VenTiki Lounge & Lanai

An Island Oasis in Downtown Ventura, CA

8 SPOTS LOCALS LOVE TO FREQUENT IN VENTURA

1. An island paradise…on Main Street.

It just so happens that despite the beach being half a mile away, many Venturans choose to sit beneath a straw canopy and brave the “tsunami warnings” at VenTiki Lounge & Lanai on Main Street for a little taste of island life.

First, forget everything you thought you knew about Tiki culture. VenTiki’s cocktails aren’t your diabetes-in-a-highball-glass kind of beverage. This place prides itself on cultivating classic, legit-as-you-can-get cocktails created by the folks who brought the island culture stateside back in the 1930s. No, there aren’t any singing birds, but thunder and lightning will greet you if you’re around on Tsunami Tuesdays.

Read More 8 SPOTS LOCALS LOVE TO FREQUENT IN VENTURA

An island paradise…on Main Street.

 

It just so happens that despite the beach being half a mile away, many Venturans choose to sit beneath a straw canopy and brave the “tsunami warnings” at VenTiki Lounge & Lanai on Main Street for a little taste of island life.

First, forget everything you thought you knew about Tiki culture. VenTiki’s cocktails aren’t your diabetes-in-a-highball-glass kind of beverage. This place prides itself on cultivating classic, legit-as-you-can-get cocktails created by the folks who brought the island culture stateside back in the 1930s. No, there aren’t any singing birds, but thunder and lightning will greet you if you’re around on Tsunami Tuesdays.

 

Excerpt from Matador Network

A Downtown Tasting With Ventura Food Tours!

Ventiki is a tiki lounge in Ventura that is loved dearly by locals. I’ll be honest, when I think of tiki lounges, good food doesn’t come to mind. But Ventiki is the exception and I was so happy to be proven wrong! Before we get to the food, I have to talk about the incredibly friendly staff who are so passionate about what they do. Our bartender made us the best mai tai I’ve ever tasted, and shared with us the history behind the drink as well.

 

Before I knew it, the chef brought out giant platters of sushi that couldn’t possibly be for just one person. I was proven wrong, yet again. We tried California rolls, salmon rolls, peppered seared ahi, albacore, tiger shrimp, coconut curry rice, and an array of sauces. I was overwhelmed in the best possible way. Everything was so fresh and flavorful, I was genuinely sad to leave.

Ventura Visitors Center Stop by for a Periscope

Early Afternoon @VisitVentura dropped by to do a periscope of Ventiki making a Hurricane. While they were here they decided to snap some photos around the Lounge and Lanai. 

Creative Types

Our good friends upstairs.

  Anthony Valadez works on a belt in his downtown Ventura shop.

Anthony Valadez works on a belt in his downtown Ventura shop.

T&A LeatherWorks

By Michel Miller 02/25/2016

Location, location, location
With popular cocktail spot Ventiki below and surf-chic boutique Betty B next door, T&A LeatherWorks is part of a cluster of hip shops on the eastern edge of downtown Ventura’s entertainment district. Colorful leather scraps share space with one-of-a-kind handbags and other accessories designed and crafted by Anthony Valadez, whose neat display oftools can be seen from Main Street. A self-described clean freak, Valadez keeps his work space orderly and the shop welcoming with dark woods and local art on the walls. On a clear day, a sparkling ocean can be seen from the large front windows.“It definitely beats the garage,” he laughs.


All dat jazz
Though a Southern California native, Valadez spent a good spell living in New Orleans, his allegiance to which is evident in the music playing in the store, his fleur-de-lis tattoos and the matching pendant he and his partner in life, love and business, Todd Sellers, both wear. After losing everything to Hurricane Katrina, Valadez returned to his home state where, among other things, he managed a Buffalo Exchange. As a gifted designer and craftsman, his lifelong passion for fashion along with his customer service acumen made it a no-brainer to start his own line and open a retail space for it. Having Sellers to run the business side of things affords Valadez the time he needs to create. It’s a true win-win.


Skin trade
Every item in T&A’s product line is handmade using up-cycled, high-quality leather remnants. Old belts are reborn as cuffs, holsters and guitar straps. Sexy clutch bags and wallets are pieced together using various animal skins. Thrift shop finds are deconstructed and reconstructed, dyed and re-imagined into fashion-forward accessories or commissioned pieces. Point to any item in the shop and Valadez can tell you the origins of the materials, many of which are donated by the folks he and Sellers have met during their extensive travels, including buttery scraps of hide left over from a rock and roll tour-bus upholsterer.


Pleasure principle
In addition to T&A’s stock of everyday accessories, there are various fetish accoutrements to satisfy the kink community at home and elsewhere. (They attend Pride festivals from Santa Barbara to San Diego, Palm Springs to Vegas and more.) Collars, restraints, harnesses and other bondage gear can be purchased at the store or made to order. (Collars and leashes are also available for furry pets.) Having hosted his share of fetish balls, Valadez is not only comfortable with the subject, he’s thrilled to be of assistance. As someone who “used to wear 21-inch corsets and walk around with bullwhips and knee-high boots,” he says he appreciates people who want to spice things up and reinvigorate their intimate relationships. Thanks to the50 Shades of Grey phenomenon, which he says has created a surge in interest, especially among straight couples, people are more comfortable talking openly about their kinky proclivities and curiosities. “As long as it’s safe, sane and consensual, I’m all about it,” he says.


