Shawn Soole exported himself from Australia to Canada almost a decade ago when searching for new, greener pastures. He began his career almost two decades ago in Brisbane, starting off as a waiter but then finding his passion for the bar far too great. Working in diverse environments, such as restaurants, wine and cocktail bars, flair-tending bars, and boutique beer cafés, has given Shawn insights into every facet of the industry. And he has attempted to experience all aspects of it, from grassroots bartending to executive management.
After Shawn took over the bar at Clive’s Classic Lounge in the Chateau Victoria in 2009, it garnered awards and media attention worldwide. It was twice nominated as Tales of the Cocktail’s “World’s Best Hotel Bar” (2011, 2012), and Shawn was also nominated as “International Bartender of the Year”—the only Canadian bar and the only Canadian to ever be nominated in any category at Tales of the Cocktail.
Two years ago, Shawn embarked on his latest endeavour in Little Jumbo, a small intimate space that showcases the versatility of pairing drinks with food. He has applied all of the things he’s learned in his travels and created a new cocktail hub. It was awarded in its first year, Silver Medal for Vancouver Magazine’s Wine List Awards, Top 10 Best New Cocktail Bar at Tales of the Cocktails, Scotch Malt Whisky Society Partner Restaurant, Top 30 Best New Restaurants in Canada & Top 15 Favorite Bar for enRoute Magazine. He left that venture late in 2014, to pursue further endeavours.
In addition, he released his first cocktail book with co author, Nate Caudle in Autumn of 2013. Cocktail Culture is the culmination and showcasing of Victoria’s burgeoning cocktail culture. Cocktail Culture was nominated as a top 4 pick for Best New Cocktail Book at Tales of the Cocktail.
Travelling, speaking and training is now his focus with his company S2 Hospitality Concepts.