Last Sunday the Tonga Hut in North Hollywood celebrated its 55th anniversary with an art show, live music and the debut of new merch, including t-shirts, Mai Tai glasses and tiki mugs. (They also took this opportunity to announce that Tonga Hut will open a new location in Palm Springs!
Since one of the mugs was designed by Shag — and limited to 155 — a considerable line for the merch table had already formed when we arrived a little after the noon start time.
Shag’s elongated design ($85) is inspired by the tiki near the entrance to the bar, while the open-edition Drooling Bastard mug ($60, included a drink) pays tribute to the fountain inside.
The art show is always a highlight at these special events at the Tonga Hut. This one included submissions from Doug Horne, Eric October, Philippe Tilikete and other creative folks.
The bands Casino 66 and Creepxotica performed inside while the parking lot behind the bar featured a bunch of tiki and vintage vendors.
Deadhead Rum had set up a thatched hut booth that showed off custom decorated “tsantsa” (shrunken head) bottles of their rum. They were also offering free samples of their rum and tequila.
Just one of the many neat things for sale were these Pyrates of Lana Pua bottles. Each was decorated with a combination of shells, nautical charms and authentic African trading beads.
I was also enamored with these bejeweled bracelets from Amy, co-owner of the Tonga Hut. I couldn’t resist getting this one…(As if I needed more Enchanted Tiki Room stuff, right? Oh well.)
Meanwhile, Eric October had designed a print for the Tonga Hut — and Drooling Bastard buttons to boot — and Tiki Val turned the fabric into shirts and other wearable art. (They had also done the same for Bahooka when it closed.)
The first 200 people at the event received a goodie bag filled with Tonga Hut swizzles, coasters, matchbooks, stickers and bookmark with Shag’s mug design on one side and the recipe for Tonga Hut’s Hawaiian Eye on the other.
Mr. Hockey has graciously donated his swag bag to be awarded to one lucky reader! To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post with a happy birthday message for the Tonga Hut. (Bonus entries can be earned by liking The Tiki Chick on Facebook or following me on Twitter — just leave a comment letting me you’ve done so.) I’ll randomly choose a winner by Tuesday, August 6. (Comments have to be approved on this blog, so don’t worry if yours doesn’t appear right away.)
Reviews of Tiki Bars in Los Angeles
Tiki Bob Art Show at Tonga Hut
Tonga Hut’s Halloween Art Show
Happy Birthday Tonga Hut! I already ‘liked’ you on Facebook.
Awesome trinkets and collectibles. Thanks. But please give us outta-da-loopers a heads up when these things are planned. I had no idea this was coming up.
Happy Bday Tonga hut, now gimme my award.
Happy Birthday Tonga Hut! Great blog
I liked and posted on Facebook as well. Thanks
Happy 55th, Tonga Hut! I wish I could have been there. Thank you once again, Tiki Chick for posting a wonderful entry. At least I was able to vicariously experience it (which means of course though that now I’m even more sad I missed it!!!!). I would looooooove that goodie bag!!
Happy birthday, Tonga Hut! I’m now following on Twitter and I’ve already liked you on Facebook 🙂
Happy Birthday Tonga Hut!! (I already like you on FB)
I went to the party last Sunday…got there a bit late, but in time to see Creepxotica! Love them! I can’t wait for the Palm Springs Tonga Hut to open…road trip! 🙂
Happy birthday Tonga Hut! Hoping to finally make it there soon.
Following on twitter 🙂
Happy, happy Tonga Hut! Would have been there but was in Hawaii (had a Mai Tai in Tonga Hut’s honor at La Mariana Sailing Club). Been a FB and Twitter fan for a while ;).
Happy 55th Tonga Hut, thanks for all the delicious rum drinks, wonderful mugs, and the many enchanted Tiki evenings. Here’s to the next 55 years… cheers!
Boy I wished I lived closer to the action! The closest thing I’ve got is Hula’s in Monterey two hours north of me. But happy birthday Tonga Hut! And thanks for the blog, Tiki Chick. I love it! Have you seen the tiki statues being sold at Home Depot?
Happy (post) Birthday to the Tonga Hut. Was a great time had by…well….everybody. My wife and I got there a little late, but got our artwork in the gallery (not pictured above), I got some great feedback for my piece, and even got a buyer when I posted it for sale on Facebook…which is always a bonus. Raise a glass for another 55 Years, and really looking forward to the Hut’s baby sister in Palm Springs.
Whooh! That was fun. I got there late, dang it, so I didn’t get a swag bag, but I DID get to meet Charles Phoenix! Now THAT was cool!
Happy Birthday Tonga Hut!!! Hee Hee. ALOHA!
Happy birthday, Tonga Hut!!
(Already had you “liked” on FB …)
Terrific photos, thank you.
Happy Birthday Tonga Hut! What a great article! Love what Deadhead Rum is doing with their bottles! Met the owner at Hukilau 2013. Fabulous guy! We’ll see you on Facebook Tiki Chick!
Happy B-day, Tonga Hut! Events like this are the reason it pains me to live in the Midwest… great post! And I already follow you on Twitter.
We love you, Tonga Hut! Here’s to 55 more!
Just happen to stumble across it but if you’ve got a moment – shoot me an email I’d like to chat.
Tonga Hut! I sincerely hope you have the happiest birthday possible. Thank you for bringing awesomeness into so many people’s lives for 55 years, please continue to do this for at least another 55 years. Malama pono! Your friend kfan
Happy birthday Tonga Hut!! I wish you were a lot closer to the east coast.
Liked! Followed! And Happy Birthday Tonga Hut! We were there in 2009 and had an amazing time! Look forward to a return visit soon!
Congrats to mikegangi for winning the gift bag! I’ll message you for your mailing address.
Can you tell me, are there any events like this on an annual basis?
I might just get lucky and happen to be visiting when something is on!