Inspired by Florida's famed Mai-Kai restaurant, Bill Sapp and Lee Henry opened the Kahiki Supper Club in 1961. Patrons lined up for hours to see the celebrities who dined there--everyone from Betty White to Raymond Burr.
Sapp and Henry set out simply to build a nice Polynesian restaurant and ended up establishing the most magnificent one of them all. Outside, two giant Easter Island heads with flames spouting from their topknots stood guard while customers dined in a faux tribal village with thatched huts, palm trees and a towering fireplace moai. One wall featured aquariums of exotic fish and another had windows overlooking a tropical rainforest with periodic thunderstorms. For nearly forty years, the Kahiki was the undisputed center of tiki culture.