9 Tiki Bars Around the Country That Will Transport You to a Tropical Vacation
There’s no denying the power of the mai tai. After a huge bout of popularity in the 1950s and then a lively resurgence in 2000s, the rum-soakedtiki bar is back — and in a BIG way. A handful of old-school examples of Polynesian-styled watering holes never went away, but they now keep company with all sorts of new incarnations of the genre found all over the nation. “You could try to draw parallels to the original rise of tiki escapism of the Cold War 1950s to the current economic and political climates,” tiki expert and author Otto von Stroheim states about the new resurgence. As one of the promoters of Tiki Oasis, a wildly popular annual tiki convention in San Diego, he thinks there’s even more to it. “Really, I think tiki style is a celebration of happiness. Simply put, people enjoy being happy.”
You have to admit, sitting in what seems like a tropical paradise while sipping on a carefully crafted summery cocktail does bring on those happy-go-lucky vibes. We don’t think this current round of tiki love shows any signs of slowing down, and von Stroheim agrees. “The cocktail revolution has embraced tiki drinks in a huge way. This has solidified new tiki bars as being well-rounded, respectable drinking establishments with a theme rather than just a kitschy gimmicky environment with a one-visit appeal. Tiki bars have extensive drink menus that tell a story and require repeated visits to conquer.” Looking at these nine tiki bars here, we think we have to agree.