• This Week Miami 1959

    Tuesday 6th December 2016 - 12:28:54 PM
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    tm_cover

    While collecting way too many things related to the Mai-Kai as part of my book research, I bought this great 1959 weekly tourist magazine for the Mai-Kai ad. I got a lot of other great stuff as well.

    tm_biltmore-terrace-ad

    Gotta love “Tropical Nights”, “Direct from Havana” when it appears to include showgirls in fishnet tights and coconut bras in The Biltmore Room at The Biltmore Terrace Hotel.

    tm_lanotan-ad

    Even the ad for Lanotan suntan cream is pretty awesome and frisky!

    tm_roney-plaza-bamboo-room-back-cover-ad

    An added Tiki bonus is the ad for the new Bamboo Room at Roney Plaza. This is where some south Florida Polynesian stars like Nani Maka and Kui “Kimo” Lee worked.

    tm_kimo-lee-article

    Kimo became world famous as song write for Don Ho.

    tm_roney-plaza-bamboo-room-opens

    tm_french-dressing-ad

    More beauty from the Tropical Nights and an ad for “French Dressing” at the Carillon Hotel.

    tm_french-dressing-cindy-fuller

    Cindy Fuller, one of the stars of “French Dressing.”

    tm_luau-ad

    One of the Mai-Kai competitors the Luau.

    tm_life-bar-ad

    The Life Bar is the oldest “Burlesk house” on Miami Beach. Fun! Girls! Gags!

    tm_on-the-town-life-bar-write-up

    A little write up about the Life Bar “girlie show” and the search for “Miss Moulin Rouge”.

    tm_inge-brandt-ice-star

    Ice skating in Miami? Lessons? Well if Inge in that sweater is the teacher, sign me up! At the Deauville Hotel’s “Winter Wonderland”.

    tm_mai-kai-ad

    And of course, the reason I bought the guide, the Mai-Kai ad circa 1959.

     

     

     

    Bookmarks: Favorites | Del.icio.us | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Architecture,Ephemera,Ephemera,Kapu - Forbidden,Mai-Kai History,Places,Retro Goodies,Retro Preservation,Vintage Places | Comment (1)

  • Mai-Kai Book Available for Pre-Order

    Saturday 6th February 2016 - 4:08:16 PM
    Tags: , ,

    cover

    My Mai-Kai history book just appeared on the Barnes and Noble website for pre-order. Coming soon to Amazon. Please pre-order and make your voice heard with the publisher to give the book more attention and better marketing. Spread the word! This is going to be a big year for the Mai-Kai!

    Book website is here.

    Pre-order the book here.

    And come see me at the Hukilau as I give a presentation on the Mai-Kai.

    Then come to my book release party at the Mai-Kai, tentatively scheduled for September.

    Then come to my book signing at Tiki Oasis.

    Bookmarks: Favorites | Del.icio.us | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Ephemera,Mai-Kai History,Places,Polynesian Pop,Retro Goodies,Retro Preservation,Vintage Places | Comment

  • Mai-Kai Sign 1961 in Color.

    Sunday 22nd November 2015 - 4:24:02 PM
    Tags: , ,

    IMG_4466.JPG
    Rare color image the Mai-Kai “hut” sign designed and built by Dave Stevens. Chicagoans Dave and his brother made a wide variety of custom items for the Mai-Kai, from spotlight covers that looked like rocks for the exterior to fake turtle shells for the interior. The Moai stone carving was stolen one quiet night by crane from the front lawn.

    IMG_4467.JPG
    The sign was destroyed a few years later by hurricane Betsy.

    A peak at the forthcoming book Mai-Kai: History, Mystery, and Adventure.  

    Bookmarks: Favorites | Del.icio.us | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Architecture,Architecture,Ephemera,Mai-Kai History,Places,Vintage Places | Comment

  • Mai-Kai: History, Mystery and Adventure – The Book

    Saturday 6th December 2014 - 9:17:41 AM
    Tags: , ,

    Sample Cover I have been researching the Mai-Kai in one form or another for over 12 years. I have been seriously looking into its history and people for a long time to document the past. I had thought I would do a book that was just pretty pictures. Once I began to talk to the people around this landmark, I found their stories amazingly compelling. Now the book will also have a wonderful story too.

