Kon Tiki is 50! Will They Bring Back the Gardenias?

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  • kontikitucson.com

In 1963, the sounds of a swooning steel guitar might have wafted through the palm-fronds as baby boomers were seduced, if not back to a suitor's off-campus lodging, at least into the tender mercies of alcohol (ew! ptui!) swathed in sugary fruit juices with a gardenia on top.

Happy 50th birthday, Kon Tiki! UA students from 1963 through 2014 remember you well. Not for nothing have you been locking down Best Signature Cocktail and Best Cocktail Menu cocktail categories in Tucson Weekly's annual Best of TucsonĀ® issue for almost as long as it's been published.

The club's decor is once again uber-trendy, in up-to-the-minute mid-century style. Per the website:

One of the last remaining, operational tiki temples from American's mid-century tiki past. The interior is almost completely original from the opening day - including the largest collection of Milan Guanko tikis in the world.

On Saturday, April 5 the club celebrates its thriving senior years with an unprecedented blowout, including live music inside and out, a new limited edition mug designed by Doug Horne, vendors and original menu items and drinks, some at original 1963 prices.

Although we were dismayed not to see Ernie Menehune on the bill, we can expect great things, including a satisfying number of period pieces, from the Love Me Nots, Flam Chen, Shrimp Chaperone, the Jonestown Band, and the Modeens.

As far away as April 5 may seem, at $15 per ticket, a sellout is right around the corner, perhaps even on Craigslist. You can also pay more according to how much swag you want to take home.

In the intervening months, enjoy this interlude from Steve McGarrett "and his Hawaii Five-O pals" in honor of Kon Tiki's big Five-O.


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