Calling all rum lovers: to celebrate its first year in Parkdale, the Shameful Tiki Room (1378 Queen West, shamefultikiroom.com) is throwing an old-fashioned four-day faux-Polynesian luau. In typical tiki fashion, expect incendiary punch bowls, pu-pu platters, garish shirts and, naturally, insane amounts of sugar cane spirit.
Running November 18 to 21, Shameful’s birthday bash pays homage to the city’s first tiki temple, Trader Vic’s, which opened in the old Hotel Toronto (now the Hilton) in the mid-1970s and vanished sometime in the 90s when swilling out of coconuts hit peak uncool.
Trader Vic’s specialties like crab rangoon (crispy, crabby, cream-cheesy wontons) and vintage cocktails like the Space Needle and the frothy, spiced-laced Voodoo Grog will make short-lived appearances at Shameful, along with limited-edition ceramic mugs based on the original Trader Vic’s Voodoo design.
What the intrepid Victor J. “Trader Vic” Bergeron started as a tiny Oakland dive called Hinky Dink’s eventually became a worldwide tiki empire. Considered one of the magnates of Tahitian-inspired escapism, the Trader is credited with creating the mai tai and popularizing stiff and fruity rum drinks and flamboyant punch bowls.
If history’s most elaborate cocktails aren’t entertainment enough, Shameful has extra spectacle in store for its anniversary: live surf rock on the weekend and a Miss Shameful Tiki pageant on Sunday. (My vote goes to the contestant who shows up in combat boots dressed as a giant pineapple.)