Hunka-Hunka Flamin’ Drinks from Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge

A tiki paradise where it’s island time, all the time.

A tiki paradise where it’s island time, all the time.


Alameda has a way of transporting you to different places and times. Places where the biggest “issue” was something that could wait till tomorrow and times when people said hi to strangers, held doors, and stopped to chat rather than being immersed in the glow of their smart phones. Forbidden Island is exactly one of these spots. The moment you walk through the front door it is as if you are transported to Hawaii circa 1951. 

Forbidden Island is a mash-up of Cheers and Rainforest Cafe (dive bar edition). They show vintage surf & skate videos, as well as mid-century movies like Elvis Goes to Hawaii which take you back to a simpler time. The local presence is clear and “regulars” often catch up over drinks despite a decor that would seem to be more of a tourist attraction. The difference is definitely the staff because if the drinks (read: really STRONG and really yummy drinks) don’t make you feel warm and fuzzy, the bartenders definitely will.

Local Alamedeans are drawn to Forbidden Island, if not for their house made syrups, original recipes, fresh juices and premium spirits, then definitely for their Kill Devil Club. Members of this club have imbibed Forbidden Island’s 99+ rums from around the world (the “Standard Collection”) or hard-to-find rums, aged 10 years or more (the “Kill Devil 2.0”). Members of this elite club have their names proudly engraved around the bar so that all patrons are aware of their dedication. Don’t worry, this feat is not meant to be accomplished in a single sitting. The bartenders will happily file your scorecard until your next visit.

So if you have a case of the Mondays, need a break from the real world or want to feel like you’ve been on a round trip vacation for under $20 and in less than 2 hours then this is your new favorite spot.

Check out Forbidden Island at 1304 Lincoln Avenue anytime or for the following:

Monday = all day happy hour

Tuesday = 20 Weeks of Tiki (there’s a new cocktail every week and if you try all 20, you’ll earn a prize & bragging rights)

Thursday = live music

Sunday = Scorpion Sunday (you can get a large scorpion bowl for the price of a small)

Be sure to say hi to John for us! Cheers!!

South Shore stamp of approval from: Audrey & Nelly