Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Raising the bar: tiki

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Glowing tiki mugFollowing on from my suggestion of a classical music pub, here's a more conventional suggestion of a bar that Wellington lacks: a tiki bar.

I know that it's much more contemporary and culturally appropriate to visit a café (like Malo or Coco) that serves relatively authentic Pacific food amid tapa cloths, rather than reviving a tacky American cartoon version of a South Seas paradise. But don't you sometimes get a hankering to kick back to the exotic stylings of Martin Denny while knocking back the Mai Tais at Trader Vic's? No? Must just be me then.

Monsoon Poon does something vaguely similar with "Asian" themes (and we all know what Tze Ming Mok thinks of that), and Harem offers a deranged version of the Middle East, but we don't have anything similar for the Pacific. In the meantime, we'll just have to make do with trawling through Hunters & Collectors for vintage Hawaiian shirts, buying some tiki mugs from Eyeball Kicks, filling them with Universal Fruity Drinks and wandering down to the Lagoon for Hula Laguna and the Late Night Luau next Sunday. Liquor ban? What liquor ban?!


At 3:04 pm, February 01, 2006, Blogger Tom said...

Ah yes, Maya: I don't even want to think about what the designers were on when they came up with that.

Yes, a busy weekend indeed, not mention the fun and games that'll happen in Frank Kitts Park when the Luau crowd meets the 50 Cent crowd coming out of the Events Centre.

At 4:32 pm, February 01, 2006, Blogger Hadyn said...


There ain't nothin better than hip-cats at a bar made from bamboo drinking pineapple cocktails from a volcano bowl.

I suggest you try this video podcast: Tiki Bar TV. I subscribe and love it!

At 4:59 pm, February 01, 2006, Blogger Tom said...

Is it just me, or does the hungover guy in "suffering bastard" look familiar? That unwholesome complexion, that messy beard, that dodgy dress sense... my god, it's me!

At 10:18 am, February 02, 2006, Blogger Kate Borrell said...

" lot of finger clicking, and some interpretive dance. "

Do you think there will be jazz hands and spirit fingers?

Make mine a light tiki.

At 3:51 pm, February 09, 2006, Blogger llew said...

Hey... just to lower the tone (you know it's gonna be bad when we started at plastic tikis)... did you read the bit from Tze ming Mok at Pyublic Address where she reckons Monsoon Poon should just go all out & rename themselves Wet Pussy?

BTW... that reminds me, anyone been to the Poon recently? Are their staff hot?

At 4:05 pm, February 09, 2006, Blogger Tom said...

She's got a point about Monsoon Poon: though I gathered that the name was a play on the fact that the chef was called "Ming Poon", they knew exactly what it means. And some of their slogans and cocktail names ("Poon Tang", "Cheeky Asian") are well dodgy.

I like to think that my idea of a Tiki Bar isn't quite the same in terms of exoticisation and cultural offensiveness. Tiki Bar culture is more about American lounge culture of the 50s than actual Polynesia.

At 4:13 pm, February 09, 2006, Blogger llew said...

Yeah... I only mentioned it because mention of the Poon reminded me.

At 1:18 pm, February 10, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've heard rumours that the King Kong ship is going to be relocated by Te Papa with a Tiki Bar in it!

Not sure how reliable that is though...

At 2:21 pm, February 10, 2006, Blogger Tom said...

I haven't heard any specific rumours about the SS Venture, but someone did suggest a little while ago that it should be put in front of Te Papa. If so, then yes! It would make a fantastic Tiki Bar.


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