Aku Aku

Toledo, OH
Bar & Restaurant
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1111 West Bancroft St.
Toledo, OH
Opened in 1960
Closed in 1970
No longer in operation.

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Humuhumu’s description

Aku Aku was a "Polynesian Room" located in the Town House Motel, and hosted major acts between its opening in 1960 and its closure in 1970. Performers included Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Count Basie, Buddy Rich, Duke Ellington, Henny Youngman, and Phyllis Diller. The Glen Covington Trio was the house band in the early 1960s. The club was owned by Irving "Slick" Shapiro, a bookmaker with a number of arrests under his belt by the time the Aku-Aku opened. The club was popular with both city leaders and the mob.
While the Aku Aku has an impressive history, and some stunning use of tiki iconography, the room itself was actually streamlined modern, and not the themed, immersive faux paradise more commonly aspired to in the '60s.


bztenorsaxman was a semi-regular at Aku Aku.
October 17, 2012, 5:05 AM
Thanks for the comments houseboy. It was nice to hear your stories about the place. Do you have any other recollections of entertainers? While they were excavating the property for a Family Dollar store this past summer I found a chunk of the swimming pool wall still painted blue and a piece of the decorative brick from an outside wall.
September 2, 2012, 5:24 PM
I worked at the motel from 1965-1968. I was a House Boy. I was thirteen when I started. My Mom also worked there as the Assistant House Keeper.
And I remember Ed Johnson with his gruff voice and Dock Worker style hat. He was the maintenance man and he taught me a lot.
If I remember right the owners name was Richard Schear.
I remember Irv Shapiro. It was wise to stay on his good side. And that's all that I will say about that.
I remember them bringing in the gambling equipment once a year.
I can still remember Rusty Warren running around the 3rd floor nude. She was there doing her Knockers Up gig.
I also remember Frank Sinatra Jr. he looked down on everybody.
I had to take Jack E. Leonard'S luggage up to the 3rd floor while he was appearing at the Aku Aku Room. It took me three trips. He gave me a quarter tip. (I gave it back)
I got to meet Johnny Weissmuller. He was at the Toledo Zoo as Jungle Jim. He was very nice to me.
I have a Aku Aku room coin that they use to hand out.
January 25, 2009, 6:37 PM
my step father Ed Johnson worked at the Town House until it closed in th 70's..... we were always told it wasn't a mob place....LOL....
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Regulars & Visitors
  • bztenorsaxman
  • DBMcDonagh
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