Thanks to a reader tip, we've learned that an island breeze will soon be wafting through the Financial District, as Future Bars, the team behind Rickhouse, is plotting a new tiki room adjacent to their popular Kearny Street drinking hole. It'll be the latest addition to their prolific bar empire, which also includes Bourbon & Branch, Tradition, Swig, Local Edition, Tupper & Reed and The Devil's Acre, as well as three Cask liquor stores (two in the Financial District, one in Berkeley).
"Future Bars in the final phase of construction on their tiki bar ... directly behind their bar Rickhouse," writes our tipster, saying that it looks like there's an entrance on Hardie Place and one on Bush. But at present, it's unclear whether the tiki concept will be its own bar, or simply a tropical space carved out of the rear of Rickhouse's existing space.
"It will indeed be a tiki room but we have not finalized the details of the decor," confirmed Future Bars partner Brian Sheehy. "We are months away from adding an expanded bar at Rickhouse, definitely not until well into the spring," he said, saying that the bar is still in the early design stages and has not yet been given a name. (Update, 10/27: A business filing for the location suggests that the bar will be called "Pagan Idol.")
"We are also not sure if we will have the tiki area designated as a separate space or part of Rickhouse," Sheehy said, noting that there are still plenty of permitting hoops to go through.
Rickhouse, which has been open since 2009, was the third entry in the Future Bars empire (after Swig and Bourbon & Branch), and is arguably the group's most popular, with packed after-work crowds nightly. It even won a Tales of the Cocktail award in 2011 for Best High-Volume Cocktail Bar. A tiki addition will definitely give the space some much-needed additional breathing room.
Tiki Culture has long had a local champion in the Fairmont Hotel's classic Tonga Room, but the trend has had something of a revival of late, with Hayes Valley's Smuggler's Cove repeatedly named as one of the best bars in the world, and new entries like Oakland's Longitude appearing on the scene.