Tagged: History



In 1934, Vic Bergeron built a cozy little saloon on the corner of San Pablo Avenue and 65th in Oakland, California, called Hinky Dinks. Originally offering simple fare, liquor, and beer. It was a successful little saloon, but in 1937, Vic decided to take an investigative trip to study from some of the master bartenders he had heard a lot of talk about.



First stop, he arrived by train in New Orleans to visit Albert Martin of the Bon Ton Café, inventor of the Rum Ramsey. Onward to Cuba, he paid a visit to the La Floridita Bar to meet Constantino Ribalaigua Vert, aka “The Cocktail King of Cuba” and inventor of the Frozen Daiquiri. Last stop, Los Angeles to visit Don the Beachcomber, inventor of the Zombie and pioneer of Tropical Rum Drinks, to gain inspiration.


Inspired by his newfound information, he slowly transformed one room of his establishment, bedecked it with tropical plants, rattan tables and chairs, and called it the “Bamboo Room”. Testing out his new bartending skills and recipes, the official opening of his new endeavor was on July 28th, 1938. Still maintaining the name Hinky Dinks, he opted to position himself as Trader Vic, your host, at Hinky Dinks. With the success of the Bamboo Room, the snowshoes on the wall and the pinball machine in the corner disappeared, and the South Sea décor went up. The name Hinky Dinks and Bamboo Room were dropped, and Trader Vic’s became the tropical destination we know today!