Saul’s Own Punch at Trader Vic’s

Had a great time on Sunday for the Holiday Bazaar and Brunch at Trader Vic’s Emeryville. So many great vendors, and we bought from several. There were two rooms of vendors and it seemed like business was booming. The mug release for the Tiki Diablo mug seemed to be pretty successful, though we didn’t partake.

For brunch I tried the monthly special cocktail, Saul’s Own Punch. An original cocktail from Vic’s longtime bartender, featuring Red Wine, Citrus, Honey, Passionfruit, and Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum. Longtime readers know I’m not big into wine but this was just the right amount for a rum-soaked Sangria. The Kulua Pork Hash was pretty amazing, too.

Service was pretty good at Vic’s, especially considering it was a packed house. We were seated by DJ Otto who provided a varied mix of retro and retro-inspired tunes. And we got to sit by the window on a picturesque afternoon in Emeryville. Good times at Trader Vic’s.

Trader Vic’s Hawaiian Bazaar & Brunch

We skipped brunch but it is always fun to check out the vendors at the Hawaiian Bazaar at Trader Vic’s Emeryville, one of the few tiki marketplace events that take place in Northern California.

We caught up with some local favorites who we’ve purchased from before, including Woody Miller, B-Rex, Sweet Siren Designs, and Tiki Lounge Lights. All had some great stuff, though we were most impressed by the Greg’s amazingly cool peacock chair lamps.

There were some new vendors at this event. Rob and Jeanine Allspaw brought their Mischief Motu carvings up from Southern California for the first time that I can remember, and we scored a few items for our bedroom walls. Oakland artist Kelly Jo Mullaney had some interesting shirts and paintings – and many of the designs have hidden elements. Tiki Makaio was showing off some wood coasters and bottle openers that have vintage designs – and he does custom work too. Check them out.

Can’t go to Vic’s and skip a Mai Tai. Mrs. Mai Tai had been meaning to try the Guava Tai, a sweet variant that for sure you’re not going to miss the guava in. I went my favorite, the San Francisco Mai Tai – the standard Mai Tai with 151 float.

Nice to catch up with some folks out on the back patio and in the marketplace. It was a beautiful sunny day in Emeryville.

Tiki Modern

Thanks to local tikiphile Monty Dunnington for selling me his used copy of Sven Kirsten’s Tiki Modern, and for offering it at a fair price. This completes my Sven collection, including the Book of Tiki, Tiki Pop, Tiki Style, and Sound of Tiki.

The book is long out of print, which is truly a shame since it is a really interesting look at the tiki art of the 1950s-1960s and it’s place amongst the larger Mid Century art movement and aesthetic. The part that reads most interesting to me, a decade after it was published, is the neutral tone of the text. It is almost like an anthropologist describing a culture on its own terms, not one made with modern sensibilities. It does not denigrate, nor celebrate, the art and architecture described in the book. It just describes it so that we can understand it.

Which isn’t to say that those current sensibilities should be ignored. Just that I appreciated the neutral tone. And there are a lot of fabulous images in the book as well.

Anyway, thanks to Sven Kirsten for the books over the years. 

New B-Rex Swag

So nice to see Brian and Mary Rechenmacher Trader Vic’s mini-Bazaar on Sunday. So many nice products, but I had to purchase the Collins glass set inspired by the Enchanted Tiki Room and also the cool new Camp Mug. Those are still available from the B-Rex store, so check it out and get those cool glasses and other items before they sell out.

It was so nice to have a quick toe-dip for indoor conversations and to check in with life changes and where everyone is heading. Thank goodness for the vaccines.

Woody Miller Art

Two of the treasures we picked up at the mini-bazaar at Trader Vic’s yesterday. These are from Woody Miller including a wood piece in his signature style. I really love the Moai-inspired mug with a wood style glaze.

Be sure to check out more of Woody’s art in the forthcoming issue of Exotica Moderne magazine, now available for pre-order at Woody is the cover artist and I had the pleasure of interviewing Woody for the article. Some surprises inside.

Looks like we’ll be able to see more of Woody’s work at The Kon-Tiki Room at Palmetto in Oakland, opening very soon. Can’t wait.

With The Kon-Tiki Room opening in the same window as Woody’s cover story, everything is working out as Woody and I planned when we did the interview back in December. Yep, we totally planned this. No luck involved at all.

New Logo and Website Header by B-Rex

Today is the day for the official unveiling of the new Search for the Ultimate Mai Tai logo designed by B-Rex . I have been thinking about logos for some time and landed on B-Rex for a couple reasons. I’ve been a fan of his stylized Mai Tai pins and his art designs for some time. Plus, he is the only illustrator and artist who’ve served me an amazing Mai Tai many times as part of his other gig as a craft cocktail bartender. Brian was very easy to work with so if you are looking for something custom then I provide my highest recommendation.

In addition to the logo/social media icon, Brian also did the new header gracing Depending on which device you’re on you might not see the full header, but in any case it perfectly captures the fun of the search for the ultimate Mai Tai. It’s rum, it’s fresh lime, and there’s plenty of tiki elements, just like the real search.

Be sure to check out the B-Rex store for apparel, prints, pins, stickers, glassware and barware, masks, and more.