If you’ve been to a pub in inner Sydney, chances are Dean’s worked there at some point. He’s worked his way up from bartender, to manager, to licensee of venues like The Erko, The Courthouse, Darlo and Kings Cross Hotel. Now Dean runs The Clock, and spoke to me about his two decades in the industry.

The hospitality life might sound nightmarish to some: standing for eight hours at a time, wearing a smile for just as long, endless small talk, and dealing with the dramas that undoubtedly occur at one of Sydney’s most popular drinking spots. But for Dean, that’s the industry’s charm.

“I love the people and the hours, it’s a very dynamic job. You can be on the floor, in the office, the cellar, talking to a million different people.

“What I really love about the industry is that there are so many stories behind alcohol, and so many different connections you can make,” says Dean.

Dean joined Solotel Group fourteen years ago as a bartender at The Clock. After moving through some iconic Sydney venues, he’s found himself right back where he began.

If you’ve visited the Surry Hills landmark, you’ll know that each staff member is much like Dean: passionate about the hospitality life. Glynn the bar manager can spin a yarn about the origins of each bottle of whiskey that sits behind him, and Fernando the head chef can tell you exactly what’s trending in top London restaurants.

But at the forefront of The Clock is community, whether that means participating in Movember and Karma Keg, getting involved with the Neighbourhood Centre and Festival preparations, or simply knowing the locals by name.

Pop in for a festive drink this month. We guarantee you’ll leave feeling a little bit merrier.