a tiki bar with alcohol drinks and decor
The Story Of Don The Beachcomber, The Original Tiki Bar
Don the Beachcomber is the original tiki bar, renowned for its tropical ambiance, rum-centric cocktails, and Polynesian-inspired decor.
Established in 1934 in Hollywood, it sparked America's fascination with tiki culture and evolved into a popular thematic restaurant chain.
Donn Beach, formerly Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt, and his wife Cora Irene "Sunny" Sund opened Don's Beachcomber Café in the early 1930s, featuring Gantt's mixology talents.
Their tropical-themed bar quickly gained popularity, leading to the expansion into a restaurant in 1937. It offered a Chinese-inspired menu alongside Gantt's famous rum-based drinks.
Decorated with Polynesian and nautical decor, Don the Beachcomber became a beloved oasis during the Great Depression and eventually expanded to 16 locations nationwide.
Gantt is iconic for introducing exotic rum cocktails like the Mai Tai and Navy Grog to America, along with innovative island cuisines such as pupu platters and rumaki.
While the first tiki bar closed in 1985 and there are no longer any original Don the Beachcomber establishments standing today, the beloved brand's legacy lives on.