Tiki-Ti Celebrates 50th Anniversary
The decor at Tiki-Ti flanked by two views of the 50th Anniversary Mug designed by Sven Kirsten.
Break out the rum. L.A.'s most famous tiki bar, Tiki-Ti, turns half-a-century old this week, and they're throwing a four-day party to celebrate.
Founded on April 28th, 1961 by Ray Buhen, the bar is something of an anachronism amid the city's slick cocktail haunts, a panoply of seashells, old license plates, fake flowers and tiki memorabilia filling every square inch of space behind the bar. With only 12 stools and a handful of tables, the Tiki-Ti is a true hole-in-the-wall. But the bartenders -- that would be Ray's son and grandsons -- can still make any of the 86 drinks on the menu, including the hands-down favorite, Ray's Mistake.
"I can't believe it's going to be 50 years," muses Mike Buhen Sr. "I helped my dad along with a few other guys, but he decorated all of it. The bamboo, the cork, everything. And 50 years down the road, we're still here."
To commemorate the milestone, the Tiki-Ti will host four days of raffles and drink specials, beginning this Wednesday and continuing through Saturday. The big party is on Thursday, the actual anniversary. There's a champagne toast around 8:30 p.m., and the Flatiron Truck will be parked outside, giving away coconut cupcakes to the first 300 people. The bartenders will be raffling off prizes like hats, t-shirts and bar memorabilia, and every night this week, the Tiki-Ti's Thursday rum punch will be available for $5 a cup.
One more thing: For the first time in its history, the Tiki-Ti has a tiki mug. Designed by Sven Kirsten, it's available for $30 while supplies last. (Buhen currently only has 200 mugs but expects more to arrive in May.)
Asked what he foresees for the Tiki-Ti's next 50 years, Buhen says, "I don't know. I'll leave that to my sons."
When: 4 p.m. - 2 a.m., Wednesday, April 27th - Saturday, April 30th
Note: Cash only.
Get the Squid Ink'd Newsletter
Sign up for our weekly food newsletter, which features top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips and a link to our print review.