Ollie Margan

This guy just won BIG at the Havana Club Bar Entrepreneur of the Year awards

Who are ya, and where are you currently working?

Ollie Margan, Adelaide. I work operationally across a number of bars and restaurants in Adelaide (South Australia). Most often you will see me touching tables at my first venue, Maybe Mae.

You’ve just won the Havana Club Bar Entrepreneur Of The Year Award 2020. Congratulations! How does it feel?

Thanks! Feeling all the warm and fuzzies. Last year was so soul demoralising, so to kick off 2021 with an accolade like this is equal parts humbling and motivating.

The winner gets €20,000 to invest in their business, have you thought about what you wanna do with it yet?

This came as such a surprise that I didn’t spend much time thinking about what we would use the funds for. Primarily though, we are partnering with fledgeling not-for-profit “The Pursuit of Hospitality” to help drive their program which focuses on education, networking and mentoring across the hospitality sector. Moving out of this pandemic, it is extremely clear to me that preserving and fostering our people is vital.

2020 was a HARD year. How did you stay positive and how have you adapted during the pandemic?

Trying not to take it personally. The subject itself is something I try to avoid talking about, as worrying about fixed variables is an exercise in futility. Instead, we have turned our attention to bringing the positive energy to work each day and understanding that our guests yearn for what we provide, now more than ever. 

Tell us something about the industry we might not know! Got any secrets you can share?

Adelaide has the most genuine ‘locally-focused’ food and beverage scene in the world. Don’t @ me.

What’s the best thing about working in the hospitality industry?

Did I mention the people yet?

What is your favourite cocktail and where’s your favourite place to order it?

A wet martini with Evan Stroeve and Jimmy Irvine, made by Darren Leaney, served by Nathan Beasley, at Attaboy (New York). A boy can dream, right?

What’s the best city for an epic bar crawl, and which spots would you hit up?

New York is pretty hard to beat. Maison Premiere (RIP) for sherry and oysters, McSorley's for an afternoon ale, Nomad for a fancy drink, Mace for something challenging, Attaboy to finish. 

Ever had a bad-ass/rock n roll bartending moment?

Had a lock-in at my first bar job with Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) that got pretty wild. 

Where will we find you on your nights off?

The Exeter Hotel followed by Hellbound Wine Bar with my good mate Kevin.

What’s your party trick?


What’s your favourite cocktail to make?

Always love making something new

If you weren’t tending bar, what would you be doing?

Winemaking is my other trade

What is your desert island bottle?

A big bottle of fino sherry

What is your hangover cure?

Work is always a good one

If you were gonna create a cocktail for BarChick, what would you make her?

Something fun, in a blender, with an obnoxious garnish. Disco drinks!