Take a Daycation to a Suburban Tiki Paradise: 4 Kahunas Tiki Lounge

From left: the Yellow Rose, Zombie, Tiki Torch, Head Hunter and Cobra Fang at the new 4 Kahunas Tiki Lounge in Arlington.EXPAND
From left: the Yellow Rose, Zombie, Tiki Torch, Head Hunter and Cobra Fang at the new 4 Kahunas Tiki Lounge in Arlington.
Susie Oszustowicz
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Working kind of sucks. Responsibilities kind of suck. This heat really sucks. Tiki things, however, do not suck.

A tiki paradise is waiting for you in a somewhat unexpected place: Arlington. Yes, you read it right, DFW's first tiki-dedicated establishment popped up in Arling-fun, complete with straw umbrellas, tiki mugs and even a grotto.

4 Kahunas Tiki Lounge is a tiki respite. It has all the kitsch you expect from a tiki spot but has done things a different way. Owners didn't research for years or plan every ounce of booze according to books. They decided they wanted to do something fun, so they did — and then figured out how to do it.

While guzzling grog at Frankie's Tiki Room, a popular tiki bar in Las Vegas, these four friends — 4 Kahunas J.P. Hunter, Scott Smith, Chris Powell and Randy Shepherd — decided they needed a tiki spot where they could hang out in DFW. Why Arlington? Because it's accessible to everyone and gave them the chance to keep costs low.

Brad Bowden, bar manager of 4 Kahunas.EXPAND
Brad Bowden, bar manager of 4 Kahunas.
Susie Oszustowicz

To help the four friends create a respectable tiki program (because, yes, it can be done wrong), they brought in Brad Bowden. Bowden started the weekly tiki program at Lounge Here and has made a name for himself in the Dallas tiki scene. (Yes, it's a thing.) He brings his laid-back elegance to the program and doesn't take any shortcuts when it comes to ingredients — think fresh-squeezed juices and housemade orgeat and syrups. The lounge even makes its coconut cream, and it's decadent.

The cocktails are tiki beyond over-the-top garnishes and sugar water with rum thrown in and set on fire. (Lest you be discouraged, there are flaming drinks.) And beyond just good, they're thoughtful. The menu offers some traditional tiki cocktails — the Fog Cutter, Zombie, Missionary's Downfall, etc. — alongside quite a few originals. A couple of standouts: the Yellow Rose, a whiskey cocktail complete with a lemon and pineapple rose, and the Lady Angelica, with rum, cream sherry and vanilla with a lemon peel garnish carved into a butterfly. The namesake for the Lady Angelica is the Instagram tiki fiend that got owner Hunter into tiki. Call it a tribute of sorts.

While the menu isn't final yet (you'll see some handwritten notes or price changes), we're excited about where it is. And where it is, price-wise, is even more pleasing. Being in Arlington lets the owners offer tiki starting at $8 and only going up to $14. Go all in for one of the three "group drinks" for you and a few friends for $28-$36, and you'll be lauded with a bang on the huge drum. 4 Kahunas doesn't serve food, but you can order in from local businesses.

The Lady Angelica, a 4 Kahunas originalEXPAND
The Lady Angelica, a 4 Kahunas original
Susie Oszustowicz

Expect a happy hour to be launched soon, and with it, the chance to show up in a tiki getup to get those happy hour prices anytime. Also on the horizon is a BYO-mug night, when you'll get the featured cocktail for a deal. Even more exciting for the rum-lovers among us is a rum program in the works with unique bottles and a rum club to boot. Just don't expect anything stuffy or boring from these guys; that shit just won't fly in this tiki bar.

4 Kahunas, 506 E. Division St., Arlington

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.