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Rag Trade Rages Tropical at Tiki Bar

November 25, 1993|ROSE APODACA | Rose Apodaca is a free-lance writer who contributes regularly to The Times Orange County Edition. and

The Tiki Bar in Costa Mesa is practically lost in a sea of unassuming buildings. Which makes it perfectly situated to attract a young, hip crowd.

The month-old club, a 2,000-square-foot space with a "Gilligan's Island"-type decor, is smack in an industrial spread that is home to some of the heavier hitters in the action-wear industry (Quiksilver, Katin, Burning Snow, Black Flys), and has begun to tap into a market that usually only parties together at trade shows or special events. The crowd is generally clad in what would otherwise be worn on the beach or on the slopes, and only a few patrons are over age 30.

It's pure Southern California: a dozen televisions continuously run surf, skateboard and snowboard videos, while a deejay spins everything from the Village People to Cypress Hill to Stone Temple Pilots. Starting Friday, the dudes and PYTs can load up for less than $6 (and some items are less than $1) on Mexican and American cuisine from TNT Surf Taco of Huntington Beach.

The Tiki Bar occupies what was once the Newport Roadhouse space, but few signs of the old tenants remain. The interior was gutted and transformed with a South Seas theme by the new corporate owners, who also own DP's Sports Pub Bar & Grill in Newport Beach.

Woven straw covers the formerly dingy walls and ceiling, and large bamboo beams overhead strive for the tiki hut effect. What wood isn't varnished and lacquered to resemble a boat interior has been painted turquoise for a pop-meets-Polynesia look. The rafters hold a collection of surfboards; paddles and pieces of boat also emphasize the theme.

And what tropical bar would be complete without waitresses in bikini tops and Hawaiian-print mini sarongs?

Jungle Juice, Mai Tais and Banana Wammas are among the drinks that sell for $2.50 nightly, except Saturday when the price drops to $2. Other mixed drinks go for $2.25 to $3.25, sodas cost $1. Cans of domestic beer are $2.25 and pitchers are $4.50; cans of imports are $2.75.

The weekends rage, starting Friday nights courtesy of Tic Toc/Halcyon Promotions. The deejay takes a break only for local bands booked weekly, some of which feature employees from clothing companies. Saturday is Ski Night with giveaways all night, such as ski lift passes and gear from the local labels.

One of those labels, Crime Inc. out of Lake Forest, will host Phat Thursdays beginning Dec. 2, featuring a night of alternative and hip-hop sounds, complete with what are being touted as "big name" acts. (More info on that in the coming weeks.)

The rest of the week is filled with sports. Sunday is devoted to football, with free stadium-type grub, and the pigskin frenzy continues Monday night, which also features a singles pool tournament with a $100 first prize. The same prize money goes out on Tuesdays for the doubles pool tournament. Sign-up starts both nights at 7.


* 1700 Placentia Ave., Costa Mesa.

* (714) 548-3533.

* Open daily, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

* Cover: $3 Thursday through Saturday.

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