A small dive bar in Maitland with a unique identity
Looking for something a bit different in Maitland? Well, this quirky small bar is a little bundle of evolving, eclectic goodness! It's a place where you have to meet the staff and experience the venue to understand it. So that’s what we did one Saturday night.
Our mission started with finding this understated bar. With curtains often drawn across the windows and a small RAMA RAMA RAMA sign, you would be forgiven for passing it by. But like a beacon in the night, the fairy light lit entryway guided us into this unique dive bar.
Inside, our eyes adjusted to the darker space and we saw that although it seemed to be popular with a younger crowd, it was busy with patrons of all ages. Looks like this small bar is speaking to a few generations.
The venue had hip hop tunes playing and was dimly lit, with neon lights breaking through the darkness. There was artwork by local design and apparel company, Skux Az, adorning the walls and a small bar area busy with staff making all different bright pink, fluffy and spicy concoctions!
We grabbed a seat at a table and Morgan, one of the owners, took our order. We chose the Double Dragon Daiquiri cocktail from the weekly changing cocktail list and with a slushie-like consistency it made for the perfect drink on a warm night.
Other stars on the cocktail list that night included the Princess of Mars, a pineapple and strawberry twist on the Amaretto Sour and the Saturn which is a great choice for gin and passionfruit lovers.
They also serve beer on tap and even shots if you’re up for it!
In between seeing to the other bar goers, we caught owners Dane and Morgan for a bit of a chat.
Turns out RAMA used to be more of a rum bar, but the couple took the opportunity during COVID to really cement what they wanted their drinking hole to be. They updated the decor to suit the venue and the neighbourhood...and it is no longer just a tropical rum bar.
RAMA was their opportunity to create a bar that they would want to drink at. One with a fun and relaxed vibe, always something new, affordable good quality drinks and “no dickheads” (as quoted by them). And this is certainly reflected via their friendly down to earth owners and staff, the ever-changing $8 - $16 drinks menu and their house rules.
The house rules are clearly displayed on the wall so there is no mistaking what they are all about. My personal favourites include:
NO SHOTS FOR BABIES
DICKHEADS GET KICKED
Dane and Morgan are two lovely, genuine peeps who just wanted a cool place in Maitland for customers to drink at and staff to want to work there. Being in the hospo industry for a combined 30 years, and bartenders themselves, the staff are an important element. They went on to say,
“We call ourselves the home for lost bar tenders.”
Dane and Morgan, RAMA Owners
Meaning they welcome those who need to be given a break or who want something more from their bar job, or even just want to enjoy coming to work. The team certainly seem to have achieved this and have created a nice little work fam.
They also run event and tasting nights such as the Jameson Whiskey, Wild Turkey and Appleton Rum nights where they offer a free tasting of the chosen liquor and specialty cocktail menus to illustrate how it can be used. There is always the opportunity to hang for a bit at the after party - DJ’ed by longtime collaborator Jakesy Hustle. Keep an eye out on their instagram account for details of future events. There is also a space toward the back of the bar for a pop up shop currently showcasing Skux Az designs and secondhand clothing.
Open from 7pm Thursday - Sunday, this little bar on Maitland’s High Street is a great place to have pre or post dinner drinks. Include it as a stop on a night out or just settle in for the night whilst you toss a coin to choose which cocktail you’re going to try next.