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Posts Tagged ‘Cocktail’

Looking for a cool place for a classic cocktail, live music and all around hip scene with a vintage vibe? Then look no further than The Blue Comet in Glenside, PA.

The Blue Comet Exterior Sign

I’ve already told you how excited we were to find that The Blue Comet had reopened after being closed for 2 years, and I was psyched that RetroRoadhusband and I were able to visit there recently before-and after- a show at the Keswick Theatre for a swell date night! And since I’m hunkered down at home with the RetroRoaddog tonight, what better time reminisce about some weekend fun?

Blue Comet Door

It’s a cozy space with the bar up front where you can look at the vintage barware and entertaining kitsch while you wait for your perfect Manhattan to be created by one of their nattily dressed bartenders.

Bar Scene
Ah! There it is! Come to Betty!
Manhattan
You can order food at the bar if you like-or wait here for a booth in the back. I like the bar scene here, as you can watch people come and go, and best of all – talk to the person next to you, as instructed by one of their TVs.
Talk To The Person Next To You

Since we were heading out to a show we did order some nibbles and decided to sit at one of the upholstered booths in the back to eat. I dig the mood lighting in the Blue Comet as it does wonders in making everyone look young and beautiful, alas not so good for the photographing of food. Which was tasty for sure!

Glass Block Wall and Ortliebs BeerFolks all around were enjoying their dinner and drinks, and if it were a Saturday or Sunday they’d also be able to enjoy live music, with a Rockabilly bent. The memorabilia above our table showcases some of the bands that had played there in the past. The best place to keep up with their schedule is on The Blue Comet Facebook page.
Rockabilly Rumble PosterSince we were off to see some live music ourselves, we reluctantly had to leave the vintage environment of the Comet sooner than we’d like, but are already making plans to go there with some pals very soon.

Glenside is a neat little enclave of independent businesses – don’t leave without enjoying the science-fiction like displays of their neighbors Humphrey’s Pest Control (in business since the 1950’s – nice!):

Damage To Suitcase By Termites

And, horror of horrors:

Slide Carousel and Slides Destroyed By Termites

The Blue Comet Bar & Grill
106 S Easton Rd
Glenside, PA 19038
(215) 572-9780

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I’m happy to report that one of my fave bars, the Blue Comet in Glenside PA is open once again! This great neighborhood bar, famous for their live rockabilly music on Sunday nights, was closed for almost 2 years and Retro Roadhusband and I were delighted to see that they were open (since June) as we drove past this afternoon.

blue-comet-bar-grill-glenside-pa-reopen-retro-roadmap

We took a quick peek in and I’m pleased to report that the place looks the same, if not better than ever, down to the “Talk To The Person Next To You” sign I LOVE, pasted across the screen of the TV. If you didn’t know that this bar had been opened within the past 20 years you’d swear it was a holdover from another era, with its vintage style interior, classic standards and rockabilly playing in the background and blue neon Cocktails sign.

With a fresh coat of paint, outdoor patio ’round back, good food and live music, we raise a toast to the Blue Comet – Welcome back!

Become a fan of The Blue Comet on Facebook if you like!

The Blue Comet Bar & Grill
106 S Easton Rd
Glenside, PA 19038
(215) 572-9780

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The Mai Kai has been on my “To Do” Retro Roadmap list for ages, and I’m proud to say “We DID”! This east coast tiki temple has been wowing visitors to Fort Lauderdale Florida since 1956, and it certainly wowed us. Definitely on our top list of Retro Roadmap Recommendations!

Mai Kai SignI am quoting that great tiki resource Critiki when I let you know that “The Mai Kai is perhaps the last of the grand Polynesian palaces still operating from when tiki was at its peak in the late 50s and early 60s. That the Mai Kai not only still exists today, but is vibrant and thriving, is something we should all be very grateful for–but not take for granted.” – I could not say it any better!

Mai Kai Entrance

The Mai Kai is a sprawling Polynesian paradise on a busy commercial strip in Fort Lauderdale, and takes on a look of mystery once the sun sets. Included in this time warp of wonderfulness are 8 dining rooms,  a fabulous sunken ship inspired bar, waterfalls, bridges, tropical foliage, and more tikis and idols than I could count.

This tribute to tiki is currently owned by Mirielle (the wife of one of the original owners) who also runs the Polynesian review dinner show- and was once a dancer in it, herself! She also makes sure all new dances added to the dinner show are performed properly according to the people who live on the island on which the dance originates.

We pulled the rented Retro Roadmapmobile over the bridge, left it in the trusty hands of the valet,  made our way into the darkened interior of the Molokai bar, and into another world.

Mai Kai Bar

Our waitresses were a bit goosebumply in their sarongs on this unseasonably chilly day- too bad they couldn’t have a Rum Barrel to warm themselves up, as I did!

IMG_1415

The bar is a wonderful recreation of a sunken ship and turn of the century seaport saloon, replete with tiki music and underwater effects:

No matter what window you look out of, you would never be able to tell that the busy street is just outside, as each porthole and ship window reveals a lovely tropical scene:
Mai Kai Waterfall IdolsWanting to get a good seat for the floor show, we left the bar promptly at our reservation time and proceeded into the inner sanctum of the restaurant.

Mai Kai Gardens click here to see the inside of the Mai Kai!

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It’s easy to rationalize a souvenir purchase when it’s actually something useful, so Retro Roadhusband and I have gotten into the habit of picking up a Tervis Tumbler or two any time we’re in the Osprey FL area. Never heard of a Tervis Tumbler? Well neither had we, until we visited our pals T&P who told us all about these insulated drinking glasses with their HQ right down the road from their Florida place.

Retro Tervis Tumblers(Tervis = the last 3 letters of the 2 inventors’ last names, CotTER and DaVIS)

At first I was dubious about what was so great about these tumblers, but had to admit I liked the almost deco looking concentric ring design and the fact that I could get them with palm trees and flamingos on them (to name but two of their gajillion designs):

Two Tervis Tumblers
It doesn’t hurt that drinking out of our tumblers at home bring us fond memories of sitting outside in T&P’s Florida back yard on a warm morning, drinking fresh squeezed orange juice from the grove down the road, in the middle of what is technically winter.  But here are a few things that I think make Tervis Tumblers noteworthy on the Retro Roadmap scale of coolness:

+ The company has been in business since 1946 and had been owned by the same family since the 1950’s
+ The tumblers are all hand assembled and made in the USA (except for a few emblem designs)
+ They are guaranteed for life- no matter how long you’ve had your tumbler! “Should your Tervis Tumbler become defective in any way, simply send it to Tervis for free replacement, even if it has been over 40 years since you purchased it! No proof of purchase required – If it says Tervis on the bottom, that’s proof enough for us!” what a cool customer friendly policy, huh?
+ Microwave, Freezer & Dishwasher Safe
+ Keeps Hot Drinks Hotter & Cold Drinks Colder Longer

And they also come in Retro Roadmap friendly designs like this:

Tiki Tervis Tumblers (Mai Tai, anyone?)

One last thing of note is that the company headquarters, has  a distinctive entrance that I thought was going to look like a  “Giant Plastic Tumbler”, according to Roadside America . Well I took a drive out there to see this myself, and was a little disappointed that it was not a clear plastic cylinder, but a somewhat conservative looking stucco entrance. I mean c’mon, where’s the straw I was expecting to see sticking out of the top?
Tall Tervis Tumbler

After my initial disappointment at this roadside “programmatic architecture” I realized it kinda reminded me of the Guggenheim Museum, and again had those lovely deco concentric rings that I’m so fond of. And art deco always reminds me of that deco mecca just a few hours away, Miami Beach.

We could buy our tumblers at many a fine retail store, so I’m sure you can check them out near you, but if you’re in the Osprey FL area stop by their company store, and tell ’em Retro Roadmap sentcha!

Tervis Tumblers Factory Store

Tervis Tumbler
928 South Tamiami Trail
Osprey, FL 34229
(941) 966-2114

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This post- on a restaurant I’ve never been to, on the total opposite side of the country- began with a less than satisfying visit to a diner (I won’t get into it but will just say it wasn’t Retro Roadmap-worthy). As I drove away with a weight in my tummy, I began to question myself, “What IS Retro Roadmap worthy? Exterior? Interior? Food? Ambiance? Why do some places make the cut, and others don’t cut it?”

As I was trying to articulate this in my head, to myself, a story came on the radio about Musso & Frank Grill in Hollywood California. The restaurant has just had its 90th birthday and is going stronger than ever (you can listen to the story yourself, on NPR right here )

(thanks to daisylind  on flickr for the use of her fabulous photo!)

Suddenly I was hearing phrases like:

Musso’s has thrived by remaining faithful to its traditions.

Step into this red leather and mahogany interior, and you step into another world, another era.

You walk into Musso’s, and it embraces you. Musso’s is historical serenity.

It was then I realized that I was hearing some of the definitions of Retro Roadmap worthiness coming out of my very own car radio, as if a voice from another sphere knew what I wanted to hear!

I  knew at that moment I had to get on the Retro Roadmap hotline to our West Coast Correspondent Anna B, who has been a fan of “Musso’s” since she has lived in L.A. From her new digs in San Fran she was kind enough to articulate in her own way what makes this place so wonderful: (more…)

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