Mai-Kai Restaurant celebrates 60 years of business

It’s hard enough to keep a business going for six months, let alone six decades. Mai-Kai Restaurant celebrated its 60th anniversary, Wednesday night, with a big-time blow-out. Deco hit up the 954 landmark just as the Polynesian party was getting hot.

The heat was on at Mai-Kai, Wednesday, and the Fort Lauderdale Polynesian restaurant had a good reason to throw a big party.

Kern Mattei, Mai-Kai: “We’re celebrating our 60th anniversary. We’ve been in business for 60 years, opened in 1956.”

Mai-Kai is the place to go for all things, tiki.

Kern Mattei: “Tiki is a lifestyle. It’s spawned from ancient traditions in the islands where people would get together. They would have big feasts, they would drink tropical drinks and they would have good fun and do Polynesian shows.”

If you think the stage is the only place a show happens, think again.

Kern Mattei: “And what we’re really famous for is our mystery drink, which is served by one of our dancing girls. She’ll bring it to your table and do a little hula dance.”

But there are other cocktails that don’t require as much hip-shaking.

Kern Mattei: “Some of our most popular drinks, our barrel of rum, our pina passion…”

The kitchen is famous for their prime rib and their stir fry dishes — and you absolutely can’t miss the pu-pu platter.

Kern Mattei: “Our combination platter. It serves two people. It’s got egg rolls, cheese tangs, Shanghai chicken and it’s the perfect starter for your dinner here at the Mai-Kai.”

Mai-Kai has always been a popular spot, but they can thank a certain Disney movie for getting people excited about all things Polynesian.

Kern Mattei: “‘Moana’, the new Disney cartoon movie has brought a lot of attention to the Mai-Kai. People have seen the movie, they’ve seen the advertisements and it brings a little interest into the tiki culture.”

A special show was put together specifically for last night’s anniversary party. If you missed it, don’t worry — they’re keeping it around for a while.

Kern Mattei: “And it’s a culmination of all our shows we’ve been doing since we first opened. And we’re gonna run it throughout the whole 2017 year.”

Mai-Kai is the go-to place for tourists and locals alike

Katie Hubert: “Born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, I’ve been here for years of my life. Love it. The drinks are awesome, the food’s amazing and couldn’t beat the show.”


Mai-Kai Restaurant
3599 N Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
(954) 563-3272

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