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Swanky presents: “Mai-Kai – History, Mystery and Adventure” Symposium at Tiki Oasis

Mai-Kai: Rum Soaked DisneyI have been a huge fan of the Mai-Kai since I saw it for the first time when organizing Hukilau 2003. Since then I have collected all the mugs, stories, postcards and memories I can.

I have interviewed the founders of this legendary place, along with the varied people who have worked there as performers, servers, mixologists and owners. And I have heard the many tales of those who took their first drink there and patronized it for decades.

For Tiki Oasis 2011, I am bringing the story of this great place to everyone. You’ll find out how the Mystery Drink was invented, and who was the first legendary girl auditioned for the job. Learn how the Thornton brothers used the best parts of Don the Beachcomber’s and added to it to make the grandest Tiki Palace in existence. See amazing images and never before seen vintage video and get the chance to receive the Mystery Ceremony done by former Mai-Kai performer Marina!

Get your tickets via the Tiki Oasis website and join me for a fantastic trip through 60 years of Tiki history!

Charles McKirahan – Fort Lauderdale Mid-Century Architect

If you are heading to Fort Lauderdale for Hukilau next week, you might want to take a little side trip as you drive to the Mai-Kai and see other places designed by Mid-Century master Charles McKirahan. McKirahan worked with the Thornton brothers to design the stunning A-frame of the the original Mai-Kai, and also has many surviving grand designs in the area. A couple of side turns as you go will give you the chance to see these great buildings.

Jolly Roger on A1A


As you can see (if you looked) if you turn in around Bayshore Drive before you get to Sunset, and just cruise around those streets, you’ll see lots of great mid-century places. This area was home to the first Hukilau in 2003, but we outgrew the Holiday Inn very quickly!

Some images by Agilitynut

History and preservation site to browse: HERE