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Trad'r Sam, bless his rum-sodden heart, has created a unique blend of kitschy tiki lounge and thrifty dive bar. This isn't one of those lavish tiki establishments that suckers you in with over-the-top tropicalia, then ransoms you for all the pirate's booty in the South Seas just to pay for a few frou-frou rum drinks. Trad'r Sam will whip up alternately frothy and fruity cocktails - with names like Hawaiian Volcano, Tahitian Deep Purple, and Cap'n Bill's Grog - then charge you just a little more than a fin (meaning $5, not part of a shark's anatomy). The decor is suitably Polynesian, with palm tree murals and bamboo-edged booths named after Pacific archipelagos, but it's not as overblown as most tiki bars. And don't expect to hear Don Ho on the stereo: depending on who's plugging in money, the internet jukebox will probably play classic rock, Top 40 hip-hop, or vintage disco. With the cash you save on drinks, the next few songs just might be yours.
Fruity umbrella drinks and floral patterned booths, each with an island destination name like Hawaii and Tahiti spelled out in bamboo, divert attention from the wood paneling and anything-but-tropical stale air. But it's this tacky tiki charm, decent jukebox, and strong drinks, all under $8 (except the popular $14 Scorpion Bowl group drink) in this Outer Richmond cash-only bar that keep us coming back. A weekend hub for those living in the foggiest parts of the City, Trad'r Sam's helps you... More »
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