Saying "aloha" to the City's coolest new watering hole

YOU don&rsquo;t have to be a millionaire to come here,&rdquo; says Nick House, before a backdrop of Hawaiian masks, carved screens, coconuts and bamboo chairs. Then he laughs and jokes: &ldquo;But it helps.&rdquo; With his business partner Piers Adam, House is one of the biggest names on the London clubbing scene. One of the pair&rsquo;s other clubs is the West End&rsquo;s Mahiki, beloved of A-list celebs and royals. <br /><br />This Thursday, their latest venture, Kanaloa, opens in Shoe Lane in the City, just off Fleet Street right next door to Goldman Sachs&rsquo; London HQ. It will have many of the same trappings as their flagship venue Mahiki, including a cocktail that is brought to your table by a full voodoo funeral procession. Sarah Harding, from pop band Girls Aloud, is a partner in the club, and it will have the largest selection of rums (140) of any bar in the country. The music policy, says Adam, is based on &ldquo;guilty pleasures&rdquo;. It&rsquo;s fair to say it&rsquo;s all a far cry from the usual grimy City pubs and wine bars.<br /><br />So why did they decide to bring their very West End concept to the City? Both of them once worked in the Square Mile, House at an investment bank and Adam was a trader, and as House says, &ldquo;it was hard to find a cool place in the City&rdquo;. They see the club as &ldquo;more than a place that serves alcohol and stays open later than anywhere else&rdquo;, but a genuinely fun place. The tree-houses and Polynesian sculptures certainly suggest that conversations about quantitative easing will be off the menu. <br /><br />House says that they will have cocktails specifically designed for the City crowd. &ldquo;Remember Flaming Ferraris?&rdquo; he asks,&nbsp; referring to the name of the cocktail that a bunch of famous eighties traders drank &ndash; &ldquo;we are going to have something based around Lear Jets,&rdquo; he jokes. (At least I think he&rsquo;s joking.)<br /><br />One of the problems with City bars is that they tend to be very male-dominated. To entice women, at Kanaloa there will be &ldquo;female-friendly house rules&rdquo; and a beauty parlour in the ladies&rsquo; bathrooms, providing beauty treatments. In Mahiki, they say, two thirds of the customers are women, and they hope to achieve something similar here. <br /><br />The obvious question is, are they worried about opening now? Not at all, is the answer. Tiki bars first opened during the Great Depression, they say, and people want fun in tough times. &ldquo;You can talk about a W or a V-shaped recession &ndash; there are always a million reasons not to do things,&rdquo; shrugs House. <br /><br />Indeed, rather than hunkering down and waiting for the economy to improve, they are planning to expand their business. For Kanaloa, Adams and House have joined forces with Novus Entertainment, the group which owns Tiger Tiger. The site was previously an unglamorous bar and club, and Novus still owns it. It suggests that they are looking to expand. The tabloid exposure for Mahiki looks like the ideal launchpad for opening clubs all over the country. Is this something they have in mind? &ldquo;Very much so,&rdquo; says Adam. &ldquo;We&rsquo;d like to see some expansion, but controlled expansion so that we can maintain the integrity of the brand.&rdquo; House adds: &ldquo;If this works well, we are thinking: &lsquo;Let&rsquo;s roll this out&rsquo;&rdquo;. <br /><br />Novus, they say, would be a great partner because they can get hold of the right sorts of properties. Do they have any locations in mind? &ldquo;We are definitely looking at cities at the moment,&rdquo; says Adam. <br /><br />They won&rsquo;t say more, but these two don&rsquo;t look like the sorts of people to miss an opportunity. Cocktails served in coconuts could soon be coming to a high street near you. <br /><br /><br />