I know that Tucson, AZ probably doesn’t get a lot of good press, but this is a way hip town. Filled with retirees and a definite lack of hipsters, it’s like a time capsule of midcentury design. No one’s bulldozed or taken over anything. Plenty of awesome 50’s and 60’s buildings still stand, original everything, but sadly they’re not really being utilized. Ripe for the picking, I say! You can also tell that it’s a midcentury town because of all the strip malls – there is a downtown area, but mostly this town was built around the car (kinda like LA).
We’ve driven past this place a million times and I always thought it was funny, but it was usually in the middle of the day and who wants to go to a bar then? Too depressing. Last night, filled with curiosity and with nothing to do, we stopped.
It was an honest-to-god Tiki Bar. After asking around a bit, we found out that it had been built in 1962 and hadn’t changed a lick since then. The drinks, the atmosphere, even the menu, has been exactly the same for the last 50 years. And let me tell you (other than the fact that I don’t think it had been cleaned since 1962) it was AMAZING.
We also discovered that if you want anything to drink, it’s a scorpion. Words cannot describe how potent this drink is. Rum, gin, brandy and a hint of strawberry. It was delicious, mind you, but about the size of my skull.
There was even a giant terrarium behind the bar that held a gigantic Nile Monitor Lizard. When is the last time you went to a bar that had a resident lizard?
Here’s some more awesome pictures, just to give you a taste.
*Update – they have a website! Learn more at http://www.kontikitucson.com/*