Saturday, November 20, 2010

At Tiki Chris Pinto's Tiki Lounge Talk: Who Cares About The Tonga Room? I do

 If you know me at all you know I'm a big fan of Tiki Bars and mid-century Poly-pop culture. I'm lucky enough to be 15 minutes away from the World Famous Mai Kai, but it kills me whenever I hear of one of the old, original Tiki Bars getting the axe in the name of "progress". The Tonga Room, situated in the basement of the Historic Fairmont Hotel in San Fransisco, has been delighting guests since the 1920s, first as a ship-themed restaurant, The SS Tonga, and later the Tiki bar. The new owners of the hotel want to demolish the tower in which the Tonga Room sits in order to make room for a new, modern tower with additional hotel rooms and Condos.

In the last 30 years, the word "condo" has become a four-letter word to me. It seems that all developers want to do is find places that people love, then bulldoze everything that make people love it and build condos. I've seen it in Wildwood, NJ, in Key West, and in South Florida. It's happening everywhere, and pretty soon there won't be anything left for the people in Condos to enjoy.

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