MissPres is on vacation this week, but we’re sending postcards back from Mississippi’s past.
TIKI Restaurant Supper Club & Marina. Located on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast in Gautier. A 15-minute drive from Biloxi, MS, Mary Walker Bayou. Phone 601-497-1591. Dine Over the Water . . . Seafood and Steak.
Trivia about Tiki in Mississippi: There was a Tiki on Highway East of Vicksburg, a Kin-Tiki in Jackson, and the Tiki Restaurant Lounge and Marina in Gautier. The Cabaret Dinner Theatre moved to the Tiki in November 1971. It was referred to as the Tiki House in at least 2 news items. Destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, it was razed from the former 12,000 square feet to only 1, 100 square feet of the original building. It was rebuilt to 3,400 square feet. The tiki culture began in 1934 with the opening of Don the Beachcomber in Hollywood. Tiki culture is a 20th century theme in Polynesian style restaurants originally in the US (according to Wikipedia). I found 3 advertisements for the Gautier Tiki, inviting the diner to watch the boats come in while dining. It was clearly the place to eat (and have meetings) in Gautier during the 1970s.
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That was the Kon-Tiki in Jackson, and it was located at 1017 Lynch Street.
15 minutes from Biloxi to Gautier? Must have been before there were any traffic lights in Ocean Springs.
Is the Lynch Street address the former COFO office? Or nearby?.
I believe so, based on the map location.
There is a restaurant shown in the building adjacent to the COFO office on the 1962 Sanborn map, but it’s a small commercial building and I’m surprised it might have been a tiki restaurant.
Delta Democrat Times reports on the death of Benjamin Brown, coming from the Kon-Tiki restaurant with food for his wife, in 1967, and the Clarion-Ledger refers to the restaurant on Lynch street where Brown was killed. It was also listed as a location to purchase tickets for an Aretha Franklin concert, along with Peaches Cafe and other businesses in the area, in 1971.
According to the “The Life and Legacy of Benjamin Brown” (Jackson State Archives, May 11, 2017), the COFO headquarters at 1017 Lynch street had become the Kon-Tiki restaurant.
However, I did discover today that there was also a Kon Tiki room in the Sun-n-Sand motel. It was quite a popular name everywhere, apparently.
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My favorite Tiki restaurant, or at least a Tiki-themed restaurant is Pandora’s in Grayton Beach, Florida. The outside has gotten a little fancified, but inside, wow! Plus, decent steaks.
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