Will The Tonga Room Be a Casualty of The Fairmont’s Condo Plans?

From LaughingSquid:

An alarm is going up amongst tiki-lovers and all those who appreciate San Francisco’s eclectic (hic!) history! The Tonga Room, the much loved tacky tiki bar in the Fairmont Hotel’s basement (California @ Mason in Nob Hill), is at great risk due to its owner’s plan to convert a large portion of the hotel into condominiums.

The plan would replace the existing Fairmont Hotel Tower with a new Residential Tower and in the process convert 226 hotel rooms into 160 condos. The Tonga Room is at the base of the existing tower.

Jack Chick Inspired Anti-Tiki Spoof


These are terrrific.

From HumuHumu:

I ran into Humu Kon Tiki reader Tongodeon this weekend at Forbidden Island’s anniversary party (WHICH WAS FABULOUS), and he was handing out these great little Jack Chick-style tracts, warning of the assault on Christian values by the scourge of Tiki. The booklet has a reprint date of 2002, but I don’t know when it was originally created; it says it’s published by Thaniel Dickson Ministries, Inc., but a Google on that name only matches to a site that keeps track of Jack Chick parodies.

American Heritage Article on Tiki

The article deals mostly with Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic.

Victor Jules Bergeron was born in San Francisco in 1903, the son of a French Canadian waiter and grocery-store operator. Before he was six he had survived the great earthquake of 1906 and a ravaging bout of tuberculosis that claimed his left leg. In 1934, with $300 of his own and $800 borrowed from an aunt, he opened a small beer joint and luncheonette in Oakland. It was called Hinky Dinks, and it would likely have come and gone like so many other largely forgettable restaurants, but Bergeron, like Donn Beach, didn’t set low expectations for himself. Prohibition had recently ended, and Bergeron’s customers displayed an uncommon curiosity about cocktails—the more outlandish and inventive, the better. In 1937 Bergeron took a vacation to New Orleans, Trinidad, and Havana and sampled some of the famous cocktails then in fashion, like rum punch in Trinidad and daiquiris made at the legendary El Floridita in Havana. Back in California, Bergeron visited a tropical-themed restaurant called the South Seas that had recently opened in Los Angeles, then went on to visit a place everyone was talking about. It was Don the Beachcomber.

Bergeron headed back to Oakland and set about reinventing his restaurant and himself. He got rid of the name Hinky Dinks (which he concluded was “junky”) and cast around for a new one. His wife pointed out that he was always involved in some deal or trade. Why not Trader Vic’s?

(Thanks PVC)