Since reopening this winter after an interior overhaul that turned Frankie’s (non-descript dive) into Frankie’s Tiki Room (hipster-haven), there’s been plenty of buzz over the West Charleston bar.
We’ve heard gushing over the tropical kitsch décor complete with carved wooden heads and dried blowfish lamps – “It’s so unVegas.” – and warnings on the drink menu – apparently those skulls beneath each cocktail are potency indicators and not just artistic additions. But what caught my attention after ordering up a refreshing Lava Letch on my first visit was the video loop.
Behind the bar, which stretches the length of the main room, two video screens played an intriguing mix of footage that ranged from grainy hula dancers to surf porn to actual porn in black and white starring a sailor and what appeared to be a Polynesian hooker.
Just when things were about to get really graphic and I and other patrons were starting to gape with a general, “Wha-a…” the scene would switch. Parting grass skirt became tightly curled wave, and we returned to our cocktails muttering.
While the incomprehensible hodge-podge was more often white noise than centerpiece, the odd combination of clips certainly beat staring at Anderson Cooper (no offense, AC) or Sports Center highlights. Play on, Tiki loop.