The Atmospheric Magic of Tiki Bars

The Tonga Room lagoon, Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar, San Francisco | Cmglee

No Alcohol Needed!

Tiki Bars are immediately associated with drinks containing alcohol, but truth be told, it’s the container and the fruit that makes a Tiki drink, Tiki. When Tiki bars are done correctly, the atmosphere is like something straight out of the Pacific islands and the escape to the land of enchantment can last for hours.

Colors are everywhere and the sights and sounds almost have you believing you are in Hawaii or Polynesia when you are sipping on a cool drink. Sometimes the area is opened up to the great outdoors and you can feel an evening breeze circulating through the room. The atmosphere is happy and alive with conversation, and sometimes Hawaiian music.

The drinks are served in every kind of container you can imagine, from coconut or pineapples hollowed out, to plastic Tiki heads. Garnishes are used such as different kinds of colorful fruit on skewers, flowers, dangling monkeys, hula dancers, and more. And many drinks themselves are colorful as well.

There is plenty of Tiki décor to go around the room including thatched roofs, bamboo, hula grass, lots of color, and beautiful flowers. Toucan birds add a nice touch as well. Tiki has stayed around in part, I think, because of the bright colors. Aqua and Teal are so popular. And Tiki is all about both aqua and teal with splashes of pink, purples, red and greens. The colors are all so happy when put together. Orange and yellow colors are in the mix as well.

Tiki bars also specialize in lighting. Indoor Tiki torches and strings of colored and white lights help provide the atmosphere of believing you are outside at a Luau. The Mai Kai Room, The Tonga Room, Bahi Hut, Bali Hai, Kowloon, Lost Lake, La Mariana, and Malihini Tiki Fest provide fun, tropical atmosphere and are just a few of the creative Tiki bar names in the mainland United States.

When you go to a Tiki bar, you are not expected to be in a hurry. This is a leisurely time of gathering with friends, to sit and enjoy the atmosphere, the drinks, and the music. You can pretend you are in the south Pacific isles sitting at your favorite grass Tiki hut. You are chatting with friends. You have one foot in the sand and you are turned toward the ocean.

It’s evening so you can’t see much. You are distracted by the colored lights around the hut, but you don’t care. You can almost hear the ocean beyond the lights. It’s all about the atmosphere. The Tiki bar is where you are. You aren’t even drinking an alcoholic beverage. It’s something with pineapple and fruit. and a delightful garnish. You are holding the delightful drink in a carved out coconut, sipping from a straw holding a monkey.  It’s all Tiki. And because it is, you are in the Pacific, feeling the warmth and the magic, all because of the Tiki bar.  

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