Monday, September 6, 2010

Follow-up to my Royal Tahitian post

On March 3, 2009, I photoblogged a poster that I saw in the Applebee's in Ontario International Airport. Because the poster listed musicians, I posted it to my Empoprise-MU music blog. However, it talked about a local place - the Royal Tahitian. The post, entitled "At the Royal Tahitian, circa 1966," mentioned that I knew nothing about the establishment, other than the fact that Pearl Bailey, Sarah Vaughan, and Louis Armstrong had apparently performed there in 1966.

Leave it to David Allen, in a September 4 post in his blog, to fill in some of the gaps.

The Royal Tahitian operated in Ontario from 1960 to 1967 at Whispering Lakes Golf Course.

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Afterward the building became the clubhouse for the golf course (at 2525 E Riverside Drive, Ontario CA 91761), but Allen reports that the clubhouse was closed in April, and the building is slated to be demolished.

Be sure to visit Allen's post for some before and after pictures, including some handbills from the heyday of the Royal Tahitian. Some of the other performers included the Four Tops, James Brown, and Ray Charles. Also see the Sunday article that Allen wrote in his paying gig, the Daily Bulletin.

But it wasn't just about the music, according to Critiki:

The Royal Tahitian claimed to be the world's largest Polynesian restaurant, with 250 acres of tropical landscaping and "lagoons" -- however, this was simply a reference to the Ontario National Golf Course nextdoor. The main floor was the restaurant, with a bar downstairs, and a show area outside. It featured a dramatic asymmetrical swooping A-frame entrance.

However, Critiki also claims that the building was demolished in 2003. Frankly, I trust David Allen on this one - unless the golf course happened to have TWO buildings with dramatic asymmetrical swooping A-frames. Perhaps there are multiple Royal Tahitians, just like there are multiple Doyle Owls. (And no, I don't think Reed College's Doyle Owl has ever appeared at the Whispering Lakes Golf Course.)

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