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Tiki Paradise Bahooka To Be Reborn
Bahooka, the epic tiki shipwreck restaurant in Rosemead, served their final mai tai on March 9th. By Christmas the labyrinth of tikis, boats, and artifacts from the islands will be reborn inside another landmark, Clifton’s Cafeteria. “I ended up buying all their marquee items,” said Andrew Meieran, owner of Clifton’s. The boatloads of decor date back almost 50 years, some to the first Bahooka location, and will grace a 21st century version of Clifton’s original Pacific Seas Cafeteria, an over-the-top island paradise that was long ago replaced with a parking lot. “We’ll have the tikis, the gas pumps, the canoes. The diving helmet is a beautiful thing. It was used to collect donations for the City of Hope. One of our messages is social responsibilty, so it will be used for that.” Thousands of tiki fans waited up to four hours for their last Bahooka meal during the final weeks and soaked up the ambience for what they thought was the last time. “We’re taking a little Southern California legend and fusing it into the Clifton’s legacy,” said Meieran.”We’re losing one and somehow it’s all coming back together.”