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Gareth began his hospitality career in the late 2000s starting at the Blues Room, a live music venue in Sandton, so as to sustain himself as he had studied music at the National School of the Arts and careers in the music industry are hard to come by.

Later he worked at various pubs and nightclubs but it wasn’t until 2004 that he had gotten his first real cocktail experience at Salvatore’s Restaurant, deep in the West Rand of Johannesburg.

He had always had a love for cooking but could never implement it in how he earned a living and suddenly, a light came on. He had found a creative outlet outside of what was now a music career that had never taken off.

He began studying the craft with great vigour and determination and had entered his first competition where he came a resounding dead last, but had introduced him to the biggest names of the South African bartending industry.

Later he went on to join a mobile bar company that encouraged his pursuit of knowledge of cocktails, spirits and other beverages and allowed him more time to focus his craft as well as many other facets of the bar industry. This put him in good stead within the industry and in 2012 was approached by Brandhouse (Diageo) to lead a Mixology and Brand Ambassador program for the luxury portfolio in the Gauteng region.

In 2015 he opened The Landmark Cocktail Bar in Bryanston, Johannesburg, to him, his crowning achievement which has gone on to win numerous titles and is still regarded in some circles as the best cocktail bar in Johannesburg to date.

Now he has ventured into launching The Republican Drinks Agency, a turn-key consultancy agency assisting liquor brands as well as bar owners, restauranteurs and hoteliers in creating best in class beverage programs and engaging consumer experiences.

His goals now are to help build the Johannesburg and South African bar culture in order to rival that with the best markets in the world and perhaps open a few more bars.


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