Vancouver’s the Shameful Tiki has officially changed hands, with owner and founder Rod Moore selling the Main Street mainstay to the Tribe Called Zest Hospitality Group after a 10-year run.
Earlier this year Moore told the Straight one of his main concerns about moving on from the Polysnesian-themed bar he literally built by hand was making sure the right people would be running it. (Read the story here.) Among those involved in Tribe Called Zest is Jason Laidlaw, who has spent seven years at the Tiki in roles which have included head bartender and manager.
While making its first foray into Vancouver, Tribe Called Zest isn’t new to the hospitality game. The group, which includes restaurant-scene veteran Scarlet Osborne and culinary artist Heidi Murphy, operates Sechelt’s tropical-fusion themed El Segundo and the food-truck-styled The Shed at the Bricker Cider Co.
In a release announcing the sale today Moore said, “After 10 years of owning and overseeing one of my greatest passion projects, I am so happy to see The Shameful Tiki Room going to the most perfect new ownership group. Jason has been by my side at Tiki for seven years already, so to have his experience and dedication alongside his partners Scarlet and Heidi truly means the location will maintain the historical authenticity that I strove so hard to create. I look forward both to their new success and my opportunity to forge new paths. So many thanks to everyone over the last ten years. Onward and upwards they say!”
In confirming the purchase of the Shameful Tiki, Tribe Called Zest made the following promise: “The Shameful Tiki will officially change hands on May 1, 2023, although the change of ownership will likely go unnoticed by the casual observer as the new owners see no reason to change anything about this wildly popular location. The amazing staff, the authentic tiki-style cocktails and fishbowls and the immersive experience will all remain exactly as its loyal customers have come to expect.”
The Shameful Tiki initially took a while to gain traction in Vancouver after it opened in 2013. But Moore’s obsessive attention to detail, with both the room and its tradition-based cocktails, has subsequently made it one of North America’s top Polynesian-drink shrines.
“We can’t wait to bring our unique brand of good vibe dining to Vancouver, as we continue to let Rod’s legacy at the Shameful shine,” Murphy said.