Earlier this month, 4 Kahunas Tiki Lounge arrived in Arlington, bringing the metroplex a brand new destination for Polynesian-inspired libations.
Co-owner Chris Powell tells Eater that the bar at 506 East Division Street in Arlington quietly opened its doors earlier this month, and has been hard at work training staff and tweaking the menu to prepare for the bar’s big grand opening party in July. According to Powell, he and his team traveled to more than 50 tiki bars in the United States and beyond to build the right island vibe and cocktail menu.
The bar’s menu is packed with classic tiki drinks like the Painkiller, a creamy coconut-based cocktail made with Navy rum, and the Zombie, an absurdly potent libation that involves multiple rums. In keeping with tiki tradition, the bartenders at 4 Kahunas eschew bottled mixes in favor of fresh juices and syrups like falernum and orgeat made at the bar. For folks drinking with a group, affordable punch bowls are on offer, like the Volcano bowl, a mix of fruit juice and four different rums that will ply three or four drinkers with a buzz for less than $40.
For folks who are unfamiliar with the tiki phenomenon, the bars are a throwback to the country’s post-Depression obsession with Polynesian culture and the cocktails that accompanied it. The cocktail craze was fueled by Donn “Don The Beachcomber” Beach, and Victor Bergeron, who founded iconic tiki-inspired restaurant chain Trader Vic’s. A local outpost of Trader Vic’s was Dallas’ last true tiki bar, and it closed its doors in 2010.
4 Kahunas is now open from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and noon to midnight on Sunday. The bar will host a grand opening shindig on July 14, complete with live surf music.