Crafters for life
When the Craftcation conference returns to Ventura on April 7 (this time at the Ventura Beach Marriott), T&A will teach a leather craft workshop in addition to hosting the opening-night mixer. Valadez and Sellers have history with Craftcation co-founder Delilah Snell, whom they met while living in Orange County. Snell has been a friend and business mentor since the formation of T&A. In just one year, the outgoing entrepreneurs have made quite the splash, both inside and outside their Ventura store. “We’re social butterflies so we’ve gotten to know everyone around here,” says Valadez. They will also have a booth among fellow local artisans at Ventura Rancho Days on March 13 at Olivas Adobe, where their DIY table will equip kids to make their own key chains. With classes planned for the store, a growing clientele and a knack for being awesome, it’s only a matter of time before Todd and Anthony have the whole town hell bent for leather. 

Visit T&A Leather at 8 N. Fir St., Ventura. For more information, go to www.TandAleather.comor call 585-5804.

VC Reporter Surprises us with a Story

5 O'Clock Somewhere

Kitschy cocktails and everything but the singing parrots at Ventiki

By Chris O'Neal 01/28/2016

 Chris O'Neal

Chris O'Neal

For the first time in eight years, I visited Disneyland. Memories of sore feet, long lines and overpriced everything came flooding back — but, as it turned out, I was going with a first timer so there was a bit of excitement in the air.

One memory that I had tried my best to rid myself of was the painful experience known as the Enchanted Tiki Room. There are no cocktails in the Enchanted Tiki Room, only singing parrots and kitschy, but not in a good way, décor. When you’re stuck in a room for 20 minutes with clanking animatronics belting out earworm tunes from the 1960s, a drink is what you need.

Thankfully, right here in Ventura, the Tiki vibe that Walt himself had dreamt of has reached its potential. Ventiki Lounge & Lanai offers up strong cocktails, kitschy (in a good way) décor and, most importantly, no singing birds.

Ventiki’s cocktail menu is separated into two categories: classic cocktails featuring the famous (or infamous) Mai Tai — made with real fruit juice at Ventiki, not the canned stuff, and a blend of Platino and Gold rums, Orgeat orange curacao and lime juice with a dark rum float, alongside other classics with fun names such as the Suffering Bastard and the Singapore Sling.

In the modern drinks section, a slew of original cocktails like the so-called Voodoo Temptress of the Seven Pleasures with Sailor Jerry spiced rum, cherry rum, Maraschino liqueur, bitters and pineapple juice.

As much as I loathe the songs of the Enchanted Tiki Room, I take great pleasure whenever someone orders the Jet Pilot (a blend of gold rum, Whalers dark rum, Hamilton 151, lime, grapefruit and a syrup known as Black Hawk 113) at Ventiki. The lights suddenly alternate between red, white and blue as the theme from Top Gun follows the cocktail to its owner.

Sure, Ventura isn’t Disneyland, but magic can be had at Ventiki. If you want singing birds, bring your iPod and some headphones.  

Chris O’Neal survived Disneyland but it took several cocktails to recover. Follow him on Instagram @atchrisoneal

 

Ghost in a Shot Glass: Channel Islands Distiller

Late fall 1926, a Coast Guard ship not far from Santa Cruz Island spotted a fastmoving boat. Suspecting it was carrying contraband and trying to escape, the Coast Guard's officer-in-charge, Boatswain (T) L. H. Williams, signaled for the boat to heave-to. But the Grey Ghost, as she was known, failed to do so. Williams opened fire, and so did crewman Edward O. Calioutte.

The Ghost took multiple crippling shots. She ran aground about one-and-a-half miles east of Valley Anchorage, Santa Cruz Island.

Though the identity of the rum-running boat's operator was lost to history, the Coast Guard reported that they arrested him for violating the Tariff Act of 1922.

Ventura County has a rich tradition of rum-running, as it was known, including a spot not far from Ventura Avenue in Ventura known as "rum row," where bootleggers churned out Prohibition-era booze to sell across the country. Rum runners often landed on the Ventura coast to unload their cargo.

It is here that Michael Machuzak and Joe Freas of Channel Islands Distillery set up shop in a humble industrial space to become modern- day, "legal bootleggers." In the hours away from their day jobs as aquatic toxicologists testing municipal water supplies and performing other environmental analyses, they distill small batches of artisan spirits far beyond the dreams of a backwoods moonshiner.....Read More

VenTiki Lounge & Lanai
805-667-8887
701 E Main St. Downtown Ventura, CA 93001

Copyright © 2013 VenTiki Tiki Lounge and Lanai.