The timing wasn’t helping at all!! About a couple of
months before my 2004 move to Grover Beach, the
grand tiki restaurant, Trader Nick’s, had closed and
auctioned off their old wears forever. Crap!...and for
months before hand, the old Tiki News zine warned me
of this impending doom. Crap again!

I had memories of going to this place with my mother
and her parents in the late 70’s. The lushness of the
decor, the depth of the design throughout this place
was deafening. Plus, the view over the beach and
ocean below just added so much to the atmosphere.
This, my friends, was a full-on American Polynesian
experience! There were a couple of visits where it
rained, which added yet another layer of ambiance that
left me dazed….or maybe that was from the food, I
couldn’t tell at the time.
…and if THAT wasn’t enough, there was a
motel located next door called the Kon-Tiki
Inn. This corner of HWY. 1 was practically
the Tiki Center of the Central Coast of
California. San Louis Obispo had the
Madonna Inn with all its characteristic
brashness, but it wasn’t over looking over
the Pacific Ocean and a tad more subtle.
The Kon Tiki Inn is still there (they’re even selling t-shirts, though
not through their web site
), but not Nick’s and his decor.
Below group of pictures (the better ones, I might add) are taken
from the tiki/American Polynesian bulletin board
TIKI CENTRAL.
My thanks and apologies to them and to whomever posted these
images. Do visit and participate their site!
BTW, This above picture is by me. Sorry, the film had been in storage for quite awhile before I
had the chance to develop it. Anyways, you might note that the 'Trader Nick' signage on the
building is different that the one far above to the left, which is from a match book.
..and the
picture right below
Home