    I have worked on this book project in my spare time for years now. I have spent vacations in back rooms scanning images with my wife, and visiting old timers to hear their tales. I have tracked people down and interviewed people from Florida to California to Tahiti. I have a newfound respect for those who create books. It is a lot of work and time.

    I hope to get the book ready in 2015 and get it published. Please support my efforts by simply liking the Facebook page first, and if you happen to have something you think will help the book, please email me and share it.

    Bookmarks: Favorites | Del.icio.us | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: "Tiki" Collecting,Architecture,Ephemera,Events,Mai-Kai History,Places,Polynesian Pop,Retro Goodies,Retro Preservation,Vintage Places | Comments (2)

  • Traveling Tiki Cocktail Bar needs

    Thursday 14th February 2013 - 12:38:53 PM
    Tags: , , , , ,

    IMO, you can fit all you need to make many of the best Tiki drinks in a milk crate. Granted, these are for making Don the BEachcomber’s recipes…

    • Light Rum
    • Gold Rum
    • Dark Rum
    • 151 Lemon Hart
    • 80 proof demerara (you may drop this and sub dark rum for space)
    • Allspice dram
    • Falernum
    • Lime juice
    • White Grapefruit juice
    • Pineapple juice
    • Orange juice
    • Honey syrup
    • Simple syrup
    • Cinnamon syrup
    • Passionfruit syrup
    • Bitters
    • Pernod or Herbsaint
    • Nutmeg
    • Soda water

    Measuring devices (spoons and jigger, etc.)

    Granted, the size of your containers will dictate whether it all fits in one crate.

    Ice, glasses and a blender and you are set!

    With this you can make:

    • Navy Grog
    • Jet Pilot
    • Test Pilot (almost, Cointreau)
    • Rum Barrel (almost, grenadine)
    • 151 Swizzle
    • Big Bamboo
    • Cobra’s Fang
    • Demerara Cocktail
    • Derby Daiquiri
    • Jasper’s Jamaican
    • Nui Nui
    • Q.B. Cooler
    • Zombie Punch (almost, grenadine)
    • Shark’s Tooth (almost, maraschino cherry juice)
    • 2070 Swizzle

    The drinks that may be missing a small ingredient are passable and your host may have what is needed or you can easily take it with.

    So next time you are invited to a cocktail party, or a room party at an event, show up prepared!

    Bookmarks: Favorites | Del.icio.us | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Cocktail Capers | Comment

  • DYI Ice Volcano for your Mini Mystery Bowl

    Tuesday 14th August 2012 - 3:10:33 PM
    Tags: , , , , , ,

    If you don’t yet own the Mini Mai-Kai Mystery Bowl, well, go get one HERE. Follow along regardless.

    To make the ice volcano that goes in the center of the Mystery Drink, here is my plan. If you have your own, great! This is how I tackled it.

    First you need finely crushed ice. I have sworn by my vintage Oster Snoflake for years and it still is the champ as far as I know.

     

    I have found them in antique, vintage and thrift stores, but they are also on Ebay.

    The result is a tray full of fine crushed ice.

    Perhaps the more difficult aspect is finding the best sized vessel to form the ice volcano. The inner ring in the mini bowl is 2 inches. So you need something that tapers and is smaller than 2 inches at the top of the volcano form. I went through the cabinet and picked some small juice glasses. I had pilsners, but they had too steep an angle and the top would have been too small for the fire container.

    I lightly packed the ice into the glass with s spoon as scoop about 3 inches deep. The quicker you do this, the better. Any melting can make the bottom of the glass fill with water and become a very smooth slick surface.

    Then put them in the freezer for maybe 15 minutes to freeze your forms.

