Back when I was on my uppers and still drinking, I’d hang out at this place. Would I go there now? Probably not, but the location is still cool as hell, right on the water with all those boats and drunks.
Tiki Bars fall dead center in the fine American tradition of finding a tenuous marketing idea and stretching it to the limit. Don’t take that as a criticism. Entire business categories – cosmetics, weight reduction fads, network television – thrive on their ability to appeal to customers’ emotions. Consider them a triumph of imagination over substance.
In the case of all modern-day Tiki Bars, the name alone is sufficient to conjur up visions of exotic sea-side lifestyles obtained with the simple ordering of a Miller Lite and Mai Tai, thankyouverymuch. If you’re going to tip a few adult beverages, why not pretend that you’re spending the week on Bora Bora? That’s the key construct of the Tiki – it’s not a bar, it’s a bar somewhere else, somewhere better than where you actually find yourself.
Therefore, the ingredients to a successful Tiki are an out-of-doors location, a view or surrounds of some maritime beauty or interest, and alcohol. Add non-grudging service and some nod to Gilligan’s Islandish decor, and there you have a success.