By Jim Boyce | The Polynesian-themed fun is done at The Tiki Bungalow as the building that houses the bar will be demolished this Friday, says Oliver Davies, who co-owns the place with Phil Tory and Peter Carey. Unlike the venues recently bricked on Fangjia Hutong, Sanlitun South and elsewhere, Tiki Bungalow was not part of a residential building and seemed safe from destruction. But a recent fire a few doors down, one that caused what was thought to be a temporary closing of bars on that strip, might have been a catalyst for further housecleaning by the authorities.
This obviously affects Tiki’s recently opened establishment next door, The Iguana Room, and others along that strip. While the top priority over the next 48 hours will be moving all of the stock, equipment and decorations out of the venue, the Tiki Bungalow team says it will soon be searching for a new place.
Tiki Bungalow has gained a strong following since opening its current location about 18 months ago, a follow-up to a tiny Julian Tavalin-approved venue in Dongsijiutaio Hutong. The place offered diligently made Tiki and “lost classic” cocktails, a smart menu that featured watercolor images, and a kitschy vibe—including an inflatable shark named Higgins—that was just right. The drinks were potent, from the rye-driven Scofflaw, a cocktail said to have both shot the sheriff and the deputy, to the three-rum Jet Pilot that burst through one’s liver at the speed of sound. And they were served at more than fair prices.
Tiki Bungalow has been one of the city’s best, the kind of place where you could tell the partners cared, and it is sad to see it go. Here’s hoping the team, clad in a fresh set of Tommy Bahamas clothing, will have its next place open sooner rather than later!