Bar & Restaurant
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Opened in 2010
Closed in 2012
Defunct tiki not included,
distances are as the crow flies.
Dec 5, 2010
The downstairs bar at Lani Kai in New York
November 2010, photo by Humuhumu
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Lani Kai was a newer, Hawaiian-inspired (but not tiki) restaurant and bar in lower Manhattan. It was opened in 2010 by Julie Reiner, who grew up in Hawaii and has been behind several high-end cocktail spots in Manhattan including Pegu Club, Flatiron Lounge and Clover Club. While Reiner made it clear that Lani Kai was not intended to be a tiki bar, she and her staff knew traditional tropical cocktails inside-out, and executed them perfectly.
The space was dimly lit, mainly by candles... no beachcomber lamps here. The seating and tables were sleek and streamlined, and the rooms had lots of green plants. The feel of the spot was that of a modern, high-end spa in a Hawaiian resort. The upper level had restaurant seating and a small bar, and the lower level had a spacious bar area with a fireplace.
Lani Kai closed abruptly in the early fall of 2012.