Success Story: From the Emerald Isle to Toronto bartending scene

This week we are starting a new series of stories with BartenderOne’s most successful graduates: From all over Toronto, Canada and the World these bartenders are living proof that success in bartending as in anything else in life is achievable as long as you are willing to put the work and effort required. In an industry where competition is fierce, these stories also prove that a proper bartending education gives you an edge when the time to find the job of your dreams comes.

For this first chapter we have Michael Mulhall. Michael arrived in Toronto a few months back from Ireland. With a background as a barista, Michael felt that he needed a shift on his career in Canada and joined BartenderOne’s MasterClass. His outstanding performance along with his charisma granted him a seat on the first generation of the Blazers Challenge Project. Chosen as one of the four finalists from the first monthly qualifier, Michael soon became a key member of the College Street Bar team. His charming accent and good stories made him a favourite for patrons and his growth during his apprenticeship process was extraordinary with his participation in additional BartenderOne events such as TeamBuilding workshops.

Here a quick Q&A session with Michael to learn his story and secrets. Enjoy!


Q- Michael, What is your favourite cocktail?

A- Rusty Nail

Q- Your favourite bar?

A- I’m a big fan of the College Street Bar. They’re charismatic, passionate, make their guests feel at home, and always put on a great show.

Q- What is your specialty in bartending?

Rather than specialize in any one area I take a holistic approach to bartending mastering every area to the best of my ability.

Q-  Where do you work right now?

Foundation Bar, Eaton Centre, Toronto

Q- What are your main goals as a bartender/mixologist?

Even before ever hearing about flair I had already taught myself how to juggle and I’ve a great appreciation for skillfully crafted cocktails so I aspire to competing in both flair and mixology competitions.

Q- What do you consider should be the main skills every bartender should possess?

Anybody can mix a cocktail but to be a successful bartender you need to have good social skills, hand-eye co-ordination, and a great memory to remember recipes, orders, guest names and their preferences.

Q- What do you love the most about this profession?
I love creating a positive experience with each guest so that they leave feeling better than they did when they first walked in. Brightening their day lets me know that I’ve made a difference in somebody’s life.

Q- What you don’t like about bartending?

The moment you dislike anything or anyone it owns you. I prefer to view the world from a positive frame, to think constructively, to focus on possibilities and solutions, and to inspire others to do the same.

Q- How do you see yourself in 5 years in bartending?

I’m Irish so it’s in my nature to want to travel all around the world. I envisage myself in the future bartending on both cruise ships and abroad in as many foreign countries as I possibly can.

Q- What would be your main advice to those who are preparing to become a bartender?

Finding your first job can be tough but after you land one don’t be afraid walk away. I learned this the hard way. I naively ignored the signs, my employer went bankrupt, and I lost my job minus my final 3 weeks of pay.

Thanks Michael. Remember to stop by Foundation Bar at Toronto’s Eaton Centre to enjoy one of Michael’s masterpieces and get to listen to a few good Irish stories.

See you behind the bar!

This entry was posted in Mixology, Proper Service. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.