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A full-color visual history and celebration of Polynesian pop culture, cuisine, restaurants and bars from San Diego and Tijuana.
A full-color visual history and celebration of Polynesian pop culture, cuisine, restaurants and bars from San Diego and Tijuana.
434 backers pledged $24,175 to help bring this project to life.

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90 Years of Classic San Diego Tiki - The Book

$24,175

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Ninety Years of Classic San Diego Tiki, 1928-2018

Celebrating San Diego’s Polynesian Pop Culture, Tiki Restaurants, Bars and Cuisine

Full-color 8"x10" softcover edition, 200 pages, March 2019. ISBN 978-1-732816-4-04

About this Project

The book started out as a general story about how families, restaurants and bars have contributed to the cultural history of San Diego. After several years of research, I realized I had waaaay too much material for merely one book, so I separated out the tiki section as its own story...

Ninety Years of Classic San Diego Tiki will feature a foreword by Sven A Kirsten.
Ninety Years of Classic San Diego Tiki will feature a foreword by Sven A Kirsten.

Ninety Years of Classic San Diego Tiki not only encompasses the history of these Polynesian Pop wonders, but also includes biographies of the people who were instrumental in their success. You'll find a fascinating collection of stories, ephemera, long-lost photos, urban archeological finds, and even some recipes!

Profusely illustrated with ephemera, archival photos, and even some tiki food & drink recipes!
Profusely illustrated with ephemera, archival photos, and even some tiki food & drink recipes!

 Tiki Makes a Great Gift!

Pre-order the book for that favorite tikiphile in your life. This Gift Notice is available for backers to print out, and to put under the tree!

High-res printable PDF available for Backers! (Not a coupon or voucher, just a card...)
High-res printable PDF available for Backers! (Not a coupon or voucher, just a card...)
Bradley’s Puka-Puka (1937-1970) menu offered 150 varieties of rum. Oh to try a Myer’s Mona 1906 Jamaican—it was 30 years old back then!
Bradley’s Puka-Puka (1937-1970) menu offered 150 varieties of rum. Oh to try a Myer’s Mona 1906 Jamaican—it was 30 years old back then!

Little Red Hen

Publishing a book is an expensive proposition. As an independent author, I have no affiliations with learning institutions, nor sponsoring publishers. In fact, publishers I've spoken with said the book had to be an art book, or a cookbook, or a pop culture book, or a straight history. It could never be all of these things. Well, I say yes it can. And it is. 

As that famous little red hen used to say, “I’ll do it myself...” But with your help!

Ohana Love

All the hard work is finished, but I’m now facing a $24,000 investment for acquiring the publication rights to archival photos, printing, warehousing, fulfillment, shipping costs and their associated expenses. By pre-ordering Classic San Diego Tiki on Kickstarter, you’ll help get this project off the ground.

Please check out the backer rewards and help make it possible to bring this book to you and yours! 

Mahalo,

Martin ‘Martiki’ Lindsay

"Tiki Mugs of San Diego," a limited edition collector's poster, is available  individually or with the book.
"Tiki Mugs of San Diego," a limited edition collector's poster, is available individually or with the book.
This one-of-a-kind 1939 photo album from Santa Catalina Island is part of the Maui Patron backer reward.
This one-of-a-kind 1939 photo album from Santa Catalina Island is part of the Maui Patron backer reward.

JUST ADDED! Pledge at $75 and we'll include the ePub version of the book too!

Existing Backers at the $75 level will also receive this upgrade.

$75 Pledge gets you a softcover AND ePub copy of the tiki book, a numbered copy of the tiki mug poster, recipe card, and downloadable gift notice.
$75 Pledge gets you a softcover AND ePub copy of the tiki book, a numbered copy of the tiki mug poster, recipe card, and downloadable gift notice.

Table of Contents

Foreword

Introduction

Pre-Tiki

  • (1928-2011) The Aloha Cafe, Tijuana
  • (1935-1946) The Tropic Cafe, (1946-1965) The Hula Hut, Sailor’s Row/Downtown
  • (1937-1977) South Seas Cafe, Midway/Five Points
  • (1937-1990s) George Joe’s Chinese Village, Sailor’s Row/Downtown
  • (1937-1943) The Island Cafe, Coronado
  • (1938-1970) Bradley's Puka-Puka Rum Bar, Bradley’s 5 & 10, Horton Plaza
  • (1939-1974) Aloha Inn Cafe, Hillcrest
  • (1943-1967) Tahiti Cafe, National City
  • (1945-1960) The Hurricane, Hillcrest
  • (1945-1957) Johnnie Blackett’s Copacabaña, East Village
  • (1946-1951) South Seas Room, Chi-Chi Club, Downtown
  • (1946-1960s) The Tropic’s Cafe, Tijuana
  • (1947-1965) Sheng Haw Low, Sailor’s Row/Downtown
  • (1949-1969) Luau Room, Hotel del Coronado
  • (1949-2013) Whaling Bar, La Valencia Hotel, La Jolla
  • (1950-1965) The Aloha Club, Sailor’s Row/Downtown
  • (1951-1965) The Java, Horton Plaza
  • (1936-1942) Vick’s Cafe, (1942-1950) Vick’s Tropics, (1950-1952) Vick’s Tropical Nut House, (1952-1970) The Tropics
  • (1952-1953) Lanai Room, Casa de Mañana Hotel, La Jolla

