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Kimberly Road

EXOTIC DESTINATIONS & SCENIC LIBATIONS

Larry              Moe              Curley

Review: Frankie's Tiki Room


Ahead of a recent business trip to Las Vegas, I researched the top Tiki bars in the area. The two consistently top recommended bars were Golden Tiki and Frankie's Tiki Room. I decided to visit Frankie's on my first night in town to unwind after a long day of travel from Georgia. A short Uber ride from the MGM Grand is rewarded by delivery to Frankie's front door.


True to the Youtube warnings, walking into Frankie's resulted in a few seconds of blindness while my eyes adjusted to the very dark interior. With eyes properly adjusted, other senses engage to reveal I have been transported to an old-school smokey dive of a bar, but in the best possible way. The room features a traditional Tiki bar scene.


One might ask, "What exacly is meant by 'tiki'?" Good question and here's an accurate enough answer I conjured up using Google AI: "Tiki culture is a retro-American art, music, and entertainment movement that originated in the mid-20th century and is inspired by Polynesian, Melanesian, and Micronesian cultures. It also incorporates Oceanian art, and influences include Australasia, Hawaii, the Caribbean Islands, and Micronesia. Tiki culture is characterized by the idealized and romanticized imagery of the South Pacific, especially Hawaii and Polynesia." Tiki imports from various cultures to create new unreal place of laid back escapism. Music adds to this experience. But, what music? YouTube channel Lagoon of Mystery helps with a list of genres contributing to a proper tiki playlist: Exotica (what most purists will point to as "authentic"), Hapa Haole, Traditional Hawaiian, Polynesian Contemporary Indigenous, Surf/Beach, Latin/Caribbean Big Band, Bossa Nova, Lounge, Calypso/Trinidad, Steel Drum, Reggae, Other Indigenous, Old School Punk. My eclectic musical taste prefers this broader influence on the music loop here at the Travel Outpost reflects this.


The drinks run the range from standards like the Mai Tai, Zombie, Three Dots and a Dash, and Lapu Lapu to the Frankie's exotic mixes like Sea Hag, Malekula, Tiki Bandot, and Kapu I'A. The drinks were good and the corresponding custom mugs are definitely worth adding to the collection. Service was friendly enough and low key. This is a place where locals come to chill and the relaxing (and relatively quiet) atmosphere is seemingly both the cause and effect of this dynamic. The only negatives were the large gaming machines built into the bar counter tops, leaving little space for drinks (but how much space is really required?) and the eye watering cigarette smoke - the latter simply being a function of the Vegas culture and certainly not unique to Frankie's. I could have moved out of the direct line of fire of the smoke cloud, but being a glutton for punishment, I chose the full immersive experience for better or worse. I bought a few mugs and a couple of Mai Tai glasses to commemorate the experience, which was overall quite good. Would I go back? With Visine and inhaler in tow...in heartbeat! Definitely recommended! 8/10 Tikis



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