4
Celebrate the Mai-Kai's 60th anniversary in Fort Lauderdale at a party this Wednesday.
Celebrate the Mai-Kai's 60th anniversary in Fort Lauderdale at a party this Wednesday.
Courtesy of the Mai-Kai

Mai-Kai Celebrates 60 Years With Secret Cocktails and All-New Polynesian Show

The Mai-Kai (3599 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale) turns 60 this week, and to mark the occasion, the Polynesian-themed establishment will host its annual Customer Celebration Party today, December 28.

Think of it as a mini Hukilau: a daylong event featuring two special symposium presentations by revered tiki-philes Sven Kirsten and Tim Glazner, as well as the debut of a Polynesian show designed and choreographed by Mai-Kai owner Mireille Thornton.

Added to the National Register of Historic Places two years ago, Mai-Kai is one of the nation's last remaining examples of a mid-20th-century Polynesian supper club, and it's considered a tiki mecca around the world.

Doors to the Customer Celebration Party open at 1:30 p.m. with a series of presentations, including slideshows of vintage photos, rare video footage, and artwork, taking place in the Polynesian palace’s main showroom, also home to the longest-running authentic South Seas stage show in the United States, including Hawaii.

Tiki Kiliki Productions, creator of the Mai-Kai's annual Polynesian pop event, Hukilau, will also sponsor a raffle with giveaways such as a limited-edition decanter designed as a tribute to the original produced in 1961, sculpted by Eekum Bookum, a company that produces handcrafted tiki mugs. Here's the schedule of events, which begins at 2 p.m. and runs throughout the day:

2 p.m.: the anniversary celebration will kick off with the symposium Tahitian Cannibal Carvings: The Logo Tikis of the Mai-Kai. Sven Kirsten will present for the first time his research into the origins and history of the Mai-Kai’s iconic Tahitian cannibal carvings, which have served as the restaurant’s logo in one form or another since opening day. This will be a rare opportunity to see the influential Kirsten, author of The Book of Tiki and Tiki Modern. His last appearance at the Mai-Kai was during the 2012 Hukilau.

3 p.m.: Tim Glazner, author of Mai-Kai: History and Mystery of the Iconic Tiki Restaurant, will give guests a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the history of the Mai-Kai through his new symposium, Then and Now. His talks have covered a variety of topics, from the father of tiki, Don the Beachcomber; and the restaurant's original master mixologist, Mariano Licudine, to the stories behind the glamorous women who worked as Mystery Girls and Molokai Girls.

3:30 p.m.: The Molokai bar will open 90 minutes early for an extended happy hour, which will run until 7 p.m. In addition to ordering from the regular drink menu, guests will also be able to taste three "lost cocktails" first featured on Mai-Kai’s opening drink menu.

4 p.m.: Kirsten and Glazner will participate in a book signing in the Mai-Kai gift shop.

6 p.m.: Guitarist/vocalist Rose Marie will perform island music, followed by the debut performance of an all-new Polynesian show choreographed by Mai-Kai owner Mireille Thornton. Showtimes are 7 and 9.30 p.m. Reservations are required for the $60 dinner-and-show anniversary special.

Customer Celebration Party
1:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 28, at Mai-Kai. Tickets, which cost $10 per person plus a $1.50 fee, must be purchased in advance at tikikiliki.com.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send: