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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mod Betty (@ Retro Roadmap) Asked If I Visited Anything Interesting While In California. Would A Fantastic Tiki Bar Count? Status: Wish It Was Here!


This quite large hula girl statue is ARTICULATED!  The hips and grass skirt slowly swivel...hypnotizing any who dare to stop and stare.  It's worth it.  You're gonna get pretty "hypnotized" by all the amazing cocktails anyway.

Earlier today Mod Betty from Retroroadmap.com asked if we had found any retro roadtrip worthy places while out in the San Francisco area. As a matter of fact...yes! Upon our wet arrival,

just after snatching up our rental and having a bite (Huge Double Cheeseburger / Fries), our

gracious hosts suggested we have a refreshing cocktail just up the street at the Kona Club.


tiki bar? Tiki Bar??? TIKI BAR!!!! When they suggested that it was an pretty cool Tiki Bar, I

have to admitt...I had my doubts. Whoaaaaa Baby! I Was SO Wrong!  Ok...so there's little to

suggest that there might be a really great (dare I say...almost authentic?) Tiki Bar inside...except

maybe that cool "Open" sign....oh, er..and that "Tiki Bar" sign.


This is the place where all the magic happens.  We just started going through the list of drinks on

the menu until we found our target.  Turns out it was something with macadamia, coconut and

pineapple flavors called a Macadamia Nut Chi Chi.  It was frozen sweet alcoholic yumminess. 

I highly recommend trying one if you are able.  We plowed through several and the Girlfriend

managed to even paint a table with one (shhhh...I think she was a little drunk!).


Yes. You DID see glowing pufferfish hanging above the bar!  THAT is the Real sign...OK, one of

the Real signs of a good Tiki Bar.  At least it shows they're serious about the decor.  I dream of a

place like this opening up in the St. Louis area.


If it looks like there weren't many people there it's because this was a Tuesday evening /

Wednesday morning at about 12:30am!  Still, there were plenty of patrons...and a really good

DJ playing stuff I really love, like the Pixies.  Is Classic Alternative a genre yet?  Anyway, he was

beat match mixing (what you kids call "Mashing Up") all kinds of excellent and surprising tunes.


This place is a Shag Painting come to life!  How about those sweet orange leather lounge chairs. 

They were as comfy as they are attractive.  We spent the better part of our evening at the actual

bar, at least until we were joined by our host and her friend.  Then we spent the rest of the

evening at the aforementioned table were the clumsy Girlfriend spilled her drink.  I'm kinda torn...

if this place was in St. Louis I'd spend so much of my time and money here that I'd be broke and

my liver pickled!  It might just be best that it's in Oakland Ca. and not just down the street!


  1. Look like fun. As you know, I'm now a fan of fu fu drinks, so the Macadamia Nut Chi Chi sounds right up my alley. Hope it didn't rain the whole time you were out there.

    Don't we have a pseudo-tiki bar in St. Louis? I can't recall the name, but I'm reasonably sure that we do.

    1. Hi Nick. Are you thinking of the Mainlander? It was a joint that was down town on Washington Ave. and Broadway right by the highway but has been long gone. Hmmm...apparently the Pepper Lounge (2005 Locust St. Louis Mo 63103) has an outdoor Tiki Bar! Mr. Modtomic WILL investigate!

  2. Looks like a blast! And any place that is mashing up the Pixies with whoever is a great place to be!

    1. Hi diana. Good music...good drinks...good people...good atmosphere, what's not to love?!

  3. Looks absolutely delicious! Also, surprising that it is in Oakland. I will have to put it on my list of places to go next time I'm out San Fran way!

    1. Hi Hunting T. The funny thing is, this is within walking (ish) distance from our gracious host's pad! We were there two years ago and I guess they just didn't have any idea how crazy for the Tiki I am 'cuz I don't remember any mention of the Kona Club during that trip! Gaaahhhh!

  4. I've been silently enjoying your post until today. I can't believe you were in my hometown of Oakland, CA. I can attest that The Kona Bar is a very fun tiki bar. Glad to hear you had a good time. I live in Alameda, CA now. Our little island in the Bay Area has it's own Tiki Bar called Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge. It's a small joint so it tends to get crowded. I'll give you a bit of advice when visiting Alameda, obey the 25 mph speed limit and stop at the stop sign. Luckily we have little crime so the police like to keep busy by issuing tickets.

    1. Hi Anony. It might be a while but I'm sure we'll be back out that way again. I've got to hit Southern Cal. sometime in my life, right? We'll probably start in San Fran and work our way down.

  5. OMG! Mr. Modtomic what a cool tiki bar! I'm totally putting that on my California map of places I hope we get to when we're out there! I've got way too many pins on the map but this looks like a keeper, thanks so much for the inspiration - and the drink suggestion!

    We don't have ANY tiki bars near us in the Philly area, one thing I truly miss from when I moved from Boston where we have Kowloon, The South Pacific and a few others that hang on to this day.

    If you're ever heading out to PA please let us know and Retro Roadhusband and I will make sure we give you the complete list of vintage retro and cool old places to check out while you're here!