Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Urban Archaeology #1: Bernie Elsey's Beachcomber Tiki Village

In the mid 1860s James Beattie and Jim Miller built a jetty, store rooms and a large barn on the banks of the Nerang River. This original building became known as "The House of Blazes" and was Surfers Paradise's first entertainment centre. One hundred years later in 1965 Bernie Elsey built the Beachcomber Tiki Village on the same site as the 'House of Blazes'. In January 1973 Tiki Village burned down and the site was eventually sold. A new hotel, The Tiki Village International, was built at 56 Cavill Avenue in the late seventies. (Ref. Source: Mc Robbie, A., The Fabulous Gold Coast, Pan News Pty Ltd, Surfers Paradise, 1984, pp21, 174.)

My parents had their honeymoon at the Tiki Village in 1970 but I'm yet to locate any artefacts or photographs from their time there. I'll have to comb through their archives on my next visit back to the parental villa.

The attached photos, from the Gold Coast City Council Library website, clearly show the cartoonish logo tiki on the colorful signage, and a glimpse of another modern looking idol to the right of the three equally colorful identities at the opening (that's infamous politician Russ Hinze on the left and Bernie Elsey in the middle)

A peek inside the Rapa Nui Room

I have named our home bar "The Rapa Nui Room". Surprisingly, my research (mostly of other people's research... Kirsten, Teitelbaum, Berry, Payne etc) has turned up no other establishments named Rapa Nui in Polynesian Pop's 50+ year existence. I'm hoping I got in first then.
Tiki Farm released a mug named "Mr Rapa Nui" a couple of years back, that's him over there on the right, whom I consider some sort of mascot for the room. I would hope one day I could obtain a larger rendering of him to oversee the room.

We live in a small rental property, so the challenge of creating a satisfying Polynesian Pop experience in such a limited space is enormous. At the moment, wall and ceiling cladding cannot be considered so we're kind of stuck with pail yellow walls and ceilings.

More photos to follow in later posts, here's a peak in the meantime.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cocktail Adventures #1: Coruba Planter's Punch

Coruba is the biggest selling spirit in New Zealand (of all places) but under appreciated, or spottily available elsewhere. Bottled in Jamaica, this dark rum was supposedly used by Trader Vic in the Mai Tai when supplies of Wray & Nephew 17yo ran dry.
Luckily for me, living in Australia with it's close proximity to the Shaky Isles, Coruba is widely available on import here. Rather than the Mai Tai, in which I prefer Appleton 12yo, I use it mainly in a Planter's Punch.

15ml freshly squeezed lime
30ml sugar syrup
45ml Coruba
60ml soda water
dash or two of Angostura bitters

pour into old fashioned glass packed with crushed ice and swizzle until chilled.