Hello! My name is Bill Flood. My niche? I get Main Street. Small business...YOUR small business.
I have spent a career working with fledgling entrepreneurs and young businesses teaching them about marketing strategy, branding, and promotion, whether it's online or in their traditional content.
When I am not working with entrepreneurs, I spend much of my time as a writer specializing in things like travel, history, and heritage tourism. I write memorable material inspired by popular culture. My work has profiled a treasure trove of great diners, old motels, glowing neon, classic trailers, vintage gas stations, home-town theaters, bowling lanes, old roads like Route 66 and the Highway, space-age architecture, and even exotic Tiki.
I am a senior contributor for TripAdvisor, writing summaries and reviews of restaurants, hotels, museums, roadside attractions, and events throughout the U.S. As well, I have been a contributing writer to Roadside Magazine and other online publications and am a published author of Whitehall Ohio: Images of America, which is part of Arcadia Publishing’s local history series.
Are you a small company that needs material for your website? Do you have a story to tell your customers and potential clients? Does your business have a history that needs telling? Let me help bring that to your backyard or the world!
|EDUCATION: Masters Degrees in Business and Career Development from University of Maryland, Regent University, and the University of Delaware||BLOG: www.landmarksandlegacies.org/|
|CERTIFICATIONS: None provided||CURRICULUM VITAE: None provided|
Magazine Article for Roadside Magazine's Online Edition - March 2014
I live in Columbus, Ohio; tiki aficionados the world over know Columbus is significant. That's because Columbus was the home of the Kahiki, which was one of the most renowned destination restaurants in the country. If only it hadn't been torn down in 2002 to make way for a Walgreens. Go figure...but, let me continue.
Tikiphiles are giddy knowing that interest in Polynesian pop is on the rise and tiki locations are either opening or re-opening across the globe. The question floating on Columbus streets for a long time was "when is C-bus going to get a tiki bar again?" Well, as of September of this year, that question was answered. The fortunes shone on us once more, and Columbus can proudly proclaim, once again, that it has a tiki destination! Mind you, this is not just another sports bar done up in bamboo and cheap Asian imports. This is a real-deal tiki bar doing honor to Columbus' rich heritage with the Kahiki. The place is called the Grass Skirt Tiki Room, located at 105 N. Grant Avenue just east of downtown. That's adjacent to the campus of The Columbus College of Art and Design which may prove useful as I'll point out momentarily.
As I mentioned, this isn't a droll island-inspired look slapped on an otherwise pedestrian hotel bar. This is a well-executed revival - the kind of place that used to define what a tiki bar was back in the day. Inside you'll find accouterments from Witco, Oceanic Arts, and all manner of vintage Polypop gracing everything from the entrance to the bar. Vintage exotica (that's "ex", not "er" by the way), lounge, and surf music is the resident soundtrack. It stems from their huge collection of vintage vinyl, some of which local exotica music legend Jeff Chenault had his hand in supplying. The staff decks themselves in vintage clothing - heck, so do half the customers.
There is a lava wall, and waterfalls, and every imaginable size and type of tiki statue and mug throughout the place. If you like tiki, it's almost a museum of collectibles, some of which was happily donated by local customers. The owners state that they want to dedicate an area of the restaurant to spotlight some significant vintage items they have from the Kahiki. Oh yes...and there's not a flat screen TV to be found anywhere. This is the kind of place, that when the door closes behind you, the modern world is shut out and you are transported to another world. It's one of the few places anywhere where you don't see people glued to their smartphones (with the exception of them taking photos of the place)!
So, what about the drinks? You can't have a good tiki bar without good drinks, and Grass Skirt's are stellar! I really don't like the word mixologist, but these guys know what they are doing, so it's a fitting title. Their creations are handmade, and mainly from vintage recipes - no corn syrup-based swill from a bottle here. And, yes, you can get your libations in a tiki mug (yours to keep) for a small extra cost. Currently, they are not using collectible, but rather restaurant-grade tiki mugs. The word is, they might enlist artists from the Columbus College of Art and Design to design signature mugs for the restaurant.
The food menu is brief and leans towards Hawaiian and Cantonese as you would expect. I've tried the Loco Moco (that's a Hawaiian lunch plate comprised of two hamburgers topped with fried egg and gravy over rice), along with their egg rolls, and dumplings. They were all good and complimented the Pacific island theme. My wonderful server explained to me that the menu is a work in progress and they are going to be bringing out more Asian-Pacific inspired dishes as they settled in.
I never had the opportunity to visit the Kahiki because I moved to Columbus a mere year too late. I wish I had; it's clearly my misfortune. But, I count as a new blessing that the Grass Skirt Tiki Room has opened here in town and I can go there. It's a fun, amazing place to patronize, and they are doing good justice in a town with a bit of a Tiki Pedigree.