In the beginning, Chris Goetzke was struck by a strange affliction: Everywhere he looked, he saw Tiki.
First, a Tiki bar on his back deck. Then, a Tiki bar in the boathouse at his family’s cabin. And that not being enough, he went in search of palm trees. Not finding any, he located a manufacturer of theme-park quality artificial palms. He found one, and stuck it in the ground near his Tiki bar. It was cool.
“I thought, other people are going to want to buy these.” So he struck a deal with the manufacturer, and started selling them.
Out the window went his secure corporate job. What had begun as an innocent endearment with Hawaii and Polynesian culture now led Goetzke into the not-at-all secure land of Tiki.
One day, he stumbled into a vacant restaurant space in Stillwater’s Grand Garage shops. He called his wife. “Hey, we should open a Tiki bar!”
“You’re pretty stupid,” came the only sensible reply from a spouse on the receiving end of that proposition.
He got the bar.
They’ve been up and running about two months, and things are going great. If you’ve ever been to Stillwater’s main drag, you’ll think, “Why in Blue Hawaii hasn’t there always been a Tiki bar in Stillwater?!” But now there is. With theme-park quality artificial palm trees, naturally.
All the Tiki drinks you care to tipple are here, from old classics like the Bahama Mama, to newfangled stuff culled from Goetzke’s cabin-tinkering and his bar consultants. Try the "Tahitian Outrigger" with "mysery flavors," if you dare.
A tiny kitchen means a limited food menu, so a list of small plates and “tidbits” with an appropriately kitschy bent provide your drinking base. Sweet and sour glazed luau pork wings and coconut shrimp are there, as are SPAM sliders that Goezke promises will rid you of any SPAM snobbery.
There’s entertainment, too. Do you remember the old Bali Hai Polynesian restaurant on White Bear Avenue? The Tilted Tiki has some of the same dancers from that beloved old institution (and their kids, who’ve picked up the family tradition!) Plus there's live music, hula shows, and other special events like a challenge to wear your beachwear all winter long -- you'll get 5 percent off your bill if you do.
Goezke just wants you to feel like you’re on vacation, that’s all. And you want to feel like you’re on vacation, right? The Tilted Tiki will even sell you an artificial palm tree. Find me a hipster bar that can do that.
324 S Main Street, Stillwater