BWORDS: est mates Josh Sinnott and Ashley Cathcart have been on a steep learning curve over the past six months, with their first foray into the hospitality world.
Sinnott, 28, and Cathcart, 26, are now the proud owners of their own patch of Flinders Street after ditching their old careers as a soil tester and electrician to open Kryptic Lounge Bar and Restaurant, formerly Casa Lounge Bar.
“We were doing a lot of away work in rural areas and we wanted to do something for ourselves,” Sinnott said.
“We had a lot of good times here and we could see the potential. It needed a lot of love when we bought it and we’re getting there. We’ve made a lot of changes so far and we’ve still got more to go.”
Among those changes are a refreshed interior and a few touches to the multi-level garden dining area out the back. There’s also a new menu out this week, featuring some old favourites like the Reef and Beef, and burgers; and potential new crowd-pleasers like the lamb shanks.
But it’s at the bar where the boys
have been able to unleash their creative sides, coming up with some interesting mixes for signature cocktails.
“One of them’s called a Backhanded Panda which has Chambord, Paraiso lychee liqueur, lemonade and fresh lime. That’s the most popular one,” Sinnott said. “When someone walks in and doesn’t know what they feel like, I make them that and I’ve never had someone say they don’t like it.
“I also do an apple crumble cocktail and it tastes exactly like an apple crumble pie. You can taste the pastry and the whole lot in a cocktail.”
Six months in, the pair say there’s been a whole lot to learn about running a business. Things like managing staff have proven challenging at times, but some of the hardest adjustments have been in the complete change of lifestyle from construction and mining to hospitality.
“Before I was getting up at six in the morning and I was in bed by nine o’clock every night. Now it’s like, you’ll wake up at 10 in the morning and you’ll go to sleep at three o’clock. It’s definitely been a change,” Sinnott said.
“I’m still trying to get used to because I’ve done my whole career on early wake-ups and late finishes – big 12-hour days,” Cathcart agrees.
“I’ve actually just returned from Europe so I did nearly the whole first six months away. I’m sort of just coming to grips with it all now. I’m still in travel mode and I’ve struggled to get my head around it a bit.
“It’s definitely been an eye opener. But it hasn’t been as bad as people would think as inexperienced hospitality people. A lot of it’s commonsense, so we can easily adapt.”