It’s easy to get burnt out in this industry. So much of what we do is mere drudgery. It’s repetitive and it can wear us down after a long time. It is difficult to stay inspired and creative when you work behind the bar. One way to stay inspired however, although maybe not the easiest, is variety and movement. My guest today, Suzu, is an expert at career movement.
Suzu has worked in the industry since he was a child, helping out around his grandparent’s family restaurant in Tokyo. Here in San Francisco, he’s worked at more bars than I can count including some legendary cocktail bars like 15 Romolo, Tradition(now Zombie Village), Wildhawk, Bellota, Benjamin Cooper and, more recently, Bon Voyage. Suzu has also dabbled in brand work, competitive bartending with USBG World Class and Bacardi Legacy and more. “I have to stay active, I need to be doing a million different things,” Suzu said, “Even as a kid, I was interested in the arts, but I was also playing competitive soccer, I was in the Boy Scouts, I was doing this and that all the time, and I still feel that way, I guess.”
By constantly moving around and staying fresh, Suzu stays inspired and creative in his career. He not only finds variety from bar to bar, but at bars like Benjamin Cooper, where we recorded this interview, the menu changes constantly and the inspiration is flowing as freely as the booze. Suzu was originally pursuing an education in visual art, but today he uses that same artistic creativity behind the bar, which also helps him stay inspired.
Check out my interview with Suzu in the player above or wherever podcasts are found, and hear what he had to say about his career and how he stays fresh. Be sure to hit subscribe in your favorite podcast player, we have new conversations every week. And please share us with your friends and colleagues in the industry. This is such great information for everyone.
I actually recorded this interview a few months ago and the show has changed a bit since then. I wanted to include it anyway though, as Suzu always has great advice. This is sort of a “lost episode” if you will, hence the shorter length and slightly different interview format. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next week.