BarView – Tiki Lounge

The Tiki Lounge By Kate Serpa

If mybooze-soaked brain remembers correctly, TIki Lounge was the first ever bar column I did for ModestoView. This was years ago, of course, and backwhen I thought I was cool for having a pen name and (really, really) stupidcatchphrases. Luckily, I’ve matured to the level of columnist who is satisfied with slipping-in sexual innuendos, self-deprecating humor about my onset alcoholism, and theoccasional bad word (just to see if I can get it past the editors). My point is that I’ve been a big fan of Tiki since my earliest drinking days; it has always been synonymous with heavy-handed drinks, very fun late nights with friends, and some other stuff that wouldn’t be appropriate to talk about at this exact time. I don’t believe I am alone when I say I consider Tiki to be a Modesto landmark bar insomuch that it stands out as one of the two gaybars in our community. Both, it should be noted, are excellent fun.

I love it that the initial reaction to Tiki is still: “You know it’s a GAY bar right?” No s**t people, that’s part of appeal. While talking with the lovely Zantha Towe about all things Tiki, I asked what she would say tosomeone (ex: wary heterosexual males) who would never would think to find themselves in a gay bar. She stated, “If someone doesn’t want to come, they don’t have to. Our first rule is to respect and welcome everyone, as long as you want to have fun. And I guarantee if you do, you’ll leave having had a hell of an experience. We may get as packed as sardines in here on weekends, but it’s always a fun time.” In short: everyone is welcome, everyone can come, let’s all leave our hang-ups in the closet.

Towe,pre-Tiki days, was previously a mortgage broker who decided to make a big career switch after the market crash. She stated it was important to her to be doing something that she loves and she’s been putting that into action at the Tiki ever since. Zantha states simply: “I’m lucky. If I didn’t have the great customer base and dedicated bartenders I have, it wouldn’t be worth it. I have a rewarding job and I’m proud of what we’ve done here.”

Tiki,open 365 and always sans cover, offers up live music, karaoke nights (“It’s like gay church. We put the music up on the TV screens and everyone sings along.”), an indoor fire pit, an extensive bar driven by charismatic bartenders, build-your-own Bloody Mary events, and is home base to Modesto PRIDE’s official after-party (which is coming up soon!). Says Zantha about the PRIDE after-party: “It brings in a ton of people who have never been here before. We get the straight guys with their girlfriends who havenever been and realize that everyone does have fun here. If you come back at least three times, you’ll be hooked after that. We’re one of the best places around for birthdays, too.” As a person who has had a birthday at Tiki, Zantha is speaking true. At least, the parts I remember were fantastic.

Wheredoes Zantha go to drink when she’s off for a night? “I come here! This is the best place to be. Where else would I go? Tiki is throwing the best party in town every night.”

Bar recipe The Visually Awesome CoronaRita What you need: -A Corona -A Margarita -A straw (optional)

What you do: -Stick the Corona neck-down into the margarita -Add straw (maybe) -Enjoy.

HappyHour: 5-8pm Daily, until 11pm Wednesdays Tuesdays- Karaoke with DJ Andre at 8 pm Wig Out Wednesdays- 3rd Wednesday of each month Thursdays- DJ Andre Fridays- **** Me Right Fridays with DJ Invisible Saturdays- DJ Andre Sundays- BBQ and Build your own Bloody Mary Bar—A great hangover day

September 17—Modesto Pride Official Afterparty!

932 McHenry Ave. Modesto, CA



Posted in: featured, food & drink

About the Author:

Kate Serpa does not live in Modesto, CA, nor does she attend court-reporting school. She has not played for the piano for a number of years and she is definitely not excited about helping out at the McHenry Museum. She detests drinking, bar hopping, and late night adventures, and thinks girls who dye their hair red are disgraceful. She has absolutely zero sense of humor and is boring as hell.