- Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Trader Vic’s in Sheikh Zayed Road Dubai – Trader Vic’s Wordwide has a rich and storied history of success and innovation that all began in 1934 when the ebullient Vic “The Trader” Bergeron built a cozy little saloon on San Pablo Avenue in Oakland, California that he called Hinky Dinks.
After embarking on an adventure to Cuba to refine his skills as a bartender and explore the subtleties of rums from around the world, The Trader eventually landed in Hawaii and completely immersed himself in island living and culture. Upon his return home his objective was clear: inject the spirit of the island into our everyday lives.
In 1937, The Trader transformed Hinky Dinks into a tiki-bedecked tropical retreat aptly named Trader Vic’s and put into practice his research on rums. Years ahead of his time, Vic began serving simmering plates of island-style cuisine, and Trader Vic’s quickly became one of America’s first fusion restaurant concepts. As his travels continued, Vic found himself along the Spice Route. Inspired by the flavors of the exotic global cuisines he found there, he began incorporating them into his dishes, famously using ingredients like green peppercorns and morels – a tradition that continues to this day.
Then one day in 1944, a bit of serendipity happened that would place The Trader at the forefront of rum-soaked cocktail mixology earning him a place in history. He pulled down a bottle of 17-year-old Jamaican Rum from the bar, added a squeeze of lime, a dash of rock candy syrup, a splash of orange curacao, some French orgeat, and poured the concoction over cracked ice. He handed it to a friend who immediately exclaimed, “It’s Mai Tai Roa Ae!” (Tahitian for “Out of this world – the best!”), and the first Mai Tai was born – Paradise In A Glass™.
As popularity of Vic’s tiki haven grew, Trader Vic’s successfully opened its first franchise in Seattle, Washington in 1940 and expanded to international shores in 1963 at London’s Hilton Hotel on Park Lane. Following a booming success in the Middle East in 1994 with multiple franchise openings, Trader Vic’s introduced its new concept “The Mai Tai Lounge” to the world opening in Dubai in 2007. This unique and exciting concept features freshly grilled bar bites and a bevy of Trader Vic’s world-famous signature concoctions.
Today, the Trader Vic’s family of restaurants is known as Trader Vic’s Worldwide and is recognized across the globe. Taste The World® through exotic cuisines and happily imbibe from a collection of expertly crafted libations at Trader Vic’s, the Home of the Original Mai Tai®.
The Legend of the Menehune
Menehunes are to the Hawaiians what Leprechauns are to the Irish. Their temperament, however, is not as mischievous as that of their Irish counterparts. Instead of being notorious for pulling pranks, the Menehunes are jolly and magical little people with a knack and penchant for performing charitable deeds.
It is said that all the beauty of the Hawaiian Islands exists because of the Menehunes: clearing logs away, lowering hills, and sweeping paths. Each feat the Menehunes take on must be completed in a single night – between sundown and sunrise. You’ll often hear people say, “The Menehunes must have done this. How else would it have happened overnight?”
According to legend, these mystical little folk still live in caves high up in the mountains of the Hawaiian Islands. A few very special people are sometimes allowed to see and talk to the Menehunes, but you have to drink a glass of Menehune Juice for this little miracle to occur. If you look close enough, you just might find these little Menehunes after enjoying the exotic food and fabulous libations at Trader Vic’s.
“It’s Mai Tai Roa Ae!”
Let’s get the record straight…I originated the Mai Tai.
In 1944, after success with several exotic rum drinks, I felt a new drink was needed. I was at the service bar in my Oakland restaurant. I took down a bottle of 17-year old Jamaican J. Wray Nephew rum, added fresh lime, some Orange Curacao from Holland, a dash of Rock Candy syrup, and a dollop of French Orgeat, for its subtle flavor. A generous amount of shaved ice and vigorous shaking by hand produced the marriage I was after.
Half the lime shell went in for color … I stuck in a branch of fresh mint and gave two of them to Ham and Carrie Guild, friends from Taihiti, who were there that night.
Carrie took on sip and said, “Mai Tai – Roa Ae”. In Tahitian this means “Out of this World – The Best”. Well, that was that. I named the drink “Mai Tai”.
During the early 1950’s Trader Vic took the Mai Tai to Honolulu where its fame spread like wildfire. By the early 1960’s, there were several Trader Vic’s restaurants in existence, the Mai Tai had developed into one of the most ordered and well-known drinks throughout the world.
Today, over 2 million Mai Tai’s are sold annually at Trader Vic’s locations across the globe and it remains the only cocktail that truly embodies the Spirit of the Islands. With the addition of Trader Vic’s own line of Original Formula Mai Tai Mix and Premium Syrups, you too can enjoy the taste of the tropics at home – Paradise In A Glass™.