Stephen Starr Doing a Tiki Pop-Up at Art Museum

STARR Events will be hosting a three-day Tiki Pop-Up restaurant event from Thusday, June 28 to Saturday the 30th at the Philadelphia Museum of Art East Terrace. Each night from 6 to 9 p.m. for $48 patrons can enjoy Polynesian flavors and entertainment meant to accompany the PMA’s newest exhibit Gauguin, Cezanne, Matisse: Visions of Arcadia.

Menu items include a whole-roasted pig (of course), Polynesian-style chicken and barbecued brisket with pineapple upside cake as a dessert choice. Admission also includes one free drink from the outdoor Tiki Bar with choices like the Pink Flamingo, The Big Kahuna, and the classic Mai Tai. (After your free drink there is a cash bar all night).

Popular steel drum band Trinadelphia will be providing the Polynesian music for the night and the whole East Terrace will be decorated “Tiki-Style.”

Could this be Stephen Starr’s prelude to an honest to goodness, Philadelphia Tiki bar? We can only wish.

To make a reservation please call 215-684-7990 .


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  • Josh

    A Mai Tai shouldn’t have pineapple juice, orange juice, or grenadine.

  • Helvis Presley

    That drink list, especially the mai tai is shameful. Show some respect to Trader Vic.

  • Me

    I bet I know who did that cocktail menu. He copied them straight out of a mixologists book from nyc. His ego is bigger than Starr’s.

  • Vanessa

    Whats with all the pineapple???? Most of the worlds pineapple comes from costa rica– NOT the Pacific. I should have done the cocktail menu….. No imagination on that one, Starr. Fail….

  • Snake

    What’s East Terrace mean here? Is this going to be outside? I’d like to walk down there if so, can I just get a drink?

  • Katie Loeb

    Those drink recipes are horribly innaccurate. No orgeat in the Mai Tai?? Not even faking it with amaretto or creme de noyeaux? And there’s far too much reliance on artificially flavored rums. I doubt they’re using house made grenadine or any house made syrups. Pfft. If anyone wants a real tiki drink that won’t give lab rats cancer, come see me or one of the other bartenders at Han Dynasty University City. Correct recipes with homage to real tiki. All house made ingredients. No artificial crap. As it should be.

  • Michael James

    Bad, Bad, Bad….

    Pop up restaurant or pop up wedding reception on the terrace at the museum where no one knows the bride or groom? From the greeting, to the service at the table, to the quality of the food each progression in the evening felt like I was falling down the steps of the East Terrace only to land at the food of the Rocky statue.

    We were greeted, “Good you prepaid” given our theme toys and drink coupon. We were then told to go back to the bar for our drinks. No explanation that it was seat yourself afterwards.

    Being people skilled in observation, we figured it out before we had our drinks and found our table. We sat down and waited. Plenty of servers walked by, looked at us and kept moving. AFter 15 minutes we got up and asked a server, then only after asking for service we received our rolled flatware and water.

    We helped our selves to the buffet. The food was not well stocked (8pm). No significant temperature control for the food (call the health department). I’m still wondering how the SPAM in the rice fits the theme.

    The ribs were good but cold, pork well cooked without flavor and so on. The best dessert was the ice cream, however sprinkles as toppings? Really? Everyone who already commented on the drink menu. All I can say is Amen!

    So the event was $48 a person for a poorly executed buffet with nothing that equaled service other than the attendants at the buffet.

    Let’s break it down. They have about $3.50 in food per person, A buck for the drink only because sugar and fruit juice is costly.

    With all the vents they do with preferred vendors if they paid for the rentals (tables, chars, linen, tent and decor) I’m sure it was at a significant discount. The biggest cost? The labor, there was lots of staff standing around. A cluster buster was definitely needed to work the floor and motivate the staff. Yes that was the most interesting thing. There was no one that we observed who was clearly in charge.

    The shock is that the Starr restaurants have always delivered a great experience.

    This Pop Up Restaurant is a dismal failure except for being a profit generator for the corporation. Inspiring a loyal customer of the restaurants to attend the Pop Up events? The second event is well marketed and sounds great. Will it be a let down?

    Time will tell, I have had better food and service at a $10 Chinese Buffet.

