Open Door: A Peek into an Unbelievable SoBro Tiki Bar
Bob Cripe and Wendy Clay are Indy’s biggest tiki enthusiasts. We scored an invite to their Polynesian hideaway in SoBro—and a freshly squeezed mai tai.
Hover over or tap the image for details.
NETTING: The ceiling netting at Frankie’s Tiki Room in Las Vegas inspired this look.
JAPANESE FLOATS: These hanging globes were used by fishermen in the 1800s and 1900s to keep their nets afloat.
CUPBOARD: Bob built the liquor cabinet, complete with chalkboards, to showcase the couple’s favorite tiki-themed libations.
RUM: Among the couple’s stash, Lemon Hart 151 is a favorite. “It smells like pancake syrup,” Wendy says.
UKULELE: Bob, an experienced musician, whips this out occasionally when friends are visiting.
COCKTAILS: Wendy, a former barista at Monon Coffee Company, mans the bar. “Some people can make tiki drinks, some people can’t—it’s like playing a guitar,” Bob says.
CLOTHING: The couple’s parties have a suggested dress code: vintage Hawaiian shirts and dresses, of course.
DRINKWARE: “Mug” is the proper term for the carved goblet a tiki drink is served in. The couple collects them and aptly owns a “Tiki Bob” design that’s worth $100.
CARVINGS: Bob taught himself how to make tiki wood carvings. “I go at it with a chainsaw grinder,” he says. “Then I burn it and stain it.”
TELEVISION: Bob edited together five hours worth of beach-themed footage from movies. It plays on a constant loop.
BAR: They covered the base with bamboo, an essential feature of a true tiki room, Bob says.
COFFEE TABLE: Rattan furniture, like this Midland piece, was big during the rise of tiki culture in the U.S.