The Cuban trend of rum continues unabated in Glasgow with the launch of Da Rum Ba, two doors up from Howlin Wolf in Glasgow’s Bath Street. On the site of the old Oscars, it has gone through a revamp and now has a vibrant, Caribbean theme.
The bar – launched by entrepreneur Hal Farjani – has retained the same layout as Oscars, but has replaced the anodyne colour scheme with bright colours, and back to basics lighting (candles in old Havana rum bottles).
Grey felt-covered booths line the main front of the bar and part of the back bar, while standing drinkers can loiter around the bar using the Eden Mill gin casks which have been turned into tables.
The actual bar itself has not moved, however it has been recovered at the front in corrugated iron. Wooden floors persist throughout, and on the bar stools – and the chairs in the elevated seating area – Farjani has used old coffee bean sacks to upholster them giving a relaxed beach bar vibe. At the back wall of the rear seating area, the wooden-based banquette has scatter cushions covered in similar printed sackcloth upholstering. At the very front of the bar, opposite the window where the stairwell passes, Farjani assembled a seating area himself made from driftwood. The back seating area benefits from a quirky lighting arrangement, where the two inward shelves are backlit by two intermittent lightshafts, which change colour every few minutes. Empty bottles of rum are placed on the shelf with fairy lights wrapped around them, which are switched on at night.
The back bar contains around 40 rums at the moment, but DRAM understands that the management are planning to expand that to around 100.
It’s the graffiti picture of a Caribbean lady on the front porch that really gives the feel of a beach bar in Jamaica. Created by a well-known Glaswegian graffiti artist, the yellow-backed wall features a headscarf clad lady of a certain age smoking a Havana cigar and makes you feel like you are in Kingston, albeit only for the couple of days of sunshine we had!
Ideas for the use of the front area with the lady and cigar are yet to be decided, but it could end up as a private booth or a smoking area. Da Rum Ba is a place, if the sun is shining, then the rum is pouring.