Tiki bar pulls thousands of dollars from ceiling and walls, donates it

It started innocently enough. A single dollar bill was pinned to the ceiling of a tiki bar in California — with a tiny paper umbrella, no less. That lone bill soon inspired many more.

For over 10 years now, patrons of Forbidden Island, a popular tiki lounge in the island city of Alameda, have been leaving legal tender suspended above their rum-filled cocktails. Using their drink's umbrellas, or swizzle sticks, the bar's customers stick the cash up, but not before they decorate it in some way. Some pen their name and the date, while others get more elaborate and make their offering a rectangular piece of art.

It's become such a popular pastime, the bar keeps a bucket of markers and unused umbrellas for those who want to leave their mark.

But it recently got out of control, at least in the eyes of my pal Michael Thanos, the bar's owner. He invited me down to get the whole story.

"There was simply no more room to put the money in the ceiling," Thanos told me. "So people started sticking money all over the place," motioning to the Lauhala-matted walls and tapa-covered light fixtures.

"It was just too much."

Before (photo by Alex T./Yelp) and during (photo by Michael Thanos)

So, in October, he and his staff spent an entire day carefully pulling the cash off of everything.

It was a bigger job than they had first realized. As it neared opening time, they had to stuff the cash in four big garbage bags to deal with at later time. Read the rest

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man tiki mugs

Well, here's something you don't see every day, tiki mugs of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters.

Choose the form of the Destructor, and hopefully this jolly giant marshmallow man pops in your head, and hand. Holding approx. 36oz of your favorite ectoplasmic beverage, this tiki-ized manifestation of something that could never ever possibly destroy us is ready for you to trap in your collection.

Currently available from Mondo in limited-to-650 Bone Variant ($55, shown in second to left) and Standard Edition ($50, shown in blue and red). The Crossing the Streams Variant ("orange-wiped" glaze) was created for Designer Con and appears to not be for sale. The Brown Glaze one will be heading to select Alamo Drafthouse theater locations soon.

(Geekologie) Read the rest

History of the California tiki scene covered in new book

Jason Henderson and Adam Foshko have authored California Tiki: A History of Polynesian Idols, Pineapple Cocktails and Coconut Palm Trees, a new paperback which "explore the state's midcentury fascination with all things Tiki":

After World War II, suburbs proliferated around California cities as returning soldiers traded in their uniforms for business suits. After-hours leisure activities took on an island-themed sensuality that bloomed from a new fascination with Polynesia and Hawaii. Movies and television shows filmed in Malibu and Burbank urged viewers to escape everyday life with the likes of Gidget and Hawaiian Eye. Restaurants like Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic's sprang up to answer the demand for wild cocktails and even wilder décor. The culture--a strange hodgepodge of idols, torches, lush greenery and colorful drinks--beckoned men and women to lose themselves in exotic music and surf tunes.

Available in paperback for $23.99. Read the rest