  • brett

    I was at the tiki dinner in the restaurant last summer, and enjoyed classic tiki drinks! It was a quiet night but energy and staff were great! I don’t know what happened here, new people in charge.

  • Rodney

    Had a great experience last night under the stars looking over the city skline! Loved the two drinks I had and the band was great. We are not uptight people, we absolutley loved the atmosphere even in the exreme heat!!!

  • Terri

    We had a wonderful time yesterday at the tiki event. It was such a unique and fun atmosphere for Philly. The drinks were great and the food was authentic, right down to the spam (having lived in Hawaii years ago I learned spam is very popular there, as is pineapple). Everything was very well put together and the staff was very friendly and accommodating. I didn’t even mind the heat so much. Everyone in my group had a great time.

  • amanda

    i absolutely LOVED this tiki restaurant. the food was true to Hawaiian dishes. not sure what the fuss is about the drinks, they were heavenly and since Hawaii produces a 3rd of the world’s pineapple supply it makes perfect sense that it’s so visible on the menu. and i thought the steel drum band was great too. fun event!

  • Ashley

    Can anyone else post a comprehensive review before I choose to blow 60 bucks on what may be a crappy dinner? Terri has been posting as Steven Ashley on several other websites with the same comments so that doesn’t help too much.

  • Tom

    This event was a real disappointment.
    Review #7 by Michael James is quite accurate.
    We have always had great experiences at Stephen Starr restaurants but this was quite bad. Stephen, I can promise you that slapping a piece of roasted pineapple on top of a cupcake does not a Pineapple Upside-down cake make.
    The ribs and the fish were quite good and the roasted pig was adequate – but those were the only decent items IMHO. The “hot fudge” was cold FFS!
    The drinks were dreadful. We had to stop by the local tiki bar on the way home to wash the horrible taste out of our mouths. It took a zombie and a navy grog each.
    Never again.

  • Atalanta

    Oh, Stephen, you put your name on this???

    I grant, it wasn’t a total fail, just not worth what we paid for it.

    I’ll start with the appearance. It wasn’t the whole front of the art museum, just a third and the only appearance of Tiki was the cashier’s podium at the entrance and the couple picnic tables not under the tent with thatch umbrellas. The view was nice, and it wasn’t too awful hot. The fountain flowing would have been nice but none of the fountains were flowing.

    The staff, ok, maybe because we got there early (did the Arcadia exhibit first) the service was fine. We were told when we arrived that it was buffet, find our own seats, and there was a cash bar. We sat at one of the umbrella tables outside the tent (it was already filling up inside at 6). On our way to the table, we stopped at the cash bar and got our complimentary tiki drinks.

    Here’s my first complaint – they weren’t handmade, they were poured from punch dispensers. I’ll grant, when you’re serving LOTS of people it can be easier that way, but don’t advertise that you’ll actually be mixing the drinks there. Why do I bring this up? They tasted like pineapple with a hint of citrus. I had a volcano and my BF had a Hawaiian Iced Tea. They should have tasted different (BF said his tasted “Blue” not like blue curaco). I think that’s the only way they could tell the difference between the drinks, they were different colors. And was there a shot of rum per vat? You should be able to tell there’s rum in there. That may be why the quintessential tiki drink, the Zombie, was missing. They would have had to actually spend some of the money on rum. Nursed mine through the whole time there – wasn’t going to spend $14 on a “virgin” tiki drink.

    The food. They did better here. Nothing was hot, it was all warm or cold (good thing for the ceviche). What I sampled was good, some was excellent. Nobody was touching the ceviche which is a shame because that was the best. I also liked the Seafood Luau and the ribs fell off the bone. I tried the spam fried rice and it wasn’t as weird as I thought it would be.

    I would have liked to have seen the desert menu they posted. I skipped the pineapple upside down cake – it didn’t look right. There was no chocolate macadamia nut cake (that would have been yummy) and the cheesecake was good cheesecake but where was the guava? They also had ice cream, nice for a hot night. What? No mango? No coconut? Chocolate or Vanilla?

    I do have to commend the floor servers. They were refilling my water just as it got low and I was drinking a lot of water because it was hot out. Maybe we got better service because we were NOT in the tent and it wasn’t so crowded and busy.

    This experience has made me re-think attending any Starr special events.