Don The Beachcombers Closes – It’s Official, the last Mai Tai was poured at 7:44 pm.
After Donn Beach past away, former LA City Councilman Art Snyder grabbed the Tiki’s and headed south to Sunset Beach California. Taking over the old Sams Fish restaurant, and of course Tiki-ing up the place a bit, Don The Beachcombers was back from the dead. After Art past away in 2012, his wife Delia Wu-Snyder continued to run the restaurant until today. Mrs Wu-Snyder cited increasing rent as the primary reason for choosing to close the doors.
Friday Mrs. Wu-Snyder made the official announcement in a signed letter that today would be the last day. Tiki Culture fans from all over SoCal arrived to see the last day. While none of the regular bands like Robbie Armstrong, Cat Reed, The Hula Girls or Fully Fullwoods Reggae were there, Karaoke was shared by all until the last Mai Tai was poured.
Closing Don the Beachcombers after nearly 10 years was tough on a very loyal crowd that grew up with the old Sam’s Fish and made the transition when Art and Delia Snyder recreated the Don The Beachcombers experience in Sunset Beach.
Outside, a small pop up fan group played a couple of songs led by Spike Marble of the Hula Girls with a surprise visit from the Tiki Oasis Tiki Head.
The last operating Don The Beachcombers location in the Royal Kona Resort hotel in Kona Hawaii is not related to the Sunset Beach location that closed. The original founder of Don the Beachcombers, Ernest Gantt (aka Don Beach) lost the US mainland based Don The Beachcombers locations to his ex wife.
Since Hawaii was not a state at that time, Donn Beach relocated and opened Don The Beachcombers in the Hawaiian islands and created the famed International Marketplace in Waikiki which has recently been replaced by a shopping center. The famed banyan tree office has been turned into a historical monument at the center of the new building.