Last week Guy Pelly, Nick House and Piers Adams let the public into their latest venue, Tini in Walton Street, following a lavish opening that coincided with Donatella Versace’s Fashion Fringe Party.
However contrary to the Evening Standard’s claim that this new watering hole is aimed at sloanes alone, Guy Pelly tells The Handbook that this couldn’t be further from the truth. ‘It is a very European street and that is the market and clientele we are heading towards,’ he says.
Furthermore, he has rebutted general opinion that suggests he is just a PR-machine for his other club Mahiki, ‘I’ve done the club thing. This is more grown-up.’
‘All my clubs and bars are so different. Quite often people do the same things so it is fun to do things that are so versatile,’ he adds.
The service at Tini, which owes its name to Vanity Fair editor Elizabeth Saltzman and is a play on the word Martini, is in fact impeccable, with tanned barmen seeing to your every need – even the loos have been sexed-up as Marilyn and James Dean pinups shower the walls.
‘I hope it speaks for itself and that we are able to offer a higher level of service in all areas, it is even important that there are things to look at in the loos! You need to get past the teeny bopper thing, the branding is meant to be classical and traditional,’ he explains.
The idea behind the new bar has come all the way from Italy. Both Guy and Piers visited Milan separately, then Guy found the site and the team decided to go ahead with their idea of an Italian bar with 1950s style décor with the emphasis on drinks accompanied by free nibbles.
He says, ‘The other bars on the street don’t really get going until late at night, they are all looking a little bit tired so we thought why not have somewhere that is busy all evening and builds an atmosphere during the evening. We have a concept that is new and fresh.’
‘Do people really want to go to a club where they have to queue up, there’s a bouncer on the door and a list to get in?’
Building on the already early success of Tini’s, Guy is hoping to acquire a late licence, so the bar will close at 1am, not only Thursday to Saturday but on Mondays to Wednesdays too. ‘We’ll probably try and get a later licence for the whole week. But we need to build trust with the residents and they can see how we operate first.’
And he has also confirmed that the power team are in talks to expand the brand they have created, not only in the UK but globally, gaining inspiration by none other than celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.
‘The long-term aim is to try and do two or three more bars that are the same perhaps in Mayfair and Chelsea too. We are also interested in turning Whisky Mist into a chain in Hilton Hotels,’ he says. ‘The concept could work well in hotel lobbies. We wanted to look at the bigger picture this time and build a brand.’
He says: ‘Ideally we want someone who owns a hotel and likes to concept to come to us so we can go global. Rather like what Gordon Ramsay did with his restaurant brand in hotels, we want hotels to want our bars on their sites. He has done in the restaurant world what we would like to emulate with our bars.’
by Victoria-Anne Bull