If you've ever wondered what the story was behind places like Don The Beachcomber and Trader Vic's, the LA Times published a good but short article on Donn Beach, father of the Polynesian-themed restaurant and a subculture of people called tiki-philes.
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The article will not be news to those Hawaiian-shirted, mai-tai-and-zombie connoisseurs who already flock in droves to revel in the tropical-island-kitsch of Huntington Beach's Don The Beachcomber, but it presents a neat and tidy primer on how a bootlegger and speakeasy proprietor named Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt became Donn Beach-Comber and started the whole craze.
Huntington Beach's restaurant, the story points out, is one of only two left anywhere. The other is in Hawaii.