San Diego's Bali Hai To Host 65th Anniversary "Solid Gold" Luau On October 24

September 29, 2019

A Shelter Island landmark since the 1950s, San Diego's historic Bali Hai will celebrate its 65th anniversary with a Solid Gold Luau on October 24.

First opened in 1952 as Christian’s Hut, which was a chain of Tahitian-style bars first opened on the set of Clark Gable's "The Bounty" movie set, the Shelter Island bar and restaurant became Bali Hai in 1954 when accountant-turned-restaurateur Tom Ham bought the place. The Bali Hai, which translates to "your own special island, became famous for its 6 nights a week Polynesian Floor show, and the success of his first restaurant led Tom Ham to open a second bayside eatery in 1971, Tom Ham's Lighthouse on Harbor Island.

Under the management of Tom Ham’s 2nd and 3rd generation of family - daughter Susie, her husband Larry Baumann and their three sons Grant, Tom and Andy - the Bali Hai underwent a 5-month, $4 million renovation in 2010, spearheaded by the late San Diego architect Graham Downes. The restoration project gave the building a new paint job, installed a permanent open-air structure on the site’s concrete patio, added a second-story deck, extended the bar space, and cleaned up Mr. Bali Hai.

On Thursday, October 24, the Baumann family is celebrating Bali Hai's 65th Anniversary with a ticketed party. Tickets to the anniversary luau are available online for $65 and will include access to the celebration, a solid gold limited edition Mr. Bali Hai tiki mug, an Anniversary Bali Hai bag, one complimentary drink ticket, a Lei, and other vendor swag. There will be live music on both floors, including performances by the Creepxotica, Desi Realtor and much more, as well as a Pride of Polynesia Dance show, live fire dance and other entertainment! The party will have food stations showcasing the years of Bali Hai's favorite menu items, with sweets for the night including Dole Whips, Hawaiian Shaved Ice and more.

Bali Hai is located at 2230 Shelter Island Drive in San Diego's Point Loma. For more information, visit