Tiki expert/mixologist Craig Dunlap, restaurateur Jack Loconoslo, and Redo founder Randy Hild have been getting their haircut at The King’s Club Barbershop in Dana Point for years. Bonded by their love of a great haircut and a well-crafted Mai Tai, it’s easy to see how these three passionate locals became the creative, culinary & cocktail forces behind this year’s Tiki Bar experience at the Redo Vintage and Maker’s Market. With Craig’s Tiki Booth being a jaw-dropper at last year’s Redo Market, Jack’s Restaurant was eager to collaborate for this exclusive one day only Redo event. The Market will also feature Beer Gardens with refreshing cold ones on tap.
Meet Craig. Dana Point native, tiki bar enthusiast, and Hobie Warehouse Manager. Craig is the creative mastermind behind this year’s handcrafted Tiki Bar experience. A true artist and Mai Tai craftsman extraordinaire.
Chris Dunlap serving up the popular Tiki cocktail, the Painkiller. A fruity mix of pineapple, orange, coconut, and a bold Rum.
Name: Craig Dunlap
Occupation: Warehouse Manager
Years in occupation: 17 years - Started at Hobie at age 16
Home: Grew up in Dana Point, lives in San Juan Capistrano
Would you consider yourself a creative? “Sure.”
What are your first memories of being creative? “I’m more of a collector. The second something is in a series, I want all of them. The first thing I ever remember collecting were the Marvel cards. If you lined nine up in a row there was a picture. I loved it. That was my thing as a little kid.”
How did the Tiki Bar collection come about? “Oddly enough it started with fezzes. After my first fez, I wanted to get more. I was going for a world traveler Indiana-Jonesy type of thing. Fezzes have nothing to do with tiki, but there is a weird connection between the two. So, fezzes led me to the tiki world. I love fezzes and I love Tiki stuff. I don’t combine them anymore though.”
How did you get started? “I had an apartment with my buddy Zack in Dana Point. We had a walk-through 8’x8’ dining room so we bought a bar, some stools, then decided to have fun with it. Next thing you know, four years later, we had a waterfall, an aquarium, and hanging lights.”
Proudest moment? “In life? My family; wife and three kids. Oh, and the Luau I’ve thrown for the last 7 years.”
What or who inspires you? “All the old masters of tiki bars from the 1930s on. Sven Kiersten, who wrote The Book of Tiki and Tiki Modern. He’s ‘The Guy.’ Then you have all the people that were with him like Beachbum Berry who does all the cocktail stuff - that’s why we all know how to make the real Mai Tais. Now there are all kinds of people who do cool stuff that you don’t know or haven’t seen before. It’s fun seeing what different bars and restaurants do too.”
What is your favorite thing about your Tiki Bars? “I love it when you have friends or people you don’t even know find out you have a tiki bar. Then they show up and say ‘WOW, MAN! THIS IS INSANE!!’ That’s definitely my favorite part.”
You’ve spent years building and expanding a private tiki bar inside Hobie’s warehouse. At what point did your job mesh with your hobby? “Hobie is so family-oriented. We are an actual family, together every day. I was able to tee the ball up with the idea of a tiki bar and put some stuff in the corner here. Then slowly things started getting built. The more people would talk about how much they loved it, the more I would add to the bar and just run with it. When we were redoing our Laguna Beach store a couple of years ago, the owner, Mark, asked if I would build a little tiki nook in the back. He was supportive of my ideas, even helped me find a few pieces I needed. When it was finished, he said it was the coolest thing he had ever seen in his life. It was fun making a vibe for the store.”
Fun fact about you? “I volunteer at my church at 5:00 am every Sunday and I’m never late!”
Craig’s OC Favorites
Strands Beach, Dana Point
Salt Creek Beach, Dana Point
Offer Up, LetGo, Craigslist
Hi-Time Liquor, Costa Mesa
El Campeón, San Juan Capistrano
Meet Jack. Dana Point’s most gracious host, mixology specialist, and proud owner of Jack's Restaurant & Bar, where you are always welcomed home for a fantastic meal.
Future home of Dunlap's Redo Market Tiki Bar. Jack's Restaraunt & Bar on Del Prado Ave. in Dana Point, California.
How long has your restaurant been in Dana Point?
“We have been in Dana Point for 22 years.”
How do you know Craig and how the tiki bar idea came about?
“Randy and his wife Debbie have been customers here at Jack’s since day one. Randy, Craig, and I all get our hair cut at The King’s Club Barbershop in Dana Point. Craig is famous for hosting Mai Tai parties, I saw his Tiki booth at the last Redo Market. I thought a Tiki Bar outside of my restaurant would be a great theme for this year’s Redo Market. We do other events here and they are always successful. I think Craig’s Tiki Bar will be a perfect addition to the streets of Del Prado this year.”
How has COVID-19 affected your restaurant?
“With very short notice we needed to close the restaurant and alter it for curbside pick-up and takeout only. The city was very helpful and allowed us to make parking spots for pick-up only customers. We have a very strong email following so we had a lot of support from the locals.”
What are you most excited about for this year’s Redo Market?
“I’m excited about exposure with a different demographic. Every time we do an outdoor event, it brings a new group of people to the restaurant and The Lantern District. I think the Tiki Bar will be a great success this year.”
Jack’s OC Favorites
Strands Beach, Dana Point
Salt Creek Beach, Dana Point
Interview by: Courtney Beckwith
Photos by: Mary Mayer