Tiki is nothing if not known for its dedication to a good time, and Pagan Idol is fully committed. The bar from the Future Bars team is filled with details and delights that will make Tiki lovers swoon.
Comprised of two rooms, the bar offers two distinct experiences, starting with the "Captain's Quarters," which is designed to look the the inside hull of a ship. Guests pass through a wooden-walled room that offers porthole views of underwater scenes and sunsets, and beneath a series of ornate lighting fixtures by artist Ivan Mora, depicting the dreaded kraken (giant squid). Then, after ascending a few steps (beneath which lies a pile of skulls, bones and dramatic red lighting), drinkers enter a magical island paradise, complete with thatched tiki huts, massive wood totems and an erupting volcano. Manager Justin D'Olier says that he and the team's hope was to create something that was totally fun and in fitting with Tiki culture, not an identifiable place (as in, this isn't their depiction of a real location like Hawaii). He and fellow manager Daniel Parks, previously of Trader Vic's in Emeryville, created what is essentially a diorama of the tiki world, from the ship to the island.
The ceiling is a twinkling night sky that took countless hours to install, something D'Olier imagines wouldn't have gotten pushed through if they'd known exactly how hard it would be to create. But luckily ignorance is bliss, and the end result has a stunning, transportive effect— especially combined with a volcano that erupts smoke intermittently.
Pagan Idol is now open Monday-Friday from 4:00 p.m.- 2:00 a.m. and Saturday from 6:00 p.m.- 2:00 a.m.