I am not absolutely sure, but I think my old friend and artistic mentor,
Saint Clair Homer ("Homma") carved the two Tiki
God figures that held up the porte cochere at the "Jade East" restaurant.
I helped him carve two twenty foot "Totem Poles" for the old 101 Ranch in
about 1960? And I heard that he may have done the Tikis.
I ate at Jade East about a year before it closed and was overwhelmed by the
cockroaches coming out of the rattan wall covering. WOW!
Woody, Homma, and the
101 Ranch totems
A man's blind date nightmare, or a dog's fire hydrant
Neither...it's one of the giant Jade East Tikis!
|(from Guestbook 107 and email) Kevin Reiswig said:
I love your Tulsa Tiki web page. A friend sent the link to me and thought
it might interest you to know that I actually purchased the two 10' solid
redwood Tiki statues from the old Jade East Restaurant at 41st and Memorial.
This is the female pictured with me beside it. Both statues are in my backyard
overlooking my koi pond. I was so excited to see who might have carved them,
I had no idea about how to find out. Thanks for your information.
Thank you for a major art-tiki-logical find, Kevin!
The Ricsha on Brookside (photo courtesy
of the Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library
& Tulsa Historical Society)
|Jade East was owned by Henry Jin, who also owned the Ricsha
He passed away in 1993 (probably the beginning of the decline of the Jade
He and Jade East won a competition of menu idea exchanges from throughout
the world. Jade East was home to the Shanghai Lounge.
|Matchbook cover from the Jade East. Kathy Hamlin: "The fancy lounges
often had bridges that you walked across into the new dimension of
After putting the Jade East story out here, I found this note at
www.tikinews.com from 1999:
"I grew up in Tulsa and moved away about 12
years ago. Since moving away from Tulsa, I have gotten into Tiki Bars. I
have vague memories of a Chinese/Polynesian restaurant at the corner of 41st
and Memorial. I think it might have been called "Jade East". When I lived
in Tulsa I happened to step inside this place to see if I could find a phone
to use and thought it was very unusual. But, not knowing what a Tiki bar
or restaurant was at the time I did not appreciate it for what it was.
"Years later, I went to Tulsa for a visit and tried to track this place down
and found to my great disappointment that it had been torn down and replaced
by a Burger King.
"Can anyone give me some background on this place? Did they serve Tiki Drinks
like Zombies, Blue Hawaiians, Mai Tais? (Well, probably not alcoholic ones,
since Oklahoma did not have liquor by the drink
when I was growing up there.) If they did serve some type of Tiki Drinks,
were they served in fancy mugs? I would be interested in memories, photos,
or stuff like matchbooks, mugs, etc... from this place."
Lorrie Akins, Chicago
(Left: Lorrie at Trader Vic's in Chicago.)
I left a note for Lorrie on this page, who discovered it on February 26,
(from Guestbook 102) Lorrie Akins said:
"I went to the Tulsa Tiki website and was astounded to see that the author
of the page wanted to talk to me - Lorrie Akins. I was born and raised in
Tulsa, Ok. I lived there until about 1982 when I went off to college in Texas
and later to Illinois. I got into Tiki while living in California. By that
time all of the Tiki stuff that I was never aware of while living in Tulsa
was all gone. Boo-Hoo!!!!!
"I am very happy to now live in a town that hasn't destroyed all of its Tiki
stuff. I even have a Tiki bar in my basement and run with a crowd of Tiki
maniacs who also have Tiki bars in their house. I know the Trade Winds had
some fantastic Tiki mugs, but what about the Jade East? Do you know of any
Tiki places left anywhere in the surrounding areas of
The Jade East was not torn down; it has been completely remodeled and is
now Tokyo Garden. Bamboo curtains, a rockface
waterfall and the bridge over a koi pond are still there. The Tulsa World
gave it 3 stars, and we found the food and atmosphere excellent.
The Tiki Lounge out east is still in existence, but I don't think it leans
too heavily on the Tiki motif at this point.
Thanks for writing, Lorrie!
Gallery now features photos of the Tokyo Garden. The book
Road Trip used some of the info from the Tulsa Tiki page.