The answer is as bold as it’s easy: because the idea of being unique in the field was strong.
Tikis are idols originating in the Marquesas Islands, 2500 years ago; carved from lava stone, abundant in Polynesian territories, they were meant to be good omen for fertility and wealth.
Opposite to what had happened in the far Pacific, in Italy there’s never been a good omen for the studying and spreading of Tiki culture, nor of esotic mixology.
That’s why, along the path of masters Ernest Raymond Beaumont “Don Beach” Gantt, Victor “Trader” Jules Bergeron Jr, Jeff “Beach Bum” Berry, and our Daniele Dalla Pola and Gianni Zottola, we decided to brink Tiki and tropical mixology to Rome. What we could perceive was a need, felt by the people that liven up Roman nightlife, a need for something absent on our local scene, for something new. Then our passion for tropical mixology did the remainder.
Our initiative to bring to our world the culture of Polynesian hospitality takes place at a moment where all bars (and bartenders) take themselves a bit too seriously. A moment where there’s little trace around of what our job is supposed to mean: smile and fun.
A Tiki bar needs to have, among its main features, the one to carry the customer intoanother world, that must be isolated from the outside, with no windows nor any other form of contact towards the surrounding city environment. This is why we chose the place that now hosts Makai’s secret bar. Every object down there has a story, that we’re always happy to tell. Everything in there is just priceless to us. No detail is left to chance.
The story goes that Don Beach used to simulate heavy rain to discourage the clients of his bar from getting off their comfortable chairs as they were about to leave. This could happen only in a place completely detached from reality.
And this is why for us it’s a matter of pride when, every time a customer comes through the door of our secret jewel, half smiling and half surprised he mutters something like: “the feeling is like re-emerging in another dimension”. That’s where we understand that we’re on the right track. That, in the end, we’re doing a good job.
Makai Surf & Tiki bar