A small new bar opening this weekend could end up making big waves for the city of Glendale. The CanTiki at 1300 S. Brand Boulevard is meant to be a “cantina-style cocktail bar with tiki flair,” reps tell Eater, meaning lush and leafy wallpaper, lots of teal to go along with the wood and brick, and drinks that often lean into rum, banana, and coconut flavors.
The CanTiki, which opens on Friday October 29, is something of a return for the quirky, hiding-in-plain-sight space next door to the Subaru dealership along Glendale’s famed Brand Boulevard of Cars. The two teams behind the new bar, Knitting Factory Entertainment and the Buckhead Group (of Big Wangs and Tipsy Cow fame), had originally wanted to open an outpost of Tejano in that same space, but their planned opening date was March 15, 2020 — the first day of stay-at-home orders as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In the intervening year-plus the groups pivoted to the CanTiki and partnered with bartender Amanda “Sassy” Sasser (All’Acqua) on the tropical drinks. The menu includes several familiar riffs, like a painkiller/mai tai mash-up and a house Hemingway-style daiquiri; there will even be cocktails on draft, including scorpion bowls. Some of the opening drinks are below, though simple and straightforward cocktails will also be available.
As for the space itself, expect a few small booths, a long bar, and room for a small stage, piano, and even a DJ booth for weekend events. Don’t expect the full thatched roof experience like at timeless Glendale tiki steakhouse and bar Damon’s up the street, or the full collection of tropical drinks and ephemera found at Tiki Ti over in Los Feliz, but still the new CanTiki shows there’s room for more flair in LA’s laid-back drinking scene. The CanTiki opens Friday, October 29, with hours from 5 p.m. to late.