The new Trader Vic's Lounge opened promptly at 5pm yesterday at the Beverly Hilton, and exactly as suspected, it's more an homage to the original than a replication. Yes, there are tiki candles, a canoe hanging over head, some sailing prints on the walls, retro surfing scenes looped on plasma TVs, but it lacks soul. What eased our pain: The free drinks and appetizers for anyone who showed up on opening night. Who knew? A few original staff members were behind the bar and serving, and the GM happily greeted guests. We're not saying this is better or even comes close to the original, but we are partial to the floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that open to a large patio. There's something to be said for drinking a fruity tropical drink outside. Better still: The parking lot and valet are free for the first four hours (with validation), and the lounge is open 11am to 2am daily. Afternoon Mai Tais anyone? Oh. Yes.
· Trader Vic's Lounge Opens Today [~ELA~]