The Bay Area just lost the Kon-Tiki Room in Oakland, but there’s a new spot in nearby Orinda that may scratch the itch for those looking for a neighborhood tiki bar. The Boo Loo Lounge has soft opened, connected to the Orinda Theater and just a four minute walk from the BART station. The venue is small; there’s room for just over 20 inside with additional seating on the patio. Look for a grand opening soon.
The dark and windowless venue features decor with heavy nods from Creature of the Black Lagoon and nautical/pirates but has a few tikis and some cheeky and fun signage. The drink menu features classics like the Saturn and Mai Tai, with the Boo Loo for Two being the namesake cocktail that’s served in a pineapple! There’s even a small but well-curated rum collection. The space is cozy and fun with a few bar stools, a half booth, and loungy tables.
Boo Loo’s GM is Maxton Kennedy (Tiki Tolteca, Kon-Tiki, Forbidden Island), who you might also find behind the bar. Off menu orders will probably vary depending on the bartender but the quality was there when Maxton filled an order for a Jungle Bird and a called rum Mai Tai that was incredible.
The venue’s small size and single serving well presents challenges when larger groups arrive at the same time. In our two visits we’ve seen a lot of ebb and flow with the crowds and backups on drink orders, but patience is rewarded with high quality cocktails. The Ruby Daiquiri with Port wine is a nice twist, the Mai Tai is legit good, and the fantastic Saturn is sure to be a huge hit especially for tiki newbies who’ll be shocked a gin cocktail can be that good.
Boo Loo Lounge is off to a promising start. Check them out Thu-Sun in downtown Orinda.