Artists pay tribute to The Mai-Kai with one-of-a-kind mugs

The Mai-Kai Mug by Tiki Diablo

The Mai-Kai Mug by Tiki Diablo comes in a choice of glazes and includes a resin toucan.(From TikiDiablo.com)

Updated June 21, 2014

Just in time for The Hukilau, two of the most acclaimed artists in the Tiki scene created hand-crafted mugs that pay tribute to The Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale and its iconic imagery.
See below: Now, a chance to take a Molokai Maiden home
Related: Missed The Hukilau? Mugs are the next best thing

Southern California’s Tiki Diablo (aka Danny Gallardo), who created the 2012 and 2013 official mugs for The Hukilau, has a new Mai-Kai Mug based on an old fallen carving from the restaurant’s tiki garden (see photo below).

Featuring a distinctive toucan perched on its head, the original tiki was among the many giant carvings at The Mai-Kai by Barney West, a legendary mid-century artist. Barney West tikis that are still standing at The Mai-Kai were the inspiration for Gallardo’s 2013 mug, plus the 2008 official mug for The Hukilau by Munktiki. Another famous tiki by West that fell in 2009 was transformed into The Huiklau’s 2010 mug, also by Munktiki.

Tiki Diablo's mug was inspired by this long-lost tiki in The Mai-Kai's garden.

Tiki Diablo’s mug was inspired by this long-lost tiki in The Mai-Kai’s garden.

Gallardo, a native of California, is influenced by some of the best carvers of the Polynesian Pop era, including Leroy Schmaltz, Ed Crissman, and (of course) Barney West. He participated in a symposium at The Hukilau on June 13, joining other comtemporary artists on the panel “Create Your Own Suburban Savage Paradise.”

Tiki Diablo’s tribute mug comes in a choice of two colors (Barney’s Brown and Mariner Green) and includes his usual distinctive flair with a unique accessory: A resin toucan that doubles as a straw holder.

Click here for more info and to place your order

The Hukilau was held June 11-15, at the Bahia Mar Beach Resort and The Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale. Check the Facebook page for photos and recaps.
* The Atomic Grog at The Hukilau 2014

The Molokai Maiden

The Molokai Maiden, designed and produced by Crazy Al Evans and Swank Pad Productions, is an incredibly detailed replica of the famous masthead in The Mai-Kai’s bar.

Now, a chance to take a Molokai Maiden home with you

If you’ve spent any amount of time in The Molokai bar, you’ve probably been transfixed by one of the most distinctive icons at The Mai-Kai. This nautical maiden statue holds court in the rear of the bar in front of the windows, just to the right of where bands typically perform [see photo].

The Molokai Maiden

A rear view of The Molokai Maiden by Crazy Al and Swank Pad Productions.

This alluring sculpt of a mermaid has caught the fancy of many who have passed by her perch. But only Mai-Kai historian and Swank Pad Productions mastermind Tim “Swanky” Glazner has had the inspiration (and motivation) to create a Tiki mug in her honor. He enlisted acclaimed artist and carver Crazy Al Evans to make his dream a reality. The result: The Molokai Maiden, the third release in Swank Pad’s Mai-Kai Memories Series produced under license with The Mai-Kai.

Sculpted by and produced by Crazy Al and Tikimania, the mug replicates the mysterious masthead found in The Molokai bar down to every exacting detail. On June 21, it was announced that a special run of artist proofs are available for pre-order via Crazy Al’s website. The first 100 mugs will freature deluxe glazes and custom color small editions, numbered and dated.

Click here for more info and to place your order

Note that prices vary depending on the glaze and number made. There are plans for a Kickstarter campaign for a bigger run at lower prices. Check the link above for updates. More releated links:
* The Molokai Maiden: Info and photos from Swank Pad Productions
Facebook page | Photo gallery | Tiki Central: Molokai Maiden cocktail recipe

Previous releases in The Mai-Kai Memories Series are the Mai-Kai Mystery Girl Bowl and the Mini Mai-Kai Mystery Bowl. For more info on ordering, click here.
* Atomic Grog coverage: Mini Mai-Kai Mystery Bowl offers scaled-down version of a classic

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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