Meet Charlie Hunter, a Jäger-loving bartender from Suzie Wong’s Good Time Bar in Brisbane
I kind of fell into bartending by doing festival work as a part time gig during uni. I was working this mini festival in Perth when I got placed on a pop-up bar for the boys at The Mechanic’s Institute. I really enjoyed working with the team they had and they took me on part time after that finished. Next thing I know I’m dropping out of my degree to be a full-time bartender and I’ve loved it.
I moved to Suzie Wong’s when The Bowery was sold. I was working at The Bowery at the time the Manny, Harlen & Adam from Brooklyn Standard bought it out and I ended up just coming with the business.
Right now I’m drinking a lot of Jägerbombs, tequila & pineapple juice and
I love hospo. The community of it all is number one. I love that everyone knows each other, and the willingness to help out whenever someone needs something. I think it’s also really cool the tight-knit relationships you get with bars in your area. We’re really close with the teams at Savile Row and Tom Cat; so it’s cool that you can count on seeing friends every shift. Number two would have to be how much there is to know, and how (whether you mean to or not) you learn something about some product or process or country every day, its never ending.
COVID changed things. It’s certainly a little more unpredictable and stressful. But the day-to-day hasn’t changed too much. Our team here all get along really well, so every hour we’re working, we’re chatting, having fun and doing the most we can. Communicating with customers has probably been the main thing. With ever changing restrictions it’s easy to get frustrated, but this is the reality of the situation, so good customer service and a little patience goes a long way. I’d say to be more patient and organised have been the main changes through everything.
And a lot of cleaning.
Achieving a good work life balance can be difficult in hospo, which sucks.
Some drink trends are god awful, but the entertainment is worth it.
My immediate goal right now is to focus on my role at Suzie Wong’s. I’ve just started managing the bar here at Suzie’s, so I want to focus on learning to do that really well. Make more drinks for more people.
In the next few years I would like to travel. Brisbane so far has been a great time for me and I’d like to experience some other hospo scenes in other cities.
If I could have a drink with someone (alive or dead) I’d have an original Bacardi Breezer with the exec that decided to take that off the market, so I could explain to him what a mistake he’s made.