We had the good fortune of connecting with Bamboo Ben and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bamboo, what do you attribute your success to?
Escapism. People, as a rule, have a need to walk away from their everyday lives and disappear into a world that is counter opposite of everyday life; escapism. It’s apparent in today’s world this yearning will only become stronger. I create and build spaces of all sizes where people can disappear and enjoy the atmosphere. In the right Tiki atmosphere, the lighting is dim to dark. No white lights! No white walls! The room (s) is filled with lots of Tikis, low glowing fish float lights, puffer fish lights, unusual crate and outrigger style lamps and lights, tables and booths built into nooks and crannies with overhead huts, lots of Tikis, lauhala mat walls, bamboo and mat ceilings (or blacked out ceiling so they too disappear), lots of Tikis, fish net, fish floats in a variety of colors, raised large ‘chief hut-style’ tables and booths and, topping it all off, the right Tiki atmosphere must be complimented with exceptional cocktails that are strong and tasty. The right Tiki atmosphere takes a person away and into another realm. The right Tiki atmosphere takes a person on a mini getaway; a vacation of sorts, if only for a few hours.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
What sets me apart from other artists in the Tiki scene is I am a designer and builder of the abundance of styles that make up Tiki. From Tiki to Nautical to Pirate to Asian to South Pacific to Hawaiiana to Mid Century Modern to Disneyana, I’ve designed and built projects based on every style. What excites me about my work is there is always something new coming along and a new challenge.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
In my local beach town of Huntington Beach, Ca., I would most likely take my friend on a bike ride to the Wedge in Newport Beach. When there is a swell, waves at the Wedge can get up to 20 feet. Locally I’d take my friend to the Crab Cooker restaurant followed by Happy Hour at the Irishman Pub in downtown Huntington Beach. Dinner would be Matsu Japanese restaurant in Huntington Beach. Los Angeles would also be on the list of things to do. I’d like to show my friend Pacific Seas inside Clifton’s Cafeteria in downtown Los Angeles. I built Pacific Seas in 2015.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My wife of 30 years, Mrs Bamboo, and our two sons, Jack and Blake
Facebook: Bamboo Ben & Ben Bassham
Other: Google Bamboo Ben