American National Bank is very pleased to have provided the financing to help bring one of Broward County’s oldest and most iconic venues back to life: the Mai-Kai Restaurant and Polynesian Show!
The Mai-Kai first opened for business on a deserted stretch of Federal Highway in 1956. It was the vision and passion project of brothers Bob and Jack Thornton, who fell in love with the Tiki culture that swept the nation after World War II. During its 65-year history, the Mai-Kai has delivered a genuine Tiki experience, including regularly being honored for the authenticity of its drink menu and its Polynesian show, the longest running one of its kind in the country.
We, along with many fans of the Mai-Kai, were sad when the venue closed in 2020. As a result of the search launched by TransWorld Partners, the Thornton family connected with Bill Fuller and Martin Pinilla of Barlington Group and Mr. Fuller’s other company, Mad Room Hospitality. With Barlington’s expertise in restructuring real estate assets and Mad Room’s successful track record in combining 21st century food and beverage expertise with historic venue preservation, the Bank was proud to provide financing for this exciting re-launch of a true landmark destination.
Work is already ongoing to restore the Mai-Kai, with plans to open the beloved Molokai Bar in early 2022, followed by a full grand re-opening later in the year. Mireille Thornton will remain the choreographer and costume designer for the show, a role she’s held since 1963.