America’s Tropical Showplace! was the claim of the Seacomber restaurant which opened at 22725 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, California, in April 1946.
Its owner was Frank Kerwin, who had been a boxing announcer and sports promoter in the 1930s and had previously managed the Club New Yorker on Hollywood Boulevard and the Merry-Go-Round cocktail lounge in the CBS Radio Playhouse on Vine Street.
The Seacomber was a massive location with multiple dining rooms and bars. There was the Marine Deck, the Coral Sea Cocktail Bar, the Royal Hawaiian Room, the Grand Salon and the Princess Pupule Room.
Tiki culture was at the height of its popularity and Kerwin played on this with tropical décor, exotic cocktails and an extensive food menu.
There were American dishes such as charbroiled steak and chops – described as being from ‘Back home’ - as well as Chinese food, standing in for Polynesian food. This was described as having been created from ‘age old recipes from famous oriental epicureans.’
Kerwin was a clever promoter - adverts for the Seacomber declared It’s Out of This World – but right near you! A Post War Dream Come True! – and he claimed 200,000 ‘discriminating gourmets’ had visited the property in its first year.
We don’t know when the Seacomber closed – if you know, tell us! But we do know that it was located opposite to where Nobu Malibu is now.
Courtesy Eric Lynxiler.
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