classic

Kon Tiki Lounge

Tucson, AZ
Bar & Restaurant
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4625 East Broadway
Tucson, AZ
Opened in 1961
Mon-Thu 11am-1am
Fri-Sat 11am-2am
Sun 11am-midnight
(520) 323-7193

Critiki ratings

Kon Tiki Lounge

7.7

Overall

by 102 people

1

10

Detail
Everyone You
Decor 9.7
Drink Quality 6.1
Drink Selection 8
Food Quality 6.6
Food Selection 7.3
Mood 8.6
Music 5.6
Service 7.8
Tikiness 9.4
Tilt 8.4
Vibe 7

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Regulars & Visitors

View all 138 Kon Tiki Lounge regulars & visitors

Humuhumu’s description

The Kon Tiki Lounge (no relation to the Steven Crane Kon-Tiki chain) is a classic original tiki bar. Open since 1961, the Kon Tiki Lounge has seen modern-day Tucson grow up around it on all sides. It is tucked back a bit on its busy street, surrounded by strip malls and small office buildings. The small-looking building feels a bit out-of-place. There is an almost lush little garden area out front, with tikis and a small "water feature" -- Tucson's arid climate wouldn't easily support a pond, so a tiled mosaic pond is in its place, with a small walkable bridge over it. To the left of the building is a great old Milan Guanko tiki.
Inside, the restaurant is dark and mysterious, with no windows, and much of the original decor still in place. A former aviary behind the bar is a jarring flash of light -- it used to house parrots, then a lizard cage, now it is used as an outdoor patio space. Large bamboo, gorgeous light fixtures, and tikis aplenty are throughout. The room is structured with smaller sub-rooms encased by bamboo and thatch dividers, giving a feeling of coziness and mystery.
The menus are standard fare for an old tiki bar -- barbecue ribs & similar items for food, and lots of tropical drinks (though a bit on the sweet & sugary side).
Today, the Kon Tiki's future continues to look very bright. It has been kept open through the years with a never-ending supply of college kids who love the place and keep it packed on weekends. These people are who we have to thank for keeping the place alive, but it's a bit more enjoyable when visited earlier in the day or on a weeknight, when the music is more in keeping with the environs and the place isn't so packed with bodies that the decor can't be seen.
In recent years the management has been working on spiffing up the place, while keeping it classic. The Kon Tiki now has their own tiki mug, designed for the Milan Guanko tiki outside, and has undergone some sprucing up courtesy of Bamboo Ben. A new Bamboo Ben bar looks like it has always been there.

Comments

MelloMan
MelloMan is a semi-regular at Kon Tiki Lounge.
June 24, 2018, 12:07 PM
Kon Tiki has been in Tucson since 1961. My first visit was in the late 90s when I lived across the street. Now in 2018 it looks almost identical except for the aviary being turned into an outdoor patio area of the bar. The decor hasn't changed but has been maintained and kept fresh. It's a perfect tiki bar with dark side rooms, float lights, not an inch of undecorated area. The only downsides are sitting at the bar looking out through the former aviary window you now see the patio and at one spot the office building behind with florescent lights - they gotta plant a bamboo wall in front to keep from breaking the illusion. The night crowd is there to drink. A great spot.
C-Monkey
C-Monkey has visited Kon Tiki Lounge.
April 20, 2018, 4:29 PM
I dropped in during a visit to Tucson with my family and really wished this place were in the LA area. It's becoming harder and harder to find old school places that include a cool bar, dining rooms tucked away in shadowy corners lit by glass float lamps, and - bottom line - lots of floor space dedicated to creating that feeling of escape from the outside world. This is one of those places! The drinks are okay, and the food is pretty good, but the vibe and service are awesome. This is clearly a place that cares a lot about honoring its roots.
Oidarnam
Oidarnam has visited Kon Tiki Lounge.
April 11, 2018, 6:42 PM
This is one of those very few, special places left where you walk in and instantly say to yourself 'Oh, yeah!!!' The drinks were okay, the food was okay, the service was exceptional. It should be on the historic tiki register--if there is such a thing? Keep Tuscon Tiki ALIVE!
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Upcoming Visits
Regulars & Visitors
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View all 138 Kon Tiki Lounge regulars & visitors