UPDATE: The Mai-Kai’s takeout cocktails returning in May and June 2022

Updated May 24, 2022

The Mai-Kai’s revival of cocktails to go was a rousing Easter treat, paving the way for an expanded menu on three more holiday weekends in May and June.

Manager Kern Mattei and public relations director Pia Dahlquist welcome thirsty customers at The Mai-Kai on Saturday, April 16, with a tasty treat of gallons of takeout cocktails. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)
Manager Kern Mattei and public relations director Pia Dahlquist welcome thirsty customers at The Mai-Kai on Saturday, April 16, with a tasty treat of gallons of takeout cocktails. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)

While extensive refurbishments continue inside, guests will be able to drive up to the iconic porte-cochère and leave with quarts and gallons of four classic tropical drinks. You must pre-order by calling director of public relations Pia Dahlquist at 954-646-8975.

The new dates for pickup at the historic Fort Lauderdale restaurant are:

* Mother’s Day’s (and Cinco De Mayo) weekend: Friday-Saturday, May 6-7.
* Memorial Day weekend: Thursday-Saturday, May 26-28.
* Father’s Day weekend: Friday-Saturday, June 17-18.

Pick-up hours are 4-6 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, and 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Special arrangements can also be made for other times.

In addition, guests of The Hukilau will be able to order quarts and gallons for pick-up at the conclusion of the June 9-12 event at the nearby Beachcomber Resort in Pompano Beach. The 19th Tiki weekender will host an exclusive Mai-Kai pop-up bar throughout the event, along with a special presentation on the renovation plans by the new ownership team. Attendees can pick up quarts and gallons on Sunday, June 12.

Quarts (and gallons) of classic Tiki cocktails such as the Black Magic are available for takeout from The Mai-Kai in May and June 2022. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward, April 2022)
Quarts (and gallons) of classic Tiki cocktails such as the Black Magic are available for takeout from The Mai-Kai in May and June 2022. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward, April 2022)

The cocktail selection has grown from three to four, with quarts available in addition to the signature “Gallons To Go.” Four of The Mai-Kai’s most popular drinks are now available:

* Barrel O’ Rum (gallon $95, quart $30).
* Black Magic (gallon $95, quart $30).
* Jet Pilot (gallon $156, quart $44).
* Mai Tai (gallon $142, quart $40).
Click on the links above for The Atomic Grog’s reviews, ratings, history and recipes.

NEW: Rum stash discovered in warehouse
A last-minute addition to the Memorial Day lineup was announced May 24. Previously believed to be sold out, The Mai-Kai’s limited-edition signature rum from The Real McCoy is back on the menu after a small supply turned up during renovations. You can order the The Real McCoy 12-year-old Distillers Proof Mai-Kai Blend ($85.60) along with your cocktails while supplies last. The 92 proof blend from Foursquare Distillery in Barbados is a rare release, custom made for The Mai-Kai by The Real McCoy and featuring notes of toasted pecan, vanilla and wood spice along with a long, elegant finish. The bottles are from the third and final batch produced in 2020.
* Rum review and past coverage

To keep up with the latest news and updates, subscribe to The Mai-Kai’s email newsletter and follow the official pages on Facebook and Instagram.

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ORIGINAL STORY:

We’ve learned to live without many things in recent years, some easier to bear than others. Unavailable since September, The Mai-Kai’s legendary tropical drinks are one of the most notable pleasures we’ve missed.

Gallons of The Mai-Kai's iconic Barrel O' Rum are once again available for pick-up. (Official Mai-Kai photo)
Gallons of The Mai-Kai’s iconic Barrel O’ Rum are once again available for pick-up. (Official Mai-Kai photo)

The historic Polynesian restaurant – which is still months away from reopening amid an extensive, multimillion-dollar renovation – sprung an Easter surprise on its most loyal fans Wednesday with an e-mail touting the return of its popular “Gallons To Go” cocktail program.

Three of The Mai-Kai’s most popular drinks are available for pick-up Friday and Saturday at the historic property in Oakland Park, just north of Fort Lauderdale. The site has been under renovation since the announcement of a new ownership team that will pump more than $5 million into restoring the fabled eatery to its former glory.

You can grab a gallon to go at The Mai-Kai for Easter weekend. These lucky guests indulged at the Tiki Marketplace in July 2021. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)
You can grab a gallon to go at The Mai-Kai for Easter weekend. These lucky guests indulged at the Tiki Marketplace in July 2021. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)

Act now to reserve your very own gallon of the Barrel O’ Rum ($95), Mai Tai ($142), and Black Magic ($95). Supplies are limited, so locals (and those willing to make the journey to South Florida) and encouraged to confirm their order ASAP with director of public relations Pia Dahlquist by calling 954-646-8975. Pick-up times are Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. Special arrangements can also be made.

This soft reboot of the takeout cocktail program did not come without difficulties, from delays in receiving all the proper supplies to other logistical hurdles. The offerings for Easter had to be ramped up quickly, but Dahlquist said that future takeout opportunities will be considered. They could also include quarts of cocktails, along with other past favorites such as the Jet Pilot.

Be one of the first to find out by signing up for the official Mai-Kai newsletter.

Mai-Kai cocktails will also be available in just over six weeks at The Hukilau, the 19th Tiki weekender in nearby Pompano Beach. The June 9-12 event will include a Mai-Kai pop-up bar, plus a symposium that will offer an exclusive look at the renovation plans.

