Kahiki Supper Club

Bar & Restaurant
3583 East Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio, United States
Website
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Opened in 1961
Closed in 2000
Defunct tiki not included,
distances are as the crow flies.
Tiki Bowling Lanes, Lancaster 24.3 mi
39.2 km
Young's Cafeteria, Glen Dale 114.0 mi
183.5 km
Chin's Chop Suey, Livonia 167.2 mi
269.0 km
Jade Tiki, Bloomfield Hills 183.8 mi
295.9 km
Tiki Bob's Cantina, Pontiac 185.3 mi
298.2 km
ad, 146
illustration, 144
menu, 146
picture, 18, 65, 128, 144-147
text 129, 144, 146, 172
menu, 14, 53
picture, 12, 60, 83, 97, 109, 127
Postcard from Kahiki Supper Club in Columbus
circa 1965, from the collection of Swanky
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Humuhumu’s description:
Kahiki Supper Club is a legend in the tiki world - a massive polynesian palace in the frozen land of Columbus, Ohio. Kahiki founders Bill Sapp and Lee Henry started work on the Kahiki after their bar, the Grass Shack, burned down on this site in 1959. Sadly, I never got to see Kahiki, it closed in 2000. The Kahiki's building was a classic example of midcentury polynesian pop architecture, and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. Despite this, Walgreen's purchased the building and bulldozed it. The Kahiki company now is focused on selling a line of frozen foods.

Some of the interior decor had been stored in a warehouse, and there was talk of the restaurant reopening in a new location. The potential for that seems to have ended: some of the decor was installed in the frozen food factory; the Kahiki's last owner, Michael Tsao, has died; and many of the remaining artifacts appear to have been sold at auctions.

However, the Kahiki has not entirely died... in 2006, former employees opened a new restaurant in a strip mall in nearby Hilliard, called Tropical Bistro. It doesn't have the Kahiki's grand looks (much of the decor comes from the space's earlier, typical Chinese buffet incarnation), but the food and drink recipes remain the same, and drinks are served in tiki mugs.

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There are 7 comments.
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February 6, 2010, 11:13 PM
I used to go there for my birthday as a kid. A part of me died when it closed. I still think of the Kahiki ten years after it closed.
PackmanWSU01 has visited Kahiki Supper Club.

March 13, 2010, 2:24 PM
I completly agree with PackmanWSU01. I too visisted for birthdays when I was a kid and likewise have since lost a peice of my soul to it's closing. My favorite part was the simulated rain storm that would hit. You would hear a clap of thunder and rain coming down then streams of wated would pour over the windows you were sitting next to. I was quite happy when I seen something opening near Gahanna area but then found out it was just a store for there products and not a reincanation as I had hoped.

April 1, 2010, 7:36 AM
For anyone interested, the Hills Market in Columbus,OH is hosting a "Kahiki Day" on Saturday, May 1st. Details in the link below. It should be a ton of fun!

http://www.thehillsmarket.com/inside_the_hills_market/2010/04/kahiki-day-at-the-hills-market.html

July 20, 2010, 4:50 AM
I'm working on a poetry collection about the Kahiki Supper Club in Columbus, Ohio. Trying to find people who purchased artifacts from the restaurant before it was razed. Please contact me at rikkirs@hotmail.com Thanks.

May 9, 2011, 9:19 AM
When a job transfer put me in Columbus in the autumn of 1999, I leased an apartment not too far from East Broad Street where the Kahiki was located. One day, while checking out the area, I drove past the Kahiki and did a double-take. I immediately turned around, determined to see what exactly this place was all about. As soon as I approached the front door I was in love! I especially enjoyed the Mystery Drink with the long straws and "smoke" coming out of the them. lol

I was shocked and saddened when I found out it was closing in 2000 and going to be razed for a Walgreens, of all all things. I was glad I kept a paper menu and the leis from our visits. I had to be out of town the day they sold things to the pubic so I could not get another souvenir. So sad. So my love affair with Kahiki was brief, but I think of it often.

March 29, 2012, 2:25 PM
My parents were invited to the Grand Opening by one of the three original owners who they knew from the Jong Mea. My son refuses to shop at ANY Walgreens to this day. I miss the torches when I drive pass.

July 21, 2012, 6:25 PM
I grew up in Whitehall, the town just east of the railroad line that ran past the Kahiki (the tracks are gone, too). My family only went there a few times when I was a kid. Wish I'd kept the tiki charms they gave out to younger guests.

Sad to say, I didn't stop by as an adult when I had the chance. I couldn't imagine it wouldn't always be there. I used to commute to downtown Columbus by bike and passed it scores of times. Its exterior never failed to impress; the roof line alone was visible for blocks in either direction.

I was living in Cincy during the demolition. I didn't even know about it. The hole it left in the sky is still there. . . .

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