The Conga Room has been around for about for years now, having opened in 2003. The owners had some tiki dreams, and seeing the excitement of the crowds and heavy concentration of Tikiphiles on Tikicentral, decided to move forward in developing a new watering hole for the thirsty of the East Bay.
The decor is as packed with paraphernalia as a tiki bar should be, though a few sombreros on the walls can distract from the PolyPop. Some may be appalled, blaming the influence of the Tijuana Brass on stealing the limelight of paradise away from Tiki. However, kept in cultural kitsch these kooky collectibles are quite the classic.
At the Conga Lounge, Exotica plays over the loudspeakers, and a TV shows constant clips of tropical locales, and tiki or Hawaiiana based shorts and films. There’s even room (well, not really, but don’t tell Mike) for a DJ to mix up a few beats from Martin Denny and Les baxter.
It’s a lovely place I look forward to going back to every year.
Once again, time is marching on and another Tiki Central San Francisco Tiki Crawl is upon us! Coming up October 9th through 12th, this will be a doozy of a trip, as no decent Tiki Bar in the San Francisco Bay Area, East Bay and even South Bay will go untouched by the love of the Tiki Bus.
That’s right. 50 some-odd (and some very odd) Tikiphiles, packed on a bus, hitting the Tiki hot spots in the Bay Area. Drinks on the bus, drinks off the bus, and more often than not, a few drinks hosed out of the bus the morning after. Thanks to the fine folks at Mount Gay Rum, I’ll be headed down to cover the event on Friday and Saturday evening. Because drinking vicariously is still slightly better than drinking alone.
Thursday Oct. 9th starts off the show in the south bay with Smoke Tiki in San Jose (my old home town), and Trader Vic’s Palo Alto. Unfortunately, Martini Monkey in the San Jose airport will not be part of the crawl, as it is now behind security gates. But, if you’re flying in to SJ and have a moment, I’ve been and recommend it highly as the best Airport bar I’ve been to!
East Bay Saturday will be an evening to remember. I’ll be riding the bus all the way from Forbidden Island to Oakland’s Conga Lounge, the Kona Club, and finally settle in for an exotica event at Trader Vic’s Emeryville with The Mai Kai Gents!
Slowdown Sunday will be a relaxing pot luck feast at Forbidden Island, before everyone heads back home to their respective haunts.
Hope to see you there, just look for the guy in the Hawaiian shirt… (see, this is why I wear the Pith Helmet)!