Cocktails & Spirits

Author Pete Moruzzi Hosts Talk, Happy Hour at Mai-Kai

Mai-Kai is one of Fort Lauderdale's treasures. 

Though a rare gem now, in the 1950's and 60's the United States was filled with restaurant showplaces like Latin Quarter, Trader Vic's, The Hawaiian Cottage, and Mai-Kai. 

These themed restaurants had elaborate decor, fruity and potent drinks, and, most likely, live entertainment.

Many of these places have since closed, but Mai-Kai, built in 1956 for about $3,000, has continued serving Tiki drinks and holding Polynesian revues for over 50 years.  

Nightlife historian, Peter Moruzzi, has authored a book chronicling these classic restaurants. Classic Dining: Discovering America's Finest Mid-Century Restaurants ($30), highlights the restaurants our parents and grandparents frequented. South Florida restaurants Moruzzi has featured include Joe's Stone Crab, Fox's Sherron Inn, and Mai-Kai.

Moruzzi is giving an illustrated talk on the book at the Mai-Kai on Thursday, December 13 from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. in the Tahiti Room. Afterward, Moruzzi will be signing copies of Classic Dining, which will be available for sale on-site. 

To celebrate the event, the restaurant is extending their happy hour to 9 p.m., so you'll be able to enjoy half-priced drinks and appetizers. No purchase is required to attend the free talk, but an RSVP is strongly suggested, as space is limited.

To RSVP, send an email to

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times, covering the restaurant and bar scene in South Florida. She has been featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat Street and Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Doss won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature on what it’s like to wait tables. In a previous life, she appeared off-Broadway and shook many a cocktail as a bartender at venues in South Florida and New York City. When she’s not writing, you can find Doss running some marathon then celebrating at the nearest watering hole.
Contact: Laine Doss