Auld Reekie Tiki Bar

43b Frederick Street, Edinburgh

What is it? Tropical-themed “Tiki” bars have been around since the 1930s, and back in 2010 a young man had a vision of bringing the culture to Glasgow. Ian McColm, along with his father and some family members, spent six months building and designing Tiki Bar & Kitsch Inn on Bath Street. Eight years on the Glasgow bar and restaurant is still going strong, so they decided to bring some Tiki sunshine to the capital.

Interesting fact: Tiki bar culture can be traced back to America, and a man nicknamed Don the Beachcomber – former bootlegger Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt, who opened a bar called Don’s Beachcomber in 1933 in Los Angeles. Gantt wanted to recreate the atmosphere he had experienced while travelling around the Caribbean and South Pacific. What he created in LA was a laid-back atmosphere of total escapism that has seen Tiki bars now in every major city on the planet.

Verdict: I remember coming to Po Na Na nightclub when it was in this spot about 20 years ago. The venue has been transformed into an authentic Tiki paradise. I am not sure which I now prefer – the Glasgow or Edinburgh version. There are a few Tiki bars in Edinburgh but Auld Reekie Tiki is a welcome addition.

Drink: The drinks associated with Tiki culture are what has brought the concept back to popularity. The beverages are often elaborately garnished and packed with rum and fresh juices all served from authentic ceramic Tiki mugs. Here, they take their fun Tiki drinks very seriously with a collection of classics and their own variations of tropical serves. I had to go for an old favourite of mine (mostly because I created it) – The Rum Bongo, which is an adult version of the fruity fusion Um Bongo. It consists of Bacardi rum, apricot, orange, apple, mango, passion fruit, pineapple and lime.

Food: The food here is not an afterthought. The original Tiki bars used Polynesian and Thai influences when creating their food menus, and that is exactly what they have done here. The Glasgow bar has never let me down when it comes to the food so I was hoping for more of the same here and I’m pleased to say that I wasn’t disappointed. I opted for the Massaman beef curry, which is a southern Thai dish that consists of succulent slow-cooked beef, potatoes and peanuts, served with jasmine rice – all for £11.

Prices: There are specials on all the time to keep its fans happy.

Children: No kids allowed in as yet.

Alfresco: Like its Glasgow sister bar there is a nice outside area to catch those summer rays.

Perfect for: The Auld Reekie Tiki ticks a lot of boxes. You could have some delicious food then just kick back with some cocktails. The place is also a great late night alternative when you just want to have some fun.

Avoid if: You prefer your bars to be modern and pretentious.

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