The Mai-Kai Restaurant, embellished in lush greenery, bamboo and decorative Polynesian treasures such as carved stone heads and colorful lanterns, has been a Fort Lauderdale staple since 1956.
The exotic establishment will celebrate 60 years on Wednesday, Dec. 28, a day the Broward County Commission also has deemed "Mai-Kai Restaurant and Polynesian Show Day."
"The proclamation is to celebrate their 60th anniversary of the restaurant, the culture and what it means to Broward County and Fort Lauderdale," Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca says. "I've lived in that district since 1971, and they were there 15 years prior to that so I was surprised they hadn't been recognized with a proclamation prior to that. I wanted to make sure there was a special day for them when they turned 60. A lot of the same people who were there the entire time the restaurant's been there are still involved."
The restaurant will host authors Sven Kirsten and Tim Glazner, both of whom have written about the Mai-Kai and the importance of tiki culture. The first of the two hour-long talks begins at 2 p.m., with book signings following at 4 p.m.
Enjoy an extended happy hour from 3:30 to 7 p.m. with 50 percent off drinks and appetizers. Three "lost cocktails" will be revived from Mai-Kai's original 1956 cocktail menu. The rum-based beverages Demerra Float, Impatient Virgin and Last Rites range from $12 to $15.
"We're so excited," says Pia Dahlquist, director of sales and marketing. "There's so many people coming from the whole United States to celebrate with us. It's really nice. A lot of good spirits."
The restaurant, which was named a historic landmark in 2014 and "world's best tiki bar" by Critiki in 2015 and 2016, will unveil a new tiki in the garden.
And at 7 and 9:30 p.m., the Mai-Kai will debut its new Polynesian dinner show.
The Mai-Kai Restaurant will open at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 28; 3599 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-563-3272 or go to MaiKai.com.