Last weekend I turned 30 (woohoo!) and decided to have my birthday celebrations at a new bar in Fitzroy. It's a tiki themed bar called LuWow, and it's pretty amazing inside.
This is a (professional) photo of the front bar. It's all bamboo screens and wicker chairs, fake plants, hanging lamps, leopard print, etc.
Photo by Kristoffer Paulsen
Out the back there is a room where bands play and go-go dancers dance on little podiums on either side of the stage. It's more like a Polynesian temple out the back, lots of carved "stone", fake snakes and tarantulas, vines covering the ceiling with lights hanging down in the shape of fruit, skulls dripping blood and impaled on spikes, that sort of thing!
Alice (as usual!) made me a lovely dress for the occasion. It is of leopard-print matte lycra, and is basically a shorter version of the black dress I'm wearing here. The front is made in three panels, the middle one of which is lined at the back with heavy satin, and the boobs and halter strap are also lined like this, so they don't stretch.
My lovely friend Zoe got into the theme with a floral shorts playsuit and the most amazingly high wedges.
With my man, Mr Macska, looking very smart.
Tiki themed bars were very popular in the 1950s and 60s. Two men lay claim to inventing the Polynesian-themed bar/restaurant, Trader Vic and Don the Beachcomber.
Victor Jules Bergeron (better known as Trader Vic) opened a tropical-themed restaurant called Hinky Dinks in California in 1934, which later became Trader Vic's, and grew to a chain of 25 restaurants, which still exist today.
His amicable rival was Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt (known as Don the Beachcomber) who also opened a Tiki bar in Hollywood 1934, called Don's Beachcomber Cafe. While he was away in WWII, his wife developed the business into a chain of 16 restaurants.
Both men claimed to have invented the Mai Tai, a sweet, rum-based cocktail. Here's a recipe for one, from Sally Draper's Cocktail Cheat Sheet II by Dyna Moe. I never thought I liked rum before, but this is just the kind of drink I like - sweet, fruity and with lots of ridiculous garnishes!