That idea was a bust, but I'll go back sometime and do it properly. Meanwhile, I've got a fresh batch of pictures from one of my favorite places to eat and drink in Tucson, taken with permission from the staff. I've written about this vintage restaurant and bar before, both on my blogs and on Roadside America. The name of the place: Kon Tiki.
Depending on who's dispensing the information,the Kon Tiki opened in either 1961 or 1962, but I think it was 1961. Hawaii was a new state then, and Polynesian culture and decor was all the rage on the mainland. Over the years, Tucson's tribute to tikidom got to be a little shabby, as one might expect from 40-year-old thatch and wood and bamboo and matting. We loved the place anyway. One night a year or two ago, John and I sat in a part of the restaurant that was even darker than usual, because they were having electrical problems. While we ate dinner, which was great even if we could barely see it, a couple of guys were fixing a hanging lamp a few feet away.
"Ace Jackalope" reports that the person who renovated the place for their April 2006 rededication was one "Bamboo Ben," grandson of Eli Hedley, the original interior designer of Kon Tiki. The koi in the little pond outside are still gone (and the tile-lined fake stream is dry), and the parrots are still missing from the aviary. But the rest of the Kon Tiki is looking better than it has in years.
These nice folks, and the ones in the previous picture, agreed to let me photograph them and their family-sized drinks. I should have given them the info on where the pictures would be appearing, but I did disclose that it was for an online photo essay. I can't give you a firsthand review of Kon Tiki's alcoholic beverages, because I stick to diet cola, ice tea and the occasional virgin pina colada. But the drinks menu is extensive, illustrated, and fun to read, with lots of colorful names for the concoctions. The drinks are also reputed to be inexpensive for what you get. Me, I care more about the coconut shrimp and the Polynesian barbecue ribs. And the decor. Always the decor.
web site. It's very cool and evocative, especially the intro. A lot of the bits aren't finished yet, but there is a photo gallery. I'm perversely pleased to report that like me, they have trouble getting good pictures of this deliberately underlit hideaway.
For many years, the Kon Tiki used to sell tiki mugs that had the restaurant's name on them. We've bought a number of these at yard sales and antique malls, in a variety of colors. But since we started going to the place itself, there's been no merchandise in evidence - until tonight. Now they've got the classic mugs, scorpion bowls, tiki shot mugs, t-shirts, hats and visors. I bought John a scorpion bowl and one of the shot-glass sized tiki mugs. Got to reward the Kon Tiki for remembering their history, and doing it up right!
Thanks, Maryanne, for an excuse to write about the Kon Tiki again.
Now go see what everyone else is doing for this Challenge. And yes, you're welcome to join in yourself!
Inside The Gilded Cage - Posted!
Outpost Mâvarin - Posted!
Ellipsis...Suddenly Carly - Posted!
New Suzanne R's Life - Posted!
Julie's Web Journal - Posted!
The Daily Warrior - Posted!
First Digital Photos - Posted!
Fond of Photography - Posted!
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