Can you tell us a bit about your first bar job?
I took a bartender course in Inglewood, LA back in 1996 whilst living in Venice Beach. I did a couple of small jobs there, mostly for free board and lodgings, however my first proper bar jobs were at a Tequila Bar in Auckland called Margaritas, as well as a Brazillian Tapas joint there called Ole. I started off as a bar back at Margaritas, and as a waiter at Ole, but ended up tending bar at both before eventually leaving Margaritas to focus on Ole. I also did a lot of function and event work when I was there and remember pretty much working 16-18 hour days 6 days a week.
What are you working on at the moment?
Well – there’s a few things in the works at the moment. I’m spending a lot of time working on a new tech-start up called Ananas that will play in the hospitality field, but I am also looking at a few new bar openings and am in discussion regarding a couple of different things at the moment. In addition, someone just acquired 50% of the Experimental Spirits Co so there are a few things happening there as well…. I also try to spend as much time as possible playing Lego with my kids Odin and Loki.
Which concepts or trends do you think we’ll see in 2016?
•Bottle cocktails. I believe Eau De Vie was the first bar to release a range of bottled cocktails that were for sale both in store and in venue.
•Whisky, whisky, and whisky. The thirst for whisky seems unquenchable at the moment, so I am sure we’ll see more whisky bars opening up, as well as more and more whisky brands arriving in Australia.
•Specialised bars in general will continue to spark consumer interest.