“Had it been, we would have gone on for another 10 years,” former owner Richie Boccato vows, “but perhaps in a different direction.”
Across town at Lani Kai, it was more of the same.
“In hindsight, we should have done a different location and a smaller space,” Reiner laments. Though the bar was popular and the cocktails received glowing press, Lani Kai never gained the necessary traction as a dining destination to make the space work.
In the end, almost everyone I spoke with for this article concluded that Tiki’s second wave ended due to purely circumstantial reasons -- primarily rent and other real estate issues -- rather than a lack of demand or enthusiasm for Tiki cocktails and culture. (The one exception: Boccato, who surmised that New Yorkers may be “too uptight” to give over to the joys of true Tiki escapism.)