A flicker of lovely new tiki comes just as a second Seattle tiki bar is now facing closure due to property redevelopment. Back in September, it was the Lava Lounge (read on for an update on that), and now comes word from Seattle Met that Hula Hula is facing a similar fate. Keith Robbins owns both Hula Hula and the neighboring bar, Tini Bigs; both are housed in a 1929 brick building that is being sold. The sale has not yet closed (and isn’t scheduled to until April), but already the new owner has a proposal underway with the city to redevelop the lot. Robbins hopes they will be able to remain open until December 3, 2016, when Tini Bigs will celebrate its 20th anniversary. (A personal note: I spent the first 30 years of my life in Seattle, and still think of Tini Bigs as “that new martini bar.” And Hula Hula is “that place that took over the Romper Room.”)
But there’s a turquoise-and-gold lining to this cloud, thanks to the Diller Room, downtown across from the Seattle Art Museum. The Diller Room isn’t a tiki bar, but they do love their tiki (bartender Justin Wojslaw was a finalist in Iron Tikitender at Tiki Kon this year). The folks at the Diller Room were inspired by the Critiki News article earlier this year about creating your own custom tiki glassware (a personal note: hey, neat!), and they partnered with artist Tony Canepa and South Pacific Promotions to create these snazzy Zombie glasses. The design uses the classic mid-century glassware color combo of turquoise and gold, with a great big tiki, and (yes yes yes) the Space Needle. They can be yours for $15, or better yet get one with a drink from the Diller Room’s tropical drink menu for $25.
And the latest news about the Lava Lounge is good: it may be safe. The development plan is on ice, thanks to the ruling of historical significance of the building it’s attached to.
While we’re on the subject of Seattle area tiki, let’s shine the spotlight on a steady spot that you need to visit, just because it’s great: Tacoma Cabana. That’s right, the shining star of Seattle tiki isn’t in Seattle, it’s found a smidge to the south. Jason Alexander is deeply, deeply passionate about tiki drinks, and his little tikified corner of Tacoma is only getting better. Make the trip down there, it’s worth it. And bring back more pictures of Tacoma Cabana for Critiki!
- Hula Hula in Seattle [Critiki]
- The Tini Bigs and Hula Hula Building Is Slated for Redevelopment [Seattle Met]
- Tacoma Cabana in Tacoma [Critiki]
- North Shore Lagoon in Bothell [Critiki]
- Lava Lounge in Seattle [Critiki]
- Seattle’s Lava Lounge Targeted for Redevelopment [Critiki News]
- How to Get Custom Glassware for Your Tiki Bar [Critiki News]
- Diller Room [Facebook]
- Tony Canepa
- South Pacific Promotions