In 1956, a few brash young men created the Mai-Kai Restaurant and bar in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, by poaching key staff from Don the Beachcomber's, a Polynesian-themed Chicago restaurant. The Mai-Kai became the playground of celebrities and playboys, and the beautiful women working there used it as a jumping-off point for adventure and fame. Through first-hand stories and more than 400 images, this book documents the history, allure, and enduring legacy of the mid-twentieth-century Tiki era. Focusing on the period 1955 to 1971, it is the story of how the Mai-Kai and its iconic elements came to exist, and the men and women who shaped it and went on to shape the world. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Mai-Kai is the only place on earth that still serves the Rum Rhapsodies that kicked off that indulgent era.
Tim "Swanky" Glazner has been collecting and researching midcentury paraphernalia for decades. He has shared his knowledge in documentaries, articles, seminars, and other media. He is an expert on the Tiki era--its music, cocktails, ephemera, and history.