Raising the Bar with Patrick Noir, head bartender at MVP, Dublin
Hong Kong Brunch cocktail
HOW DID YOU START OUT IN THE BAR TRADE?
My first bar gig was in a funny little place called Antique Bar in Melbourne. I had zero experience but have always been a people person and fairly extroverted, so thought why not and essentially charmed/bluffed my way in. I fell in love with the buzz instantly and stayed for about a year, learning the very basics of mixed drinks, but a lot about hospitality.
When i returned home i went back to my previous job (landscaping and gardening), but missed the bar scene too much. After a lot of months sitting at the bar, and annoying the staff with an endless stream of questions, i managed to land a trial at Love and Death, where i ended up staying for 3+ years.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
It’s cliche, but it’s everywhere. I think you can be inspired by anybody you meet who does what they do with great passion and care, be they other bartenders, chefs or colleagues, or from a completely different walk of life. Starting out i took a lot of inspiration from what other Northern Irish bartenders were doing at home and further afield. Nathan O’Neill, Michael McIlroy, and Soda and the lads at Love and Death were a constant source.
My mum and grandmother are a permanent inspiration to be a stronger, better person.
WHO DO YOU ADMIRE IN THE NI BAR TRADE?
I think Andrew Dickey and Jamie Kirk at the Merchant are two of the best in the world at what they do. The whole crew at Ritas are doing great things too. There are far too many others to list, which is a brilliant problem to have.
WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED IN YOUR CAREER?
I’ve struggled a lot with mental health and addiction in the past and it has definitely impacted my career in more ways than one. Thankfully i’m in a stronger place in myself now. We work in a fantastic industry surrounded by some of the loveliest people around, but there is always the flip side of a constant temptation to consume too much and party too often. It’s great to see the issue being addressed on a global stage by the likes of Jack McGarry and the (P)our symposiums.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A BAR PERSON WITH ASPIRATIONS?
Keep at it! Keep practicing and learning – read everything you can, get involved in as many competitions/events/trainings as possible, make contact with people who inspire you, and make notes of anything and everything you do.
Also, don’t forget the other side, make sure and take time for yourself and your personal well-being. And talk to someone if you need to! There will always be another party.