The “Tiki” Thing
Inside Passage is not a "tiki" bar.
Inside Passage is a Pacific Northwest, underwater, sunken ship, tropical immersion bar. Oh, yeah…with a tentacled sea monster named Kiki. It is true, a main influence of Inside Passage is Don the Beachcomber which opened in Hollywood in 1933. A true escapist, tropical bar which transported drinkers away from the city streets into a tropical paradise with over-the-top drinks and fantastic garnishes. It is our understanding there were no tiki idol carvings, tiki references, masks, weapons, shields or scantily clad wahine at Don the Beachcomber. There are also no tiki idol carvings, tiki references, masks, weapons, shields or scantily clad wahine at Inside Passage.
While some elements of Inside Passage are inspired by the less problematic elements of what we have come to associate with tiki bars, we have decided to refrain from calling it that.
If one is looking to categorize Inside Passage, we would argue it is an immersion bar. A bar which allows the guest to be transported away the moment they enter and become immersed in a new reality. Windows to the outside world are limited or closed off. The décor has an incredible amount of detail which wraps around you and stays true to the concept and time period. One would never ask for a window seat at an immersion bar.
At an immersion bar, drinks are over the top and unexpected in presentation, perhaps even smoking or on fire. The drink name, serving vessel, garnishes, multiple ingredients and layers of flavors all work together to tell a story specific to the drink itself and fitting into the theme of the bar. At an immersion bar, one looking for the full experience would probably not order a beer, vodka soda or glass of wine.
We have embraced our location and created a bar with an immersive underwater, tropical experience celebrating the uniqueness, history and beauty of the Pacific Northwest. A bar which takes the positive things about Don the Beachcomber’s original concept and helps move it forward into the 21st century. A bar that has a fantastic, unique, over the top cocktail program created by some of the region’s best bartenders. And most importantly, a bar which welcomes and respects everyone walking through our door.
Cheers to all,
Travis Rosenthal and the Inside Passage and Rumba Team