The Tonga Room was created in 1945, by Mel Melvin, the leading set designer at MGM, transforming the original hotel pool into an over the top Tiki Bar. The band would play on a barge floating in the middle of the lagoon, while guests dined around the edge of the water. Now and then, the sky opens up, and it rains… a nice tropical rain (but you don’t get wet).
Movie stars and others flocked to the Tonga Room for Scorpion Bowls and Egg Rolls. It was an instant success.
Today, the Tonga Room is still a destination for anyone visiting or living in San Francisco, who has a love for a kitchy and old fashioned type of Tiki bar. Drink, dance, listen to music… and remember how fun it was, and how fun it still is.
The Tonga Room Turns 70!
September 23rd, 2015, the famous Tonga Room celebrated it’s 70th Anniversary. As usual, the band played on a barge, and it rained…. But on this day, the room really shone! Food stations were placed around the room (including a massive roasted pig!), and, of course, special drinks were served. A Photo Booth captured the memories for everyone in attendance..
And who was there?
All the Tiki “super stars” were in attendance! Everyone dressed to the nines. (And, for some reason, a dog) (??)
It really was a night to remember.
The Tonga Room San Francisco
Watch Anthony Bourdain experience the Tonga Room