Monday, September 30, 2019

Texas Tiki Week: Opening Night

Last week Central Texas experienced the thing that is known as Texas Tiki Week. Technically, it's a fundraiser for the Austin chapter of the USBG, but for all practical purposes, it's a chance for folks across the state to get their tiki on. Currently, only the DFW and Houston areas have for-true commercial tiki bars, but hopefully by this time next year, Austin and San Antonio will be able to say the same.

Texas does not have the abundance of tiki goodness our friends on the West Coast does, or even the good people of Florida. But we're getting there. More and more people are getting into the spirit, and I've seen a definite uptick in participation since 2017, the first year I attended. For the 2019 edition, The Wife was hired to photograph the opening night party. I got a ticket and tagged along as her second shooter. We saw a bunch of old friend and met some new ones, having a grand time in the process. Three Dots and a Dash sent a crew down from Chicago to man a pop-up, and I have to say, their Japanese whisky-based "7-Day Weekend" cocktail knocked my socks off. The garnish was "salt air" which is simultaneously uber pretentious and as apt a description as possible. Apart from the Three Dots crew, local tiki-bar-to-be, Tiki Tatsu-ya, held sway over the inside bar and served up outstanding drinks all night long as well. Count me among the few hundred or so people impatient for them to open already. The food was delicious (excellent poke cones!) and King Pelican, a veteran surf band from San Antonio, rocked the house. When they weren't playing, Brother Cleve did some seriously inspired DJing (what can I say? He won me over with Mancini's theme from "A Shot In The Dark").

The cocktails were excellent. The food was excellent. The music was excellent. The company and conversation were excellent. Complaints? Well, it was too damn hot, but that's pretty much a given in Texas in September. Parking was a hassle, but that's pretty much a given for Austin any time of the year. The fun ended way too soon, but hey, it was a school night and a whole week of tiki-themed goodness lay ahead. Mark your calendars for September of 2020, because this thing's only getting bigger and better.

Texas Tiki Week: Eekum Bookum
Texas Tiki Week: Rainey Street Crawl

Now Playing: Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass Lost Treasures
Chicken Ranch Central

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