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Mai-Kai

Fort Lauderdale, FL
Bar, Restaurant, Store & Floor Show
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3599 N Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Opened in 1956
Open daily at 5pm
dinner til 10:30pm Sun-Thu
til 11:30pm Fri & Sat
All ages in restaurant,
21+ only in bar
(954) 563-3272
Fire dancers,
flaming Kona Coffee Grog,
Mystery Drink,
flambeed desserts

Critiki ratings

Mai-Kai

9.8

Overall

by 317 people

1

10

Detail
Everyone You
Decor 10
Drink Quality 9.5
Drink Selection 9.9
Food Quality 9
Food Selection 9.6
Mood 10
Music 9.9
Service 9.6
Tikiness 10
Tilt 10
Vibe 9.9

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Regulars & Visitors

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Humuhumu’s description

The Mai-Kai is perhaps the last of the grand Polynesian palaces still operating from when tiki was at its peak in the late '50s and early '60s. That the Mai-Kai not only still exists today, but is vibrant and thriving, is something we should all be very grateful for—but not take for granted.
The Mai-Kai was opened in 1956 by two brothers from Chicago, Bob and Jack Thornton, in an age when roadside attractions were springing up all over Florida; eventually Bob took over the business. Like many of these attractions, the Mai-Kai grew over time to be quite a spectacle—it includes eight dining rooms, a bar that on its own would stand as perhaps the best tiki bar in the world, tropical gardens with walking paths and waterfalls, a stage in the center to showcase the Polynesian floor show, and of course, a gift shop.
Today, experiencing the Mai-Kai is much as it was in the '60s. The experience begins as you listen to the wooden slat bridge you drive over to reach the porte cochere and valets. As you enter the restaurant, you are greeted by an elegant maitre'd. Be sure to bring some singles when you visit the restroom, as the bathroom has attendants on hand to assist you. The Mai-Kai's manager is Kern Mattei, who took over the position from his father.
When you're drinking at the Mai-Kai, you're drinking tiki history. The bar program here was created by legendary bartender Mariano Licudine, who came from the Don the Beachcomber
history
Don the Beachcomber
Chicago, IL
Bar & Restaurant
10
in Chicago, and brought Don the Beachcomber drinks with him.
Bob and Jack have passed away, and the restaurant is now run by Bob's wife Mirielle. Bob met Mirielle when she joined the Mai-Kai as a Tahitian dancer, and still today she runs the Mai-Kai's Polynesian revue. As new dances are added to the show, Mirielle first visits the island where the dance originates to ensure it will be performed properly and will be blessed by its people. All dining rooms overlook the popular show, and dinner reservations are recommended.
The enchanting nature of the female form is something that is celebrated throughout Polynesian pop, but perhaps nowhere quite so extensively as the Mai-Kai. The beautiful waitresses to this day are attired in bikini tops and wraparound sarongs. For many years, a Mai-Kai calendar was offered featuring the many beautiful women of the Mai-Kai. This worship reaches its zenith with the Mystery Drink, delivered by the Mystery Girl, an experience that must be witnessed to be fully appreciated, so I will not describe it here, but rather urge you to visit the Mai-Kai yourself and order one.
In February 2015, the Mai-Kai was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Comments

KahunaCP
KahunaCP has visited Mai-Kai.
August 29, 2018, 8:01 PM
Just a quick note until the site is updated: The Mai-Kai is closed on Mondays.

http://maikai.com/experience/hours-and-showtimes
q_tiki
q_tiki has visited Mai-Kai.
August 20, 2018, 4:17 AM
The Mai-Kai should be considered Mecca for tikiphiles and anyone interested in polynesian pop history. It is a one of a kind establishment that will likely not be replicated anytime soon. It is the total package with fabulous decor, an incredible drink selection that has not disappointed me yet and phenomenal service reminiscent of days gone by. On top of all that, the polynesian revue is a world class, completely authentic experience that you cannot find elsewhere on the mainland. I will cherish the times I've spent there and look forward to returning again soon!
blackpearl454
blackpearl454 has visited Mai-Kai.
August 15, 2018, 6:14 PM
I visited The Mai Kai last August. It was my first tiki bar!! I was only able to stay for a little while. We sat in the Molokai Lounge and had Mai Tai's and some apps. Both were fantastic. There was a show going on while we were there but we didn't see any of it other than when I walked around to the outdoor area. I loved this place! I'm hoping I get to visit again soon and spend much more time there.
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Upcoming Visits
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