Classic Tiki

  • (1952-1962) Zanzibar Room, Topsy's Drive-in, Midway 
  • (1953-1998) Kon-Tiki Bar, Kona Kai Club
  • (1953) Christian’s Hut, (1953-1954) The Hut, (1954-✔) Bali Ha’i
  • (1954-1974) The Polynesian, La Jolla
  • (1954-✔) The Islands Restaurant and Dragon Room, Hanalei Hotel 
  • (1957-c1974) Skipper's Twin Palms, La Jolla
  • (1958-✔) Catamaran Hotel, Mission Beach
  • (1958) Kon-Tiki Room, Catamaran Hotel, Mission Beach
  • (1958) Voyager Restaurant, Kona Inn, Shelter Island
  • (1958-1964) Menehune Max, Pacific Beach
  • (1959-1962) Pagan Room, Town House Hotel, La Jolla
  • (1959-1965) The Mai-Kai, San Diego (never built)
  • (1960-1967) The Luau, La Jolla
  • (1960) Polynesian Room, Hotel Del Mar
  • (1960) Polynesian Room, Town & Country Hotel
  • (1960-1965) Ports O' Call / Tahiti Restaurant, Half Moon Inn, Shelter Island
  • (1960-1970) Tahitian Room, U.S. Grant Hotel
  • (1960-1961) The Tiki, Chula Vista
  • (1961-1973) Club Bali, Rolando
  • (1961) The Tiki Room, Pacific Beach
  • (1964) Tahitian Lounge, Kona Kai Club, Shelter Island
  • (1965-✔) Trader Mort’s, Shelter Island
  • (1966) Tiki Hut, Town and Country Hotel, Mission Valley
  • (1966-✔) Wong’s Golden Palace, Rolando/La Mesa
  • (1968) Loma Luau, Point Loma
  • (1968) Luau To Go, El Cajon Blvd
  • (1970-c1974) Don the Beachcomber, Sheraton Inn, Harbor Island
  • (1970) Mai Tai Lounge, Hilton Inn (OceanHouse), Mission Bay
  • (1971-1985) The Tapa Room, North Park
  • (1972) Flores’ Tiki House, Chula Vista
  • (1974-✔) Mandarin House, La Jolla
  • (1976-1995) Tiki Room, Wendel Hom’s Teapot Inn
  • (1977) Polynesian Room, Catamaran Hotel, Mission Beach

Modern Tiki

  • (1980-1983) Don the Beachcomber, Vacation Village, Mission Bay
  • (1980-✔) Szechuan Mandarin, Grantville
  • (1980-1981) Tiki Hut Polynesian Fast Food, #1 National City, #2 Parkwest
  • (1980-2013) Mandarin House, Park West
  • (1984-1998) Polynesian Princess, San Diego Princess Resort (Vacation Village), Mission Bay
  • (1988-2014) China Inn, Pacific Beach
  • (1996-1997) Mon-Tiki, Gaslamp Quarter
  • (2004-2010) Mister Tiki Mai Tai Lounge, Gaslamp Quarter

Tiki Resurgence

  • (2006-✔) High Dive Bar and Grill, Bay Park
  • (2007-✔) Bar Pink (opened as The Pink Elephant), North Park
  • (2013-2018) Cat Eye Club, Gaslamp Quarter
  • (2014-✔) Fairweather, East Village
  • (2016-✔) Miss B’s Coconut Club, Mission Beach
  • (2016-✔) Atomic Tiki, Gaslamp Quarter
  • (2016-✔) False Idol, Little Italy
  • (2016-✔) The Grass Skirt, Pacific Beach 
The 1958 velvet oil painting by Victor Sloop Wigington at right is part of the Ta'aroa Patron backer reward.
The 1958 velvet oil painting by Victor Sloop Wigington at right is part of the Ta'aroa Patron backer reward.