Latest news on The Mai-Kai renovations and reopening in 2022
UPDATES: Latest news on The Mai-Kai renovations and reopening in 2022
When will the historic Polynesian restaurant be welcoming back guests? We’ll keep you updated with the latest news.

The Mai Tai is one of three cocktails available for pickup for the first time since September 2021. (Official Mai-Kai photo)
The Mai Tai is one of three cocktails available for pickup for the first time since September 2021. (Official Mai-Kai photo)

The restaurant braved the worst of the pandemic by creating a novel takeout strategy that included food and cocktails by the gallon. But it could not survive a catastrophic roof collapse that destroyed a large portion of the kitchen and closed the dining rooms and beloved Molokai bar in October 2020.

From late 2020 through September 2021, The Mai-Kai continued serving cocktails to go while also hosting special events in its sprawling parking lot. Meanwhile, thousands of supporters united in support online, hoping their cherished Polynesian palace would be able to find the means to reopen.

Their wish was granted when Miami’s Barlington Group reached an agreement to buy the 2.7-acre property, retaining the founding Thornton family as minority owners to continue the 65-year legacy that includes the Polynesian Islander Revue. The nightly performance was long considered to be the longest-running authentic South Seas dinner show in the United States, including Hawaii.

The Black Magic, as seen in The Molokai bar in December 2019, is one of The Mai-Kai's most popular cocktails. (Photo by Jose Villasana)
The Black Magic, as seen in The Molokai bar in December 2019, is one of The Mai-Kai’s most popular cocktails. (Photo by Jose Villasana)

Just as crucial to the restaurant’s success is the vintage cocktail program, which was mentioned in the 2014 listing on the National Register of Historic Places. “The restaurant is renowned for its expert tropical drinks,” according to the National Register of Historic Places Program.

Many of the cocktails are trademarked creations that date back to the original 1956 menu, crafted by legendary mixologist Mariano Licudine. Before he was hired by Mai-Kai founders Bob and Jack Thornton, Licudine spent 16 years behind the bar at Don the Beachcomber, the groundbreaking exotic cocktail concept that established the template for all who followed.

The Mai-Kai official sites and social media
* MaiKai.com | MaiKaiTradingPost.com
Twitter | Facebook: Official page | Friends of The Mai-Kai group
Instagram: Restaurant | The Molokai bar | Trading Post

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PAST COVERAGE

The Mai-Kai fans rejoice as new partnership paves way for reopening
The Mai-Kai fans rejoice as new partnership paves way for reopening
Everything you need to know about the historic restaurant’s new join ownership deal that will include at least $5 million in renovations.

Exclusive photos: The Mai-Kai through the eyes of The Hukilau villagers
Exclusive photos: The Mai-Kai through the eyes of The Hukilau villagers
See images from the annual Tiki weekender shared by loyal fans.

Photos: The Mai-Kai Tiki Marketplace in Fort Lauderdale, July 2021
Tiki Marketplace offers a taste of The Mai-Kai
The July 18 event featured vintage art and collectibles, food trucks, plus authentic Mai-Kai cocktails and entertainment.

The Mai-Kai hosts first Tiki Marketplace featuring vendors, entertainers, cocktails, rum tasting and more
The Mai-Kai hosts first Tiki Marketplace featuring vendors, entertainers, cocktails, rum tasting and more

The historic restaurant may be closed for repairs, but a new event took advantage of the large parking lot for a safe and fun-filled day featuring the generous spirit of ‘ohana.

Thousands of fans unite to show support for The Mai-Kai during closing
Thousands of fans unite to show support for The Mai-Kai during closing

More than 10,000 have signed a petition and thousands are flooding social media channels as the historic restaurant plans events, take-home cocktails while potential partners/owners are sought.

The Mai-Kai celebrates 64th anniversary under the moon as challenges loom
The Mai-Kai celebrates 64th anniversary as extent of flooding damage, closing detailed
* Fund raisers, online sales aid The Mai-Kai during closure
* The Mai-Kai celebrates Hulaween 2020 with drive-in movie party
* The Mai-Kai re-releases signature rum, glassware, spirits menu
* Cocktail quarts join gallons as The Mai-Kai expands takeout menu

SPECIAL FEATURE

Okole Maluna Society: The Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide
Okole Maluna Society: The Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide

Hurricane Hayward reviews and rates the historic restaurant’s current and past tropical drinks, plus reveals a treasure trove of ancestor and exclusive tribute recipes.

MORE ON THE ATOMIC GROG

The Hukilau announces 2022 entertainment lineup as tickets go on sale for 19th Tiki weekender in June
The Hukilau announces entertainment lineup as tickets go on sale for 19th Tiki weekender
The East Coast’s longest-running Polynesian Pop event will feature live music (The Surfrajettes, The Intoxicators, The Manakooras, King Kukulele), symposiums (Ian Burrell, David Wondrich), 18 guest bars, rum tastings, luau on the beach, pool parties, Tiki Treasures Bazaar, plus more on June 9-12.

The Tiki Times online events calendar
UPDATES: The Tiki Times: Exclusive 2022 events guide
Check the calendar for the latest upcoming live and virtual events.

Support Tiki bars now by visiting their online stores, contributing to fundraisers
UPDATES: Support Tiki bars: Visit their online stores, buy the latest merchandise
Check out our updated guide for links to dozens of establishments with online stores, including news on exclusive new releases.

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