Contrary to some opinions out there, tiki bars aren’t from Hawaii — or any other tropical Pacific island. They actually first popped up in California, and then spread across the contiguous United States (and Canada, to a lesser extent).
As a result, they’re not “authentically” Polynesian; they’re more of a disconnected fantasy idea of what a tropical Pacific island might be like (at least to somebody in the mid-20th century, when tiki first came about). “Fantasy” is the key word — they’re laden with bamboo, plants, palm tree-esque decorations, typically kitschy and a little gaudy.
Montreal used to have a few of them — Kon Tiki went under in the 80s, and Jardin Tiki (which was more restaurant than bar) finally closed in 2015. But now Snowbird Tiki Bar is here in Little Italy, and Anthoni Jodoin and other owners have put together an on-point recreation of the mid-century tiki aesthetic — they even managed to get their hands on some of Kon Tiki’s original fixtures, which had fallen into the hands of some (apparently generous) tiki fans.
You might not be able to taste a Mai Tai on the internet, but you can take a look inside the fabulously kitschy bar, right here.