for Food and Beverage
- P O BOX 8603
EMERYVILLE, CA 94662
- Company Information:
It all started when Victor Jules Bergeron was a waiter at San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel and owned a grocery store on San Pablo Avenue in Oakland. His son - Victor, (Jr.) - grew up loving the food business, living with the family in an apartment above the store and helping out downstairs. A childhood accident cost him a leg, but left him with a penchant for telling colorful stories.
In 1932, with a nest egg of $700 and carpentry help from his wife's brothers - plus his mother's pot-bellied stove and oven - the ebullient Victor built a cozy pub across the street from the store and called it Hinky Dink's. His pungent vocabulary and ribald air made him a popular host, as did his potent tropical cocktail concoctions and delicious Americanized adaptations of Polynesian food.
Soon one of the most popular watering holes in Northern California's Bay Area, the place attracted sophisticated urbanites like writers Herb Caen and Lucius Beebe. By 1936, when Caen wittily wrote that the "best restaurant in San Francisco is in Oakland," Vic had become "The Trader" and Hinky Dink's had become "Trader Vic's," complete with a showpiece Chinese oven. Its South Pacific theme "intrigues everyone. You think of beaches and moonlight and pretty girls. It is complete escape," Vic said at the time. Among Trader Vic's more tantalizing legacies is the original Mai Tai, the bracingly refreshing rum cocktail he created at the restaurant in 1944 and introduced to the Hawaiian islands in the 1950s. Tahit