In route to the downtown Hilton, I’m listening to Dave FM, "I see a werewolf drinking a pina colada at a Trader Vic’s. And his hair… was perfect."
It’s meant to be. Warren Zevon says so. It’s the first day of spring. All the good people in Atlanta
Trader Vic’s is a place I’ve always heard about and wanted to go, but somehow never have. It’s a chain hotel bar. Chain as in places like London and Tokyo, not Stockbridge and Lawrenceville.
Inside the bar area, it’s smaller than I envisioned. But it definitely captured what I hoped it would be like. The décor is almost like a Pacific island version of the Clermont Lounge. Everything just seems so mid 1980s, it’s perfect. I keep waiting for Magnum P.I. to come in and question someone. Hopefully me. With my sport coat and obnoxiously loud Hawaiian shirt, I would tell him I was returning video tapes on the night in question.
Every Thursday, members of the local band Kingsized form the tropical group, Tongo Hiti. The five-some play odd instruments I can barely recognize, and they definitely all look like they play the bong. If weirdo David Lynch made a faux documentary about Jimmy Buffet, it would be Tongo Hiti.
From Celine Dion to Sade’s "Smooth Operator," and even my on the spot request for Van Halen (Diamond Dave, not Sammy Hagar), Tongo can do it all. They throw in a hilarious mash-up of Johnny Cash/The Who/then back to John Cash. All with a couple whip cracks from the whip crack player.
I’ve always heard Trader’s is pricey, but $5 Mai Tai’s seems very reasonable to me. And nothing else seems out of the ordinary for a hotel bar.
Along with the Pier 1 Imports/Party City motif, the tourist and mostly foreign wait staff adds to the sense of adventure. With a nice Mai Tai sugar buzz going, I chat with a couple from Tennessee, who are in town,
I love this time of year. The cherry’s are in bloom, the tourists are chatty, and the girls are in heat. If you have a place you’ve always wanted to go but never have, use the spring time as excuse to finally go. Not that you ever need an excuse.
And if you see a werewolf at the bar, be a good southerner and buy him a pina colada.