Inspired by Chris Jepsen's presentation on OC Tiki at the Orange Community Historical Society Annual Dinner, I thought I'd look for some information on the history of tiki establishments in Corona del Mar.
There were a lot of tiki places that came up in the search but the one that caught my eye was the Jamaica Inn, which also had Christian's Hut, a classic tiki restaurant inside of it. It was located just down the street from me at the corner of Avocado and PCH where there is now a rather sterile looking medical office complex. It likely extended over to the office building that has Shape Up in it, as well. The difference between the two is rather stark.
According to one postcard, the 100 room hotel “captured and carefully reproduced the romantic atmosphere of the beautiful tropical island for which it is named.” A 1962 Sports Illustrated article mentioned the hotel and said that rooms were priced from $14-20/night in the peak season.
Inside the hotel was Christian’s Hut, a classic tiki restaurant known for its Polynesian dishes. They also had another location in Balboa Bay. The Balboa location was originally built on Catalina Island during the filming of Mutiny on the Bounty to serve the cast and crew and moved to Balboa after filming. The bar was named after Clark Gable’s character in the movie.
In searching around, I also noticed that Trader Island was listed at the same address as Jamaica Inn in the 1960’s.
Does anyone remember going to Christian’s, Trader Island, or staying at The Jamaica Inn? Or how about other Tiki bars in CdM? Don the Beachcomber?