Polynesian-themed restaurants were very popular!
Victor Jules Bergeron owned a grocery store in Oakland, California and his son, Victor Jules Jr. grew up loving the food business. Unfortunately, a child hood accident caused him to lose a leg. Lacking the ability to participate in physical activities, Victor Jr. developed a penchant for telling colorful stories and he was definitely a “people person.” In 1932 he built a cozy little pub across the street from the store and he named it “Hinky Dinks.”
Victor Jr. became a popular host with his stories and tropical cocktail concoctions and recipes. The in 1934 Victor Jr. decided to go to the South Seas and immersed himself in island culture. When he returned to California, he focused on injecting the spirit of the islands into his business and that was the beginning of “Trader Vi’s Restaurant,®” which developed into a tropical retreat.
Trader Vic Restaurants were eventually located around the world. They have declined in number and today there are only three in the U.S and 18 located throughout the world.
People with a passion for American brand hospitality and a faux vacation to the tropics enjoy the culinary cuisine in an atmosphere of tribal drums, Hawaiian ceremony costumes, fish nets, and obsolete anchors.
Collectors of the Ad World, or Trader Vis Restaurants exclusively have a large assortment of collectibles to choose from. Trader Vic’s Restaurants are represented by Menehune’s in many forms that were used for promotional purposes.
A visit to www.ebay.com is an exciting adventure in collecting Trader
Vic collectibles. Today there were 15 pages to scroll through, Many of the items were duplicates but prices varied tremendously. There were a variety of ceramic mugs and all had the “Trader Vic” name molded on them. . The mugs were green, blue, and brown Tiki God mugs. There were also skull mugs and fish mugs.
A 50th anniversary ash tray had both “Hinky-Dinks:” and “Trader Vic” and the date, 1934-1984, painted on it. The seller was asking $25 and postage for it.
I found the book, The Menehunes, a story about the little people that look after the Hawaiian Islands, written by Vic Bergeron Jr. and illustrated by Jane Armstrong Walworth , 1972© .
A set of ceramic salt and pepper shakers, in the shape of Menehunes was available for $25. One is 4.5 inches tall and the other is 4.75 inches tall. They represent the little people of the Hawaiian Islands quit well, with tanned, nearly naked torsos. The most interesting part are the exaggerated facial features.
Other small items are the Vintage Trader Vic recipe books, swizzle sticks, T-shirts, golf balls, keychains ,match books and small 3.5 inch soft plastic figure from the 1970s .