The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2010

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 104 of 112

WOMEN IN WINE & SPIRITS The Owners Y Julie Reiner Owner, Clover Club and Lani Kai ou’ll get along just fine with Julie Reiner if you don’t mention the words “tiki bar.” The Hawaiian native-cum-mixologist extraordinaire/bar entrepreneur is on track to open her newest bar in SoHo. Early reports say it’s a tiki bar, but the perfectionist in Reiner insists it’s a Hawaiian-themed lounge. Called Lani Kai (“heavenly waters”), the new bar is just the latest in the Reiner mini-empire, which also includes full or part ownership in Pegu Club, Flatiron Lounge and the white-hot Clover Club. Reiner doesn’t like the word “speakeasy” either—most often used to describe Clover Club, the Cobble Hill place for hob-nobbing. It’s a refusal to give in to the status quo and to be lumped in with all the other theme bars. “It’s frustrating,” she says from the back room of her not-speakeasy. “My whole agenda is to open accessible places with a high level of cocktail service that anyone can come to.” It was easy for Reiner, 38, to set trends with her earlier bars in the city. Located in premium neighborhoods and presenting fresh ideas in cocktails, they caught on quickly with New Yorkers. But the move to Brooklyn was a litmus test: If she built it, would they come? In short, yes. But not because Reiner created a hip (another word she doesn’t like) theme bar, but because she gave fellow Brooklynites a reason not to trek across the river. “I wanted a place just like this to come to, so I thought, why not give people a classy place all their own in Brooklyn?” While she claims to buck the current trends, Reiner is proud to have been in the early wave of fruit-driven mixologists. “I wanted to give people something interesting in a glass—and I still do.” She added, “I was just happy to get into this at the right time.” 104 / the tasting panel / september 2010 TWO NYC PROFESSIONALS SHUN THE STATUS QUO story and photos by Lana Bortolot Julie Reiner.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - September 2010