Saturday, February 28, 2009

Future of San Francisco’s famous Tiki lounge?

The Tonga Room, one of the better known Tiki themed restaurants in the world, faces an uncertain future. Currently the San Francisco Fairmont Hotel, is looking into the idea of converting the hotel into luxury condos, and the Tonga room has not been included in the remodel plans as of yet.

Photo of the Tonga Room, courtesy of Fairmont Hotels

“Tiki culture” or Polynesian themed attractions (remember Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland) can be found in little pockets all over North America. The interest in Tiki culture grew in the 1950’s, when American soldiers were returning home from World War II, as they brought with them stories and souvenirs from the South Pacific. As a result, Polynesian-style restaurants and clubs appeared in the United States and then, to a lesser degree, around the world, inspired by this culture. Although inspired in part by Tiki carvings and mythology, the connection is loose and stylistic.

Here is a recent article and video clip of the Tonga Room. The restaurant featured a floating stage, and rain storms.

For more information on Tiki culture, check out these links.

1 comment:

Andrew Wood said...

Thanks for the news. On one hand, I'm sorry to imagine that the Tonga Room may go. On the other hand - yikes! Have you ever tried their food? :-(