Vintage Tiki Found: Photo from the Hawaiian Cottage, Cherry Hill NJ, 1963

The Hawaiian Cottage, 1963. On right, Charlie & Sabina Pinto. On left, Charlie Porco & Connie Petroni
The Hawaiian Cottage, 1963. On left, Charlie & Sabina Pinto. On right, Charlie Porco & Connie Petroni (Porco)

While looking through some of my old man’s old junk, I found a treasure that I forgot existed. A photo of my Mother, Father, Aunt and Uncle taken at the world-famous Hawaiian Cottage back in the golden era of Tiki Bars, 1963. This was one of those photos where a cute girl would go table to table snapping pix, and have them framed and ready for you when the floor show was over and you were ready to split.

The Hawaiian Cottage was built in the late 1930’s, and featured dining rooms and a gift shop under unique coconut and pineapple roofs, Pacific island decor, and nightly entertainment. As the brochure promised, “you receive the impression of actually being in Hawaii.”

You gotta admit, from the hairstyles to the clothes, this photo just reeks of the 60’s. Unfortunately for us, the Hawaiian Cottage met the same demise as so many of our favorite destination…it burnt down in 1978, taking 40 years of history with it. From what I hear there’s a useless, cookie-cutter chain restaurant on the site now. Maybe someday things will change for the better, and when the cookie cutters burn down, they’ll build more Tiki Bars. (Well I can dream, can’t I?)

The Hawaiian Cottage, 1963
The Hawaiian Cottage, 1963
Back of Hawaiian Cottage Photo Frame
Back of Hawaiian Cottage Photo Frame

Inside flap of Hawaiian Cottage Photo Frame
Inside flap of Hawaiian Cottage Photo Frame
Post Card, Hawaiian Cottage Dining Room
Post Card, Hawaiian Cottage Dining Room


Thank you to Mod Betty at Retro Roadmap for turning us on to this Hawaiian Cottage T-shirt available at Vintage Roadside. Very kool fellas!

19 Replies to “Vintage Tiki Found: Photo from the Hawaiian Cottage, Cherry Hill NJ, 1963

  1. What a great place and I do wish if i had the money i would rebuild it. I wish someone would. Great times and food there 🙂

  2. i have a picture of my mother there at a work party in the late 60s..i also got the last bottle of champagne out of there ,my father was the mailman there and the day after the fire he gave it to my dad.

  3. The Cherry Hill Historical Commission is collecting information and artifacts from the Hawaiian Cottage. If you would care to donate please contact me.

    1. Hi Jerry, that’s a great thing you’re doing but I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to part with this heirloom. I can send you a high-res PDF though, if you’d like to reproduce it. Just let me know.
      -Tiki Chris

  4. Dude, you had some chic looking parents there! Looking swanky and having a great time, clearly.
    Do you know if this place had a house band, à la The Kahiki’s Beach Comber Trio? Restaurants sometimes would put out vinyl records as a souvenir of your visit there – wonder if the Cottage had one at some point?

  5. Hi Tracy, isn’t it great when you come across and old photo like that? Man, this place was jumpin’ back in the day. Shame it burned down. Luckily there are still a few joints like this left in the world…the Mai Kai in Ft. Lauderdale being one. One of my favorite places.

  6. I have a photo of my grandparents, my parents and I (a baby in a high chair) at the Hawaiian Cottage in 1966 or 1967. I found it at my grandmother’s house when she passed away. I had no idea where it was taken until a cousin from NJ saw the photo. It looks like it was a pretty cool place. 🙂

  7. I think they all look like 60’s movie stars in this photo. Back in the days when people dressed to the nines and a night out was a really big deal!

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