history

The Islands

Phoenix, AZ
Bar & Restaurant
12
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4839 N. 7th St.
Phoenix, AZ
Opened in 1958
No longer in operation.

Critiki ratings

The Islands

9

Overall

by 3 people

1

10

Detail
Everyone You
Former Glory 9

Humuhumu’s description

The Islands was a Polynesian restaurant just south of Camelback Road in Phoenix, operating from 1958 through at least the '70s. It had four rooms: the Tapa Bar, the Tiki Room, the Cannibal Room, and the Waterfall Room, which was available for private events when it wasn't used for live music and dancing,
The building had two swooping A-frames, facing in opposite directions, covered in thatch, and two cone-shaped thatched huts to the left of the main building. The exterior sides of the restaurant were decorated with oversized, graphic tapa-style designs. The restaurant was fronted by two large rootball tikis that were sometimes used as logos for the restaurant.
From the mid-'70s, it was known as Tommy Wong's Islands—Tommy Wong had purchased the restaurant and owned it for a few years towards the end. Wong had worked at the Chicago Don the Beachcomber
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and at the Aku Aku in Las Vegas
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before becoming a successful restaurateur in his own right.
Some time in the '80s, the building was razed.

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September 3, 2015, 2:06 PM
I loved The Islands! In an effort I suppose to increase revenue in the 70s, they rented out a section on Sunday mornings before opening time to a local church and I went to a 'coffee class' there. I was still in grade school and middle school. I used to just look around at everything!

When I turned 19 (then the legal drinking age), I went there as often as possible. It was difficult at best to talk my little friends into going with me! One brave girl went and actually liked it and would go with me for a drink before hitting the latest popular place for our age group. Whenever I went in there it was always just me and sometimes my friend and a 1/2 dozen 65+ guys slumped over the bar looking up at us with a curious squint as if to say - Why are these young girls in here? Am I THAT drunk!?- Ha! It was surreal to say the least.

There was an enormous black light painting of Diamond Head and shoreline behind the bar. It was SO beautiful! It had little pin lights shining through it as well. Very, very enchanting!
February 6, 2009, 9:17 PM
It was a grand place - unique to Phoenix, Arizona. The entry hall was covered in mirrors and had a slightly disorienting effect. The bar with dance floor was classic pre-war decoration - along the lines of the bar at the Twin harbors, Catalina, California right out of the war. I would not be here if it was not for the romance of the island allowing my parents to meet!