Kapu Tiki Lounge & Garden is the home tiki bar of Peter & Kelly Flessas, who created it in their Brookfield, Wisconsin home in September 2005. The Lounge is in the basement, and the Garden is in the backyard.
About the name, Peter says: "A relative of ours is very religious. She's a great woman. However, she takes exception to all of our Tiki idols asking us why we keep graven images in our home? I told her we don't worship them in that way (only when we're having cocktails!) In any event, I named our bar "Kapu Tiki" meaning Forbidden Tiki in honor of our dear relative. We love her."
Peter and Kelly were inspired to create their home tiki bar by visits to the Trader Vic's
Bar & Restaurant
in Chicago, they wanted a similar experience closer to home. They were also inspired by their love of Disneyland, which led to them to incorporate some Adventureland elements in their backyard, including a 3/4 scale waste bin and various reproduced signage from the park.
Peter is the bassist for the Milwaukee surf band The Revomatics, who often performed at Lucky Joe's Tiki Room
Lucky Joe's Tiki Room
. When the bar closed its doors in October of 2015, the owner allowed him to take home decor from the bar, including masks, signage, large sections of matting, bamboo and thatch, and the outside sign, all of which are now incorporated into the Kapu Tiki. Their favorite memento from Lucky Joe's is the booth that Peter and Kelly sat at whenever they visited the bar, which now sits proudly in their home tiki bar. Peter often jokes with friends that Lucky Joe's Tiki Room never really went away because it's now in their basement.
The Lounge is their refuge from the long Wisconsin winters. They spend many evenings there spinning vinyl, drinking cocktails and enjoying the escapism that a Tiki bar offers. In the spring and summer the backyard explodes with Tiki, with an annual luau with a custom cocktail menu, and sometimes bands.