San Francisco’s Tonga Room opened on this day 70 years ago: September 18, 1945. It initially was themed as the deck of a cruise ship, the name “S.S. Tonga” was chosen simply because the parts for the decoration came from an actual ship with that name that was sourced from a nearby shipyard. The fantastic, immersive Polynesian Pop theming we see there today was installed in the 1960s. The best way to experience the Tonga Room today: go when it first opens, at 5pm, sit at the bar, and ask the bartender to make you something classic and historic (you’re likely to see him make you something off-menu and fantastic). Happy anniversary, Tonga Room, here’s to many more years! Mahalo to Critiki member Jose “Zeta” Arizaleta for sharing this image from his collection.
- Tonga Room in San Francisco [Critiki]