Ramblin' Rascal Tavern

Head to this basement bar for a booze-slingin' good time.
Concrete Playground
May 01, 2014

Overview

Ramblin' Rascal Tavern was always going to be a small bar with an advantage. Originally the brainchild of Charlie Lehmann, Dardan Shervashidze and Sebastian 'Cosmo' Soto (alumni of The Baxter Inn and the now-closed Frankie's Pizza), Rascal certainly boasts a feel reminiscent of other beloved drinking holes.

This time things have moved uptown with this basement bar establishing itself in the old Laugh Garage on Park Street. The result? A bar of a very familiar vibe: a dimly lit, fresh-juice-squeezing watering hole, with recognisably boisterous bartenders.

Loyalty shows in the all-Australian beer list, accompanied by a no-fuss but modern assortment of wines featuring a couple of whites, a couple of reds, a prosecco and a natural orange wine.

There's a $6 Tinnie for the battlers (the brand changing to suit the mood of each week). And the cocktail list is just as unpretentious — its six house cocktails ($23 each) champion some great quality spirits without messing with them too much.

Ramblin' Rascal Tavern

The decor is a throwback to childhood nostalgia — chalkboard walls in the bathrooms beckon all those drunken Picasso moments.

The evening's soundtrack echoes a country twang typical of Shady Pines or Baxter's. But stay late enough and the beat will drop. The mood of the bar transforms until tables have been shifted out. of the way and suddenly you are cutting shapes with the bartenders to the likes of Nelly and Shaggy.

If you're after a spot to eat, you're in luck. The bar has teamed up with Surry Hills favourites Butter to ensure you can have a box of fried chicken or a cheesy chicken burger delivered right to the bar. On a busy night, it might take a little longer to get to you than an in-house kitchen, but that just gives you more time to sample the drinks menu.

True, in recent years Sydney has grown somewhat spoilt with trendy small bars. And perhaps it is becoming more difficult to stand out from the crowd. But the Ramblin' Rascal Tavern provides a lovable underground dive bar in the heart of the city, without resorting to too many theatrics and gimmicks. And for that, we thank it.

Updated Tuesday, March 21, 2022.

Appears in:

The Best Bars in Sydney

Sydney's Best Underground Bars for 2023

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