Serentikity (noun) ser·en·tik·i·ty | \ ˌser-ən-ˈtē-kē-tē \ : the occurrence and development of tiki events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. // “They found the carving by pure serentikity.”
I’d venture to say that Rob and Trish have excellent serentikity. They’ve been in the right place at the right time to score some amazing tiki collectibles on more than one occasion. Step inside the Cannibal Lounge, their home bar in Orlando, Florida, and you’ll agree with me. It’s a paradise.
When Rob and Trish began to design the Cannibal Lounge, they decided to attend a carver’s gathering hosted by Benzart, a.k.a. Ben Davis, a famous tiki artist and carver based in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. Although Rob and Trish were not carvers, they wanted to soak in some tiki vibes to get inspired for the home bar build. What could be better? They were surrounded by aspiring artists armed with chainsaws and chisels who had come to learn the art of tiki carving. As they soaked in atmosphere, they met Will Anders, a “small guy that carves big” from South Florida. Those familiar with the Mai Kai know that Will is also a famous carver who has crafted many of the tiki carvings and sculptures in the gardens of the Mai Kai. Best yet, Will happened to have brought one of his large carvings to the gathering. It was a stunning root ball tiki casually propped up against a tree.
Rob took one look at the root ball tiki and thought: “You know. That might work.”
They purchased the tiki on the spot. Did they measure it? Nope. Did they consider how they were going to transport it home? Nope. Didn’t matter. They’d figure it out. It was one of their first moments of serentikity. It was the right tiki at the right time in the right place. Trish confided to me later that it barely fit in the SUV. With the tiki’s feet on the dashboard, and Trish sitting underneath, they made it work. Once home, the carving became the focal point of the Cannibal Lounge.
Serentikity has struck this couple more than once. Another example? Rob and Trish were admiring the vintage handcrafted sea creature lamps while sitting at the bar with Jeff “Beachbum”Berry two weeks after Lattitude 29 opened. Rob had to inquire of their origin. Jeff replied “Funny you should ask that. I got these from a tiki collector here, just across the river in Metairie. I think she may have more to sell – would you like her number?” Rob, attempting not to fall all over himself, answered with enthusiasm: “yes, please.” You have one guess where they were the next day.
Rob and Trish have many wonderful stories to tell. There was that time when they acquired a Leeteg. There was that moment when they acquired Mai Kai chairs. Or, that time when they acquired a vintage shell lamp as a finder’s fee. Or the Witco. Or their most recent collaboration with Typhoon Tommy to refurbish their bar. Serentikity happens, and often for this passionate collector couple.
Trish summed up what many tiki people know well: “You ask one person something, you make a connection, and that leads to new friends and new finds.” I can bear witness. Tiki people are known for being resourceful, welcoming, and friendly. It’s a community that shares its knowledge, skills, and connections with aloha nui loa.
As Rob poured me his “Danger Island” (a tasty daiquiri-inspired concoction with a combination of OFTD, Doctor Bird, Falernum and lime), I appealed to the tiki gods that the trade winds might also push me toward a few islands of serentikity as well.