpe was friends with Herb Kane since their time together at the Chicago Institute of Art. They shared a love of Polynesia and when Herb left the advertising world to live in Hawaii, It was Bob whom he lived with, and later, it was Bob living on Read more about Herb Kane and Bob Van Dorpe[…]
The original bar at the Mai-Kai was not the Molokai Bar, but the Surfboard Bar. It was made from real, 30 foot long wooden surfboards from Hawaii. It featured a diorama behind it that was animated. The sun rose and set as did the moon. There was a little village and a fire would start. Read more about Remembering the Surfboard Bar[…]
Girl of the month was none other than Carol Sparkman, who was good friends with Johnny Carson and was on the Tonight Show as a Mystery Girl twice. She was also our guest at Hukilau last year and entertained the crowd with her memories. Carol, Swanky and her daughter at Hukilau 2017. We hope to Read more about Happy Talk Winter 1967[…]
Reserve your place for my presentation at the Hukilau HERE. We all know today’s Molokai Bar with it’s nautical theme of a galley ship, but until 1971, it was a different place. After the huge success of the opening, they realized they needed a bigger bar to seat waiting guests (and get money out of Read more about 2018 Molokai Bar 60th Anniversary[…]
Join Swanky for an afternoon of Mai-Kai history with ephemera, images, video, Mai-Kai veterans and stories free at The Hukilau! June 8th noon to 4PM at the Pier 66.
“The $100,000 drink” managed a bit of advertisement amazingness by having the Mai-Kai mentioned in the ads by Rums of Puerto Rico. Here are a few.
Matchbooks are probably the most economical way to get into collecting. Matchbooks are generally small, cheap and inexpensive to mail. I think this is all the matchbooks ever used by the Mai-Kai. The one vintage high end attribute they never used is the “feature” matchbook. A feature matchbook is one with printing on the matches. Read more about #TBT Mai-Kai The Matchbooks[…]
This short lived idea to reward the regulars and promote camaraderie was another crazy brain-child of the Mai-Kai managers and owners. This mini version of the drink menu was created by Leonce Picot before he had any idea what they would do with it. On a specific date, everyone received the cards. Each drink they Read more about #TBT 1958-59 The Okole Maluna Society[…]
A couple on their honeymoon in 1959 came to the Mai-Kai. They revisited a few years ago and gave the Mai-Kai this photo. Of note are the entrance doors. 2 big mahogany doors with “Mai-Kai” spelled out in bamboo on the left and the cannibal trio carvings on the right door. When they entered the Read more about #TBT 1959 Mai-Kai Entrance and Drink Menu[…]
Mariano Licudine didn’t get the coverage I wanted in the book. I just was too pressed for time. I hope the full story gets written. The Thorntons did something rare and amazing with Mariano, they put a spotlight on him. He wasn’t an anonymous staff member hidden in the kitchen as were most bartenders at Read more about Mariano Licudine – “The Houdini of the Liquids”[…]