Mark Wadley is an up-and-comer at Canberra bar, Molly. You can visit the bar here.
Give us some background about how you got into the hospitality industry? I started off baking cupcakes for a family run business and selling them at the local markets.
How did you start at Molly? I was tired of working for places that offered limited room for growth and doing the same unrewarding job day in day out. I handed my resume around to a few bars that I thought working for would be both challenging and rewarding and was thrilled to be offered a spot on the Molly team.
What’s your role at the venue? I’m a Junior bartender / hotshot sexy glassy. A typical day for me starts with the less glamorous parts of bartending, like lighting the candles and juicing copious amounts of citrus in preparation for service. Afterward we have a team chat to psych ourselves for the coming rush and before you know it, it’s 4pm and patrons storm the door looking for their first after work libations. After several hours of pumping out drams, wines, mixed drinks and cocktails to our biggest fans. For a well-earned break I’ll sneak in a bite to eat and a cheeky drink from one of the great surrounding venues to enjoy a brief moment on the other side of the bar. On my return the crowd has generally kicked it up a notch so we finish up service in a really buzzing atmosphere before it time to call last drinks. For close and lean I love to pump out a few tunes – at the moment anything from Avicii is my go-to.
‘Everybody who works at Molly has a specialised area of expertise. It’s an amazing learning experience, on any shift I can go to a senior bartender and ask them a question, and no matter how obscure I’m always met with a list of facts, antidotes and tips that I am constantly adding to my repertoire.’
What’s your favourite spirit? Why? Whisky, it’s a rabbit hole where there is always something to learn and enjoy.
What cocktails are you drinking right now? Simple vintage classics all the way. My go-to’s at the moment are a damn good Daiquiri or Americano.
What cocktail / drinking / bar trends do you love? Enjoying drinks where garnishes have a purpose. F*ck dehydrated fruits, that don’t add anything to the drink.
Any you hate? You shouldn’t milk punch everything, sometimes big boozy flavours are great!
What has the experience been like working for Molly? Everybody who works at Molly has a specialised area of expertise. It’s an amazing learning experience, on any shift I can go to a senior bartender and ask them a question, and no matter how obscure I’m always met with a list of facts, antidotes and tips that I am constantly adding to my repertoire.
What are some of the things you love about hospo? I love the sense of community. Other bartenders are constantly popping in on their days off and breaks for a cheeky drink and chat.
How has the COVID experience changed your work life? I’m not going to lie, I was lounging around all day trying to find something to do. Lockdown was a grim time for all. Canberra was very fortunate to have the restrictions lifted sooner than other areas but it was still a very tough few months. There were a lot of job losses across the industry and I consider myself very lucky to be a part of post-Covid Molly.
What are some of the things you don’t like about the hospitality industry? Having to decipher a customer’s ideal drink whilst they contradict themselves e.g. Patron: “I absolutely hate tequila because this one time at a party, but I love margaritas.”
When restrictions are fully lifted, what do you want to do? I want to see the bar 4 deep, 5 dockets deep, sweating balls and looking up to see an endless line of patrons standing, dancing and eagerly awaiting their beverages.
Where do you see yourself in five years? This question always scares me, however I hope I’m still doing something I really enjoy. Whether it be slinging drinks in hospitality or in another industry we will have to wait and see.
If you could have a drink with someone (alive or dead) who would it be and what would you be drinking? Definitely sipping on some heavy red wines with Marc Marquez (Moto GP Racer).
Signature Drink: Faux Saveur 20ml lemon juice 20ml house-made cumquat and tarragon liqueur 30ml peach infused Cognac Shake and strain into coupe. Top with prosecco. Garnish with a lemon twist.