Mai, Oh Mai!

What do the Thornton brothers, zombies, “The Hawaiian Wedding Song,” the Okole Maluna Society, the Samoan fire knife dance and an Impatient Virgin all have in common? As anyone who’s ever basked in the warmth of the flaming rum in a Kona Coffee Grog knows, it’s all part of the rich history at the Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale (3599 N. Federal Highway).

The renowned tiki-themed restaurant opened by Bob and Jack Thornton turns 60 this month. To celebrate, the present-day Mai-Kai team—led by owner Mireille Thornton, the late Bob’s wife and choreographer of the Islanders Revue, the nightly Polynesian show that started in 1961 (with Mireille as one of the original dancers)—is looking to the past.

On the afternoon of Dec. 28, the date it opened back in 1956, the restaurant will welcome Tim Glazner, author of the recently released Mai-Kai: History and Mystery of the Iconic Tiki Restaurant. The tiki expert and co-founder of the annual Hukilau event in Fort Lauderdale will walk guests through the rum-soaked, grass-skirted annals of an establishment that cost approximately $400,000 to build—an expense the Mai-Kai recouped in its first year.

In addition, the Mai-Kai is bringing back three of its “lost cocktails,” tropical drinks that, on the original menus, cost as little as a dollar. Inflation is about the only thing that can dampen these spirits, which include Liquid Gold ($13), the aforementioned Impatient Virgin ($13) and Suffering Bastard ($17).
Since the restaurant never divulges its cocktail recipes, just assume that there will be fruit juices and rum involved. Lots of rum. In the case of Suffering Bastard (pictured), also expect a slice of cucumber, a leafy garnish and a light dusting of powdered sugar.

As for the Impatient Virgin… yes, there’s a cherry on top.

Visit maikai.com or call 954.563.3272 for reservations.

You May Also Like

A Luxurious Sunday Brunch Buffet at Nikki Beach

The experience is available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

ADRIFT Mare Introduces Sunday Brunch Service

Guests can enjoy stunning views of Miami’s skyline while relishing every meal.

23rd Annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival Will Offer a Culinary Extravaganza of New Experiences

Get ready for an All-Star lineup of celebrity chefs and musical performances.

FoodieCon Returns to the South Beach Wine & Food Festival This Weekend

The world’s most renowned culinary content creators are set to headline the event.

Other Posts

Bourbon Steak in Aventura Hosts 15th Anniversary Dinner

Chefs Michael Mina and Adam Sobel will curate the event on Friday.

Exclusive Tickets Still Available for South Beach Wine & Food Festival Events

Mark your calendars for Feb. 22 to Feb. 25 as more than 500 chefs, Food Network stars, and Grammy-winning musicians gather together.

Annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival Unveils Main Lineup

All proceeds benefit the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University (FIU), with over $37 million raised.

Il Mulino NYC at Acqualina Resort Introduces New High-End Brunch Experience

The beachside resort has a reputation for providing its guests with a luxurious and pampering experience.