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Lost Tiki: Chin's Tiki Detroit

Chin's Tiki was a Tiki themed supper club, night club, and banquet hall that opened in 1967 in Detroit, Michigan.  Marvin Chin designed, built, and ran the restaurant.  It was the first Polynesian themed restaurant to open in Detroit. Chin's was very popular in the 1970s and early 1980s. Many celebrities paid a visit to Chin's during its hey day. 

Chin's Tiki had two levels. The first floor had the super club with thatch covered booths.  The second floor had a hall with a stage.   There were no windows in the building making it feel like a real escape to somewhere tropical. Each floor had a large waterfall.

Chin's Tiki closed its doors in 1980. In 2001 Universal filmed a scene for the movie 8 mile in the second floor banquet area.  Universal cleaned up the second floor for the filming. This inspired Chin to try and reopen the restaurant.  Sadly, Chin passed away April 26, 2006.  Chin's was demolished in March 2009 and the location is now a parking lot. 

 For more information and pictures take a look at these articles:

Chin's Tiki on

Freaky of Tiki on







Jimmy Buffett Gulf Coast Concert Brought In Tourists

The Associated Press reports that thousands attended Jimmy Buffet's free concert in Gulf Shores, AL. Parrot Heads from all over were at the concert singing along to their favorite Jimmy Buffett songs.   Buffett reworked some of the words to his song When the Coast is Clear to send his own personal message. 

Since the BP oil leak tourism has been severely effected in the gulf coast.  Hotels, restaurants, and condos saw an increase in business due to the concert.  Through a grant from BP additional concerts may be planned through the fall with other performers.


How to Make a Blue Hawaii

The Blue Hawaii is a great summer drink and is one of the easier Tiki drinks to make. 


3/4 oz. light Rum

3/4 oz. Vodka

1/2 oz. Blue Curacao

3 oz. Pineapple Juice

1 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix


Combine, all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. I like to shake my drinks until the outside of the shaker starts to get really cold, and almost frosty.

Pour unstrained into a hurricane glass.

Garnish with an orange.


I have friends who want a Tiki drink but aren't rum fans. So I substitute the rum for additional vodka.  You can also do the opposite and just use rum.  

My Two Cents

Rum and pineapple juice always go well together, and the Blue Curacao along with the sweet and sour adds a nice citrus flavor. The Blue Curacao is what gives the Blue Hawaii that great blue color. Who doesn't like a blue drink?


The Blue Hawaii was invented in 1957 by Harry Yee who was a bartender at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort. As the story goes Bols asked Yee to invent a drink that would use the newly released Blue Curacao Liqueur.


What do you think?

What do you think of the Blue Hawaii? What is your favorite Tiki Drink?



Top Ten Tiki Places - Part Two

We are continuing the list of Top Ten Tiki Places as voted by the users of If you missed part one you can find it here.  Grab your Mai Tai and enjoy!

6. Hala Kahiki, River Grove, IL


Hala Kahiki opened in 1966 and is a classic Tiki Bar in the suburbs.

7. Thatch, Portland, OR

Thatch Tiki Bar is a new tiki bar that opened in 2007.  Some of its decor came from older Tiki bars that have closed.

8. Frankie's Tiki Room, Las Vegas, NV

Frankie's opened in 2008, and is open 24 hours a day. They have a great decor and a juke box filled with Surf and Exotica.

9. Trader Vic's Atlanta

Trader Vic's Atlanta is one of the only Trader Vic's that hasn't been renovated and still has its original charm.  

10. Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge, Alameda, CA

 Forbidden Island is a newer Tiki bar but has the look and feel of a classic Tiki bar.  It even has some artifacts from Tiki bars of yesterday.



Top Ten Tiki Places

Wether you are trying to find Tiki near you or plan to hit up some Tiki spots on your next trip is the place to go. At you'll find a comprehensive list of tiki locations.  Here are the top 10 Tiki locations as rated by users.

1. The Field Museum, Chicago, IL

The Field Museum has an extensive collection of pacific artifacts including a Maori Meeting House.

2. Oceanic Arts, Whittier, CA

Oceanic Arts has been a leading supplier of tropical decor since 1956.  From your home Tiki bar to Theme Parks, and Movies Oceanic Arts is a popular supplier.  They have been behind the decor of many great Tiki places around the world. Oceanic Arts is open to the public.

3. The Enchanted Tiki Room, Anaheim, CA

 The Enchanted Tiki Room opened June, 23rd, 1963, and has been a favorite of many Disneyland visitors ever since.  

4. Smuggler's Cove, San Francisco, CA

Since it's opening in 2009. Smuggler's Cove has quickly become a "must do" for all Tiki Bar fans. Smuggler's cover has over 200 rums and more than 75 cocktails.

5. Mai-Kai, Fort Lauderdale, FL

The Mai-Kai is one of the longest running Tiki Bars. It opened December, 28th, 1956. The Mai-Kai invented the Mystery Drink, which was served by a silent dancer, and the Derby  Daiquiri.

Check back Tomorrow for part two of the Top Ten Tiki Places