Drinks At Work with Sam Bygrave

Drinks At Work with Sam Bygrave

Michael Bascetta on Melbourne Cocktail Festival and building sustainable hospo businesses

March 31, 2022

Michael Bascetta is a Melbourne-based hospitality pro who is the co-owner of the influential Fitzroy wine bar, Bar Liberty; they’ve also got the Italian-inspired Capitano in Carlton and Falco Bakery in Collingwood. Michael also has Worksmith, a co-working space for hospitality, and we talk about how that has evolved, how they very nearly lost it during the pandemic, and why it’s a break-even proposition at best; Michael is also behind the Melbourne Cocktail Festival which kicks off next week on Monday April 4th — you can learn more about that at melbournecocktailfestival.io.

We talk about identifying opportunities and how he makes the decision to go in on them, and why he’s interested more in growing sustainable businesses than in expanding for the sake of creating scale alone.

The through-line here seems to be about solving problems for hospitality businesses, and that old fashioned idea of being of service — it’s a good basis for business, and a strategy that sets things up for the long term.