Tuesday, January 15th
Board Meeting – Monday, January 21st, 5:00 pm Lafayette Hotel Lobby, 2223 El Cajon Blvd
Evening Event – Monday, January 21st, Dinner at the Red Fox, 6:00 pm, 2223 El Cajon Blvd
Breakfast Meeting – Tuesday, January 29th, 7:00 am, SDYC, Speaker: Dr. Raj Reddy, UCSD Pain Management
Annual Wine Tasting Fundraiser – Friday, February 15th, Jensen’s Market
Meet Martin Lindsay. He is an art director, illustrator, writer and principal of Thrive Mediarts, a socially conscious design firm based in San Diego. He loves cooking, food blogging, Hawaiian shirts, Tiki and history. He is also the author of a new book celebrating San Diego’s Polynesian Pop Culture, Tiki Restaurants, Bars and Cuisine. The book is entitled: Ninety Years of Classic San Diego Tiki, 1928-2018. The book chronicles the history of the Polynesian culture as represented by allure of the exotic and the beauty of the islands. Beginning in 1928 with the opening of The Aloha Café in Tijuana (an escape from prohibition in the States) to The Grass Skirt in Pacific Beach ( an adventurous tiki-concept), Martin provides the story behind the successes (and failures) of some iconic restauranteurs, investors, establishments and their clientele.
Martin reviews the beginnings of the Tiki culture, where restaurants offered standard fare and some rum based beverages with maybe a hint of the Polynesian culture represented on décor and menus. He calls this the “Pre-Tiki” period, generally the 1930’2 thru early 1950’s. This is followed up by the “Classic Tiki” era (mid 1950’s thru 1970’s), where décor, menus, bar service and entertainment trended more to the Polynesian culture. Herein lies the birth of the Kona Kai, the
Bali Hai (previously Christian’s Hut), the Hanalei, Catamaran, Half Moon and Mandarin House, among others. These fine establishments are carrying the Tiki torch still today. “Modern Tiki” is generally from the 1980’s through the early 2000’s and is followed by the “Tiki Resurgence”, with many new Tiki restaurants and bars joining the scene.
“San Diego is a natural for the Tiki culture. The Polynesian community is active here. The military community, which spent many ports of call in the Polynesian Islands is strong here. And, Hollywood, which fell in love with the Polynesian culture, has found the sun, beaches and palm trees of San Diego reminiscent of those in the Pacific Islands,” Martin told us. “Even the ‘Goof on the Roof’ at the Bali Hai has it’s roots on Balboa Island.”
By the end of the presentation we were all thirsting for a Mai Tai and a great Polynesian floor show. And, as luck would have it, we can get these items, along with a Polynesian feast, music, market and silent auction at the Second Annual Golden OptimisTiki Luau, on April 26, 2019, at the Bali Hai. Tickets and information are available HERE ! Don’t miss your opportunity to enjoy a bit of Polynesian culture!