For the first time since launching one of the most intimate and authentic Halloween parties in South Florida in 2009, The Mai-Kai will host this year’s bash on the night of All Hallows’ Eve. Fort Lauderdale’s legendary Polynesian restaurant will be crawling with Tiki-fied ghouls and zombies on Halloween night during its sixth annual Hulaween in The Molokai bar.
*** Friday, Oct. 31 – Hulaween 2014 featuring Slip and the Spinouts at The Mai-Kai, 3599 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. (954) 563-3272. Free admission. Happy hour 5 to 7 p.m. Live music and costume contest in The Molokai bar, 7 p.m.-midnight.
* Facebook event | Past coverage, photos on The Atomic Grog
Until this year, the festive event never landed on Halloween night itself. Will The Mai-Kai’s ancient Tiki gods be pleased or annoyed? You’ll have to attend the party to find out. The eerie event, sponsored by Appleton Rum, starts at 5 p.m. and features live music by South Florida roots rockers Slip and the Spinouts, a costume contest, deadly drink specials and retro Halloween tunes during happy hour.
The haunted happy hour runs from 5 to 7 p.m., with most of the bar’s dangerous tropical drinks, such as the Shrunken Skull and Shark Bite, priced at 50 percent off. Also half-priced are the tasty Polynesian appetizers such as the Pupu Platter, ribs, chicken, shrimp and salads. Check The Atomic Grog’s Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide for other deadly treats.
Also during happy hour and until Slip Mahoney and his band of costumed characters take the stage, The Atomic Grog will be programming more than 2 hours of retro Halloween-themed tunes, from early blues and exotica to jazz, rockabilly and surf. This will be the band’s fourth Hulaween appearance, a testament to its popularity and staying power as torch-bearers of the South Florida rockabilly scene. Slip and the Spinouts is The Mai-Kai’s go-to party band that always knocks ’em dead.
After 7 p.m., Slip and the boys will scare up some frightening fun on the dance floor with three sets of their distinctive mix of rockabilly, Western, swing, surf, blues and roots music. Appleton Rum is donating cash prizes for first, second and third place in the costume contest that begins around 10 p.m. Additional prizes will be provided by The Mai-Kai and other event sponsors.
As a special Halloween treat, the iconic Zombie cocktail will be available for half price, and there will be Appleton Rum drink specials all night long .The bar will be rockin’ past midnight, until the last zombie has been defeated.
All night, The Mai-Kai’s dining rooms, including the showroom featuring the famous Polynesian Islander Revue, will be available as usual for dinner parties large and small, dead and undead.
This year’s event also includes promotional posters and flyers featuring the second “Franken Tiki Island” painting by noted tattoo and fine artist Mike “Pooch” Pucciarelli (see above and below). His first surreal vision of a theme park infested by monsters with a Tiki bent was used in 2012, when Slip and the Spinouts last performed [see poster].
* See, buy prints: Franken Tiki Island | Franken Tiki Island II
Open since 1956, The Mai-Kai is one of the few remaining restaurants built during the height of the mid-century Tiki craze. For nearly 60 years, it has remained one of the world’s quintessential exotic dining and drinking experiences, with its lavishly decorated dining rooms and nautical-themed Molokai lounge. Hulaween has become an annual staple among the many special events, which also include The Hukilau, a five-day celebration of Polynesian Pop culture held every June. This year’s Dec. 28 anniversary party, celebrating 58 years of ownership by the Thornton family, also promises a few treats.
In the meantime, there will be plenty of treats (and tricks) on Halloween night in The Molokai bar as Hulaween revelers howl away the night.
The Mai-Kai is at 3599 N. Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale, on the west side between Commercial and Oakland Park boulevards. Call (954) 563-3272 for more information or to make dinner reservations.
Online: Official website | Facebook page
The Atomic Grog
* 2013 recap, photos: Partygoers raise hell at The Mai-Kai’s fifth annual Hulaween
* 2012 recap, photos: Hulaween was hoppin’ all night at The Mai-Kai
* See all the past Hulaween coverage
More Hulaween photos
* 2011 | 2010 | 2009
More on The Atomic Grog
* Zombies regaining critical mass: New book features 86 deadly recipes
* Zombie alert: 5 crucial things you need to know about the deadly cocktail
* We be Jammin: Rum Renaissance Zombie fest at The Mai-Kai
* The Okole Maluna Society: The Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide