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Commercial Archipelago / Lost Island in Washington DC Closing

commercial tiki bar

kanaloa

Well-known member
Another bites the dust. Archipelago is closing its doors on 8/26.

Biting my tongue a bit, but their Lost Island Room's decor will be missed. And as far as I'm aware, there is now a giant wasteland 300-400 miles in diameter around DC that is completely devoid of any remaining commercial tiki bars of note.
 
Gah! I hate seeing this. Fellow Tiki enthusiast's please patronize your local establishments! Get out there and drink!

Monday Dying GIF by MOODMAN
 
Sad to hear. I don't think that one was around very long. Does anyone recall the open date?

arch1.jpg
 
Sad to hear. I don't think that one was around very long. Does anyone recall the open date?

2016.

I wonder what the average lifespan is for new tiki bars. Lost Lake in Chicago also lasted 7 years. Auntie's/Tikis in Virginia Beach opened a year after Archipelago and seems to be going strong though their now-limited hours makes me wonder if they'll survive another year. On the flipside, Latitude 29 has been open for over 8 years now. Smuggler's Cove, 13, I think. The Tiki Lounge in Pittsburgh has managed to stay open for over 20 years now. What do some get right that others don't? Demographically, I think SF and Pittsburgh are similar to DC.

I think in this case, some of thier problems may have been self-inflicted since it was kind of a PITA going there. Even after other bars in the city were wide open, they kept access... "problematic," to put it lightly, not making it worthwhile for anybody to make the trip if they didn't live next door and effectively telling some would-be customers that they were unwanted. And FWIW, some Yelp reviews will indicate what I assume is a widely-shared feeling from customers about the addition of hidden service fees. I've been to other bars and restaurants in DC that have similar fees, but in all other cases, waiters made the automatic service fee known upfront. Just my opinion, and maybe off base. And it still sucks to lose a cool spot.
 
2016.

I wonder what the average lifespan is for new tiki bars. Lost Lake in Chicago also lasted 7 years. Auntie's/Tikis in Virginia Beach opened a year after Archipelago and seems to be going strong though their now-limited hours makes me wonder if they'll survive another year. On the flipside, Latitude 29 has been open for over 8 years now. Smuggler's Cove, 13, I think. The Tiki Lounge in Pittsburgh has managed to stay open for over 20 years now. What do some get right that others don't? Demographically, I think SF and Pittsburgh are similar to DC.

I think in this case, some of thier problems may have been self-inflicted since it was kind of a PITA going there. Even after other bars in the city were wide open, they kept access... "problematic," to put it lightly, not making it worthwhile for anybody to make the trip if they didn't live next door and effectively telling some would-be customers that they were unwanted. And FWIW, some Yelp reviews will indicate what I assume is a widely-shared feeling from customers about the addition of hidden service fees. I've been to other bars and restaurants in DC that have similar fees, but in all other cases, waiters made the automatic service fee known upfront. Just my opinion, and maybe off base. And it still sucks to lose a cool spot.
I suspect this was a suicide. Archipelago was indeed one of the worst tiki bars I have been too. And traveling nationwide for work, I make finding the local places a priority. As well as dragging my coworkers, because I'd like to see these places thrive.

I took several co-workers here, and they enjoyed it. But the deal breaker was the policies (most of which seemed to come into play post-lockdowns). This is the only tiki bar in the country where I have seen a "time limit" for tables (especially as we drank steadily, but also not ever "sloppy.")

Archipelago seemed almost allergic to success.
 
I took several co-workers here, and they enjoyed it. But the deal breaker was the policies (most of which seemed to come into play post-lockdowns). This is the only tiki bar in the country where I have seen a "time limit" for tables (especially as we drank steadily, but also not ever "sloppy.")

There is a very successful bar in Phoenix called UnderTow, 90 minutes is all you get. It's always packed. I consider it one of the higher end Tiki Bars.


Too bad about Archipelago, I always hate to see a Tiki bar go under. It's one less place we Tikiphiles get to hang out.
 
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