6th Annual Tiki Central Tiki Crawl: Day Three

The third day of the Tiki Crawl came on Saturday, when we visited the East Bay. This day was the biggie, with a bus full of about 50 crawlers, and about that many more on their own transportation. Unfortunately, California has been hit by a crazy heat wave, making the temperature about 10 degrees higher than would have been really comfortable — but at least it wasn’t raining! The bus and all the crawl stops had air conditioning that tried its darnedest to keep up with so many happy bodies in one spot, and we handed out tons of water — overall, we all held up pretty darned well, and there were a lot of very happy faces all around.

Here’s the Tiki Central thread for the Saturday events, and here’s the thread where you can see a whole slew of pictures. Here’s my short summary of the long day:

Mingling at Trader Vic's Emeryville
Mingling at Trader Vic’s Emeryville

Trader Vic’s Emeryville
We started off the day at the oldest and nicest of the three Bay Area Trader Vic’s, the Emeryville location. This is not the original location — that would have been the long-gone Oakland location — but it’s chock-full of great tikiness. We had the back room of the restaurant, which includes a very nice patio and outdoor bar. We’ve had that back patio for previous crawls, but it’s always been miserably cold, and the beautiful sunshine was a nice contrast. Here are my pictures from the crawl, and here is the Critiki entry.

Happy crawlers at Forbidden Island
Happy crawlers at Forbidden Island

Forbidden Island
This was the most highly anticipated stop of the crawl, and thus we spent more time here than anywhere else — three whole hours. Forbidden Island proved yet again why it’s the best danged tiki bar out there — despite having more people at this stop than any other, and despite the drinks served here being more complex and crafted more carefully than at any other, drinks got into people’s hands pretty darned fast. It got pretty roasty-toasty inside with so many people, so the outdoor patio was jumping. Stuckie brought another ‘Ohana Hut prototype for us to drink out of, and Bamboo Ben and Crazy Al made a surprise appearance, sending the whole place into a flurry of flashbulbs. Forbidden Island co-owner Martin Cate, who before opening the bar had been the primary organizer of the Crawl, was beaming with joy to see the Crawl come to his own bar — he loves playing host. Here are my crawl pictures from Forbidden Island, and here is its top-rated entry in Critiki.

Limbo at Conga Lounge
Limbo at Conga Lounge

Conga Lounge
Our fantastic bus driver executed the most impressive U-turn right on College Ave. (which resulted in much cheering on the bus) to get us to Conga Lounge, which despite its petite size, handled us pretty darned well. A few folks (us included) took the opportunity to get a bite to eat at Pizza Rustica directly below Conga Lounge (the extra clever ones placed a phone order on the drive over), and the rest of the merry group enjoyed the prepared punches upstairs. Iuka Grogg from the Maikai Gents led the group in a rousing Spanish version of Tiny Bubbles, and then there was a limbo contest, and a perfectly-timed conga line back to the bus. Here are my pictures, and here’s the entry in Critiki.

Crawlers fill the Kona Club
Crawlers fill the Kona Club

Kona Club
The last stop of the night was the newly-opened and Bamboo Ben-designed Kona Club. We all settled into the tables in the back room, where we held the much-anticipated prize drawing — each stop on the crawl from Tuesday through Saturday entered a crawler into a free prize drawing, with many wonderful prizes donated by Tiki Centralites. Rather than doing a money-raising raffle, this year Hanford wanted to pay for the crawl out of his own pocket, and do a free drawing as a thank you for supporting Tiki Central, the Tiki Crawl, and Bay Area tiki. To tell the truth, multiple nights of very little sleep, the heat, and the effort of the crawl had taken its toll on me, and I was pooped! But happily so. Here are my pictures, and here’s Kona Club’s entry in Critiki.

One more crawl post is on its way!

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