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You may have heard the devastating news that The Hilton, Park Lane, London has notified the management of Trader Vic's that it is to close. The last day of trading will be December 31st 2022, just shy of their 60th birthday celebrations. This icon of tiki culture is the oldest continuously operating Trader Vic’s in the world and has been operating from the basement of the Hilton since it opened on Park Lane in 1963. It still has much of its original mind-blowing fixtures and fittings in place, all handcrafted by artisans of the Polynesian Islands and beyond.

Whilst not affiliated with the restaurant, an intrepid team are working tirelessly in the background to ensure the future preservation of Trader Vic's in London, and we will update you with news as it happens.

Please take the time to sign the petition, as well as leave a review and follow the social media campaigns by clicking on the links below. We need to show the Hilton just how much Trader Vic's is loved by people from around the world and save this wonderful piece of mid-century exotica from a tragic demise.

NEWS 4/12/22: There is a Save Trader Vic's event to be held on the 19th December. Click here for full details.

NEWS 5/12/22: A comprehensive application has been made to Historic England in an endeavour to have Trader Vic's London listed. Special reference has been made of its architectural, artistic and historical significance, noting the importance of the largely unchanged interior fixtures and fittings from 1963, as well as it being the oldest surviving example of such a restaurant outside of the USA.

NEWS 12/12/22: A press release has been issued by the campaign group. For full details, click here.


NEWS 21/12/22: An open letter from the campaign group has been issued to the Hilton. Click here to read more.

NEWS 29/12/22: Trader Vic's Worldwide have made an announcement on their social media channels that we have not seen the
last of Trader Vic's London. Whilst not a reprieve at their current location, it bodes well for the future of the brand in our capital city. To see their Instagram post, click here. We've also added the details below

NEWS 1/1/23: Trader Vic's London has now closed. The campaign continues to get the basement listed.

NEWS 9/1/23: A removal firm is now on site to clear the basement of all Trader Vic's artefacts. A decision either way from Historic England on the listing application is expected imminently, in the hope that the destruction of this iconic restaurant can be halted.

NEWS 23/1/23: The fight is sadly over. Today, the Secretary of State for DCMS officially signed off the advice not to add Trader Vic’s to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. The decision was mostly based around the fact they considered it an internal fitting out and the design scheme lacked the external expression of listed comparables, as well as its historic interest not being reflected enough in specifically fixed elements. Whilst nothing like the news we wanted to hear, a huge thank you goes to all those involved in the campaign, as well as those that supported the petition and social media campaigns on Facebook and Instagram. 

SIGN THE PETITION

PLEASE REGISTER YOUR SUPPORT. BE SURE TO SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS

EVENT

A CELEBRATION OF TRADER VICS TO BE HELD ON 

MONDAY 19TH DECEMDER 2022

PRESS RELEASE

THE OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE FROM THE SAVE

TRADER VIC'S LONDON CAMPAIGN

OPEN LETTER

AN OPEN LETTER FROM THE SAVE TRADER VIC'S LONDON GROUP TO THE HILTON

TRADER VIC'S STATEMENT

A STATEMENT FROM RHETT ROSEN, CEO OF TRADER VIC'S WORLDWIDE ON THE FUTURE OF TRADER VIC'S LONDON

TRIPADVISOR

GIVE TRADER VIC'S LONDON A WELL DESERVED 5 STAR REVIEW

AND SHARE YOUR DINING AND DRINKING EXPERIENCE

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TRADER VIC'S LONDON

BOOK NOW TO EXPERIENCE THE BEST TRADER VIC'S

LONDON HAS TO OFFER 

CONTACT

PLEASE GET IN TOUCH IF YOU HAVE INFORMATION THAT

COULD HELP SAVE TRADER VIC'S LONDON FROM CLOSURE

event

On the 19th December the team behind the Save Trader Vic's campaign are hosting a celebration of Trader Vic’s London. There will be music, live entertainment, surprises, and of course, the glorious cocktails for which Trader Vic's has received global notoriety. 

If you want to come along, we recommend you make a standard bar reservation via the Trader Vic’s website for any time after 5pm. The party will be going on into the late hours, so you can plan to get there later if you prefer. Places are being held over for walk-ins, but there's no guaranty of entry. To book, go to www.tradervicslondon.com

UPDATE 5/12/22: All bar reservations are now taken, limited walk-ins only, arrive early to avoid disappointment. If you can't make the 19th, then be sure to visit another time to show Trader Vic's your support.

Our thanks extend to Shag for creating the fabulous artwork for the event. 

This event is not affiliated with Trader Vic’s, Hilton or London Hilton Park Lane. It is a community run event in celebration of the history of this iconic location.

press release

PRESS RELEASE

Campaign to Save Trader Vic’s

Application seeks listed status for iconic Tiki Bar

Event announced for 19 December to celebrate historic London venue

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Campaigners are calling to Save Trader Vic’s, the historic Polynesian themed tiki restaurant and lounge set to be closed on 31 December 2022, just shy of its 60th birthday. An application is being made to Historic England, seeking to have the iconic restaurant listed, while campaigners are organising an event to celebrate the venue as a petition against closure reaches over 6,000 signatures. 

