Apr 24, 2023 - News

Pop-up tiki bar in Salt Lake City offers sweet, tropical-themed sips

Paradise Parlor. Photo: Kim Bojórquez

Salt Lake City's newest tiki bar offers its guests island-themed cocktails to sip in a deeply immersive space.

The intrigue: Paradise Parlor, a pop-up watering hole that opened last Thursday, takes over the speakeasy inside Flanker Kitchen + Sporting Club.

Carver Road Hospitality, the Las Vegas restaurant group that operates Flanker Kitchen, is behind the new concept.

Details: From floor to ceiling, the festive bar is adorned with umbrellas, colorful lights, faux flowers and vegetation. TV screens play the 1961 film "Blue Hawaii," starring Elvis Presley.

  • The lively environment is set to ukulele tunes and a DJ, plus, pins falling at the bowling alley.
  • Meanwhile, bartenders and wait staff wear Hawaiian shirts and leis around their necks.
Paradise Parlor's Wiki Wiki cocktail. Photo: Kim Bojórquez/Axios

What they're saying: Bryan Bass, the restaurant group's chief marketing officer, told Axios that Flanker Kitchen's small bar "lends itself" to the "experiential installation."

  • The space was converted into a Christmas-themed bar for last year's holiday season.

Context: The tiki bar concept emerged in California in the 1930s and took off post-World War II between the '50s and '60s, the New York Times reports.

  • The island theme served as a portal for guests to "escape" their struggles amid the Great Depression.
  • Today, tiki bars are enjoying a renaissance.
  • "We kind of saw the popularity of it, and we said, 'Let's do something for the summer,'" Bass said.

Yes, but: Concerns about tiki bars promoting stereotypes and colonialism and their history of cultural appropriation remain.

💭 Kim's thought bubble: Of the four drinks I sampled, the Wiki Wiki, served in a pineapple-shaped cup, was my favorite thanks to the sweet rum layered with passionfruit and fresh lime flavors.

The pop-up is expected to stay open through the end of summer, though no hard end date has been determined, according to Bass.

  • It's open Thursday through Saturday. Guests can make reservations through OpenTable.

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