The Downtown Tiki Lounge
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Opened in 2010
Defunct tiki not included,
distances are as the crow flies.
The bar at The Downtown Tiki Lounge in San Mateo
May 2011, photo by Humuhumu
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The Downtown Tiki Lounge was opened by two friends, Jim Wilkinson and Dennis Romero, in 2010. The decor in the bar is a mix of beach, Caribbean and Polynesian (many of the carvings appear to be Indonesian imports), and the music is typically reggae. The place is full of surfboards provided by Seven Tiki Rum (who also provide the glassware). There is a comfortable seating area near the front, and the rear has a small raised seating area.
The drink menu appears at first glance to have a few classics, including a Sidewinder Fang from the long-gone San Mateo power palace, The Lanai. The tribute is a wonderful gesture, but sadly anyone who is excited to have that great drink will be disappointed: what they are serving has the same name, but not at all the same recipe. The drinks tend strongly to the sweet and chemical side, and could perhaps use an upgrade in ingredients.
If one is seeking to recreate a modern Hawaiian bar experience, this does line up fairly well with what one encounters in the islands: sweet drinks, reggae, beach decor. If that's what the owners want, they're probably very happy, and that's what some folks are looking for. But the average Critiki reader may find this falls short of the standard for tiki in the Bay Area.
There is parking available on the street, and several parking lots nearby (look for parking signs).