Mariano Licudine – “The Houdini of the Liquids”

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”[…]

Donna – Happy Talk January 1963

The Mai-Kai created the Happy Talk newsletter to send out to the snowbirds back home to help keep them in their minds to return. All the stories about the girls are very tongue in cheek and this one is a fine example. This is the first issue. Good to see Lester’s Diner mentioned in the Read more about Donna – Happy Talk January 1963[…]

The History, Mystery and Community of Tiki Bar Loyalty Clubs

A nice article on Tales of the Cocktail about drinking clubs at Tiki establishments. There is a chapter in my book on the Mai-Kai’s Okole Maluna Society, the originator of the idea. Best quote in the book about the Society by Bob van Dorpe: “I think we killed a few people.” Order the book here. Read more about The History, Mystery and Community of Tiki Bar Loyalty Clubs[…]

Randy Avon & the Mossman Family

Randy will join me in my Tiki Oasis presentation to share his first hand stories of the Mai-Kai, Rum, and Tiki history. Randy Avon grew up in the Mai-Kai where his mother ran the gift shop. His family is prominent in Hawaiian culture starting with his grandfather George Mossman who started Lalani Village which was Read more about Randy Avon & the Mossman Family[…]

Tiki Oasis Presentation and Book Signing

Join me at the oldest, biggest, and grandest Tiki event in the world, Tiki Oasis, for a special Mai-Kai history presentation, and the West Coast premier of the book! Don the Beachcomber: The Mai-Kai’s Father, will explore how Donn Beach took South Pacific and Caribbean inspiration and created the Tiki era, and how he inspired Read more about Tiki Oasis Presentation and Book Signing[…]

Two New Postcards in the Collection

They may not be the most exciting pieces in the collection, but when you have been searching for years for something and finally get it, it is very satisfying. The above card shows the Mai-Kai in 1972. At left you see the 22 foot Barney West Moai that is still there today. Near the center Read more about Two New Postcards in the Collection[…]

South Pacific Hollandale Florida Video

An interesting bit about the history of one of the Mai-Kai’s rivals, the South Pacific in Hollandale Florida. None of the people I interviewed considered this place, or any other Polynesian restaurant in the area, as a true rival. Like Western Sizzler is a rival of Ruth’s Chris. The Mai-Kai was far and away in a Read more about South Pacific Hollandale Florida Video[…]

Blue Ribbon Tiki video

Video link In 2005 I worked with the Mind Flow Media making this Turner South TV show to highlight Southern Tiki. All the locations were special to me. The Mai-Kai of course, and they filmed during my Hukilau event. Hale Tiki in Augusta was created by my friends Brad Owens and Dave “Basement Kahuna” Wolf Read more about Blue Ribbon Tiki video[…]