Event preview: 2019 Tiki Bingo season kicks off at The Mai-Kai

Tiki and bingo: Two things that go great together. The South Florida chapter of the Fraternal Order of Moai has proven that to be true over the past five years with a popular and ongoing series of monthly charity events at The Mai-Kai. The non-profit Tiki fraternal group kicks off its 2019 season tonight.

Jan. 17 – Tiki Bingo at The Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale hosted by the Gumbo Limbo Chapter of the Fraternal Order Of Moai. A fund-raising event featuring an extended happy hour.
The Tiki Times: See all the upcoming events

Tiki Bingo at The Mai-Kai

About Tiki Bingo at The Mai-Kai

The Fraternal Order of Moai (aka the FOM) has long been a proponent of fun social events that also raise money for its favorite charities. While the annual Ohana: Luau At The Lake in Lake George, N.Y., is the group’s major flagship event, the nine active chapters across the country also hold regular, more intimate gatherings for the general public as well as members. One such event is Tiki Bingo at The Mai-Kai, which will celebrate its fifth anniversary in May.

Held nearly every month on a Thursday in one of The Mai-Kai’s most historic and secluded dining rooms, Tiki Bingo gives locals a chance to socialize and have a good time while raising a few bucks for those in need. The Samoa Room was part of the restaurant’s original structure built in 1956 and most famously contains shadowboxes featuring what are reported to be actual shrunken heads from the South Pacific. It seats around 50 people and is the perfect spot for a small group.

Fraternal Order of Moai members joined forces with Lemon Hart Rum for a special happy hour event at The Mai-Kai in September.
Fraternal Order of Moai members joined forces with Lemon Hart Rum for a special happy hour event at The Mai-Kai in September.

Event highlights

* Tiki Bingo has its own special happy hour from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Samoa Room with half-priced cocktails and appetizers from The Mai-Kai’s extensive menu. It’s the same happy hour menu you get in The Molokai bar from 5 to 7 p.m., so feel free to start there before heading back to Samoa for bingo. Also, if the great Mai-Kai cocktail menu isn’t enough, the South Florida members of the FOM are always looking to add special cocktails and rum sponsors to the bingo events. One past happy hour included a Mai Tai flight featuring versions from Trader Vic’s, Don the Beachcomber and The Mai-Kai.

Gumbo Limbo member Andy Davis at the first Tiki Bingo at The Mai-Kai in May 2014. (Mai-Kai Facebook photo)

* You can help South Florida charities via special raffles and fund-raising activities. Local animal and nature groups are usually earmarked. The Jan. 17 event benefits the Humane Society of Broward County.

* Meet and greet some of the area’s most dedicated Tikiphiles while enjoying the best food, drinks and ambiance you could ask for. Don’t know anybody? Don’t sweat it with this welcoming group. Don’t worry, there will be no hazing rituals. Unless, of course, you order a Mystery Drink, which is a whole different type of ritual.

What’s coming up?

Keep an eye on the Gumbo Limbo Chapter’s page on Facebook for future events. The plan for 2019 is to hold Tiki Bingo nights on the third Thursday of the month. The group also hosts other special events at The Mai-Kai, such as last year’s Sept. 29 happy hour sponsored by Lemon Hart Rum and featuring current, retired and lost cocktails plus prizes, giveaways and more. A previous Mai-Kai happy hour event featured cocktails from Smuggler’s Cove. Also, every summer, the group helps put on the Stripped + Stranded – Summer Luau at Stache Drinking Den in Fort Lauderdale.
The Tiki Times: See all the upcoming events
Related: The Mai-Kai Takeover and Demerara rum happy hour on Saturday, Jan. 19

The Fraternal Order of Moai
* Official site | Facebook page | Twitter

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. Valet and paid self-parking.
* Official site | Trading Post | Twitter
* Facebook: Official page | Friends of The Mai-Kai group
* Instagram: Restaurant | The Molokai bar | Trading Post
* Mai-Kai history: Book and official website | Facebook page
* Google Maps: Explore The Mai-Kai in 3-D

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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