Georgi Radev, formerly part of the team behind London’s Mahiki bar, is preparing to open a new tropical-inspired bar dedicated to rum.
With Sam Robson and Steve Kyprianou, he is creating Laki Kane – the Polynesian for “lucky person” – across two floors in Upper Street in Islington in London in the former premises of Be At One, previously rum bar Wax Jambu.
As well as having a large selection of rums, it will create its own own, re-distilled on-site in its Spiced Dry Rum Club upstairs, where people can create and flavour their own spiced rums using real pot stills. As well as distillation masterclasses, it will host tastings by leading bartenders and rum experts.
Due to open in mid-June, Laki Kane is intended to be “an escape from the city”, with beautifully designed interiors that will transport guests to faraway tropical destinations.
Georgi is developing a list of cocktails made with rums from around the world plus exotic fruits, natural ingredients, sugar cane syrups and, in a bold move, no refined sugar. They will be served in bespoke vessels and delivered with a theatrical twist.
Laki Kane’s bartenders will also be on hand to mix up cocktails based on the tastes of their guests.
Working with interior design studio DI Concept Design, they will make the main ground-floor bar a “tropical escape” inspired by tropical locations in Asia, Polynesia, Indonesia and the Caribbean. Computer-generated images show the main bar, top, and the Spiced Dry Rum Club, below.
The food menu is being designed by renowned chef Michael Moore and will feature tropical-inspired dishes to complement the cocktail offering.
“Exceptional” service will be at the heart of Laki Kane and each table will have push buttons for guests to call for service.
Georgi said: “Over the last 15 years I’ve been travelling around the world, learning and teaching about rum, tiki and cocktails, and discovering a host of weird and wonderful bars on the way.
“The exotic destinations I’ve been to have become a big part of my life and now I want to bring a taste of this to London for us all to enjoy, even though we might not get the same weather!
“Laki Kane is an escape and we’re creating everything with that in mind, from the decor and service, to the food and an exciting cocktail menu made with incredible tropical ingredients that most people will have never experienced before.
“Rum will of course be at the centre of all of this and we’re excited to also be sharing the knowledge of this amazing spirit upstairs in our Spiced Dry Rum Club.”
Georgi was bar manager of Mahiki, working there from the start after it was opened in 2006 by Piers Adam and Nick House, and he was involved in its own Mahiki Coconut Rum.