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Kon Tiki celebrates 60 years in Midtown Tucson

Posted at 3:09 PM, Sep 20, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Polynesian-themed Kon Tiki Restaurant and Lounge, located in midtown, is about to reach a major milestone. On Sunday, the Kon Tiki will celebrate its 60th anniversary with a giant tiki-sized bash.

"It's huge, huge," said Kon Tiki General Manager Jeff Glomski. "I mean there's hardly any restaurants that, you know, have that longevity."

Kon Tiki is located at 4625 E. Broadway Blvd.

Opened in 1963, Tucson's Kon Tiki Restaurant and Lounge is turning 60.

The tiki head sign out front is showing some wear, but inside the Kon Tiki still maintains that iconic mid-century tiki past.

"Once you walk through those doors, you know, you're in paradise and the rest is history," Glomski said.

Paradise at the Kon Tiki includes a see-through fish tank, an impressive Polynesian bar, a clam waterfall and, of course, giant tiki heads throughout.


The Polynesian-inspired food is a favorite among the many regulars. So are the cocktails.

"Our signature drinks is the Scorpion, which packs quite a punch," explained Glomski.

The Scorpion Bowl is definitely a drink for two, according to bartender Ryan Lemus.

"The strawberry one's probably the best one we have," said Lemus. "It has four different liqueurs in here. It's 32 ounces."

The main ingredient is the Kon Tiki's signature scorpion juice and is served with two giant straws.

The Scorpion is one of the reasons the Daily Mail named the Kon Tiki one of the best bars in America.

Sunday evening, the Kon Tiki will celebrate its 60th anniversary with a big bash at 4625 E. Broadway Blvd.

"Oh, it's just going to be fun," said Glomski. "It's just a DJ, good food, and we're breaking out a lot of souvenirs, 60th anniversary mug, glasses, shirts."

The 21-and-older event starts at 6 p.m. with a $10 cover. For more information, visit the Facebook event page.

The Kon Tiki was also been featured with an Absolutely Arizona segment in 2019.


Pat Parris is an anchor and reporter for KGUN 9. He is a graduate of Sabino High School where he was the 1982 high school state track champion in the 800 meters. While in high school and college, he worked part-time in the KGUN 9 newsroom. Share your story ideas and important issues with Pat by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.