During our last post we explored some of the tiki influences in St. Louis, Missouri. Let's stay in the region and head west along I-70 for a few hundred miles until we reach Kansas City, Missouri.
Kansas City had a few tiki establishments including, The Castaways, Kona Kai and Kon Tiki Ports, but today we are going to look at Trader Vic's. Vic Bergeron opened his twentieth Trader Vic's restaurant in Kansas City in 1973.
It was located in the lobby of the Crown Center Hotel (currently operating as the Westin Crown Center). The hotel is just one portion of the large master planned Crown Center site that includes office, retail, entertainment and residential development.
Vic's operated in this location from 1973 when the hotel opened until 1996
Vic's was located in the lobby at the bottom of the escalators that lead to the commercial district of Crown Center, directly across from the front desk
Trader Vic standing at the entrance to one of his restaurants
Rough concept sketch for the Crown Center Trader Vic's
Before we continue with the second half of this post, take a quick peek at this video to set the stage.
In July 1973, The Kansas City Star ran this short story in their newspaper about the new activity of girl watching that was happening in the Trader Vic's Lounge.
I love the fact the writer references the peak times to be in the lounge to enjoy the sights.
Fashion from 1973
The old dogs are sipping on Mai Tais and enjoying the show....
Vic was a salty old dog himself, I'm sure he approved!