Tucson: Big Party, Refreshed Decor at Kon Tiki Lounge

New Bar at Kon Tiki Lounge in Tucson
New Bar at Kon Tiki Lounge in Tucson

One of my favorite tiki spots, the Kon Tiki Lounge in Tucson, Arizona, has got some great things going on. The Kon Tiki Lounge has been going strong since 1961, kept busy and profitable by their enduring popularity with the local college set. Miraculously, almost all of the original decor is still intact, though sometimes in need of repair. In recent years, a new manager named Louie has been leading the charge in restoring the Kon Tiki’s glory. Kon Tiki Lounge tiki mugs by Tiki Farm are now available, with the design taken from the excellent Milan Guanko tiki outside. The place has been nicely maintained, and Bamboo Ben has been hired to do some fixing here and there. Above is the gorgeous new bar that Bamboo Ben has created — the old bar was perfectly serviceable and classic, but didn’t have much character, and the new bar looks like it was always there. Hey guys — can you ditch the bright lights in the aviary-turned-lizard cage behind the bar next?

With all this good stuff happening, a celebration is in order, so Louie is planning a big bash, likely for April 22. No details yet on the party, but whether you go then or during a quieter time, it’s definitely worth the trip.

4 thoughts on “Tucson: Big Party, Refreshed Decor at Kon Tiki Lounge

  1. Hey guys — can you ditch the bright lights in the aviary-turned-lizard cage behind the bar next?


    These pics were taken in the daytime. Yet, there is a neon beer sign that Budweiser made for them in there that is pretty bright but is cool only because it’s a Kon Tiki Neon Beer Sign and even has a Tiki on it.
    ( sign of the times ? )

    Rumor has it that there might be a patio, where “Thor” the 6′ monitor lizard is caged, come springtime. Keep your eyes and ears open for more……

    p.s. Did you know that the Kon Tiki sells more rum and ogreat (sp?) than any other bar in AZ.?? Approx. 700 Scorpians served every Fri. and Sat. night. Crazy!! Also, I was there for a week and the crowd was very mixed. From young, to old, and everything inbetween. It’s a classic 1960’s tiki bar that seems to be doing something right and will be there for many years to come.

    Tiki Tiki!

    Bamboo Ben


  2. I am one of those old enough to remember the Kon Tiki growing up in the 1960s. The sign always stood out as an exotic replica of the unusual in a desert environ.

    When I grew up I even went in for a drink to experience the South Pacific atmosphere and it was cool.

    I hope they keep as much of the original decor as possible as it is part of an historic contribution to the area.


  3. Wow,saw a website with Tiki in it and it reminded me of the Kon Tiki there in Tucson..It has been 38 years since I have been in the Kon Tiki.. Married a G.I. from D.M and moved out of state. Anyway. my last time at the Kon Tiki was in 1970.. My sister-in-law and I stopped there for a drink on a night out. As we were sitting at the bar with our drinks we heard a shot ring out. and our bar tender had been shot in a hold up.. I can still remember that.. Well have fun there sounds like it is still a very nice place..


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