18th Amendment in mix for accolades
SUCCESS continues to flow for popular speakeasy-inspired bar The18th Amendment which is in the mix to win four awards at the 20th Annual Bartender Magazine Australian Bar Awards.
The Little Malop Street venue is hoping for a three-peat after being named as a finalist in four categories including Regional Bar of the Year category – a title it has taken out twice before.
The popular bar is also in the running to win for the Bar Team of the Year, Bar Manager of the Year for Damien Kos-Beckwith and Host of the Year for Ana Mitchell.
Owner Gorge Camorra said he was thrilled that his venue and team were being recognised as the cream of the crop once again.
“I just have some really great people working at the venues and they are passionate and professional,” he said.
“They are not part-time bartenders, the majority are people who want to do this for the rest of their working career.
“You can make a nice building and make nice drinks, but it really is the staff who are the main key to it.”
Providing ongoing staff training and encouraging them to enter competitions was a key to their success, he said.
Gorge, who is internationally renowned in his field, said the best bar tenders never stop learning.
“At least 10 to 15 hours a week I would spend researching on YouTube and Google and the other guys are the same,” he said.
“That is probably the level you have to be to get through and win awards because they are so good at all the other venues around Australia and the world.”
Pre-COVID Gorge said they were getting a lot of interstate and international visitors who keen to check out the bar.
“We’ve had master distillers from Sweden and Japan and they come into Victoria for two nights and they get to pick where they want to go and they’ve come to Geelong to us which is cool for us,” he said.
The bar sells rare and sought-after spirits which range in price up to $400 per 30ml shot.
Gorge is preparing to open another Little Malop Street bar which is aptly named Non-disclosure due to its location in a former lawyer’s office. He hopes the doors will open in August or September.
“It’s going to be great. It’s going to be one level more than 18th again,” he said.
“We are just super proud to be in these awards and we just want to keep putting Geelong on the map.”
Winners of the Bar Awards will be announced in Sydney on Tuesday, September 21.