Mai Tai, Excelsior's thatch-roofed Polynesian restaurant and bar, opened in 1978 and quickly became a hot spot around Lake Minnetonka until it closed in 1989.
The Mai Tai was founded by John Logan, former head chef at the Ambassador Hotel in St. Louis Park.
Fun was the main concern at Mai Tai, and the bartenders were able to mix about 30 different Polynesian drinks. The décor was decidedly tropical and included an outrigger canoe and a 200-foot waterfall. In a May 1984 interview, some of the restaurant's founders said they had 12 varieties of seafood flown in daily along with fresh orchids from Hawaii that were placed on the tables. Learn more here
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