Rendering of Trade Winds' Tiki Temple by decorator Ione Keenan, from the collection of Tim Keenan

History of Trade Winds in Oxnard

Rendering of Trade Winds' Tiki Temple by decorator Ione Keenan, from the collection of Tim Keenan
Rendering of Trade Winds’ Tiki Temple by decorator Ione Keenan, from the collection of Tim Keenan
Trade Winds dinner menu, from the collection of Mimi Payne
Trade Winds dinner menu,
from the collection of Mimi Payne

As recently as April, the only things I knew about the Trade Winds in Oxnard were 1) its Wagon Wheel Road address, 2) that it had tikis, and 3) it was long gone. I’d seen a menu from my friend Mimi’s collection, but that was about it. But in April of this year, bongofury posted on Tiki Central the results of his in-depth research into the history of the Trade Winds. He was able to include blueprints and old photos, which give a pretty decent view of what this deluxe restaurant was like (it had several themed rooms, including an East Indies room, a Zanzibar room, and the centerpiece, a tiki temple). He also revealed that for a short time, the location was turned into a Don the Beachcomber.

A few weeks ago, the son of Ione Keenan, Trade Winds’ decorator, joined Tiki Central. Ojaitimo has posted images from his mother’s scrapbook, including the above drawing she did of the central tiki temple in 1963, a year before Trade Winds opened. There are also a few contemporary news articles, showing how popular the Trade Winds was when it first opened.

This is one of the many things that makes Tiki Central such a special place — new discoveries are being unearthed all the time, and it has become a lightning rod for those who have personal connections to Polynesian Pop’s early history.

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