Dallas Trader Vic's, photo by suelo

Dallas Trader Vic’s Reopening Confirmed

Dallas Trader Vic's, photo by suelo
Dallas Trader Vic’s, photo by suelo

The widely-rumbling rumors of the Dallas Trader Vic’s reopening have finally been confirmed. There was some confusion earlier in the year, as the Dallas-based investors had announced it, but the Trader Vic’s organization had not confirmed it until more recently.

The Dallas Trader Vic’s opened in 1967 in what was then the Dallas Hilton, and operated until the spring of 1989, when it was shuttered. Remarkably, the space has weathered many changes of ownership and decor at the hotel, and has remained surprisingly intact. It is a classic, gorgeous old Trader Vic’s. The space has been available for private rentals, but has been basically unused for nearly 20 years.

The hotel is now becoming the Hotel Palomar, and new investors Jim Sibert and Angus Wynne have stepped in to reopen the Trader Vic’s, as an actual Trader Vic’s, no less. I’ve heard various dates bandied about, but the one I’m hearing the most lately is August/Late Summer 2006. From the Dallas Morning News:

Expect a traditional-Tiki- meets-neo-Tiki décor. The original furniture and fixtures are still in place.

“But we’ve got a treasure-trove of new decorations, furniture and wall coverings that we’re adding,” says Angus.

I can’t say I’m excited about any neo-tiki infusions — from looking at pictures suelo took there just a couple years ago, the decor doesn’t need any help at all, and any attempts to “freshen” it with more modern additions could look out-of-place. Hopefully the additions will be tasteful and understated, rather than winking attempts at kitch. Kitch can be lots of fun and has its place, but hopefully not at a classic and elegant showpiece of a restaurant like the Trader Vic’s Dallas has the potential to be.

No matter what, this is a major, massive boon to Texas-based tikiphiles, who have been living in a tiki-deprived state for far too long. To not only gain a new tiki bar, but a Trader Vic’s — and not only a Trader Vic’s, but a classic Trader Vic’s — well, I bet some of the Texas folk are pinching themselves right about now.

I love this new trend we’re seeing — the return of classic tiki, as seen with the restoration of the Kon Tiki Lounge in Tucson, the Tonga Hut in North Hollywood, and now the Dallas Trader Vic’s.

6 thoughts on “Dallas Trader Vic’s Reopening Confirmed

  1. My wife and I have been waiting for this day since we went to an art show put on by some friends of ours from The Forbidden Gallery a few years ago (it was rented out to them for the show). When my band was featured on the CD, Texotica Vol 1, I was hoping the would rent the place again so I could get some pics, but that didn’t pan out due to cost. But I’m happy to see Vic’s coming back alive. I too worry that the “new” infused decor will bring down the level of excitment, but I keep telling myself that at least it’s opening.

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  2. hey… did the site for TV dallas. I love tiki and this place is a true time capsule it is not tweaked or modded out… it is authentic and slightly dark. :) very true 60s tiki not that namby pamby Tommy Bahamma pastel crap. Check it out and there will be an update to the TV site soon.

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