The Tonga Hut in North Hollywood was sold not too long ago; this week, the new management sent this message to Hanford Lemoore:
This is just a quick note to let you know that my partner and I just purchased the Tonga Hut in November 05 and we do intend to preserve the tiki vibe of the place.
We are not changing the name or the decor. We do intend to redecorate and replace the beer mirrors and neons with Polynesian art work (oil paintings, etc). And yes, we plan to fix the fountains. We cannot get it all done immediately, but we plan to work on restoring the place little by little.
The jukebox has been updated with a variety of music and there is one Martin Denny CD in rotation (more Exotica to come). The bartenders know how to make Mai Tais and we will be adding a handful of tropical drinks to the menu in the coming weeks.
It’s quite promising… certainly, it sounds like it could only be an improvement. Tonga Hut has a lot of potential, with an interesting bar and some great details that have managed somehow to survive buried underneath beer signs and electronic dart boards. Its location is in a sleepy section of the San Fernando Valley, and it relies on local repeat business from the neighborhood. It’s not likely to truly develop into something beyond a beer bar, but it’s great to hear that the new management is interested in paying tribute to the bar’s history.