Though the Kon Tiki hotel made the most repugnant Blue Hawaiians on God's green Earth, we wept when it was razed in 1993, marking the end -- we thought -- of Phoenix's once-thriving Polynesian-lounge scene. But the stone gods are smiling again thanks to a new generation of retro hipsters hungry for some of that South Seas cheese that Ernest "Don the Beachcomber" Gantt pioneered and Victor "Trader Vic" Bergeron franchised.
Local hipsters hang at Scottsdale's posh new Trader Vic's, The Drift, and Giligin's, and now even Phoenix's Rhythm Room is tentatively dipping its toe into the tiki tide pool with the Surf Rock Tiki Luau Party. Valley bands Surfside IV, The Shadowcasters, and The Swamp Coolers will lay down some bitchin' sounds, and there'll also be tiki art, DJs spinning "vinyl exotica," a live tiki carving, and tropical-drink specials.
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