5 Things You Didn't Know About Tiki

July 4, 2017

Tiki fans, test your tiki knowledge. Here are five things you might not know about tiki.


Tiki hit the scene over 80 years ago…


It all started with a man named Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt. Gantt spent a lot of time in the South Pacific and Caribbean as a young man, and came home with not only souvenirs, but ideas.  


The first tiki-style restaurant was located in Hollywood…


Some of these travel-inspired ideas of Gantt’s included making drinks with rum and fresh fruit juices and pairing them with Polynesian and Cantonese cuisines. Thus, the restaurant Don the Beachcomber was born. It was a hotspot celebrity hangout.


The creator of the first tiki restaurant changed his name…


Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt eventually changed his name to Donn Beach. It’s no wonder why, the prior is a mouthful -- imagine getting acquainted with this guy. He seemed to be suited to the name Donn Beach. Not only did his first restaurant take on his namesake, Beach lived out his live on the sandy shores of Hawaii, from the 1940s until he passed in 1989.


Don Beach used his restaurant experience during WWII…


While Donn was away during WWII he used his know-how to operate the rest and recreation areas for service men. During this time Donn’s wife was busy at home. While Donn was serving she oversaw the opening of 16 new locations.  


There was a feud about who invented the Mai Tai first…


Tiki was, and arguably still is, hot. But at the time, restaurateurs, including Bergeron, of the Trader Vic’s restaurant chain, were all over it. In fact, Donn and Bergeron had a back-and-forth feud about who invented the Mai Tai first. We’re still not sure who invented the cocktail first.


We have to speculate that Donn would have been a fan of our Mai Tai here at Hula’s.


Follow Hula’s on Instagram: @hulasmoderntiki

Like Hula’s on Facebook: @hulasmoderntikirestaurants



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