• H_Donn_PeacockChair (1)
    February, 22 1907

    Birth of DTB

    Born Ernest Raymond Gantt in Tiger Prairie Texas

  • A_Donn_Hawaii

    Island Time

    Donn visits Hawaii and Tahiti for the first time.

  • L_Donn_in_Chair

    McCadden Hotel

    Donn opens his café, a speakeasy in the lobby of the McCadden Hotel at 1722 North McCadden Place, and invents his first rum based cocktails

  • Don the Beachcomber

    Birth of the Zombie

    The Don the Beachcomber Café moves across the street to 1727 North McCadden Place to be able to serve food, a requirement of the new liquor laws. Integrates a Chinese restaurant into the Café, and invents his defining cocktail, the Zombie.

  • C_Sunny

    Sunny Sund

    Donn marries Cora “Sunny” Sund, but their marriage is short lived and ends in March of 1940.

  • D_DTB_Chicago
    May 5, 1940

    DTB in Chicago

    Don the Beachcomber Chicago opens in a snow storm.

  • E_Donn_WW2

    Joins The Air Forces

    Donn pursuing a Beachcomber location in Waikiki, however, the Attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 derails those plans. In May of 1942, “Donn Beach-Comber” joins the Army Air Forces as a commissioned officer, and returns home from service as a Colonel.

  • Waikiki
    May 1, 1948

    DTB in Waikiki

    Donn’s Waikiki Beachcomber location opens

  • F_DTB_PalmSprings
    October 1953

    Palm Springs

    Sunny opens a Don the Beachcomber in Palm Springs, CA

  • G_DTB_Waikiki (1)

    The Market Place

    Donn opens his 13 acre shopping and cultural center “The International Market Place” in Waikiki anchored by a Don the Beachcomber, The Colonel’s Steakhouse, and a coffee house.

  • Donn_With_Drinks

    Time to Sell

    Sunny sells the Beachcomber business to Barron Hilton, but remains as president, and Donn sells his Waikiki Don the Beachcomber to a group that includes Duke Kahanamoku, and Sterling Mossman

  • C_Sunny
    January 1974

    Sunny Passes

    Cora “Sunny” Sund passes away

  • K_DonnBeach_Punchbowl

    End of an Era

    Donn passes away, and his last Don the Beachcomber restaurant closes.

  • I_JeffBerry
    Mid-Late 1950's

    DTB Rediscovered

    Mid-to-late 1990s – Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, a historian of tiki culture, begins researching, reconstructing, and reverse-enginerring long-lost recipes of Donn’s famous drinks. Jeff, along with other fellow tiki enthusiasts like Sven Kirsten, Otto Von Stroheim, Bosko, and Martin Cate, among others, are credited with repopularizing tiki culture in the late 20th Century.