#Five-Eaux and #Tiki14
Saturday night I went to a tiki bar to meet up with some friends. When I got there, the band was playing “Blue Hawaii.” I knew I was in the right place. The next song was “Pipeline.” Alright! The band, a group called Five-Eaux (Hawaii, get it?), was very good at what they did. Traditional Hawaiian steel guitar, surf guitar, reverb–just what I was hoping for at a tiki bar. And the place itself looked the part. We sat in the outdoor patio, which had bamboo walls and flaming torches for lights. People were wearing Hawaiian shirts, as was I. The food was appropriate, too. They had a pig roast that night. And I ordered a big old rum drink, a Don the Beachcomber Zombie. All in all, I was very pleased. I came for an authentic tiki bar experience, and that’s what I got. They delivered the goods.
But suppose this place was going for trendy instead of authentic. Instead of Dick Dale and the Ventures, suppose they had a band playing Celine Dion and Taylor Swift songs (their idea of contemporary), because they thought that would attract a bigger crowd. Suppose they took down the bamboo and the torches, because they didn’t want to offend non-tikians. Instead of roast pig and rum, they served quinoa cupcakes and kale smoothies. Well, I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s not what I’m looking for in a tiki bar. I would have gotten up and left.
But now suppose, even with all of that, this place still claimed to be a tiki bar. Huh? Why? Why not be honest and just say you’re just another generic bar? There’s really nothing to set you apart. There’s nothing tiki about you, is there? No, you’re just pulling the wool over people’s eyes.