The Aku Aku was a Polynesian restaurant inside the Stardust casino, at the north end of the Las Vegas strip. The restaurant opened in 1960, and closed in 1980. The iconic moai statues that stood guard over the Aku Aku were carved by Eli Hedley (grandfather of Bamboo Ben
Bamboo Ben's Showroom
Huntington Beach, CA
). These statues became famous symbols not just for the restaurant or the Stardust Casino it resided in, but Las Vegas itself. One of these statues can be viewed today at Sunset Park
Las Vegas, NV
in Las Vegas.