Like smoking at work, camel hair coats and a budget surplus, tiki bars are relics of a bygone era, of when Cesar Chavez Street was called Army, when nobody in San Francisco knew what a bike lane was, and organ meat was nothing more than fodder for the cows that we turned into delicious 15-cent hamburgers.
That's why we can't understand the flap over the Tonga Room. Sure, the Fairmont Hotel's tiki bar is… unique, but the hotel wants it out of its ground floor. Now. But this is San Francisco, and the Tiki Lounge was declared historic back in May, meaning all parts of it must be preserved. That didn't help the decision-making ability of the Planning Commission on Thursday, who booted a decision on what to do with the Polynesian Lounge until January 2011.