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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Your Tonga Room News Roundup: What Does It All Mean?

Posted By on Thu, May 6, 2010 at 4:37 PM

click to enlarge DOUG LETTERMAN/FLICKR

It seems odd that the Fairmont wants to close the Tonga Room just as neo-neo-tiki is blowing up in artisan-cocktail circles. (Today, for instance, the New York Times reported on the opening of yet another rum bar.)

Though it has been a while since we've been to a birthday party at the Tonga Room, and a few decades since we ordered anything to eat. But that's not important! We are San Franciscans and we love the Tonga Room! The memory of those drunken tourists groovin' to Gloria Estefan covers on the pirate ship while the thunder roars and we snickered on the sidelines is always in our hearts.

Have we saved it? Is it doomed? Is the decor going to be sold off to the Hanoi Metropol, where other tourists will enjoy it even more? The reports are conflicting. Read through them all and report back:

Curbed SF, 4/28: New Residential Fairmont Tower Revealed! Tonga Room to Be Saved!
Grub Street, 5/3: The Tonga Room Is Saved!
Curbed SF, 5/5: Fairmont's Owners Aren't All That Interested in Keeping the Tonga Room
SFist, 5/5: Tonga Room's Fate to Be (Possibly) Decided Today
Our own Joe Eskenazi at SF Weekly, 5/5: The Tonga Room: Historical or Hysterical?

SF Chronicle, 5/5: Fairmont, Preservationists at Odds Over the Tonga Room, 5/5: Pro Con List and the Tonga Room
Examiner, 5/6: Fairmont Tower Faces Criticism

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Jonathan Kauffman


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