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Break out your Hawaiian shirt at Cantina Loco

“Let the rum flow and the tiki gods smile upon you,” says Cantina Loco about its new CanTiki Tuesdays.

Manager Adam Smith came up with the idea for CanTiki Tuesdays after visiting a Chicago tiki bar. He wanted a way to warm up winter.

Good, because summer cannot get here soon enough (and we like to stay in practice).

Smith designed a cocktail menu ($8-$10) that highlights the fruity and warm flavors of summer. Enjoy drinks like the CanTiki Cooler (Jamaican and dark rums with guava, mango and passion fruit juices) or the hilarious Scurvy Remedy (Bacardi tangerine rum, Rhum Clement’s Creole Schrub, St. Germaine liqueur, cinnamon, orange and pineapple juices). Hey, who knows when scurvy will strike? Choices will rotate throughout winter.

To make the experience more authentic, Cantina Loco makes its own “falernum” — a sweet syrup infused with spices that’s key to many traditional tiki cocktails. Drinks come in fun tiki glassware too.

“We wanted a casual tongue-in-cheek experience so folks can forget about the cold weather,” said Smith.

To swim in deeper waters, “volcano” or “scorpion” style drinks are available. These giant drinks are packed with fruit, umbrellas, etc. and lit on fire. Designed for sharing, Smith calls them, “sneaky.” Be warned. The booze gets lost in all that great taste and can sting the unsuspecting. Plan accordingly. Drinks will be around $30 and up, depending on liquor.

“We wanted something over the top,” said Smith. A flaming drink would qualify.

We gals would like Smith to name a drink “The Ross Carpenter,” in honor of the hunky young Elvis who played a down-on-his-luck-but lucky-in-love Hawaiian fisherman in “Girls! Girls! Girls!”

Food gets special attention from chef/owner Mike Andrezjewski, who has designed special small plates based on recipes from tiki bars he visited in Hawaii. He notes they are, “kitschy classics that are ingrained in the tiki bar culture and damn delicious.”

Crispy Pork Egg Rolls, Coconut Shrimp, Sweet Soy and Sesame Wings, Fried Shrimp Rangoon and Char Siu Pork Ribs are examples of what to expect.

Bob Marley-esque music and staff attired accordingly means you can break out your own Hawaiian shirt.

CanTiki Tuesdays will run through the winter, but Andrezjewski said that if all goes well, the tradition could continue to the patio during summer. In the meantime, keep praying to the Hawaiian tiki gods to keep the worst of winter at bay.

Cantina Loco

Where: 191 Allen St. (551-0160, cantinaloco.com)

Bar hours: 4 p.m. to midnight Monday; 11:30 a.m. to midnight Tuesday through Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday; 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

CanTiki Tuesdays: Special drinks and food begin at 4 p.m. every Tuesday.

Scene: “A little island getaway” in Allentown with tropical drinks and Polynesian-style food.

Fashion note: Get a pedicure and break out the flip-flops. Hawaiian shirt? Plastic leis? Grass skirt? Go for it!

Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum: Cantina Loco’s new high-end rums used in the tiki drinks also will be offered in tasting flights.

Yum: Char Siu Pork Ribs 

Extra: Regular menu and drinks available on CanTiki Tuesdays.

Wheelchair accessible: Yes

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