Mai-Kai parties are a festive cure for the summer doldrums

The Mai-Kai's bar features classic Tiki cocktails served by The Molokai Girls

The Mai-Kai's bar features classic Tiki cocktails served by The Molokai Girls. (Photo courtesy of The Mai-Kai)

Updated Aug. 15, 2012

Got those sweltering August blues yet? Even if you don’t, you’ll want to get in the Tiki spirit this month within the cool, dark confines of The Mai-Kai’s Molokai bar with a couple of special events.

The two parties – set for Sunday, Aug. 12, and Saturday, Aug. 18 – promise to serve up two radically different experiences in the legendary Fort Lauderdale restaurant’s vintage shipwreck-themed lounge.

We urge you to sample one, or both:

Aug. 12: Meet and Greet at the Mai-Kai
Facebook event

This intimate happy hour gathering ran from 5 to 7 p.m. and featured a special “retired” cocktail from the archives of the 55-year-old Polynesian palace. South Florida’s Gumbo Limbo Chapter of the Fraternal Order of Moai hosted the event and offered this mystery drink free to the first 20 guests. In addition, The Mai-Kai agreed to make the vintage cocktail all night long.

The special drink turned out to the the Demerara Cocktail, reviewed last year on The Atomic Grog and given new life at this special event. Click on the link above for more on this lost classic, plus several photos and recipes.

In addition, attendees enjoyed the regular happy hour discount of half-priced cocktails and appetizers from 5 to 7. The Fraternal Order of Moai is a social organization with chapters across the country, uniting men and women interested in Tiki culture and the Polynesian Pop era.

Aug. 18: Exotica A Go Go Mai-Kai Dance Party Summer Blowout
Facebook event

If you’re looking for something a little more high-energy, this is the event for you. DJs Sensitive Side and James Brown’s Sweat – along with Mikey Ramirez of Radioactive Records – will kick out the jams from 9 p.m. until the wee hours in one of their always energetic late-night bashes.

Exotica A Go Go Mai-Kai Dance Party Summer Blowout

These guys know how to present an eclectic mix of dance tunes, ranging from ’50s and ’60s R&B, doo-wop, and rockabilly, to ’70s punk, soul, and lots more. They will be joined by special guests Thomas T. Walls and Action Pat and promise prizes provided by Radioactive Records and The Modern Historic vintage clothing and furniture store.

There will be special late-night happy hour drink prices, and the organizers have made arrangements for the party to spill over into the rest of The Mai Kai if the bar gets too packed, as has been known to happen at these soirees. It’s advised you get there early.

The Mai-Kai is at 3599 N. Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale, on the west side between Commercial and Oakland Park boulevards. Valet and paid self-parking only, though it’s possible the fee will be waived in the late-night hours. To make dinner reservations, call (954) 563-3272.

The Mai-Kai: Official site | Facebook page
More on The Atomic Grog: Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide | See all our Mai-Kai posts

About Hurricane Hayward

A professional journalist and Florida resident for more than 30 years, Jim "Hurricane" Hayward shares his obsession with Polynesian Pop and other retro styles on his blog, The Atomic Grog. Jim's roots in mid-century and reto culture go back to his childhood in the 1960s, when he tagged along with his parents to Tiki restaurants and his father's custom car shows. His experience in journalism, mixology, and more than 20 years as an independent concert promoter make him a jack-of-all-trades in the South Florida scene. A graduate of the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications, Jim is a longtime web producer for The Palm Beach Post. In his spare time, he has promoted hundreds of rock, punk, and indie concerts under the Slammie Productions name since the early 1990s. In 2011, he launched The Atomic Grog to extensively cover events, music, art, cocktails, and culture with a retro slant. Jim earned his nickname by virtue of both his dangerous exotic drinks and his longtime position producing The Post's tropical weather website.
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