A few weeks ago, the Lost Lake bar team had the opportunity to visit a handful of distilleries on the rhum agricole-producing island of Martinique. While we were away, our good friend Bobby Heugel of Houston's Anvil Bar + Refuge came to town to throw a week-long Texas Tiki Disco party!
Some of you may wonder — disco? And...tiki? Like mods and rockers, aren't disco and tiki mortal enemies?
It is true that the popular tiki temples that inspired Lost Lake met their downfall in the 1970s at the onset of disco culture. The pillars of the original tiki movement — laid-back vibes and quality, handcrafted cocktails — could not coexist with the demand for super speedy service, dance floors, bell bottoms, and drugs. Bobby and his team took the reigns at Lost Lake for a week-long exploration of what might have been. Our guests were able to join in the experiment as the Anvil crew exercised the booze-fueled conspiracy theory that tiki and disco are not opposing cosmic forces, and could indeed exist in a spectacular rum-soaked harmony!
Channeling the tiki-disco hybrids that exist in Caribbean discotheques outside the U.S., with their special, one-week-only menu, Anvil Bar + Refuge presented an alternative reality in which they envisioned a United States of Tiki and Disco. Texas Tiki Disco-goers enjoyed tropical takes on classic cocktails, sharable punch bowls with a Houston edge, and even a few of Heugel’s famed “Break Even Bottles,’ all served under a spinning disco ball and alongside the music of Donna and Dolly.
And that was the Texas Tiki Disco — which despite all attempts to verbosely justify the idea, turned out to be an admittedly absurd proposition. Nevertheless, it was a collision of beloved bar cultures so absurd, it will never be duplicated or forgotten!
Thank you to you, our everyday guests, for being game to this wildness, and thank you to Anvil Bar + Refuge for throwing such an amazing party!
Photos by Clayton Hauck.