Full disclosure, this is my hubby’s place! Salar opened Maipai in 2020 and although not many have been able to enjoy the Tiki Bar (thanks COVID), he’s been keeping Hamilton well-fed in the last year with Detroit-style pizza. Maipai is located on Barton St in the Gibson neighbourhood where we live – just look for the glowing gated doorway. 

Tell us about yourself and your business.

My name is Salar, and I’m the Chef/Owner of Maipai Tiki bar – a tropical themed bar specializing in tiki style cocktails and Detroit style pizza.


Detroit-style Pizza at a Tiki Bar – what inspired the creation of MaiPai?

I love both, and wanted to open one or the other. This space came up near us and was perfect to do both in one space, so I did!


Tiki Bars are all about the vibe and the experience. What makes a good tiki bar atmosphere?

A good tiki bar atmosphere is a place that will make you forget the outside world when you come in. Somewhere to escape, with no TVs, and no windows.


For those who haven’t tried it, how would you describe Detroit-style pizza?

Detroit style pizza has a few characteristics that make it Detroit Style.  It’s a high hydration dough cooked in a steel rectangular pan in a stone deck oven.  It’s got cheese that goes edge to edge to give it a crispy cheese crown all the way around, and toppings and sauce go on top of the cheese.  It’s thick, but airy and crispy.


You’re located on Barton St in Gibson, away from the main dining districts in Hamilton. What do you love about the neighbourhood?

I opened at Barton/Sherman because that’s where we live, and I wanted to open something in our own Neighbourhood.


Favourite cocktail on the menu?

My favourite cocktail on the menu is the Mai Tai – which we named the bar after. It’s complex, delicious, and one of the most classic tiki drinks.


Besides your own place, where (or what) else do you like to eat in Hamilton?

My favourite places in Hamilton are: Rony’s, McQueens, Vida La Pita, Noodle Me, Kain Tayo, Delirious Burger, and Rapscallion.


Any advice to small business owners wanting to open up shop in Hamilton?

Make sure you get word out about your business well before your opening day.  You want people to be waiting for you to open so that you’re not starting from zero by the time you open your doors.