Ladies, looking for a stylish, upmarket place to enjoy cocktails and not get hit on? Try Maple Bar.
Maple Bar, formerly known as upstairs at Treehouse Bar, is a new, elite bar area opened by owner Mike Kadinski.
The bar does killer cocktails, made with pizzazz by its bartenders, for whom nothing appears to be a problem.
If you were wondering (and I was), no Mike is not Canadian. The Maple theme ties in with the orange hues of the tree lights in the nightclub, a theme that is carried through with bronze and muted brown throughout. It is skillfully done, making the most of the view down below on the nightclub crowd and of the natural light out to the back alley way. It feels like a high rollers club.
You cannot help but feel rich, or at least one of the beautiful would-be-rich mob. Mirroring this theme is my new favourite cocktail, the Millionaire #4 made with apricot brandy. OK, the Maple Bar admits the cocktail won’t make you rich, but they cheekily say it will make you drunk enough to forget that you are not. Or what about a cocktail dusted with golden sugar? Or, go off the menu entirely – at Mike’s suggestion, I tried a refreshing lime-vodka infused Caprioska.
Mike, is also part owner at 3 Degrees Coffee and a local security company. He also formerly part-owned Kremlin Bar and Kennedy Room, and which means he understands the importance of setting a scene that is not, well, sleazy. I have a younger, single friend who regularly shares her interactions with the opposite sex at Canberra nightclubs. Let’s just say not everything she experiences is pretty. The whole pick-up line thing might look glamorous when Ryan Gosling does it in a movie, but it is rarely empowering when women want to go out and enjoy themselves while feeling safe.
“We have just launched house rules at the Maple Bar,” Mike explains to me. “Under these rules, men are not allowed to approach women directly in the upstairs Maple Bar. Should they be lucky enough for a woman to approach them, we ask that they treat her respectfully. Sometimes it can be intimidating for women if they are approached by a man, especially if he is with a group of guys. This measure is designed to set a respectful scene.”
And the rules are clearly enforced, albeit in a stylish rather than in your face way. Positioned at the base of the stairs are two security staff; one a burly guy, the other an attractive female (Madi, Maple Bar’s hostess). Designed, Mike explains, to vet and make tactfully clear what behaviour is expected on ascending to the Maple. This ensures that say, a group of guys can come here after a long week at work and know they are coming to somewhere where they can relax.
When I visited a hens night in the Maple Bar was just concluding and I couldn’t help but ponder how much fun it would be to organise a group of girlfriends for a cocktail get together. My friend who came with me said she came here on her birthday bash, also with a group of mostly female friends.
Food is served at the Maple Bar until late; a range of bar snacks is served from 10pm even after the kitchen is closed. I enjoyed an antipasto plate with prosciutto, salami, brie and olives – just the thing to soak up cocktails.
The Riot-ACT participated in the launch party at the invitation of the owner.
What: Maple Bar (upstairs at Treehouse)
Where: 32 Northbourne Ave, Canberra
- Mon – 5pm to 11pm
- Tue & Wed – Closed
- Thu & Fri – 4pm to late
- Sat – 6pm to late