 

The oldest operating Trader Vic’s in the world, the restaurant opened in the base of London Hilton on Park Lane in 1963. Emerging from the Tiki movement in the US in the early 20th century, the London restaurant is architecturally, potentially, the earliest surviving in the UK of a themed restaurant interior, which was the catalyst for a change in the interior design of public houses from the mid-1960s onwards. Founded by California born entrepreneur Victor J Bergeron (Trader Vic) - who invented the Mai Tai - Trader Vic's restaurants were and are about an authentic appreciation of design. Bergeron was a huge collector of cultural objects, always bought from local Polynesian artists. 

 

Descending into the basement transports the visitor into a tropical world with decorative and elaborate design, filled with character and heritage craft. Intricate wood carvings, bamboo framing, Chinese jade tiles, synonymous with early Tiki decorative schemes, Japanese and Korean glass floats, South Pacific fish traps, feature in the decoration. One particularly rare survival is the pair of Chinese wood fired ovens which were constructed on site. Wood is fed into the bottom of these large, barrel shaped brick and concrete containers, with the heat and smoke rising through the chamber where the food is hung on tenter hooks.

 

A listing application to Historic England details Trader Vic’s architectural value, the preservation of its fixtures and fittings, historic and cultural value and place within the design and American hospitality ethos for the first ever international Hilton, which marked the brand’s transformation into a global  chain.

 

Supporting Quotes:

 

“I stumbled upon Trader Vic’s one lunch time in the early 2000's when I worked in London, it was around the corner and soon became a favourite place at lunch or after work to soak up the fantastic atmosphere and otherworldliness when weary from the humdrum life of the modern world.  I took my partner there on our second date as he hadn't experienced the pleasures of a Mai Tai in such wonderful surroundings before.  This place holds so many memories for me and others.  It is a constant icon in a world that disguards authenticity for mediocrity and to lose such an original example of early 60s interior design would be a travesty.”

 

Estelle Bilson - Retro Interiors Expert & Author of '70s House,' Television Presenter on ‘The Bidding Room’

 

“The reason I started the petition is through my passion for Tiki & Polynesia, Trader Vic’s is one of the most famous restaurants/bars still in existence and with the London premises being the oldest one left with the best original decor, I knew I had to try and save this iconic bar. To replace it with a boring/bland steak house would be a travesty. We have travelled the World visiting original Tiki bars (many that are now closed) to see history before it is too late. We also have one of the largest Tiki collections this side of the States. Trader Vic’s, London is unique in this Country, there is nothing else like it, The Beachcomber, Mayfair, was similar in style but closed in the 1990’s, it has lasted nearly 60 years in the same spot, this must count for them doing something right! How can it close? It is a favourite destination for people the World over, just look at the ‘Guest Book’, this alone is a piece of history and includes many famous names.”

 

Campaigner Sue Wright

 

“The nearly sixty-year old Trader Vic’s London is not only the longest continuously running restaurant in the worldwide chain but is also London’s oldest example of the Polynesian Pop phenomenon of the Tiki bar and restaurant. It incorporates authentic cultural artefacts and especially commissioned designs from Polynesian artists. Its unique interior scheme was designed by San Francisco-based architects Chan/Rader Associates who were known for restaurants, hotels, shopping malls, civic centres and housing in countries in five continents, including the Hawaii State Capitol Building. I believe that its remarkably intact interior, little changed since it opened in 1963, is worthy of listing as an early example of a themed restaurant that goes beyond pastiche.”

 

Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan - Professor of Design History, University of Portsmouth, and presenter of national television and radio shows

 

An event on 19 December organised to celebrate Trader Vic’s London, with live music, entertainment and the glorious cocktails for which it has received global notoriety, booked up within 24 hours and only limited walk up spaces are available, however spaces are reserved for press. Supporters are encouraged to attend Trader Vic’s on other nights throughout December, including their 1960s themed New Year’s Eve party.

 

For press information, quotes and details please contact Laura Marie Brown at laura@lauramariebrown.com, 07739321279.

For press attendance at the Trader Vic’s event on 19 December, please contact info@savetradervics.com

Open Letter
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An Open Letter from the campaign group has been sent to the Hilton. Please share this on social media as much as you can. We've outlined a couple of options of how to do this, which we hope will make things easier for you. You can of course go to the campaign's Instagram and Facebook pages and share directly. Click on the icons to take you there. Thank you in advance for your continued support, ten days to go to make a difference!

Option 1: 

Save the images at the bottom of this page and repost to your own wall on as many platforms as possible with the following text as the caption. Feel free to tweak but keep the hashtags the same for maximum impact and be sure to tag Hilton and Hilton Park Lane. On Facebook the accounts to tag are: Hilton Hotels & Resorts plus London Hilton on Park Lane. On Instagram the accounts to tag are @hilton and @londonhiltonpl. For Twitter the account names are @HiltonHotels and @LondonHiltonPL. Finally, on LinkedIn the account names are Hilton and London Hilton On Park Lane.

