A few months ago, the Saturn Room opened in Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Brady Arts District. It’s owned by Noah Bush, John Gaberino and Jeremy Reed, who have combined their craft cocktail experience with their love of tiki. The drinks are, of course, crafted with care, and served in tiki mugs. The space looks like a winner: thatch-covered booths, float lights, and lots of tikis throughout.
I’m happy to see tiki return to Tulsa after a long absence. Tulsa has a unique place in Polynesian Pop history. Oklahoma’s Frankoma Pottery was contracted to create mugs for several tiki bars there in the ’60s: Club Trade Winds, The Tiki Nook and The Cultured Pearl. These vessels have become highly collectible. The Frankoma pieces have their own unique look, due in part to the use of local, brownish-red clay. Frankoma coconuts, clam shells, War Gods and Widow Makers found their way into homes all over the country. I found a Frankoma coconut in an antique mall on the Oregon coast.