Tiki at Lake George…Minnesota

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Please pardon the recent radio (interweb) silence, but I just returned from another trip to the land of 10,000 lakes (and a few tikis). For years we used to have family reunions at Lake George in Minnesota — a four hour drive north of Minneapolis — until the owner sold the resort.

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Now we rent cabins at another nearby lake, but we still take the occasional sentimental drive along the shores of Lake George and that’s when I spotted this tiki out on the sand. Sort of funny since there’s a whole tiki resort, naturally called The Tiki Resort, at Lake George in New York. (In fact they’re hosting the annual Ohana – Luau at the Lake event this weekend.)

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In actual Minnesota tiki news, Psycho Suzi’s in Minneapolis just released a new signature mug — this one is tied to the Ports of Pleasure bar in the Shangri-La Cocktail Lounge upstairs. Designed by local artist Carolyn Kopecky and manufactured by One Hundred 80 Degrees in St. Paul, it features a mysterious mermaid on the bow of half a sunken ship (and is available in the online gift shop for $20). I was very impressed by its unique shape — it’s already front-and-center in my collection.

Related Posts:
Psycho Suzi’s Ports of Pleasure Bar
Shrunken Head Tiki Mug at Psycho Suzi’s
More Tiki Bars in Minneapolis

Psycho Suzi’s Gift Shop & Signature Mugs

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Well, I hope you’re not sick of Suzi because I’m still not done talking about her yet. A trip to Psycho Suzi’s just wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the gift shop, which is on your left when you enter the lobby.

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They offer brown and yellow signature tank tops, hoodies and beanies, plus six styles of t-shirts, including one for each of the bars in the Shangri-la Cocktail Lounge. I coudn’t resist the ones emblazoned “Where your petty concerns of authenticity are irrelevant” and “Dock your dinghy at Ports of Pleasure.” The latter also has a neat ship drawn on the back.

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In the case they have their first custom Tiki Farm mug (in the middle with the red eyes), along with about a dozen different Dynasty mugs that Psycho Suzi’s has matched up with their drinks. I’m now diggin’ that big volcano mug from Poolside Pineapple.

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They recently debuted their second locale-specific vessel for the Shrunken Head bar. You might have seen it on the cover of Tiki Farm’s Summer 2011 Quarterly, which featured an article describing the process of going from the original artwork to a design interpreted by The Pizz to the manufacturing of the final product. This Shrunken Head mug ($20) can be purchased online or in the gift shop, or ordered with its corresponding cocktail in the Shangri-la lounge.

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There are even more Dynasty mugs, bowls and shots up on the wall. Most were fairly familiar to me, except for that one that looks like an open-mouth bass. How very Minnesotan!

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I thought the Suzi Pint glasses were a great buy at only three bucks each. On one side is the Sailor Jerry hula girl and on the other is Psycho Suzi’s signature tiki.

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On the counter you’ll find impulse purchases like logo-rific patches ($4), pins ($6) and beer cozies ($4). Don’t fret if you’re nowhere near “Nordeast” Minneapolis, though — Psycho Suzi’s has started stocking some of their merch in an online store.

Shangri-La Cocktail Lounge at Psycho Suzi’s

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I’ve already praised the main dining area and patio of Psycho Suzi’s, but there’s still more to this behemoth of a tiki bar. Upstairs is the Shangri-La Cocktail Lounge, a large space that houses three themed areas each with their own menus of six signature drinks. These bars are only open on Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. to midnight.

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My favorite from the trio was the Forbidden Cove, which is straight ahead when you walk in. I loved the dark, romantic mood created with the orange glowing fish floats and string lights reflecting in the mirrors. The walls were also festooned with tons of plastic tropical flowers and foliage, and the tables featured fiberoptic centerpieces and peacock chairs.

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It doesn’t matter what section you sit in, you can still order from any of the Shangri-La menus. The very thirsty can undertake the Mender of Broken Dreams ($58), a three-tiered marvel that serves about 10 and includes a bottle of champagne, rum, other liquor, strawberry, pineapple, coconut, banana and lime.

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The other five signature drinks are all blended. On the advice of our waitress I opted for the Forbidden Cove ($10), a sweet blue slushie served in a coconut perched on top of a glass. It went down real easy and I preferred it over the Zombie Slush we tried downstairs. Meanwhile, my brother went for a Shasta Tiki Punch soda and my mum ordered the Poisoned Spear ($8.95) from the Shrunken Head side of the menu, made with various rums, cinnamon, pineapple and almond. How cool is that swizzle?

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On the left is the Ports of Pleasure with tiki poles, more string lights, nautical rope and ship’s wheels. There’s seating at the bar and at nearby tables with stools. It must also be mentioned that you can order food off the full menu from the dining room downstairs.

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I concluded our drinking tour with the lychee, mango and lime flavored Wangiwangi ($8.95) from the “Distant Shore Tropicals.” It was a bit bigger than I’d bargained for but that’s no complaint. (I’ll make the joke for you: “That’s what she said…”

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The Shrunken Head bar on the opposite end features neat atomic lamps, lots of tables, a long bar with a thatched overhang and, of course, some shrunken heads. The other side of that bar is kind of secluded — it’s where the cool kids like to hang out.

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In addition to the strong and spicy “Tribal Coolers” at the Shrunken Head, they also have a few local Minnesota beers on tap plus nearly two dozen more canned and bottled options ranging from PBR tall boys (for the hipsters) to Brooklyn Lager (for the beer snob hipsters).

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Just as we were heading out the house band, Exotik-a-GoGo, was starting to set up in the middle of the room. They play every Friday and Saturday night from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. (and they’ll also be performing at Hukilau this year.)