Trader Vic's Closed?

ARCHITECTURE AND PRESERVATION NEWS for the Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee (ModCom) and other Mid Century Modern, Googie, International, Art Deco, 20th Century design

Moderators: I_LUV_POWER!!!!, Joe, Adriene, moderns-r-us, Tony, Futura Girl, sean, Josh Geidel, nichols, Java

Marcala
Modern Socialite
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 9:53 pm
Location: Southern California

Trader Vic's Closed?

Postby Marcala » Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:21 pm


lasvegaslynn
Lotta Living Hostess
Lotta Living Hostess
Posts: 459
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2004 6:24 pm
Location: Sherman Oaks and fabulous Las Vegas

Postby lasvegaslynn » Tue May 01, 2007 8:12 am

Kevin Roderick over at LA Observed also reports that Trader Vic's closed last night.
Lynn in Sherman Oaks

www.classiclasvegas.squarespace.com (blog)

www.classiclasvegas.com (website)

User avatar
Lynxwiler
Modern Guru
Posts: 1302
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2002 10:06 am
Location: Far from the crowds in downtown LA

Postby Lynxwiler » Tue May 01, 2007 1:56 pm

shaving cream!

User avatar
Astatic
Modern Groupie
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 11:34 am
Location: Aliso Viejo, CA

Postby Astatic » Fri May 04, 2007 1:27 pm


ChrisLAXEncounter
Modern Master
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:41 pm
Location: Village Green, A National Historic Landmark

Postby ChrisLAXEncounter » Fri May 04, 2007 11:07 pm

This thread from TikiCentral contains my reivew and photos:
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/ ... forum=1&16

ChrisLAXEncounter
Modern Master
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:41 pm
Location: Village Green, A National Historic Landmark

Postby ChrisLAXEncounter » Tue May 08, 2007 7:00 am

This from the LA Times:

Tiki-philes carrying a torch for Trader Vic's
The iconic restaurant in Beverly Hills was quietly downsized last month, without the send-off some fans feel it deserved.
By Ashraf Khalil
Times Staff Writer

May 8, 2007

The iconic high-peaked Polynesian entrance and towering islander totem pole still stand near the corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards outside the Beverly Hilton Hotel. But Trader Vic's, the legendary Rat Pack watering hole that helped launch a national tiki-bar craze, has officially been downsized.

Quietly (tiki enthusiasts allege secretively) the restaurant that introduced mai tais to the mainstream closed its doors April 29, prompting howls of protest from L.A.'s community of tikiphiles.

"I say to descend on [Trader Vic's] en masse and strip it of everything and then burn it down," wrote one contributor on the Tikicentral Internet message board. "THEN folks would think twice before closing their tiki bars."

In truth, Trader Vic's, once considered among Southern California's top restaurants, isn't going away completely. A new scaled-down version opened Thursday next to the Hilton pool, offering a limited food menu but some of the same signature cocktails.

"We're excited about it. We think it'll introduce Trader Vic's to a whole new clientele," said Marie Garvey, spokeswoman for Hilton owner Benny Alagem, who bought the hotel and the property housing Trader Vic's from Merv Griffin in 2003. "We see it as honoring the restaurant's past while taking it into the future."

Plans call for the former Trader Vic's building and part of the Hilton to eventually be replaced by a new Waldorf Astoria Hotel and two luxury condominium buildings. The project is part of a $500-million expansion of the existing hotel complex.

The community of hard-core tiki enthusiasts is taking the change badly — seeing it as the end of a much-beloved era. Alagem's plans were public knowledge and the closure was expected at some point. But many complain bitterly of being blindsided by the sudden move and deprived of the chance for a final old-times-sake mai tai.

Many fans had resigned themselves to the restaurant's eventual end, but assumed there would be an extended series of events to properly bid it farewell. Hilton officials, however, seemed determined to close the original Vic's, "under cover of night, with an utter lack of pomp," wrote a blogger who goes by the name Humuhumu. "Trader Vic's deserved a full state funeral and a raging wake. Instead it was buried in a cardboard box under an unmarked grave."

Garvey said the timing of the move was determined by negotiations with the international Trader Vic's franchise and by sensitivity to longtime employees and their union.

The Beverly Hills Trader Vic's was a Hollywood hotspot in the '50s and '60s, attracting show-business royalty and helping spark a nationwide trend in island-themed bars. Dean Martin and his compatriots were regulars, as was Ronald Reagan.

But tiki culture fell on lean times as American trends moved on. Now in the era of sleek lounges, green apple martinis and Red Bull concoctions, the 200-plus-seat restaurant simply wasn't turning a profit anymore.

"It faced business challenges," Garvey said diplomatically.

Sven Kirsten, the L.A.-based author of "The Book of Tiki," tracks the downturn to the counterculture movement of the '70s. Young baby boomers rejected tiki bars as emblematic of their parents' generation.

"The generation gap in the '70s was really the death blow to the culture," he said. "Then the '80s were the decade of destruction, when things really bottomed out."

Tiki experienced a slight revival in the early '90s as part of a general retro '50s trend that repopularized swing and rockabilly music, Kirsten said.

Hollywood figures associated with Miramax Films often used the bar as a gathering spot and after last year's Golden Globe Awards, Scarlett Johansson, Kevin Spacey and Sandra Oh drank and danced there.

Meanwhile, the Trader Vic's brand name continues to endure with more than two dozen franchises from Las Vegas to Beirut. But locally, in the city that invented the genre, the pickings are slim. Kirsten, an admitted "tiki-snob," said there were only a handful of tiki bars left in the L.A. area.

ashraf.khalil@latimes.com

User avatar
Rachee
Modern Fan
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 3:02 pm
Location: Altadena, CA
Contact:

Postby Rachee » Tue May 08, 2007 7:42 am

LA Times ran a story of it today titled "Tiki-Philes Carrying a Torch for Trader Vics"

Image
This is the new "Lounge"...how ugly and sad it is...



It's so sad :(. I never got to go to the original to have a drink since I've been 21 (last November) Though I have been a few times before, I am now crying bitter tears...:*( :|

ChrisLAXEncounter
Modern Master
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:41 pm
Location: Village Green, A National Historic Landmark

Postby ChrisLAXEncounter » Tue May 08, 2007 10:39 pm

While not the same, it is actually quite good - I've been there twice in its 5 nights of being open. A higer tipsy factor (tikis per square yard), mature tropical plants and a pool, resembling the Pacific Ocean each create a very fun tiki experience.

Order the Samoan Fogcutter - You'll love the mug.

deanna b
Modern Master
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 3:02 am
Location: Glendale, CA

Postby deanna b » Wed May 09, 2007 9:47 am

I never was able to get to the old Trader Vic's, although I desperately wanted to for the last 20 years since I turned 21 and would look longingly out the window at it every time I passed, wishing I could stop. But it was a full restaurant as well as a bar, right? And this... travesty... isn't? It's just a poolside bar?

voxfuzz
Modern Master
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2003 11:57 am
Location: Los Angeles

Anyone got the scoop on the new Trader Vic's in Las Vegas?

Postby voxfuzz » Wed May 09, 2007 11:01 am

Anyone got the scoop on the new Trader Vic's in Las Vegas? Website says opening June 2007.

Dan

ChrisLAXEncounter
Modern Master
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:41 pm
Location: Village Green, A National Historic Landmark

Postby ChrisLAXEncounter » Thu May 10, 2007 10:12 pm



Return to “Mid Century Modern Preservation Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests