As far as I and my research department have been able to ascertain, Berkeley has had one Tiki joint. Ever. Just one. It was at the base of University, closed, gone, no remnant, just remembered:
They featured an Aloha Sunday. The Royal Hawaiian Ukulele Band played there frequently. It is now operating as the Handle Bar.
For tiki joints still in business, it is off to the island of Alameda for the Forbidden Island tiki bar:
At the front door:
In the back:
The the Very Best Of All:
Wow! Note to self: go there at night. Wow.
Oakland has a few still going:
Oakland had a vibrant tiki scene in the 1950s and 1960s.
Finally, to Oakland, first to two great Tiki sites that are gone, both burned – Tiki Tom’s in 2010 and Zombie Village in the 1960s. I maintain that they still inform us in Berkeley, that their neighboring quirk lived after the fire.
Tiki Tom’s was near the Park Street Bridge on the waterfront in Oakland was Tiki Tom’s.
At the end of the game, the score was Fire 1, Tiki Tom 0.
At 6485 San Pablo was the brilliantly named Zombie Village:
Zombie Village was full-service Tiki:
In the end, Zombie Village face fire. As was the case with Tiki Tom’s, the final score was Fire 1, Zombie Village 0.
Zombie Village was the creation of Skipper Kent, the nom de guerre of Frank Kent.
He owned and operated both Zombie Village in Oakland and Skipper Kent’s in San Francisco.
Last, at least for now, is the Jade Hula Shack, which was on 20th Street between Broadway and Franklin.
When I showed these to my friend, he first said, “Dude, in this whole deal, you forgot Elvis. Blue Hawaii. Bigtime tiki scene.” He picked up the phone and called Gabby. It turns out that Gabby automatically picks up things associated with Elvis, and Hitler, and Jesus Christ, and the Kennedy assassination, and a few other subjects. He had stuff on hand, which he sent my friend, along with some books and records he tracked down in Denver. First, Blue Hawaii albums:
Leaving aside Elvis, what did he think of the local tiki joints?