    When they come out they will be frozen to the glass. You can just set them on the counter for a minute or two until they thaw enough to slip out. I can’t wait, so I use my hands to try to warm the glass. Then carefully slip them out and set them in the inner ring of the bowl.

    Pour in a nice Scorpion Bowl recipe.

    For the final touch, and to do it like the Mai-Kai, cut the end off a lemon and mash it with a juicer to make a “bowl”. I also cut the tip off to make it flatter. Pour some 151 proof rum in it and set it on the volcano. Light, serve and enjoy!

    As the drink begins to melt the volcano, it may tip. Just press it back down and you can make the base flat again.

    Bookmarks: Favorites | Del.icio.us | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Cocktail Capers,Ephemera,Mai-Kai History | Comment

  • Swank Pad’s Mini Mai-Kai Mystery Bowls are here!

    Friday 27th July 2012 - 11:38:59 AM
    Tags: , , , , ,

    I am excited to announce what I hope is the first of my “Mai-Kai Memories Series”. This is an individual sized Mystery bowl designed after the 1950s original.

    They are on sale now at the Swank Pad Productions website and next week in the Mai-Kai gift shop!

    Bookmarks: Favorites | Del.icio.us | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: "Tiki" Collecting,Cocktail Capers,Ephemera,Ephemera,Existential Fodder,Mai-Kai History,Polynesian Pop,Retro Goodies | Comment

  • Swanky – Knoxville’s “Tiki King” in Metropulse

    Thursday 12th July 2012 - 6:12:39 AM
    Tags: , , , ,

     We were a bit shocked to find that Knoxville weekly indepenant paper Metropulse had made me the cover story this week. And I was very pleasantly surprised to find they did a really great job on the article that captures the past and present of Tiki well.

     

    Read it HERE.

    Bookmarks: Favorites | Del.icio.us | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Architecture,Blather,Cocktail Capers,Ephemera,Ephemera,Events,Existential Fodder,Knoxville,Places,Polynesian Pop | Comment

  • Marie Mariterangi sings in the Molokai 1965

    Monday 26th December 2011 - 9:31:37 AM
    Tags: , , , , , ,

     In researching the Mai-Kai’s history, I come across a lot of things that I am not sure will ever make it into a book, or a lecture or anywhere besides me and my wife. This weekend, with spare time due to the holidays, I did some digging. I have an October/November 1965 “Happy Talk”, a news magazine published by the Mai-Kai, and it is full of great stuff. The cover announces that Mariterangi will begin performing in the Molokai soon. I had not heard that name come up before, so I searched for the story of her life. There is not much.

    There is a ton of her music online. I found Dub DJs with her in their list of music to mix. She, like many of the performers at the Mai-Kai, was from Tahiti, born in 1926. The fast tempo of the Tahitian drums is a draw for creating a live show I am sure. Toti was the lead there. Mireille was the choreographer and dancer from Tahiti. They likely knew of Marie and when she landed on the mainland of the US, they worked to recruit her. Marie came to the US via Hawaii, like many of the island performers, and created her own troupe. She started at the Bora Bora in San Francisco in 1960. That location became a Skipper Kent’s in the late 60’s after the owner was shot by his wife. Few even knew it was ever anything else. It stayed a Skipper’s into the 80s.

    There were local island natives who would come to the Mai-Kai and as the evening came around, they got out their guitars and began to play and sing the songs of their homelands. It was simply a natural thing and it was enjoyed by the snowbirds as well. The Mai-Kai recognized the beauty of it and made this a standard practice there. Marie may have been the first formal player in the Molokai.

    Sadly, Marie passed away of cancer in 1971. She was honored in her homeland, along with her sister Emma with a stamp. Her music lives on forever. Her voice is so full of emotion. If you can find her “Tahiti Nui”, it is a classic.

    And today, the tradition lives on. It may be Mua and his guitar or any number of other musicians playing in the Molokai. Singing the songs of the islands…

    Bookmarks: Favorites | Del.icio.us | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Mai-Kai History,Places,Polynesian Pop,Retro Goodies,Retro Preservation,Vintage Places | Comment (1)

  • Mai-Kai Calendar Girls

    Saturday 10th September 2011 - 6:31:57 AM
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

    In an effort to turn blog posts to web pages, I have started with the Mai-Kai calendars. This also gives me a chance to share a bit of history along the way.