Project Timeline

✔ 01 Sep 2015: Interviews and research began

✔ 15 Sep 2015: Launched my historical research blog, ClassicSanDiego.com

✔ 18 Aug 2016: San Diego tiki article published

✔ 26 Aug 2016: Contributed tiki ephemera to the False Idol build

✔ 01 Oct 2017: Outlining and writing of book began 

✔ 15 Sep 2018: Live presentation to Culinary Historians of San Diego

✔ 17 Sep 2018: First draft writing and book layout started

✔ 21 Sep 2018: Established budget, coordinate photo royalty fees

✔ 01 Dec 2018: Printing bids

✔ 08 Dec 2018: Pre-Sales begin at San Diego Tiki Trader, Kickstarter campaign starts

16 Dec 2018: Tiki mug art poster design completed for printer

09 Jan 2019: Kickstarter campaign ends

On Funding:

09 Jan 2019: Select printer

15 Jan 2019: Verify copyright clearances, pay photo repro fees

15 Jan 2019: Coordinate with printer, order paper dummies (mockups)

21 Jan 2019: Final draft of full book layout complete

01 Feb 2019: Complete editing, proofing

02 Feb 2019: Final art delivered to the printer

03 Mar 2019: Printing and shipping (allow for customs)

28 Mar 2019: Delivery of print books, art posters!

About the Author

Martin S. Lindsay, AIGA, is an art director, local historian and freelance writer from San Diego, California. He blogs about history and food. Martin was a contributor to Tim Ferriss’ bestseller The 4-Hour Chef, and is author of the upcoming book, 90 Years of Classic San Diego Tiki. He has over 35 years experience in branding and design. His design firm serves the San Diego arts community, foodservice and restaurant industries.

Risks and challenges

Exact table of contents may vary. Technical delays in printing and shipping wait times at customs may alter our projected project completion timeline. If any of these occur, we will update all backers through this Kickstarter page. Hell, the printing may even be completed ahead of schedule!

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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    Keiki

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    Earlybird Book

    Order early and get a substantial discount from the regular cover price! One copy of Classic San Diego Tiki, and a recipe card for ‘Chicken of the Gods’ from Bali Hai Restaurant, Shelter Island, San Diego. 150 copies available.

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    One signed copy of Classic San Diego Tiki, and a recipe card for 'Chicken of the Gods' from Bali Hai Restaurant, Shelter Island, San Diego. Earlybird Special: 150 copies available.

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    San Diego Tiki Mug poster

    Signed and numbered copy of 'San Diego Tiki Mugs' full-color poster, 24"wide x 18"high. Edition limited to 200 signed prints, 50 of which are available immediately on Kickstarter funding.

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    Get a signed copy of the book and a full-color, 24" x 18" art poster of San Diego tiki mugs, limited to 150 signed copies.

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    A special Backer Reward level for local San Diego resellers! Pre-order one dozen softcover copies of the book and receive substantial discount from the retail price! For local delivery/pickup only.

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    90-Minute Speaking Engagement!

    How would you like me to come to your organization, library or event for a live presentation?

    "Ninety Years of Classic San Diego Tiki" is a 90-minute visual celebration of the local history of Polynesian pop culture, tiki restaurants, bars and cuisine.

    From 1928-2018 there have been over sixty Polynesian and tiki-themed establishments in the San Diego/Tijuana area. This slideshow presentation includes stories, photos, menus and family memorabilia from many that thrived and some that never came about.

    100% of this speaker's fee will go toward production of the book! (Transportation beyond San Diego/Orange County extra, to be determined...)

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    Maui Patron

    Includes a vintage 1939 tourist photo album with snaps of Errol Flynn, Victor MacLaglen and the original Christian's Hut on Papeete Beach, Two Harbors at the Isthmus, as featured in the book. Also included is a menu from the Chi-Chi Club when it was at Santa Catalina's Isthmus resort. And two vintage Catalina tourist brochures!

    Includes:
    • Full-color softcover book, signed
    • ePub Book, Digital-Edition
    • San Diego Tiki Mugs art poster
    • 1939 Catalina Photo Album with Errol Flynn, Victor McLaglen
    • Vintage Santa Catalina Island Ephemera
    • Vintage Chi-Chi Club menu
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    Ta'aroa Patron

    Includes 'Tahitian Nude,' an original 1958 oil painting by Victor Sloop Wigington (1923-1979) from the estate of Wilbur Clark (Knickerbocker Hotel, Tahiti Bar, South Seas Cafe, Desert Inn), as featured in the book. Velvet paintings like this were a regular staple in tiki bars across the country, including Clark's 'South Seas Cafe' in San Diego, and 'Tahiti Bar' in National City. Also included are two vintage menus from the South Seas Cafe.

    Includes:
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    • ePub Book, Digital-Edition
    • Vintage South Seas food and drink menus
    • 1958 Wigington Oil Painting from Wilbur Clark estate
    • San Diego Tiki Mugs art poster
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Funding period

- (30 days)