Your tiki devotion might be serious when you find yourself driving back and forth through a blizzard for a chance of some Witco.
There was already 8 inches of snow on the ground when Randy mentioned to Paul that he’d seen a posting for an estate sale about 45 minutes away. It had all of the promising buzz words … a hammerhead shark, mounted fish, a basement bar … but Paul quickly dismissed the idea and watched the snow get a little deeper. A few hours later, Paul was having second thoughts. Maybe they might have something? Who doesn’t like a nice car ride in the driving snow? Something told him to go. So Paul, Randy, and Jim piled into the car (why take the SUV? – it’s just snow) and headed out.
When they arrived at the estate sale, they made a b-line for the basement. There it was – a stunning Witco bar and two stools. Paul was in the middle of deciding he had no room for it, when Jim interrupted him: “You are going to buy that bar.” It was a declarative sentence, not a question. Jim added “You will kick yourself if you don’t buy it.” He was right. So Paul headed back to the seller to see if he could talk down the price. “Can you do any better?” The seller responded with smug confidence: “I think it will sell at full price. I’ve already had some inquiries.” Sure enough, when Paul made his way back to the basement, there were two other potential buyers circling the bar like sharks on an unsuspecting surfer. That’s all it took. Paul ran back to the seller and paid full price.
It was still snowing. And just to be crystal clear, a Witco bar does not fit in a regular car. So, the stools sat on the laps of Jim and Randy for the trip home. Two icy hours later, Paul had picked up the SUV, made his was back and forth navigating a winter blizzard wonderland, and the infamous Witco bar finally found it’s new home at the Boom Boom Room, Paul, Randy, and Jim’s home tiki bar.
Who wouldn’t want to hang out in a Boom Boom Room? Although Paul came up with the name as a joke after watching an episode of a Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, the name pushes all the right buttons. Boom Boom Room evokes a mid-century, seedy place to have a drink and get a little (more than) intimate. Not to mention there’s a whole history of cool places with the same name. Paul, Jim, and Randy’s version includes some amazing Witco furniture, 40s Hawaiiana collectibles, vintage lamps, and much more. What used to be a back porch is now a four-season romper room filled with tiki.
Paul is an expert at thrifting and dedicated to tiki. He’s the guy you want on your side when you’re on the hunt for obscure tiki finds. Paul once found an authentic Steve Crane tiki bowl for $10. He’s the guy that friends could count on to show up at the tiki bar gathering in the dead of winter in snowy Pittsburgh. He’s known for descending like a locust on a estate sale. It’s likely because Paul was deprived of things considered “tacky” when he was growing up. His mother wanted a classier life for Paul. There were equestrian lessons and figure skating opportunities. He remembers riding in the car with his mother on his way to these lessons and passing a place called “Hawaiian Cottage” but never being allowed to stop. Hawaiian Cottage was local mid-century establishment complete with a giant pineapple-shaped gift shop. Sounds like fun, right? It’s now sadly long-gone, and Paul never got the chance to visit. But, he now owns several collectibles found from years of thrifting.
I’d suggest that Paul, Randy, and Jim have a quite the swanky life. I mean, what’s more high-class than sipping on a cocktail while sitting at a fancy Witco bar in a Boom Boom Room in a blizzard? Can’t think of it.