    If you are interested in helping with this project, please email me. I do not have every calendar.

    Mai-Kai Calendar Girls

    Check back for updates!

    Bookmarks: Favorites | Del.icio.us | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: "Tiki" Collecting,Ephemera,Ephemera,Places,Polynesian Pop,Retro Goodies,Retro Preservation,Vintage Places | Comment

  • Mookie wins Mai-Kai logo contest!

    Saturday 1st January 2011 - 10:02:31 AM
    Tags: , , , , , ,

    Mai-Kai Logo Contest

    When I heard that the Mai-Kai was having an open contest to redesign their logo to use on new gift shop items, the first person that came to mind was Mookie. His incredible work on my Tiki Daze calendar project blew me away. I knew he would do something great.

    I had no idea he would do a lot of great images!

    Congratulations Mookie!

    Mai-Kai Logo Contest

    The 2 above are my favorite. See them all HERE on Facebook.

    Bookmarks: Favorites | Del.icio.us | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Ephemera | Comment

  • Do Something For the Mai Kai Today

    Thursday 16th July 2009 - 3:17:32 PM
    Tags: , , , , ,

    The greatest Tiki Supper Club can use your help. And it only takes a couple of minutes.

    In this economy, things are tough for a business that depends on tourists. And the new owner, Dave Levy has also invested a ton of money in renovating the Mai Kai in the last year.

    So, spend a couple of minutes adding your glowing reviews to these online travel pages to counter the many stupid reviews of people who are clueless. Help keep the Mai Kai around for your kids and their kids to go and marvel. Hell, do it so you can go and marvel!

    Yahoo Travel

    Yelp

    Trip Advisor

    These are the top review sites when searching for the Mai Kai. And while there, be sure to look up your other favorites and give them good reviews too. They need more people who don’t complain about them being too dark or expensive to chime in!

    Bookmarks: Favorites | Del.icio.us | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Architecture,Architecture,Places,Polynesian Pop,Retro Goodies,Retro Preservation,Vintage Places | Comment

  • New Mai Kai Website

    Wednesday 8th April 2009 - 1:03:50 PM
    Tags: , , , , , , ,

    Pia has wanted an updated site since the day I met her in 2003. It’s finally here. It is so nice! I hope it brings even more people into the happiest place on earth! Thanks Bill fo rmaking it happen!

    Mai Kai – The Best

    Bookmarks: Favorites | Del.icio.us | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: Architecture,Places,Polynesian Pop,Retro Preservation,Vintage Places | Comment

  • Another New Mai Kai Postcard Found

    Saturday 21st February 2009 - 7:39:44 AM
    Tags: , , , , , ,

    You’d think that after searching for 6 years for all things Mai Kai I would have seen every postcard there was. No. This one appeared on Ebay a few weeks ago. More things to try to find!

    Bookmarks: Favorites | Del.icio.us | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: "Tiki" Collecting,Architecture,Architecture,Ephemera,Ephemera,Places,Polynesian Pop,Retro Goodies,Retro Preservation,Vintage Places | Comment

  • Hawaii Kai – Goddess of Love – Skull Mug

    Saturday 8th November 2008 - 7:20:08 PM
    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

    I’ve always loved this mug. Such a nice sentiment to have “Goddess of Love” tattooed across the top of a skull mug. A wonderful image for a drink. The Hawaii Kai is a legendary tiki bar from New York, best known as the location of Joe Pesci’s famous “Do I amuse you” scene in Goodfellas. I was very pleased to add this one to my collection.

    Bookmarks: Favorites | Del.icio.us | Blogroll | DiggIt!
    Filed under: "Tiki" Collecting,Ephemera,Ephemera,Places,Polynesian Pop,Retro Goodies | Comment