Historic Bars

 

Notoriously tricky to find, La Mariana Sailing Club is located in an industrial part of Sand Island, along the shores of Keehi Lagoon.
Notoriously tricky to find, La Mariana Sailing Club is located in an industrial part of Sand Island, along the shores of Keehi Lagoon.

A Mai Tai should never be consumed in a hurry. That’s a general rule of thumb. But nowhere is that more true than when you’re at La Mariana Tiki Bar and Restaurant in Honolulu.

It’s near impossible to be in a hurry at this 57-year-old watering hole, tucked away in an industrial part of Sand Island, along the shores of Keehi Lagoon. It’s the kind of place where time seems to warp. You’re already operating on island time, and as soon as you walk in the door, you’ll wonder if you walked through a time machine, too.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.

[Historic Bars] The Tonga Room in San Francisco

Posted on: December 11th, 2014 by Katherine Flynn No Comments

 

A floating barge in the middle of the Tonga Room’s “lagoon” frequently features live performers.
A floating barge in the middle of the Tonga Room’s “lagoon” frequently features live performers.

San Franciscans adore the Tonga Room. Situated in the basement of the swanky and storied Fairmont Hotel, the renowned restaurant and tiki bar is, for some of the city’s residents, woven just as deeply into the urban fabric as cable cars and the Coit Tower.

So when Mai Tai fans in the Bay Area first got wind of the possibility of their favorite historic watering hole becoming a casualty of redevelopment at the Fairmont in 2009, they did what any bar preservationists in their right mind would do -- they went to happy hour.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.

[Historic Bars] The Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale

Posted on: December 4th, 2014 by David Robert Weible No Comments

 

Aloha, historic bar lovers! It's time to escape chilly winter temps and enjoy warmer climes inside historic tiki bars, those Polynesian-inspired spots known for their island flair and exotic cocktails. First up: Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The Mai Kai was designed by the Fort Lauderdale architect Charles McKirahan and was restored to its original look after Hurricane Wilma in 2005.
The Mai Kai was designed by the Fort Lauderdale architect Charles McKirahan and was restored to its original look after Hurricane Wilma in 2005.

It all makes too much sense: A Texas kid leaves home, becomes a bootlegger, and then falls even further from mainstream society. He floats around the Caribbean for a spell before he washes up on a Pacific island no one from Texas has probably ever heard of. When he moves back stateside, he turns his booze-sodden adventures into a business empire and nationwide sensation.

It’s the story of Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt, a.k.a. Don the Beachcomber, who opened his eponymous Pacific-island themed café in Hollywood in 1934 and eventually set off a national obsession with hula skirts, heavy rum pours, and all things Polynesian.

In honor of this obsession, our next round of historic bars serves up a mixture of the best historic tiki spots America has to offer -- native girls not included.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. He came to DC from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

[Historic Bars] The Warren Tavern in Charlestown, Massachusetts

Posted on: November 26th, 2014 by Geoff Montes 1 Comment

 

Did George Washington really sleep here? In our next round of Historic Bars, we're stopping at the crossroads of time and history to explore old taverns and inns around the country -- the kind with wooden signs, rooms for lodging, and a century (or two) of fascinating stories. Next in line: The Warren Tavern in Charlestown, Massachusetts.

141126_blog-photo_warren-tavern_sign
The Warren Tavern first opened its doors in 1780, five years after the Battle of Bunker Hill left Charlestown in ruins. 

The Warren Tavern’s charming address of 2 Pleasant Street in Charlestown belies its origin as a Revolutionary War haunt frequented by Paul Revere and George Washington. Established in 1780, the Tavern was one of the first buildings erected in Charlestown after the bloody Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775, when British forces left the town in ruins. Among the colonial casualties was the tavern’s namesake, Dr. Joseph Warren, a physician and general who played an integral role in the American Revolution.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Geoff Montes

Geoff Montes

Geoff Montes is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. He enjoys Art Deco architecture, any activity that can be done at the beach, and cotton candy.

[Historic Bars] Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar in New Orleans

Posted on: November 20th, 2014 by Katherine Flynn

 

Did George Washington really sleep here? In our next round of Historic Bars, we're stopping at the crossroads of time and history to explore old taverns and inns around the country -- the kind with wooden signs, rooms for lodging, and a century (or two) of fascinating stories. Next in line: Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar in New Orleans.

Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar is estimated to have been built between 1722 and 1732.
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar is estimated to have been built between 1722 and 1732.

A powerful purple “voodoo” drink and a healthy dose of pirate history are just two great reasons to visit Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar, located on New Orleans’ storied Bourbon Street.

Hailed as possibly the oldest bar in the United States and most definitely the oldest building currently in use as a bar, Lafitte’s is housed in a French-built structure that dates from roughly 1722 -- the details, like so much of New Orleans lore, are sketchy.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.