 

"We urge Hilton and London Hilton Park Lane (use tags) to rethink the short sighted decision to close the London icon that is Trader Vic’s - embrace this beloved historic landmark, grant our Christmas wish and #SaveTraderVicsLondon 

 

Sign the petition here: 

www.change.org/p/let-s-save-trader-vic-s-at-the-hilton-park-lane-london 

 

Please share this to your own feed and spread the word.

 

#HiltonHotels #Hiltonhhonors #HiltonParkLane #SaveBritainsHeritage #LondonIcon #CulturalInstitution #TraderVics #Tiki #SaveTraderVics"

 

Option 2: 

Save the first image from the selection at the bottom of the page and post the full text as the caption if you’re on a platform that will allow this. Be sure to also tag Hilton and Hilton Park Lane. On Facebook the accounts to tag are: Hilton Hotels & Resorts plus London Hilton on Park Lane. On Instagram the accounts to tag are @hilton and @londonhiltonpl. For Twitter the account names are @HiltonHotels and @LondonHiltonPL. Finally, on LinkedIn the account names are Hilton and London Hilton On Park Lane.

 

"Hilton hotels, please speak to your customers and answer us these questions…

 

The cultural institution that is Trader Vic’s, is due to be thrown out of its home just short of its 60th birthday celebrations.

 

Hilton have critically underfunded the venue to the point they can use this as an excuse to close it. Please tell us this Hilton:

 

- Why is there a multi million pound refurb planned for the lobby, rooms and a new restaurant and bar, with nothing allocated to Trader Vic’s?

- Why have you given yourselves a five year plan for post pandemic recovery, and not extended this to Trader Vic’s? Anyone would testify financial recovery has been tough across the industry.

- Why have you put no investment or reinvestment into looking after the Trader Vic’s fixtures and fittings for a full ten years? These are culturally and historically significant objects you have in your care. 

- Why have you spent close to no investment on PR for Trader Vic’s while continuously promoting your other bars and restaurants? Across the past two years there have been 58 posts about Hilton Park Lane’s restaurants and bars - 56 of these were not about Trader Vic’s. One included Trader Vic’s but only in a carousel. With no promotion by the Hilton it’s amazing how well it does - and do you know why? Because it’s treasured by those who ever visit and attracts huge repeat custom. 

- Why have you stymied Trader Vic’s by not allowing them to sell mugs post pandemic - this would have brought in a steady revenue stream from loyal Tiki followers that travel to London specifically to visit Trader Vic’s, as well as souvenir collectors. 

- Why did you leave it until so close to Christmas to break this news, and even then not made an announcement but tried to keep it under the radar. Was this to give as little time as possible for people to react and to bury the story?

- Why have you refused to engage with loyal Trader Vic’s customers about the closure - there has been a continued silence both to us and to the press, who have been in contact and refused comment. 

 

Trader Vic’s is a much loved institution - it attracts big names from the 1960s right up to today. A recent sold out ‘Save Trader Vic’s’ event packed the place and proved it is still hugely popular and loved.

 

Walk into Trader Vic’s and you’re walking into a Tiki time capsule. Hardly changed since its opening in 1963, this restaurant and bar epitomises the swinging sixties. 

 

Rather than embracing its history and USP, Hilton have decided to replace this icon of the hospitality world with something lacking its impressive heritage and no doubt far less joyous. 

 

In the words of Greg Votolato, renowned design historian and author, Hilton Park Lane are, ‘sitting on a cultural treasure that, with a bit of creative marketing on their part, could also be once again a long lasting financial asset.’

 

We urge Hilton to rethink this short sighted decision - embrace this beloved London landmark, grant our Christmas wish and #SaveTraderVicsLondon 

 

#HiltonHotels #Hiltonhhonors #HiltonParkLane #SaveBritainsHeritage #LondonIcon #CulturalInstitution #Tiki #TraderVics #SaveTraderVics"

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TV Statement

Statement from Rhett Rosen, CEO of Trader Vic's Worldwide.

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We are deeply saddened that our time at Hilton Park Lane is coming to an end. After almost 60 years, we can only look back in amazement of the longevity, success, and impact this location had on so many lives. Few restaurants can say they have had the pleasure of serving Royal Families, Heads of State, Dignitaries from around the world and more celebrities than we can count. Sometimes all at the same time. I know this restaurant means a lot to the Trader Vic family of customers around the world, and trust me, it does to us as well. But as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. However, be rest assured that this this is not the end for Trader Vic’s in London, and we will update you with our plans soon. The Trader Vic’s brand has never been stronger all over the world, and we have you, our customers and extended family to thank for that. We value the strong relationship we have with Hilton and look forward to sharing more news about the exciting projects we are working on together.
Rhett Rosen
CEO of Trader Vic's Worldwide

Show your support on Instagram.

 

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