Image Source: Super California’s Facebook Page
By Amelia Klein | @Amelia_Klein
Edward and Alexander Kleut are two brothers who are dominating the nightclub scene in Adelaide’s city centre.
Super California, the ever-popular nightclub on Hindley Street, celebrated its third birthday a few weeks ago and the brothers have a lot to say about its success.
It was evident from the moment I met Edward that hospitality was an industry he and his brother were in love with.
His family have been involved in the industry since he was just eight-years-old, so it is something his brother and himself have grown up surrounded by.
Working in his family’s café, he grew up “serving coffees and cleaning tables” until he turned 18 and could get into the nightclub scene: something Alexander was already involved in.
As everyone who has grown up in Adelaide would know, to get jobs and boost your career, it is essential to have connections in the industry.
These connections are something the brothers worked hard to build up, and Edward said they would often follow the same owner through different businesses.
These years were very important for the brothers as they “built connections, began networking and, most importantly, increased their knowledge of hospitality”.
After serving their apprenticeships doing this kind of work, the brothers decided it was time to venture out and build their own business.
Edward’s mannerisms suddenly became more animated as he said, “ever since we were teenagers growing up together, my brother and I would always talk about how one day we will open up our own venue”.
The two-year age gap between the brothers obviously means nothing, as the pair have worked together for years with no issues.
When explaining why they decided to take the plunge and open their own bar, Edward’s reasoning was far more relatable than I expected.
“We worked out that when all of our mates were out and about, we would always be in different places. And then we’d all start messaging each other saying ‘Let’s go here. Nah, but it’s good over here’,” he said.
This is a situation many Australians have found themselves in on a night out, but the brothers thought of a way to remedy this problem.
“So, we thought why don’t we have a venue where all our friends know they can come and get looked after; where they know the owners,” Edward said.
“It wasn’t even really good business sense. It was just a big desire for a place for all of us to party.”
This spirit of just wanting a good night out is reflected in their nightclub, in the form of special events and themed drinks.
In 2013, the Kleut brothers opened up their first club which was named ‘Tijuana Showgirls’.
This was a homage to the strip club that used to operate in the same spot, and also a way to incorporate a Mexican theme into the club.
The mindset for the boys was as such, “we wanted to have a party bar, and where do you go in Mexico if you really want to party? You go to Tijuana”.
And thus the club was born.
After a year and a half, they moved onto the next instalment, which was ‘Go Go Ladyboys’.
They chose this theme because of their love of previous trips to Thailand, and so it was an embodiment of the culture found there.
When asked how the brothers come up with the extravagant themes for their different clubs, Edward said, “there’s no real special formula. It’s literally just us as owners sitting down together and working out a theme”.
He said picking the theme was very important because “you can’t build a name first and then build a business on the name. You have to build the business on the idea you want to sell and have your brand represent, and then the name comes last”.
Their current club, Super California, has been around for three years, and it was Alexander who came up with the theme for this popular venue.
It is clear that as well as having a passion for what they do, the brothers have a knack for knowing what will trend and what will keep the crowds flocking to their club week after week.
While they like how Super Cali is tracking, the duo are very realistic when it comes to its future.
“You have to think about freshening it up, especially in Adelaide where the market can be so up and down. You have to keep riding the wave, and if you don’t and you get stuck, it can cost you. So most likely, we will have to change things up.”
Despite the uncertainties in the industry, the brothers are not worried about getting people into their club.
With a target audience of university students, they find their busiest nights fall in line with the university semester times.
The weekends following the exam period can almost always be guaranteed to be crazy, with students desperate to let off steam.
As they were young students in Adelaide not long ago, it is clear they know exactly the type of people who are coming to their venue and what they will like.
While they have these busy periods, it is coming up to the middle of winter and cold nights out are a definite turn off for those deciding whether to go out for a night on the town.
In order to combat this, the brothers say they have to step up the advertising and still “sell the story of a great night out, at a great place that everyone is familiar with, especially including Adelaide’s essence of being a big country town village where everyone knows everyone”.
In winter, they recognise it is still important to be careful when promoting their party venue, especially regarding a safe drinking environment.
However, there are still planned events which are often a take on American themed holidays, such as their Fourth of July Independence Day party.
When asked the simple question of which bar he would recommend or frequent often, Edward’s answer was a reflection of his love for Adelaide’s hospitality industry.
Starting with Udaberri, and then listing almost every bar in the city, he said, “there’s a lot of good options, and I really like them all. Adelaide is so lucky, and I think a lot of people take it for granted”.
“Until you go somewhere else that doesn’t really have the same culture that we have, you just won’t get how amazingly lucky we are.”