The Shift List
Martin Cate (Smuggler's Cove) - San Francisco
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Martin Cate (Smuggler's Cove) - San Francisco

Rum purveyor and exotic cocktail expert Martin Cate talks about the exotic soundtrack that plays every night at his world class tiki bar in San Francisco, Smuggler's Cove.

So, if you haven’t noticed, Tiki is having a major rennaissance all across the US, and it’s due in no small part to Martin Cate’s elevation and dedication to the form. As Martin likes to put it,“Tiki is a multidisciplinary genre. It’s not just about the cocktails, it’s about creating an atmosphere. All of the elements need to come together seamlessly, and when something is missing or discordant, it takes you out of the experience.”

And central to this experience in any tiki bar worth it’s salt is the music. As he writes in the Smuggler’s Cove book, along with exotica and other lounge music, the tiki sound incorporates hapa haole, which is traditional Hawaiian music with lyrics sung in English, as well as the sounds of surf music, which, as Martin will explain in this episode, was actually countercultural to the greatest generation that made tiki explode in it’s first wave of popularity back in the 1960s.

Be sure to visit one of his bars next time you find yourself in San Francisco (Smuggler's Cove), Portland (Hale Pele, co-owner), San Diego (False Idol, co-owner), and Chicago (Lost Lake, partner).

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