Since 1937, Vic "The Trader" Bergeron's eponymous restaurants have transported guests from the daily grind to a tropical paradise. Guests sip unique tropical cocktails, surrounded by Polynesian artifacts, and delight in nibbling on tidbits and pupus inspired by the exotic cuisines of the world. Come and escape with us and dance the night away to the sounds of traditional island bands.
Trader Vic's Wordwide has a rich and storied history of success and innovation that all began in 1934 when the ebullient Vic "The Trader" Bergeron built a cozy little saloon on San Pablo Avenue in Oakland, California that he called Hinky Dinks.
After embarking on an adventure to Cuba to refine his skills as a bartender and explore the subtleties of rums from around the world, The Trader eventually landed in Hawaii and completely immersed himself in island living and culture. Upon his return home his objective was clear: inject the spirit of the island into our everyday lives.
In 1937, The Trader transformed Hinky Dinks into a tiki-bedecked tropical retreat aptly named Trader Vic's and put into practice his research on rums. Years ahead of his time, Vic began serving simmering plates of island-style cuisine, and Trader Vic's quickly became one of America's first fusion restaurant concepts. As his travels continued, Vic found himself along the Spice Route. Inspired by the flavors of the exotic global cuisines he found there, he began incorporating them into his dishes, famously using ingredients like green peppercorns and morels - a tradition that continues to this day.
Then one day in 1944, a bit of serendipity happened that would place The Trader at the forefront of rum-soaked cocktail mixology earning him a place in history. He pulled down a bottle of 17-year-old Jamaican Rum from the bar, added a squeeze of lime, a dash of rock candy syrup, a splash of orange curacao, some French orgeat, and poured the concoction over cracked ice. He handed it to a friend who immediately exclaimed, "It's Mai Tai Roa Ae!" (Tahitian for "Out of this world - the best!"), and the first Mai Tai was born - Paradise In A Glass™.
As popularity of Vic's tiki haven grew, Trader Vic's successfully opened its first franchise in Seattle, Washington in 1940 and expanded to international shores in 1963 at London's Hilton Hotel on Park Lane and in 1964 at Tokyo. Following a booming success in the Middle East in 1994 with multiple franchise openings, Trader Vic's introduced its new concept "The Mai Tai Lounge" to the world opening in Dubai in 2007. This unique and exciting concept features freshly grilled bar bites and a bevy of Trader Vic's world-famous signature concoctions.
Today, the Trader Vic's family of restaurants is known as Trader Vic's Worldwide and is recognized across the globe. Taste The World® through exotic cuisines and happily imbibe from a collection of expertly crafted libations at Trader Vic's, the Home of the Original Mai Tai®.