1977 Mai Kai Calendar

I think the Mai Kai stopped making these calendars in the early 1990s. I have never asked why. Maybe because times changed and people didn’t buy them any more. Maybe they were mostly given to members and they just decided to cut costs. Maybe it just didn’t seem politically correct. I doubt the last one. The Mai Kai has always done things their way and made it work and not bowed to a few people’s opinions. These calendars are certainly not racy.

I came across this article about the Mai Kai today that’s a very interesting read for fans.

77 calendar 1This first sampling is Kainoa. She retired from the difficult schedule of dancing for the Mai Kai a while ago due to a knee injury. She dances with Polynesian Proud now, at least sometimes. She danced for the opening of Hukilau 2004 and it was a highlight for me. She is an un-aging island beauty like Mrs. Thornton, who is as beautiful today as ever. And I had the pleasure to meet Kainoa’s mother and, well, they could be sisters, and they could be 20!

77 calendar 2This picture has it all! Just look at those drinks! Just look at those lamps! Just look at those heads!
headsAh, the shrunken heads of the Mai Kai…

77 calendar 3A man I would like to meet (have met?) The head mixologist at the Mai Kai, Mariano Licudine. HERE is a nice article on him. He started out at Don the Beachcomber’s before coming to the Mai Kai. He is best known as the inventor of the “Derby Daiquiri,” one of my favorite drinks. I was given the back rooms tour of the Mai Kai by General Manager Kern Mattie and this area is what you don’t see in the Molokai Lounge.
77 calendar staffWhat this picture says is still true today. There are many people at the Mai Kai who have been there for decades. The owners treat their staff well because they know that a good staff is important to making the Mai Kai great.

For a perfect way to experience the Mai Kai and it’s magic, (okay I am a bit biased about the event I started and brought there in 2003) come to Hukilau in October when the Mai Kai will be filled to capacity with fans.

10 Replies to “1977 Mai Kai Calendar”

  1. I got the behind-the-scenes tour from Kern a while back and wow, that room where the drinks are prepared is as amazing as that photo shows. I could have hung out in there all evening! Can’t wait to get back there for Hukilau. Thanks for the pic.

  2. Yeah, it’s that big now. That’s a picture after the 1970s remodel that created the Molokai Lounge. The drink mixers use just a portion during the evening. I have only seen two at a time back there, but my tours have been on slow nights. That space is right in front of you when you are sitting at the bar. I assume this is that same space anyway.

  3. I worked at the Mai Kai in the late 70s as a Seating Captain and was fortunate enough to become a friend to Kainoa. Having moved on (to Central Florida) I of course have lost touch with many of the fantastic people that worked there. Through sheer luck on the Web, I found out that Kainoa only dances on occasion with Polynesian Proud. This past Labor Day weekend I took my family to dinner at the Mai Kai and had a wonderful time. I spoke briefly with maitre’d Angel Vega (he taught me the finer points of playing & winning at racquetball back in the day) and my wife found out that Kainoa is also a real estate agent.
    Among the changes I noted is that there are now waitresses in the various dining rooms where in the 70s was all waiters. Interesting!

  4. That’s my wife Diane in the photo with the shrunken heads.
    We met while I was performing at the Mai Kai in the ’70s.
    Good times!!!

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