10 Questions with Mike Enright

10 Questions With..., Sydney / 12 February 2014

He’s been crowned ‘Bar Manager of the Year’ twice, managed all of the Merivale empire’s bar portfolio and has an incredible amount of respect amongst the Australian bar tending fraternity. Now, Mike Enright is sharing his love of booze and hospitality at his own bar – The Barber Shop. We caught up with Mike for a chat about what inspires him about the bar industry and his plans for 2014.

Mike Enright

1. What do you love about the bar industry?
It’s a vibrant Industry, it encompasses fashion, trends and it’s very sociable. You meet some enthusiastic people who are all working in the industry because they love it, for one reason or another, and that energy is contagious.
2. Your favourite cocktail to make and why?
Ramos Gin Fizz, it has to be shaken for about four minutes to get a fluffy head on the drink. That’s always a challenge but delivers a great result and a fantastic flavour.
3. When working for Merivale, which bar development challenged you the most and why?
Palmer & Co was a dream bar to work on – great drinks, glassware, artisanal spirits and awesome punters. I put a lot of work into developing the drinks menu and it brought the concept to life. People do not realise how much thought is involved having the most intrinsic attention to detail delivers the best results.
4. Top 3 cocktail ingredients you can’t live without?
28ml ice cubes; bitters; and fresh fruit. I live and breathe these crucial elements.
5. With an extensive list of awards won, which one where you most proud of and why?
I think to be awarded Bar Manager of the Year twice in the same year in two separate award ceremonies was extremely rewarding.
6. What’s inspired you to open The Barber Shop? 
I wanted to bring together the barber skill and bartender craft. Gentlemen’s grooming is growing and I wanted to create the ultimate experience for the modern gent, a unique experience that you can leave with a memory of.
7. Any big plans for 2014 you can let us in on?
My main focus is on channeling our ideas and energies into an exciting new marketing plan for The Barber Shop, so watch this space. We have got some really great activations and new developments coming up.
8. Where do you love to EAT in Sydney?
My favorite restaurant at the moment is Xanthi in Westfield City. My friend Dave owns it and he always make me feel at home.
9. Your favourite place to grab a DRINK in Sydney other than where you work?
The Lord Dudley in Woollhara or Vasco on Cleveland Street, Surry Hills.
10. When you’re not at The Barber Shop, where do you go to PLAY in Sydney?
Everyday is a play day! Honestly, if I am not out with friends socialising in some great bar or on a fantastic beach taking time out, this city is endless with activities to do and see.
The Barber Shop are about to start hosting live music every Thursday. Watch this space for more info.