Déjà Food: Tiki Time in the Big City

A look back at Detroit's tiki craze



Published:

At age 13 in the summer of 1965, a friend and her mother invited me to go with them to lunch at the Mauna Loa restaurant in downtown Detroit. (Editor’s note: It was during a tiki theme craze, along with Trader Vic’s and Chin Tiki.) Boy what a treat! I am from North Street, Michigan (outside of Port Huron), and I had never been in downtown Detroit before. When we pulled in and exited the car so it could be valet parked, I couldn’t believe it! I thought I was in the movies! (Also, I remember thinking, “Boy, I hope it is still there when we need it to leave.”) Entering the restaurant was breathtaking with tropical flowers, waterfalls, and a moving circular buffet. The seating was graduated at different levels. My friend and I had special drinks (without the rum of course) in coconut mugs/tiki glasses. Over the years I’ve lost contact with the friend and her mom, but it was a special day and memory for me. — Laura Campbell, Fort Gratiot

/// Got a ‘DÉJÀ FOOD’ tale? 

Do you have a story of a long-gone restaurant from metro Detroit’s storied past? We’ll give a $100 gift certificate to one of the finer “modern” restaurants in town to the author of items we publish. Email us at editorial@hourdetroit.com or snail mail us at 5750 New King Dr., Troy, MI 48098. Just put “Deja Food” on the subject line or envelope.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Designer Taste

A quaint Ferndale shop sells exotic cheese, chocolate, and charcuterie

A Lebanese Take on Classic American Favorites

Mission BBQ Opens in Troy

A new restaurant serves summer favorites with a side of patriotism year-round

A New Noodle Shop on the Block

Midtown Detroit welcomes Urban Ramen

Woah, Deli!

Rocco’s Italian Deli offers classic sandwiches with a fresh, Detroit twist
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Top Docs List 2018
  2. Memories of Miya
    Citizen Yoga founder, Kacee Must Leeb reflects on her sister’s suicide, its impact on her...
  3. Introducing the Piekie
    These cookie-shaped pies win big on-screen and off
  4. Mending Migraines
    Nausea, excruciating head pain, sensitivity to light and noise: The oppressiveness of the list of...
  5. The Sixth Man
    A youth basketball coach teaches lessons on and off the court
  6. Seeking Support
    Like many metro areas across the U.S., finding a therapist in and around Detroit can prove to be...
  7. Therapy in the Digital Age
    New innovations that revolutionize traditional approaches to counseling
  8. Author's Cuisine
    At M Cantina in Dearborn, Junior Merino is creating a new kind of Mexican cuisine that is...
  9. Food Recipe: Chili
    Michael Keys, of Red Crown in Grosse Pointe Park, shares his favorite chili recipe
  10. Seeing Clearly
    The co-founders behind Genusee on making eyewear with a mission