Category Archives: History


Odds are that Tiki restaurateur Stephen Crane — professional gambler, serial husband, and owner of The Luau, a raucous midcentury movie-star hangout — didn’t own a library card.  But that doesn’t faze Emily Griffin of the Crawfordsville, Indiana, District Public Library. Since September, the reference librarian has been researching Crane’s life for a library exhibit […]

Also posted in Places | Comments closed


In the 19th and early 20th centuries, soda fountains were not only as ubiquitous as saloons, they were as dangerous.  Soda jerks served sweet treats variously containing cocaine, lithium, morphine, opium, chloroform, and ether; no wonder bars found themselves competing with soda fountains for customers, who became even more powerfully addicted to soft drinks than […]

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As far as we’re concerned, America’s true Thanksgiving holiday is today.  On December Fifth, 1933, our forefathers repealed Prohibition, ending the War On Drinks.  So let us give thanks that we live in an age that does not prohibit us from cocktailing when the mood strikes.  And in an age like ours, when does it […]

Also posted in Stuff & nonsense | Comments closed


Our pal Kevin Allman found this 1960s newspaper ad featuring two of our favorite things: Don The Beachcomber’s and Don Rickles, both on offer at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas. The Beachcomber’s stayed open till 3 a.m., while Rickles (billed as “the provocative potentate”) started his last set at 5:10 a.m.  Don and Don […]

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The Beachbum always orders Rumaki at Polynesian restaurants, because no matter how many guests at his table, he invariably gets the dish to himself.  People with high cholesterol, vegetarians, and calorie-counters all recoil like vampires exposed to sunlight when they discover that Rumaki consists of water chestnut and chicken liver wrapped in bacon, skewered and […]

Also posted in Food, Recipes | Comments closed