The Islands of the Fraternal Order of Moai

Atomic Tiki - Tiki Returns to Memphis in 2018
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Author:  Vince Martini [ Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:24 am ]
Post subject:  Atomic Tiki - Tiki Returns to Memphis in 2018

It was during my freshman year of college in Memphis, Tennessee when the legendary Dobbs House Luau (opened in 1959) closed its doors in 1982. 36-years later, tiki is making its return to the Midsouth -- hopefully.

Brian "Skinny" McCabe, owner of the successful club/music venue, The Hi-Tone and Memphis restaurateur, Jeff Johnson, are the brain trust behind this project. It is exciting that these guys are taking a stab at "tiki." But, their perceptions of tiki have caused members of the tiki community to pause and scratch their heads.

Skinny has often referred to traditional tiki as "gaudy"...not a good way to endear yourself to the bastions of diehard tikiphiles (including me). Within the attached article, it is interesting to read his interpretation of a mai tai as being a "fruity drink with an umbrella?" As Brian Flowers noted, "this made me cringe."

The menu seems to gravitate more toward sports bar than tiki bar, too:
The menu will include items like island-inspired nachos, chips and salsa, plus dinner entrees – which McCabe said could include dishes like Polynesian spiced wings.

I continue to hold my breath, wanting and expecting this to be a full immersion of true, swanky tiki. But, at the same time I am also holding my breath, paranoid with the thought of hearing Jimmy Buffet the minute I step into Atomic Tiki.

Will the tiki quotient be very high? I'm doubtful. Nonetheless, I will enthusiastically (and trepidatiously) make my trek over to Memphis to visit and post a full report when Atomic Tiki opens its doors. I hope it surpasses all of my wildest tiki expectations! Hey, the logo is cool, right??? ... staurants/

SIDEBAR: There is a Facebook page, Midsouth Tiki designed to keep tiki aficionados in the Arkansas, Southeast Missouri, West Tennessee, Western Kentucky general area connected to any tiki developments in the area. (

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